Brussels stand still, if God be for us who can be against us?

March 25th, 2016 3:50 pm

HadjeHadje Cresencio Sadje is an associate member in the Center for Palestine Studies-SOAS University of London UK. He is currently a master student at the Protestant Theological University-Groningen and has been working with various faith-based organisation including, Escaping Barcode Life-The Netherlands, PhISO, and Foundation University-Amsterdam The Netherlands. 

 

Terrorism is a tactic with a goal: indiscriminate violence
to create fear and hatred.
Refuse to fear.
Refuse to hate.
Then, they can’t win.
—Jarrod Mckenna

We, WSCF-Europe railed against the misleading rhetoric of “war of terror” not because we believe that attackers are innocent, but because we viewed it as a fountainhead and bulwark of evil. It is our act of defiance against this grand rhetoric and savage activity. It might be suggested that is a ‘price tag’ to attack against refugee camps and asylum seekers in EU.

The Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit of the World Council of Churches publicly condemned the deadly attacks and called it as “wicked and indiscriminate.” He called for prayers for those victims of violence and terrorism, including comfort for their families.

Photo credit: AP Photo/ Martin Meissner

The sporadic attacks on major cities (EU & non-EU cities), recently the tragedy, the March 22 in Brussels, affects the dignity, security, domestic and foreign policies of EU members. One might think that it is unexpected attacks at the de facto capital of European Union. Increasingly, we are seeing these deadly attacks have been interpreted as episodes in the global history of the “war of terror” rhetoric. We always hear the worst thing, it connotes inherently an Islamic act. It could be in that case that, racism, discrimination, and hate speech, give birth to hatred towards, of the religion of Islam (Muslim and Arab people). It seem that all possibilities of speech, debate, and communication, in particular with the mainstream media, should be frame within this hate speech against Muslim and Arab people.  However, the “war of terror”, as Slavoj Zizek put it simply, the renewed barbarism of modern Western policy makers.

Clearly, after leading a more or less hidden existence for the last few decades, racism, discrimination, and ethnocentrism has reappeared with a vengeance, against Muslim and Arab people, on the EU agenda. The negative responses (Islamophobia) to the presence of Muslim and Arab immigrants in EU is expressed in a racism founded upon notion of Muslim as terrorist. This notion have formed after the 9/11 attacks. The new urgency of the problem, I personally believe that “Islamophobia” as a new form of anti-Semitism, is expressed in a growing number of academic and non-academic discourse.

After the deadly attacks in Brussels, refugees, migrants, and asylum seekers in EU at stake again. Obviously, immigration is an issue that divides the European nations, and demands different responses to this humanitarian crisis. However, in the recent agreement between EU and Turkey, also known as EU-Turkey refugee deal, resulted to close the main route, in order to solve the massive flow of refugees in European countries [iv]. Yet the question still remains; do EU really solve the refugee crisis or even the threat of terrorism [v]? We must remind all EU member-states, as the world getting connected, to their commitments on social justice and human rights obligation to uphold and reaffirmed.

In the midst of an emerging culture of fear and hate, the Church has liberating role which promotes justice, peace, and the integrity of creation. The Church should unmask and challenge any form of injustices; racism, discrimination, and hate speech, including the cultivation of fear after the 9/11 attacks. It is high time for faith communities of the faithful to demonstrate that we are not intimidated with this misleading rhetoric. We must nurture our prophetic task, as Walter Brueggemann, to dismantling this dominant ideology of “war on terror” [1]. We must invoke a consciousness that God is the God of universe. As we live our life as living testimony, the Anglican Church in Brussels scheduled a mass after the incident. This public demonstration of our faith is a form of “act of defiance” against all form of violence and terrorism. Also, this “act of defiance” would overcome fear and anxiety constantly blown out of proportion. We, WSCF-E is the mouthpiece of hope, and mouthpiece for voiceless victims of terrorisms. We, WSCF-E the salt and the light of the nations. As Walter Brueggemann argues that the world grossly uncritical, we WSCF-E, are the alternative community to critic and to energize the politics of justice and compassion over the politics of oppression and exploitation.

The WSCF-E aids the people to uphold their dignity, particularly those refugees, that all may live a life worthy of human beings. We, Christian churches in Europe should take up the challenge, by providing a voice for the voiceless refugees. We, WSCF-E promotes a counter-cultural movement for constructive social transformation should always be at the frontline. Lastly, we, WSCF-E pledged to provide concrete collective action, safe haven or sanctuary, and protection to thousand refugees at stake after the tragedy in Brussels. Just so, demonstrating our faith in the midst of this crisis, indeed, a call to confront the misleading rhetoric of “war of terror.” We must dismantle these reign of fear, false flag attacks, propaganda, and warmonger. We will not be overcome by fear and anxiety, we will overcome this darkness. We, WSCF-E as beacon of hope, we envision and to discern that God, the Lord of Heaven and Earth, is always in us, and who can be against us (Brussels)?

Photo Credit: Chiara Benelli

Let me conclude this reflection by quoting this wonderful passage from the gospel of Matthew 25: 34-40,

“…For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’ “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me [vii]!

Further readings

[1] Walter Brueggemann. 2001. The Prophetic Imagination. Minneapolis: Fortress

 

 

 

 

 

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