Saturday, September 19, 2020

Paris, Mali and Beyond…

Injured man outside the Bataclan  concert hall in Paris receives aid. PHOTO BY CHRISTIAN HARTMANN/REUTERS

Injured man outside the Bataclan concert hall in Paris receives aid. PHOTO BY CHRISTIAN HARTMANN/REUTERS

BEYOND THE COAST
Tarik Ayasun
tayasun@taray.com

Friday the 13th I came home early in the afternoon and wrote the following letter to the Editor of the Coastal Breeze Newspaper, Val Simon:

Dear Val,

After my last article “Invasion of Europe Part II” I decided to turn in my resignation as an opinion writer for the Coastal Breeze Newspaper. While I do love writing for the Breeze and look forward to receiving my issue of this wonderful paper every other Friday, I feel very strongly that my articles stick out like a sore thumb, messenger of bad things to come amongst all the other nice and uplifting stories carried by the paper. Therefore I decided not to submit any further stories to the paper after my last article, “Invasion of Europe Part II.” I would like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to express my opinions, feelings, worries and perspective in your newspaper.

After the letter was finished but before I had a chance to send it out, I turned on the TV to watch some international news when I learned about the events beginning to take place in Paris, France. It did not take me long to realize what was happening. It was going to be a bloodbath caused by armed cowards attacking innocent, unarmed civilians. I just did not know how big and how bad it was going to be.

As I watched the events unfold throughout the day into the evening, the anger within me grew exponentially. I deleted the letter to Val and decided to send in this article instead. My decision is to continue to contribute to the Coastal Breeze,

Attack on a Mali hotel.PHOTO COURTESY OF INCYPRUS.COM

Attack on a Mali hotel.PHOTO COURTESY OF INCYPRUS.COM

maybe not on a regular basis but as events dictate. I will monitor the events and send in articles, hopefully in more depth, detail and insight. I am not a quitter and cowards don’t scare me.

When I wrote my article “Invasion of Europe Part II,” I had made a deliberate decision to take out the following paragraph from the story:

“In the next few weeks or months, we should expect something big to take place in Europe since the Germans and the French let thousands upon thousands of refugees from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan enter their territories without any background checks, without any proper vetting and without knowing the true identities of these people.”

Instead of using that paragraph in my article, I decided to make what I thought were deliberate references to the ages of the refugees (young men) hoping the reader would understand what I was alluding to.

Unfortunately, Friday the 13th was what I expected all along, yet hoped and prayed against what was now taking place in one of the most cultured and civilized countries in Europe.

And I was really glad I took that paragraph out of my article. Even though my projections were based solely on my personal research and observations, some may have interpreted it as though I had prior knowledge of the events or secret sources! Obviously nothing could be as far from the truth as that.

And then Mali happened this morning! Readers may recall my article about Mali, Boko Haram and Al Qaida-in-the-Maghreb, which appeared in one of the past issues. Those names and places may not have meant much then. But they are

Spectators at  the Stade de France after explosionsoutside the stadium. PHOTO BY CHRISTOPHE ENA/AP

Spectators at the Stade de France after explosionsoutside the stadium. PHOTO BY CHRISTOPHE ENA/AP

now a part of our lives.

Since this issue of the Coastal Breeze is going to appear on the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, I also made a decision not to submit an article about the dangers we face, who the enemy is, and what we should expect to happen. This is a great time for all of us just to gather around the dinner table on Thanksgiving day and reflect upon who we are, where we are and what we need to do to effectively change the course of events affecting our beloved country. We must do this! It is our duty! We need to look our children, grandchildren, brothers, sisters, moms, dads, grandfathers and grandmothers in the eye and think seriously and deeply about what is happening all around us and what is not being done about it by those ill-advised and naïve politicians who still preach “the greatest danger to humanity is climate change” or refuse to call the enemy with their proper name, “Radical Islamic Terrorism.”

We now stand at the threshold of major events, which will forever affect every one of us.

Happy Thanksgiving…

Please keep our men and women in uniform serving all around the globe protecting us in your thoughts and prayers. Please pray for those who served and came back wounded, hurt or mentally scarred for life. They are the brave ones. Under proper leadership, they are the only ones who will eventually defeat the cowards and send them on their way.

 

Tarik Ayasun is president of the Marco Island Charter Middle School Board of Directors and has given many years of service of community service to various organizations. Tarik Ayasun at turk1949@comcast.net

 

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