Thursday, January 12, 2017

So what is really going on in the world?

Maybe once a week or so we read about terrorism in some distant place.  We hear a snippet of it but return to the more pressing news stories that dominate our newsfeeds - stuff we can argue about on social media.

But what would you do if suddenly and without any warning you came face-to-face with it and the only way to survive was to deny your faith?

It was a Friday night in an upscale restaurant in Dhaka, Bangladesh.  The kind of place that most of us figure something like this happens - remote - a place that we can't even pronounce.

At 9pm the doors crashed in as Muslim extremists opened fire and hacked diners "with sharp weapons" all the throughout the restaurant.  In seconds twenty-eight people were dead.  Shishir, the chef of the restaurant ran to the walk-in refrigerator with a Japanese customer and held the door shut for two hours.

After two hours of trying to keep warm, an attacker pulled open the door and Shishir screamed over and over,  "For Allah's sake, don't kill me."

Shishir is Hindu.  He acted Muslim to save his life.  

The act worked.  Shishir was spared and the Japanese man was shot - double tap.  Later that night they ordered Shishir to make them food as they were preparing for the Muslim fasting day of Eid.  Doubting that Shishir was really a Muslim, one of the attackers asked him to recite the Q'ran.  Having friends who were Muslim as a kid, he recited the passages that he knew.  It was enough to spare him.

Shortly after dawn, government commandos in armored personnel carriers stormed the restaurant and killed all five terrorists.  Shishir would be saved, but now that night haunts him.

"I don't see any future. I can't sleep properly. Whenever I'm alone and I think of that night, I just can't do anything - I feel terrified."  Read more of his terror-filled night here.

What would you do?  How would you act?

Just a dose of what is real in the midst of the fake news, political rancor and Kardashian quasi-dramas that dance across our headlines.  Do you really think our President-Elect shouting at a reporter is news?  What could it possibly be distracting us from?

So what is really going on in the world?

May we never have to experience it first-person.    

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