It was with profound sadness that we heard the news of the Manchester bombing. This act of cruelty was all the more atrocious because it deliberately targeted the young and vulnerable.
Those who set themselves apart by committing acts of extreme brutality, and those who support them, have often been warned of the consequences of their actions.
Violence spawns violence.
Anger spawns anger.
Hate spawns hate.
Our response, however, will be different. We cherish our values. We stand for compassion. We stand for sincerity. We stand for loyalty. We stand for hope. We stand for an inclusive society rather than a small minded world based on exclusivity. We stand with all of good heart. We stand together, strengthened, not cowed, by this piteous act.
This act redoubles our resolve to protect our vulnerable, most particularly the very young and the very old, the weak and the dispossessed – And to prevent them from all harm. And in so doing build a world founded on love and fellowship and complete freedom from fear.
After an interval of a number of years the International Media Awards, are going ahead at last under the auspices of the International Communications Forum. They will take place on the 28th of June this year in Whitehall, London. Esteemed guests will be arriving from right across the Middle East, from places as disparate as Libya, Afghanistan and Israel.
The last time the International Media Awards were held was in 2013, in which there were seven award categories including The Peace through Media Award, Photography and Visual Media Award, Lifetime Achievement Award, Cutting Edge Award, Breakaway Award, The New Media Award and Award for Outstanding Achievement. The 2013 winners include notable photojournalist Sir Donald McCullin CBE, the South-African born Israeli author Benjamin Pogrund. jounralist and author of the award-winning book ‘Not the Enemy: Israel’s Jews from Arab Lands’, Rachel Shabi.
Historically, The International Media Awards have been organised to celebrate principles of ethical journalism, including the precepts of truth and accuracy, fairness and impartiality, humanity and finally, accountability. These concepts may have become neglected in the post-truth age we currently live in, where alternative facts are given as much credibility as honest journalism. It is, therefore, vital to honour the commitment and professionalism credible journalists have when uncovering the truth about the most complex political tides the world faces today.
Please see the following link for a collection of interviews from the winners and supporters of the 2013 International Media Awards held at the Oxford and Cambridge Club, Pall Mall, London on the 11th of May 2013.
We are profoundly saddened, as is everyone we know, by the lone wolf attack on Britain’s parliament by an individual who must presumably be an ISIS / Daesh sympathiser.
What makes a man commit an atrocity of this kind in which innocent civilians are killed? Any attack that deliberately targets civilians is morally repugnant in the eyes of humanity at large, and is to be presumed utterly reprehensible in the eyes of any God the attacker may or may not believe in.
The worst of it is that any atrocity is by definition one of the worst crimes conceivable because atrocity breeds atrocity as retribution breeds retribution and a cycle of violence is spawned.
Forgiveness is difficult; moreso for some of us when we suppress our natural reaction to those that target the innocent. And in this instance a number of the injured were children. And the natural reaction of at least some of us is to wish any such attacker may burn in hell.
However there is a place beyond forgiving – for some acts can never be forgiven except by the righteous and there are precious few of those in this world. But there is a place beyond forgiving in which we show compassion, mercy and love to our enemies and their victims alike.
The enemies of humanity (whether Daesh / ISIS, or Al Qa’idah, or indeed any who deliberately target non-combatants of any kind) expect and deserve our outrage. Indeed they often act as they do in order to provoke our hatred.
We defeat them best, and their entire ideology of exclusivity, when we find it in our hearts to offer them our pity, and face down their self-consuming hatred with our own ideology of inclusivity, compassionate mercy, and love.
God will judge them, we should not. Nor should we allow extremists the satisfaction that their actions may have in some way instilled in us any sense of fear in regard to tomorrow. We have no need to worry about tomorrow. God is already there.
Jeremy Bowen spoke on BBC’s Radio 4 Today Program this morning. He was reporting from Istanbul on the bombing of the recent pro peace rally that resulted in so very many deaths. He then went on to describe the turmoil in the country in the aftermath of the bombing. He emphasised our need to be concerned since Turkey was a key ally in the fight against ISIS. But the point is that this is wrong. Mr Bowen should know full well that whatever its public pronouncements to the contrary, Turkey supports ISIS and has always supported ISIS. This is disingenuous.