Routine Events Don’t Make the News

Within days of the November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris that killed 129 people, a string of terrorist attacks took place in Lebanon, Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East, killing more than 80 people. Washington Post columnist David Ignatius laments the fact that the Middle East terrorist attacks got far less press attention than the Paris attacks. “Do Western nations think that Muslim lives matter less?”, he asks.

The reason terrorist attacks in the Middle East get less press attention is because they’re such a common occurrence there. It’s akin to how morning traffic jams on the George Washington Parkway near D.C. never get mentioned in radio station traffic reports – because traffic jams there are expected and routine. It doesn’t mean that the radio stations think that G.W. Parkway commuters matter less.

And that prompts the question: Given that terrorist attacks are so common in Middle Eastern culture, is it wise to transplant that culture into Western countries? We saw the consequences of that in Paris November 13.

It’s kind and compassionate to take in limited numbers of poor and downtrodden from the Middle East. It’s foolish to take in what amounts to whole nations of peoples from the Middle East, to the extent that our own culture and identity get transformed.