I became a victim of terrorism long before the word was even coined. My mother emigrated from the former Yugoslavia. She was lucky enough to have survived the horrors of World War II. Unfortunately, her Catholic father was a wealthy business owner who was dragged away by the Nazis and never heard from again. It seems one of his employees reported him for working underground against the regime. My brave grandmother and her sister took my mother and her older sister and hid in the mountains for three years. I lived with my mother’s fears during all of her life. I am a victim of terrorism.
Keeping the Secret
Those who are victims of terrorism are often pledged to an allegiance of silence. There are secrets that I cannot share here. I can only tell you that I was taken aback when I saw the words on the a wall of a holocaust museum. The display read in huge letters. “It happened before. It can happen again.” My maternal grandmother repeated those words as her mantra. In a sense, it did happen before. It is happening again. It is happening to a different people.
Then v. Now
Before you protest that the Jews and their supporters did not deserve what Hitler and his allies bestowed upon then, I agree. They were innocents caught by the vengeance of a madman. It was religious warfare against the people many think of as the chosen people. Right now, we are seeing a combat against humanity by a group who claim they do so in support of their faith. Certainly, this cannot be part of God’s plan.
I shiver every time I see that all Muslims should be exterminated. Many Muslims are ashamed of these atrocities launched in the name of their religion. Unfortunately, American media likes to sell newspapers and has failed to bring attention to Muslim disdain for the actions of ISIS and other terrorist organizations. I wish I had the funds to launch my own media campaign to reveal this.
Decades ago, I wrote for a local newspaper and covered their town meetings. There was an issue with the employment complement of minority employees. The community only hired from within their boundaries and there were only a select number of non-white residents. I sat in horror as one of the audience members at a town meeting said we don’t want any of those “racial epithet inserted” working in our town. I elected not to quote the act of freedom of speech. I saw it as a means of shielding the town from a riot. It might have sold more papers.
I mentioned that my family came here post World War II. They arrived after Communism was the rule in the former Yugoslavia. Technically, they all came here legally. However, one family member had papers that belonged to someone else. She had an assumed identity that kept her alive in the holocaust. Until the day she died, she worried that she could be deported and separated from her family. She was not a terrorist. Like many of today’s refugees, she was escaping from the same people that others feared. Do I understand this all? Certainly. It is because I am a victim of terrorism.
I cannot ask you to change your mind about killing off all the Muslims. However, I can request that you think of the broadness of your thoughts. The world is filled with bad people. Not all of them are Muslims. It happened before. It can happen again.