At least 235 people died and around 109 more are injured when group of militants bombed and opened fire on a mosque full of worshipers observing Friday prayers in Egypt’s Northern Sinai. According to recent reports, even the ambulances that carried casualties from the scene to nearby hospitals have been attacked.
As of now, no group claimed responsibility for the assault, but it bears the trademark of ISIS.
The group, however, has not claimed responsibility for the attack, but it is the main suspect as the mosque is associated with followers of the mystical Sufi branch of Sunni Islam whom it has branded heretics.
This bombing was the deadliest yet in the region where for three years Egyptian security forces have battled an Islamic State insurgency that has killed hundreds of police and soldiers. A solution—either military or negotiated—remains a long way off.
I am writing this because if I don’t, the world might not even know.
Nobody is talking about it and the Western media is not really doing its best to raise awareness in the current situation of Egypt. Yes, it can be hard to keep up with national news in the U.S., but Egypt deserves as much attention and condolences.
People are dying, and no one is paying attention. It’s unbelievable that this atrocity, like so many others, was glossed over by major news sources and not given the attention it deserves because it has not taken place in a Western country.
If something like this happened in the U.S. or Europe, the media would have blown up already. The hashtag #PrayFor would have been a trending tropic in a few hours and the flag of the country would be in people’s profile picture. But since this tragedy happened on the different side of the planet, people choose to selectively grieve and value life in certain areas more than the others. They’ll pray for other countries but continuously fall silent when it’s a country of Muslim men and women.
Some people even act as if these victims—who went to a mosque, who were praying, who didn’t do anything wrong but followed their faith—don’t matter as much as other people.
It is both saddening and frustrating that the Middle East is never spoken about in times of tragedy; that people only use the Middle East in their narrative to perpetuate ignorance and hatred; to try to justify their bigotry and Islamophobia.
Some people still fail to acknowledge that countries like Syria, Egypt or Palestine also suffer tremendously. They’ve had their homes taken from them, they’ve had their family members killed, raped, and kidnapped. They’ve been in the middle of civil wars, bombings, and chemical warfare. They’ve been through just as much attacks as other Western countries which media outlets often overlook. They are also a victim of terrorism.
May this article serve as a call to action—to please educate yourself to what’s happening in Egypt and spread awareness about it for it takes a whole community to eradicate violence.
You are also encouraged to donate to savethechildren.org to help child refugees in Egypt. If you can donate, it’s a worthy cause.