Brussels terror attacks elicit responses around the world

Photo courtesy of newyorker.com

Photo courtesy of newyorker.com

By Jenna Seyer, Staff Writer

A series of explosions targeted Brussels on Tuesday, March 22, occurring at the entrance of the Zaventem airport and on the metro system of the capital city. Both acts of violence were suicide bombings and were perpetrated by two Belgian brothers, with one other suspect currently on the run. With ISIS claiming responsibility for the deaths of at least 30 innocent victims and over 250 wounded individuals, the terror threat against any anti-ISIS state still persists. All transit systems connecting Brussels to London and others that linked neighboring cities were shut down, leaving the capital to declare three national days dedicated to mourning the loss of many. Following attacks in Paris with over 120 people killed last November, the terror attacks on Belgium’s capital were as unexpected as the last yet just as consumed with a frightening Islamic extremism against the Western world.

Support from the United States, England, France and other countries continues to spread around the world. In honor and memory of those lost in the Brussels attacks,the Eiffel Tower, World Trade Center and other monuments were lit with the colors of the Belgian flag. Thousands have gathered within the Brussels community plaza to create vigils with floral tributes, candles, drawings and cards. To better prepare for future acts of violence, the Obama Administration announced the implementation of more protective measures in airports. These attacks have not only reignited a fear of which ISIS prolongs to breed, but these acts of violence have also reopened wounds from Paris, from the San Bernardino shooting, from 9/11, from any terrorist attack stemming from a deeply-rooted hatred of Western values.

We are at war with a fear that knows no boundaries, with terrorists who have no mercy and with a constant threat of losing everything in a matter of seconds.

Republican frontrunner Donald Trump responded to the Brussels terror attacks on Tuesday during an interview with CBS news: “In my opinion, this is just the beginning. It will get worse and worse because we are lax and we are foolish. We can’t allow these people, at this point, we cannot allow these people to come into our country. I’m sorry.” However, in my own opinion, I do not consider the leaders of our nation to be foolish; we are not careless; we are fully aware of the threat ISIS poses to the United States and other countries. It is both racist and contradictory to the American value of religious freedom to ban all Muslims from entering the country. In order to fight against acts of violence we must remind ourselves that all the hatred, murder and fear cannot compare to the weight of compassion, love and courage we must show during these times. We cannot respond by increasing torture methods, declaring war on ISIS or banning individuals who seek safety from our country. How many people have to die for change to occur? How many memorials have to be placed in center squares to mourn what is no longer there? How many families have to be deported back to a place that endangered them in the first place? Enough violence, Mr. Trump. We cannot use fear to breed hate. What we need is a presidential candidate to lead the United States forward with the safety of the American people—of all people—as the main priority.

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