Hashtag Munich

Last Friday was just like any Friday in Munich… until it wasn’t. I went to the gym, applied for jobs, finished up a book, kicked back with Tour de France on Eurosport and received a message from a friend stating “Are you ok? Tell me you’re at home!”. There was a rampage going on two subways stops from our home…

A teenage boy hacked a female Facebook profile, invited everyone for a free meal at McDonald’s and at 17:56 started shooting people with the Glock and 300 bullets he had on himself. The Munich police went on the hunt with reinforcements from local, provincial and federal forces. Even the Kobras from Austria pitched in the effort of catching the perpetrator. Late that evening, they found the teenager’s body lifeless with a self-inflicted wound.

As the social networks went berserk, no one knew nothing concrete.  But almost everyone had a theory. While I was rushing into texting and calling all my friends and family to see whether they are ok or just to let them know that we are fine, my Facebook and Twitter went mad. Most people felt sad and sorry about what was happening. Others went on about Islam and its place in Europe and certainly not in understanding or even close empathising with those Muslims condemning the terror.

Looking at the helicopters hanging in the air scanning for the suspect(s) and hearing the police and ambulance cars’ sirens, I couldn’t help, but thinking about cause and effect… The majority of terror inflicted upon societies is done by their members. Munich’s rampage aftermath showed that the boy had psychological problems, depression and was systematically bullied at school. He had no political or religiously triggered agenda. He just wanted to shoot people, and he was prepping for it for more than a year before the attack.

When I look at the investigation results from the terror attacks in France, Belgium, and so many other places, I see local citizens (most born and raised on-site) taking part into terrorising the community, looking for some sort of payback, a statement.

How come that we are waiting on the Police and security agencies to do their jobs and prevent attacks, but we hardly ask ourselves the question “What did we do to cause this?” What did we do to make these people willing to pay us back with death, pain, and terror? Did we treat these people, right? Did we really embrace our differences and understanding each other, or did we just use every opportunity to remind them that they are not part of our community?

There cannot be any excuse for killing people. No God, no religion, no social differences or anything else can justify terrorising anyone or society. And yet it happens. Often.

Shouldn’t we dig deeper into the causes of these things happening and not focus exclusively on the effects? People get lured to ideas when they seek asylum from their daily life. They are prone to take radical measures to express themselves when they have no other choice. They are easily exploited when they see no other way. Let’s think about that for a moment!

Until we realise this and start doing something about it, we will continue to mourn the lost lives and victims of terror attacks in Germany, France, Belgium, Afghanistan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, the USA, and many other countries. There is very little else we can do to prevent terror attacks from happening. We might have success in the short-term, but in the long one, we will just loose.

The header image is a courtesy of a fellow photographer – Florian Mühl. Check out his website!

Copyright © 2016 Borislav Kiprin. All Rights Reserved.