Should We Learn To Accept Terrorism As Normal?


I was a senior in high school on September 11, 2001. I remember exactly where I was when I heard the news.

It was the start of my second period Creative Writing class. I was chatting with a friend when a classmate entered the room and declared that terrorists flew two planes into the World Trade Towers. I remember thinking that Angelo, a fan of video games and comic books, had read one too many.

After all, the idea was unthinkable. But almost immediately our principal appeared on TV to confirm the terrible news.

In the sixteen years to follow we've had to live under the specter of radical, Islamic terror. Everything from airplane flights to marathons are now tainted with the fear that at any moment, disaster may strike.

It's not that this kind of danger didn't exist before 2001. Jihadists have been a regular threat in the Middle East, Africa, and parts of Asia for decades. Osama bin Laden had wreaked havoc across the globe before his biggest attack against America. Perhaps the West was a bit too arrogant to think it would never affect us on the same level.

Yet ever since 9-11 we have battled this constant fear. In recent years we have seen a shocking amount of attacks around the world. Some were lone wolf attacks- like the shooting at Pulse Night club in Orlando- some, like in Paris were orchestrated by ISIS agents. But the reality is jihadists continue to pose a threat to all peaceful peoples of the world, and despite efforts to stop them, they still linger.

Last month we witnessed the horror as a man mowed down innocent people in London and killed cop. That was quickly followed by another car attack and a bombing in Russia. This week a police officer was killed in France by a terrorist. Like cockroaches living in your basement, radical Islamic terrorists still lurk in the dark, waiting to strike.

What does this mean for civilized society? Should we now just consider terrorism a regular part of our lives, nothing more than an inconvenience like traffic?

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