In the last few weeks, it’s become clear that the fight against terrorism is more important than ever.
In quick succession, three separate attacks were carried out by radical Islamic terrorists. It started in Manchester, where a suicide bomber set off an explosive vest at an Ariana Grande concert. A short time later, the UK was victimized again when a truck mowed down pedestrians on the London Bridge. To top it off, Iran’s capital city was attacked by terrorists believed to be associated with ISIS.
While investigators try to piece together the details of these attacks, the rest of the world is attempting to return to a sense of normalcy. After all, one way to defeat terrorism is to show we will not fall victim to fear. We will continue to do the things we love.
In Australia, fans packed a stadium for a World Cup qualifying match against Saudi Arabia. However, the match was overshadowed by the actions of the Saudi players, who refused to observe a moment of silence for terror victims before the game.
From the Washington Times:
Saudi Arabia’s soccer team sparked social media outrage this week when its players roamed around and stretched during a minute of silence for victims of London’s June 3 terror attack.
An entire stadium of Australian soccer fans watched Thursday as Saudis took their positions during a minute of reverence for those who perished last week’s London Bridge massacre. A Fox Sports announcer said after the World Cup qualifying match that Saudi officials rebuffed the request.
“Adam Peacock revealed on Twitter post-match that the minutes silence was approved pre-game by Asian Football Confederation Officials, but the request was refused by travelling Saudi team officials,” News.com.au, a News Corp-owned website, reported Thursday. “It’s understood Football Federation Australia attempted to [reason] with the visiting delegates.”
The Saudi excuse for not observing the moment of silence? It wasn’t part of their culture:
“Both the AFC and the Saudi team agreed that the minute of silence could be held,” the spokesman said. “The FFA was further advised by Saudi team officials that this tradition was not in keeping with Saudi culture and they would move to their side of the field and respect our custom whilst taking their own positions on the field.”
However, some users on Twitter weren’t buying the explanation, astutely pointing out that there appears to be a double standard when it comes to culture:
“Wow just saw this…not sure what to think of it. Saudi players skipped the minute silence for #LondonAttacks,” wrote a viewer named Luke on Twitter.
“Notice how we are expected to show the utmost respect to their culture but they offer no respect in return,” added another.
Perhaps truer words have never been spoken. While the West is supposed to tip-toe around the feelings of other cultures, others feel no need to return the respect. Even when they immigrate to our countries, asking them to assimilate into our society is deemed bigoted.
Despite not being a cultural norm, it would have been polite for the Saudis to observe the moment of silence. Evidently, that’s too much to ask.
[Note: This post was written by Michael Lee. Follow him on Twitter @UAMichaelLee]