OPINION: Violence and Hatred Are Not the Answer

Kate Lee, Voices Editor

On May 22, Salman Abedi set off a hand-made bomb at the Manchester Arena during an Ariana Grande concert, killing 22 and injuring 116. The day after, the Islamic State group (IS) claimed the bombing as a purposeful attack.

On June 14, James Hodgkinson, a Bernie Sanders supporter, shot four Republican congressmen during their practice for the annual Congressional Baseball Game for Charity.

On June 18, Darwin Torres beat Nasra Hassanen, a 17-year-old Muslim girl, to death and left her body in a pond nearby.

On June 19, Darren Osborne rammed his van into a group of Muslim pedestrians near the Finsbury Park Mosque in London, killing one and injuring 10.

These acts of violence are just a few of many that have occurred recently. They have come from various assailants from all sides of ideological and political opinions. Despite their variety and unpredictability, all have one aspect in common: the basis of hatred.

The definition of terrorism is the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, for political aims. Though the word has developed an association with certain groups such as IS or al-Qaida, terrorist acts can be committed by anybody. No matter what their beliefs are, if the intent is to openly harm another person or group of people, it is a hate crime.

Perhaps the saddest thing is how prevalent these attacks have become. But even more shocking is the increasing pursuit of violence even after condemning prejudice and ignorance by the other side. If Western countries are denouncing IS for their unjustified cruelty on innocent civilians, the citizens of those countries should not be engaging in anti-Islam terrorist acts. If liberal Americans are hating President Donald Trump and his supporters for their stereotyping and closed-mindedness, they should be encouraging tolerance and acceptance, not opening fire on Republican congressmen.

Of course, the violent are not the majority on the many sides of these issues. However, it is necessary that we recognize this prevalence is not okay. It is necessary that we educate ourselves on these events so we realize how complex the problems we face are. It is necessary that we, as divided as we may seem, come together against violence and hatred. When dealing with human lives and hearts, there should be no tolerance for brutality upon the innocent. It’s time we make that unbelievably clear.