istanbul-overview-sunset-large
Istanbul Old Quarter. From the Telegraph (UK)

by baldilocks

I was going to write about my progress with my second novel and my two books—one about Kenya. But this happened today in Istanbul.

A gun and suicide bomb attack on Istanbul’s Ataturk international airport has killed at least 28 people and injured up to 60.

Up to three attackers were involved, with one reportedly opening fire with a Kalashnikov as they targeted an entry point to the terminal.

Recent bombings in Turkey have been linked to either Kurdish separatists or the so-called Islamic State group.

This looks like a major, co-ordinated assault, the BBC’s Mark Lowen reports.

This morning, I read a piece on the killing of Mohamed Dulyadayn via U.S. air strike. Dulyadayn was the mastermind of the 2015 massacre at Garissa University in Kenya—a Christian university–where 148 students and professors were murdered. Dulyadayn was one of the leaders of al-Shabaab, the regional Islamic terror group.

This morning, just now and many times in the past, it has occurred to me that the West doesn’t pay that much attention to Islamic terror strikes when they occur in areas perceived to be Islamic, even though the body count is often much higher than in perceived non-Islamic areas—Paris and New York City notwithstanding.

As I’ve pointed out many times, Kenya is primarily a Christian nation, but because it is in Africa, where Islam had nearly free rein until the beginning of the European colonial era at the end of the 19th century and because Kenya has been at war with neighboring Somalia, terror attacks there seem common to the Western eye.

And, of course, Istanbul is the largest city in Islamic Turkey.

My observation is not a criticism. What it is intended to do is to point to something deeper: that we expect Muslims to murder people, even their co-religionists. So when they act up in a place where they are highly concentrated, it’s horrifying, but there isn’t as much outrage as when they shoot up a public benefits center in San Bernardino or a gay nightclub in Orlando.

Does that say something about us or about them?

Answer: yes.

RIP, Istanbul victims.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel will be done in 2016. Follow her on Twitter.

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