Brussels attacks 4

While Belgium has its second official day of mourning and kept a minute silence at noon, to mourn the victims, official reactions from all over the world pour in.  These range from the sincere to the outrageously ridiculous and upsetting.

Of course, one expects Donald Trump to come up with something obnoxious and bizarre. His comments ran in the vein of “I told you so”, “I am right”, to “the UK muslims do not report terrorists”.

It is to be hoped that this wannabe-future-president of the US will get some pretty good advisors if ever he makes it into the White House. With his foggy ideas about where the UK and his Scottish golf course are situated in relation to Belgium, there is a good chance he might accidentally launch a rocket and hit the EU Parliament in Brussels from the Oval if ever he lands the job of US President.

What one does not expect is the Jerusalem Post citing their Minister Katz as stating that Belgians should stop eating chocolat and fight terrorism  and they can learn a lot from Israelis. Or UK journalists and UKIP members apparently implying that attacks in Paris and Brussels do not concern people in the UK, as it is all happening on the other side of the Channel. And that while the attack at Maalbeek metro station may have claimed the life of a British person and victims are dying from their wounds or struggling to survive.

To presume Belgium is all about chocolate and a Burgundian lifestyle is only showing one has no idea what this country and people really are like. To think that terrorist attacks “across the Channel” or anywhere else in the world, do not concern your country, your fellow countrymen, your political party members, or you show only you are suffering from an extreme case of tunnel-vision.

Such a worldview, such a mental attitude, such comments certainly show the message of most religions or John Donne’s poem “No Man is an Island” have totally passed some idiots by. If one can not manage words of comfort and compassion, perhaps it is best to keep mum. As for terrorist attacks: they concern and affect all of us. The bells tolling for victims in Brussels are also tolling for us.


About Kate

Multilingual arts & culture journalist, blogger, columnist, writer and translator. Contributor to international (news) media. 2014 winning columnist Gentse Schrijversdagen, Gand, Belgium.
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