Islamic extremism is a threat all over the world, evident from the attacks in Paris, the attack on Lee Rigby and others. Their brutal and inhumane ideals endanger people who live in a place where their beliefs are different. Although, there are other stories we should be aware of which are not making major headlines and are deeply affecting people in the world today.
Recently in Baga, Nigeria, militants have attacked more than 2,000 people. Boko Haram is the militant group name that is not receiving attention. Why are the people not more concerned about the death of these people? Maybe because the media are not focusing on it, or maybe because of the terrors of the Paris event, but this are no excuse to be unaware of such a massacre. We could not possibly allow seeing dead bodies “through five villages and each one was empty except for dead bodies” (The Guardian) to be a normality in Africa or anywhere.
Under the radar stories
Last year several journalists reporting in Gaza died, where was their freedom of speech? The tragic event in Paris is horrific but there are still places where their tragedies and their voices are not getting enough recognition.
Ebola victims in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Mali, do they get enough coverage? Even the effects of the virus and its consequences, for example the economy now that the Ebola virus has spread.
Pauline Cafferkey is a woman from the UK who contracted Ebola when nursing victims. This is an example of one person being the headline rather than the other thousands of deaths. However it has allowed people to think about the severity of Ebola and also the help we are giving to those in need.
The press have recently highlighted the opening of a treatment centre for pregnant women suffering with Ebola, which is of course one of the many events we should be aware of.
Hearing those voices is essential
There are still victims out there tormented by viruses or attacks, their sufferings have not been heard in the way people deserve to listen to. Their voices should be heard.
Another story that has been given recent attention (and rightly so) that would be relevant to mention is Raif Badawi, a liberal blogger from Saudi Arabia who faces a 1,000-lash sentence and a 10-year jail term. His freedom of speech, much like those in Paris, those attacked in Baga and the journalists who have died reporting, has been challenged or taken away. However, on 16 January, it had been revealed that his case had been referred to the country’s Supreme Court.
Freedom of speech is extremely important to achieve unity in people and to maintain a society in which we can express ourselves and be proud of. But some countries around the world do not have the same ideals and this conflict of ethics is endangering, along with the ignorance towards people who are having their freedom of speech abolished by brutality.
What do you think? Have your say in the comments section below.