No, it’s not a joke. In fact, it is far from it. Mogadishu is the capital city of the African nation of Somalia, which most people might remember as the scene for the movie “Blackhawk Down.” On Saturday, two powerful truck bombs went off in the city killing more than 300 people and injuring another 300. One of the victims was an American father of three per ABC News. Officials call it the deadliest attack in the nation’s history and blamed the al-Qaeda-backed group al-Shabab for the bombing.
Three hundred people reported dead and the death toll is expected to climb as rescuers comb through the rubble searching for possible survivors. Had a similar attack occurred in the United States or even in Western Europe, one would expect almost non-stop coverage of the carnage. Instead, this horrific tragedy has received scant coverage by the media in the West.
Could it be because Somalia is an African nation? Or that Somalia is also a Muslim country and the attack was carried out by Muslim extremists? Somalia is also one of the countries listed on Trump’s latest proposed travel ban, but its restrictions are not as severe as other countries. Immigrants are banned, but visitors are allowed following extra scrutiny.
Recently most of our focus has been on the consequences of natural disasters: the hurricanes that hit Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands; the terrible earthquake in Mexico City; the fires raging out of control in northern California. But none of the events combined equal the death toll suffered by citizens of Mogadishu – a deliberate, man-made attack.
While the Secretary General of the United Nations sent his condolences yesterday:
Sickened by attacks in Mogadishu. I send condolences to the victims and urge unity in the face of terrorism and violent extremism.
— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) October 15, 2017
Not a single word from anyone in the Trump administration. And not much coverage either in the mainstream media.
So you may not have heard about Mogadishu or Somalia until now. But now that you have, it is time to at least acknowledge this tragedy. Post prayers for the people on Twitter and/or Facebook. These were mostly innocent civilians, women and children, who did not deserve this fate. And pay attention to what is happening. If al-Shabab can attack a capitol city in Africa, they can do the same thing in Europe or America. This may have just been a practice run for worse to come.