Deadly Terrorist Attacks, But Do We Care?
Loud explosions rocked Somalia’s capital Mogadishu on 28th of October. There was not one but two car bombs going off in the center of the city, leaving at least 23 people dead and 30 wounded. These attacks are not the first instances of bombings in Mogadishu, where approximately 300 people were killed in terrorist attacks last month. So far the militant Al-Shabaab group has taken the responsibility for the most recent attacks, but there are no confirmations from the regional law enforcement. Al-Shabaab operates mostly in Somalia and is closely affiliated with Al Qaeda. It seeks to enforce governance according to strict Islamic laws. According to Al Jazeera, there have been more than 20 terrorist attacks in Mogadishu since the start of this year.
However, Mogadishu is not the only city that is experiencing such high level of terrorism this year. Istanbul, Baghdad, Mosul and Peshawar—all have had multiple deadly terrorist attacks in the recents years. Were they as publicized as the London attacks? Has there been as much social media responses about these events as the Paris attacks? The coverage of terrorist attacks in non-Western countries is hard to call sufficient or accurate. The importance of covering these events is often underestimated. There are strong associations between jihadism/extremism and the Middle East, but this trend of Islamic militarism and terrorism has spread far beyond that region. Africa remains one of the top centers of terrorist activity, and ignorance of this fact can carry deadly consequences. We have to admit that there must be something wrong with today’s media when a bomb blast that killed around 300 people gets less coverage in the news than Trump’s obsession with Clinton emails and JFK assassination conspiracies. There is disproportionality in the way that the media portrays current events: instead of providing their audience with relevant and important information, the news often feed our society the stories we want to hear. Nevertheless, it is vital for us to hear the stories we do not like hearing—the ones that make us uncomfortable, are also the ones that force us to think.