On Sunday 21st February ISIS claimed responsibility for the death of 122 people following attacks in Syrian strongholds; southern Damascus and Homs. Days prior they claimed responsibility for the attacks on a Yemen military camp, the execution of 20 Libyan soldiers, an IED attack in north Sinai and an attack on a Saudi Arabian mosque killing 2 children. That is just within the past 30 days and yet the western world hasn't batted an eye lid. Gary hasn't made a facebook rant, we aren't singing Syria's national anthem and the Libyan flag hasn't been lit up onto any national landmark.
It's bullshit that lives lost in a terrorist attack are of different value depending on where those lives are lost. It's wrong that a life in Paris warrants days of public mourning whilst hundreds all across the middle east are continually attacked, oppressed and pursued and not even worthy of a news piece. It seems that the atrocities of ISIS only really matter when they're across the channel or conducted on our white skinned pals. But you don't stand against ISIS if you only stand for yourself.
There is a widespread disillusion that the middle east is some backwards alien land where only terrorists live. When bad things happen there no one cares because its 'normal' and they were all probably terrorists anyway. No one changes their Facebook picture. No one calls for improvements in policy. No one suddenly forgets they're an atheist and starts #praying. No one does anything because no one knows and no one cares.
If we're going to be selective with which of ISIS' victims we sympathise for then we're never going to be any closer to solving the crisis. The people of Lebanon, Syria, Libya, Yemen and all across the Middle East need our support and attention. They're the people who live what the people of Paris lived on the 13th November for a couple of hours every single day. Yet, whilst we have the luxury of being able to switch off and selectively choose which of ISIS' attacks we care about, they don't.
So if you genuinely care about the victims of ISIS then don't just care for the white dead ones. Care for the ones washing up on the shores of Calais, for the ones seeking asylum across Europe and for the ones our government will strike as 'collateral damage'. Don't bullshit with white washed sincerity and empty paragraphs that are little more than a jump on to the bandwagon. Care because ISIS are attacking more countries than Paris, and more countries than Paris matter.