After hearing about the Paris attack that following Saturday morning, I realized the strength of biased media, and that they will judge information that deserves more attention over what information should be ignored.
As the Paris attack filled headlines on Friday over the ISIS atrocity, Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, just a day earlier, was attacked by the same extremist group ISIS, and was left in the corner mourning over its losses.
Facebook gave out a Paris flag users could post on their profile, to display their sorrow for the Paris attack, but didn’t offer a Lebanon flag profile for the attack in Beirut.
Don’t those lives lost in Beirut matter too?
The attention the Paris attack received, of which I don’t disapprove, in comparison to the forgotten Beirut, was biased.
I realized this when I attended class Saturday. It made me feel uncomfortable, probably an awful omen signaling the start of a cursed day for all Muslims around the world.
However, what bothered me most were the looks I received from people. I couldn’t comprehend whether it was a look of sadness or hatred.
Some of them looked at me, and once I stared back, quickly tugged their heads and continued walking on their path.
Before going to class I decided to go fix my headscarf, which was in disarray.
“Stupid wind,” I thought as I ascended the stairs leading up to the restroom. If only I knew the horrific news waiting for me in that place.
I came in contact with a short, plump old lady with dyed platinum hair.
As I stood fixing my headscarf in front of the mirror, trying to maintain a perfect fold while wrapping it around my head, the old woman approached me.
“Hey, may I ask you a question,” she said hesitantly. “Do any non-Muslims hassle you after what happened in Paris?”
“H-hassle me?” I stuttered, and I immediately knew this conversation had some connection with the peculiar stares I received earlier. “No,” I swallowed.
And there the old lady informed me about the Paris attack.
I remained composed, but inside me, a volcano erupted.
Again those terrorists caused bloodshed, killing at least 128 people in Paris. But something else upset me.
The terrorists have succeeded in giving the media another chance to cast a shade upon all Muslims around the world, including those having nothing to do with the attacks.
It took me years to erase the despicable image the media negatively perpetuated after 9/11.
I’ve carved a smile on my face when meeting with other people; a smile I wish will subdue any negative thinking about Muslims.
I couldn’t imagine the hasty judgments people were going to throw at me or to any Muslim because of this extremist group.
“Sorry if my words scared you or anything,” the woman’s voice roused me.
“No, it’s all right,” I swallowed and said, “I also heard a day before those terrorists attacked Beirut.”
“I actually have heard about this,” she said. And that was all she said in sorrow for all the people who died in Beirut.
“Please be safe,” she said and left, as I tried to swallow, feeling that the dying embers of 9/11 were back again.
After reading the Paris attack news, it then hit me the media was covering the Paris attack heavily, while ignoring the ISIS suicide bombings in Beirut, and other atrocities ISIS has caused in other countries.
We all should pray for every ounce of blood shed under the hands of ISIS.