ISIS’ Palm Sunday Church Bombings In Egypt

ISIS has claimed responsibility for two attacks targeting Christians where at least 43 people were killed. The first attack took place in St George’s Coptic Church in Tanta, where 27 people were killed and more than were 70 injured. The second explosion took place at Saint Mark’s Cathedral in Alexandria, hours later, killing at least 18 and wounding another 66. Egypt’s Interior Ministry stated that a suicide bomber who tried to go through the entrance was stopped by the police. These three policemen were amongst the victims of the explosion. The church attacks were the second to strike Egypt in the last six months.

Christians make up around 10 percent of the Egyptian population and have been often targeted by extremist organizations. The previous attack, in December, resulted in around 30 people being killed, mostly women. Yet another action conducted by ISIS, a string of killings in the northern Sinai, caused hundreds of Syrians to escape to more secure areas of the country or to flee a country altogether. Last year, on February the 3rd, the European Union recognized the oppression of Christians by ISIS as genocide. The number of deaths reaches over a thousand people.

Events, such as this one show that the world is stumbling to find a solution to the problem of terrorism. World leaders univocally condemn ISIS and alike, but not much more is done to prevent future instances of terrorism. Donald Trump chose a fight against terrorism to be his number one goal, therefore, he has sent additional forces to Syria. His purely military strategy seems to be failing to address the problem. For instance, Trump ordered a military strike on a Syrian airbase in response to a chemical weapons attack on a rebel-held area that had been launched earlier this week. ISIS took advantage of this move and launched a major offensive that got them the control of oil areas near Palmyra. Moreover, the decision to conduct the attacks left America isolated in the battle against ISIS, as Russia and Syria have withdrawn their support due to Trump’s actions.

Yet another question that comes to mind, is if the media serves its true purpose. All over the world, news stations provide daily reports with drastic photographs and videos from the attack scenes. Is there any other reason for doing so, despite the publicity? And why are readers attracted by photos of blood stains and bombarded churches? Alongside ethical questions, there are also doubts of how these actions affect ISIS and other terrorist groups. Is popularity something they seek, and if it is, should we provide it for them?