Edited by Jessica Anderson
Terrorists want to limit the world we live in. Fortunately, their most recent attempt failed, but it immediately signified new constraints for travelers, like more visa inspections and hours of waiting at the airport.
Looking beyond the death of a young Nigerian and a ticking time bomb, his fundamentalist viewpoint sought to limit the horizons of his people, his country, and his religion. Bush laid out a tight trap for fundamentalists after September 11. Responding in the name of fear and security, he enacted new restrictions and violations of freedom, from Guantanamo to Abu Ghraib. Of course, we must fight with all possible means against murderers like Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a Muslim delinquent. However, the free world, which has been fighting against dictators like those in Tehran, Moscow or Beijing, should resist temptations to use their enemy’s methods. We need to be vigilant and accept the new security inspections in our airports. But we do not have to give in so freely to fear and hate.
Understanding how Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab eluded all of the questioning and inspections still remains to be seen, but security will never be totally foolproof. Finally, it is important to remember that this young African failed. His fiddling, solitary attempt, his family’s denunciation of his diversion, and the reaction of the passengers on Flight 253 show that terrorists, even those inspired by al-Qaida, are the true losers. We must continue to travel and meet others. We must not allow ourselves to be terrorized by the terrorists.