Bedlam in Brussels: the world responds to another terror attack


Ben / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Artists worldwide are creating and sharing images to show solidarity and support for Brussels after the attack on March 22.

Kian Karamdashti, ScotCenter Sports

On March 22, more than four months after a series of terrorist attacks shocked Paris, France, terror struck Europe again as suicide bombers attacked the Brussels Airport and Metro in Belgium. This attack came only days after Belgian police had reported the capture of Salah Abdeslam, a known suspect in the Paris attacks, as well as other suspects, after several raids were completed on March 18.

At 7:58 a.m. on March 22,  Ibrahim El Bakraoui and an unidentified suspect set off suicide bombs in Brussels Airport. A third unidentified suspect fled after leaving behind a bag that eventually exploded as well.

Another explosion rocked the Brussels Metro 72 minutes later when Khalid El Bakraoui, brother of Ibrahim, set off several suicide bombs. The two attacks combined killed a total of 31 people and forced multiple locations in Paris, London, and various locations in the United States to be put on high alert.

Many Americans, including one specific presidential candidate who will not be named on this website, used the paranoia after the attack to add fuel to the extreme idea of putting a ban on all Muslims entering the country.

Despite the concern from many Americans, President Barack Obama was quick to argue against the threat presented by ISIS, or ISIL, the perpetrators of both the Paris and Brussels attacks, establishing also that the attackers were not representatives of Islam.

“Groups like ISIL can’t destroy us, they can’t defeat us. They don’t produce anything. They’re not an existential threat to us. They are vicious killers and murderers who perverted one of the world’s great religions,” said Obama. “And their primary power, in addition to killing innocent lives, is to strike fear in our societies, to disrupt our societies, so that the effect cascades from an explosion or an attack by a semi-automatic rifle.”

While ISIL do represent a direct threat to the United States and other western countries, many claim that their actions have created an even larger threat to the people whose religion they claim to follow.

“The atrocities in Brussels happen almost daily on the streets of Baghdad, Aleppo and Damascus,” said The Guardian journalist Simon Jenkins. “Western missiles and ISIS bombs kill more innocents in a week than die in Europe in a year. The difference is the media response. A dead Muslim is in the wrong place at the wrong time. A dead European is front-page news.”

With tensions high, President Obama had a message for those left shocked by the attacks.

“This is yet another reminder that the world must unite, we must be together,” he said.

*Details surrounding the investigation of the attacks may have changed since publication of this article.