As images of this new act of madness were showed on TV, I heard a seven-year-old boy exclaiming ruefully: “Am I going to live at least until the age of ten?” This sudden outburst made me reflect on what terrorism is producing: fear and insecurity. The uncertainty of living our forefathers went through during the world wars is now back in the psychology of Western people. This new global conflict, whose manner and form are unique, finds the superpowers totally unprepared to face it. Tanks are not enough and are of no use to stop suicide bombers whose actions are always unpredictable. Terrorists use the strategy of striking tourist facilities, crowded places, to be as world-shaking as possible.
Terror criminals come up with more and more delusional actions to shatter the globe, they cry out blind hatred and so much anger against the alleged enemy. Massacres seem to be never-ending; more and more individuals are forced to pay a very high price for an unprecedented social sin. One may even wonder whether the world, trampled so much at present, can recover its stability, harmony, and dignity. Such a hardness of heart and a mind that is so alien to any kind of dialogue, willingness to understand the others, the meaning of turning the other cheek, giving way to the others, and being open to the others are disheartening. Even the so-called “madmen”, such as the guy who shot out of hatred, to revenge the wrongs he had suffered, are still part of this psychosis that infects weakest and most wounded minds of our society.
The attack in Munich was carried out by Ali Sonboly who was only 18. A person born and raised in Bavaria, a German-Iranian national who fired at the crowd first in front of a fast food, then in the middle of the shops of a crowded mall. After killing 9 people and injuring 16 more, he has put an end to this cruel slaughter, taking away his life. There have been a lot of rumors in the frantic moments that followed the massacre and Munich remained under curfew for several hours.
Television and newspapers – rightly – put a spotlight on these events despite the fact that some people, such as Mr. Erdogan, would like to turn them off and tries to do so. In the era of social media, everything is presented instantly. Those who manage to show certain images before anyone else, possibly the most burning or shocking, hoping to go viral, impress the most. Tragedies are there to be read by everyone and now anyone can post their own thoughts on any event.
Political analysts are extremely committed to understanding the moods and emotions of the people and at the same time try to manage those who might act as a megaphone to their master in communication. Not to mention the many conspiracy theories that explain that nothing happens by chance and that everything is intentional, programmed, and controlled by the hands of aware and conscious people. According to this hypothesis, the real perpetrators of this war do not live too far from us and are part of our Western family.
At any rate, before this scenario of significant media attention, there is another risk, which is now granted and which we cannot ignore at present: emulation effect. Munich chief of police noted that “there is a clear link” between this massacre and the one perpetrated by Breivik in Utoya 5 years ago, whose fifth anniversary fell last Friday. We hope that such a tragedy, beyond our tears and sorrow for its victims, will help people to unite instead of dividing, even when their opinions and conditions are different, strongly repeating their “no” to violence and their “yes” to the culture of encounter, the authentic “cure” for the wounds of contemporary humanity.