No, I don’t want to be who ISIS wants me to be. But yes, I do want to be a part of this conversation.

– Response to The Daily Post – The Outsiders

Outsider 1. Me: I feel helpless. Don’t you?

Outsider 2.You: Why?

O1.Me: Because all around me, people are ‘uniting’ with Paris and its declaration of war, and I ask myself on the outside, what if I don’t want to be a part of that war? What if I chose to opt-out and stay out? What if I chose not to put a french flag on my facebook profile?

What are those of us who actually think war isn’t the best solution supposed to do? Are we supposed to just sit back and let it happen? Could we maybe vote on it? I mean seriously, we have never had a chance to opt-out? At what point did anyone ask ‘who wants to be at war’? It was just assumed. I don’t know how to describe the way that makes me feel.


I am surprised those who govern haven’t learnt a lesson, a lesson that we (outsiders and insiders) are all being taught because of their (bad?) decisions. Now Rome and London are going to have to live it all over again too. Which just goes to show that violence treated with violence is so obviously not going to work, it never has, it never will. It just has no end. It’s a vicious cycle.

I’m sad about the huge number of people who in their defenceless position are going to be stigmatised and possibly even hurt. Hurt, for how they look or where they come from. And in Europe! A place that has promoted ‘freedom’ and ‘safety’ and ‘opportunity’, acting like a role model that all other regions in the world should follow. I’m doubting its credibility.

The huge influx of refugees running from a place of violence to a place where they hope they will find peace and freedom are going to be met with violence and hostility.

Watching someone being stigmatised has never happened to me, so I cannot know, but I really hope I will not stand by and observe if and as it happens in front of me, I hope that I will react.


Shouldn’t we be generating a sense of responsibility-for-the-other amongst people? Paris was a devastating event and so was Beirut. Yet I’m sorry to say it this way but they were perfect opportunities to generate a wave of solidarity across the world (all of it), not a wave of, what is now turning out to be, increased stigmatisation and hostility toward many of those who live amongst us, it could even be me. Or you. And I care about you.

I know I’m not the only one who thinks this. There are other outsiders. Others are talking about it too. I want to be a part of the outsider’s conversation. The one that is different. The conversation that wants to try something new, something that hasn’t been done in the past, something that might actually work. Could we please have this conversation?