Taking care of the next generation

Universal Children’s Day is on November 20 and every time I see a child begging on the road, I cringe and want to hide inside my own skin, out of shame. I am sure almost all of us feel the same way. What is their crime? That they are born in a less developed country? They have to work hard for their meal of the day and are not able too young and vulnerable to avail of their rights, like everyone else. It’s baffling to think that there are children under the age of five who go hungry all over the world. If one looks at the numbers, it’s really horrifying!

According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) Executive Director, in 2013, 18,000 children were still dying every day. Lack of proper nutrition and diseases make children underweight and stunted physically, which seriously affects their learning abilities, too. We cannot ignore this issue anymore. On the one hand, we boast about advancements in medicine and bringing down mortality rates by the minute, but on the other hand, we see such horrendous numbers of children dying from hunger.

All children have the right to live, eat, grow and learn. Are they really enjoying their so-called rights? If we call ourselves progressive, I strongly believe that it is insufficient and ineffective progress! The continent of Asia has a large portion of the world’s total population, and many of its inhabitants live in impoverished areas. The issue cannot be sidelined and needs to be addressed by all heads of state, together. Any other issues, like nuclear weapons, arms and ammunition or global joint ventures in other fields, are really secondary.

From Ms Lakshmi Menon


Terrorism has no religion

On Friday night, I came home to a shocked family, staring at the news channel and praying for all the victims of the tragedy in Paris (‘An act of war’, Gulf News, November 15). Upon listening, I discovered there had been open gunfire in the city, leaving 129 people dead and many more severely injured.

As I surfed through various news channels, I heard the same absurd question over and over again: “What religion did the attackers belong to?” I’m sorry, but as far as my knowledge is concerned, I am not aware of any religion teaching anything but love, perseverance and kindness towards one another. What myths are we believing? What sort of unethical doctrines are we preaching? If we are to stoop to such levels and believe in such senseless things, then do we have the right to call ourselves modern citizens of the 21st century? I think not.

Terrorism is nothing but an act of cowardice. It is done by the weak, who do not possess the strength to battle their inner demons. It is not based upon the teaching of any religion whatsoever and they are a black mark on humanity.

From Ms Pragati Malik


Bring peace to victims

I was sad to hear of the senseless attack. May the peace and comfort of the Almighty be with all those who have suffered a loss in this tragedy.

From Ms Silvia Anthony


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An ordinary day in Syria

I condemn the attacks in France with all my heart. I am looking to the world’s most civilised people showing their sympathy for the 129 people killed in the Paris attacks. But every day, the same thing is going on in Syria and Occupied Palestinian territories, but the whole world is silent.

From Mr Javed Mondal


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Positive relations with France

There is a very good relationship between France and the Muslim world, especially with Arab countries. There are many Muslims living in France and they have good businesses and jobs there. Some people, like Daesh, do not like this healthy relationship and the prosperity of Muslims in France. So these people committed such heinous attacks and killed innocent citizens in an attempt to encourage isolation and racism towards Muslims in the West. We condemn these horrendous acts.

From Mr M. A. Mannan


Cowardly acts

Paris attacks have been sad and painful to read. Terrorism has increased and the entire globe is facing this. It was the worst attack that Paris has had to witness in this war on terror. Attacking public places shows the cowardly attitude of terrorists who kill innocent civilians — it is greatly condemned. The real reason for this attack should be investigated and the guilty should be brought to justice. I pray for the victims and the grieving families.

From Mr K. Ragavan

Bengaluru, India

Politics at play?

The Syrian passport found on one of the bodies sounds like a hoax (‘Parisians wake up to a city at war’, Gulf News, November 15). How can a terrorist carry his passport in such a mission? It seems like cheap politics, trying to find a reason to shut out refugees.

From Mr Arthur Chahwanda


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First to be blamed

For me, it doesn’t matter where an attack like this happens. It’s a sad day in the history of humanity. Innocent lives were taken. What does matter is how they can just sum up that one of the bombers was a Syrian national. It always becomes personal, whenever or wherever terror attacks happen. Muslims, I think, are the first to be blamed.

From Mr Salman Khan


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It’s personal for humanity

In response to Mr Salman Khan, the attackers might carry their passports because they want to be recognised. Why else would someone do this to begin with? It has nothing to do with the Syrian people, I agree. It has everything to do with radicalised individuals.

I think that it’s personal for all of humanity, not just for Muslims. I understand Muslims are always the first to be blamed and I wish that weren’t the case. I fight hard for people I know to see all Muslims as something far greater than what the media portrays, but we need to be fighting over the victims of this crime, instead of fighting over what country the terrorists came from. Terrorists come from all over the world.

From Ms Patricia Cooksey


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Looking into all factors

It is really a sad incident and no one can justify it. If there was a Syrian passport in possession, that must be taken into account, but there could be many other factors that need to be taken into consideration.

From Mr Xino Dawersokai


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Believe it or not

Why shouldn’t terrorists carry a passport? After carrying out a shooting on a highway, they might have intended to go straight to the airport and leave for another destination. I mean, they may believe that they can take out the entire French police and fly out of the country undetected. What’s so unbelievable about that?

From Mr Syed Shams


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The ripple effect

It’s really sad that innocent people are always the ones who suffer. Such acts have a great impact on public opinion. France was really adamant in changing the political scenario in the Middle East. Now, we feel the ripples in Paris.

From Mr Shanzay Goraya


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Finding a solution

The world is shaken by the series of attacks by the gunmen of Daesh in and around Paris on Friday. They killed 129 innocent people and wounded scores of them. French President Francois Hollande immediately declared three days of national mourning. He blamed Daesh extremists for the bloodshed and called the coordinated assault an ‘act of war’. The streets of the French capital were eerily quiet on Saturday. It is the worst attack in Europe since the 2004 Madrid train bombings. It seems that through one attack after another, the terrorist groups are spreading their nets to tighten movements around the world. It is high time that the UN and world leaders decide what needs to be done to stop these inhumane acts once and for all, before they sow the seeds of fear everywhere. It is better to join hands against terrorism before we fall.

From Mr Sunny Joseph Mala

Kerala, India

Terrorism at the source

The attack is actually not confined against the French, but humanity as a whole. Whenever there is a terrorist attack, there will be a chorus for the elimination of terrorists. But, it is not as easy a task as we think. Bombs and bullets alone cannot defeat them. The fight is between the people who want to live and the people who want to die in the name of certain ideologies. Greater emphasis should be placed on young people joining terror networks, alongside counter-terrorism measures. The fight will continue. We need to try to find out why more and more youngsters choose to walk on the path of terrorism. There should not be any distinction between destruction caused by terrorists and those that are state-sponsored.

From Mr Girish R. Edathitta


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