An Open Letter to Terrorists
I know you. I may not know what you look like, but I know who you are.
You are the terror in a little girls face as she walks to school, clinging to her mother.
You are the sound of a whistling bullet killing a small child.
You are the scent of blood in a hot cavern holding the bodies of two young boys.
You are the crushing embrace of a mother trying to shelter her child from the sight of a flight attendant stabbed to death.
You are the choking cloud of dust and plaster and the creak of failing steel.
You are the celebration in the streets as the mob hears of blood shed and innocents killed.
I defy you.
I do not care what your goals are. There are many causes for which it is worthy to give ones life, but there is no cause that justifies the sacrifice of innocents. You may acted in the name of God, but God would deny your actions, and say to you, "I do not know you." You may have acted to gain land, but that land is so bloodsoaked that it cries out for rest, for peace. You may have acted for a cause, but that cause loses validity with every death on its hands. You may have acted in retaliation for wrongs done, but wrongs piled upon wrongs will never end.
I do not honor you.
It is not honorable to use a person as a tool, because there is a difference between tools and human beings. To kill an innocent in the name of justice is to make a travesty of the word. You may have given your life, but that life is devalued by every death on your hands.
I do not think you brave.
It takes more courage to live for a cause than to die for one, and more intelligence to find a peaceful resolution than a violent one. To use the weak in a show of attacking the strong is cowardice, plain and simple. You are not a martyr but a murderer.
I refuse you.
I deny you.
And I swear to you that you do not win.
You have tried to make me afraid, yet I walk free of terror. You have tried to make me lose faith, yet I still believe. You have attacked me and mine, and I will see you stopped.
And not by your tactics.
I am not afraid. Remember that.
Bernadette Allyn Yarnot
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