Nice Truck incident is not terror, this is murder

Words fail when attempting to express the horror inflicted on men women and children going about their happy celebrations in Nice on the evening of the 14th July 2016.


We have grown accustomed to incidents of this kind. France has had its share, Charlie Hebdo, The Bataclan, and now Nice can be added to the woeful list. But so also have communities across the world.  We in the west are naturally inclined to pay more attention when these acts occur in our own part of the world, most of us have been to these places, we have walked the streets, relaxed in the cafes, we know people there, but horror of this sort is almost daily inflicted upon innocent people somewhere in the world and it must be deplored whenever and wherever it occurs and whatever the purported justification.

To call misguided deeds like these “acts of terrorism” gives them some cloak of common identity which tends to set them in a class apart.  It is not that terrorism, whatever its basis, can ever hide its ugly activities under anything resembling a cloak of respectability.  But the use of the word “terrorism” suggests a cause, however misguided, and, under the cloak of a cause, misguided people can be persuaded to embark upon the most dreadful actions which, left to their own devices, they might never even contemplate.

It is time to name this barbarism for what it is, murder, slaughter, massacre, butchery, carnage, mayhem, anarchy, bedlam, turmoil, chaos, pandemonium, hatred, violence, viciousness, and to treat the people who act in this way, not as terrorists acting under some imagined banner, but as the simple murderers which they are.


Every one of these awful events challenges all to redouble our efforts to create a world which honours and celebrates our common humanity.  The maxim “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is a rule of behaviour common to people of all philosophical persuasions, a golden rule running though all religions and breaking down all superficial differences.   We need to work to promote that golden rule, beginning with the daily actions of each one of us and working especially to make this golden rule a motto that is understood and agreed by all, above all by the young people upon whom the greater good of our world so much depends.



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