Facebook’s temporary French flag ‘profile’ implementation belies a rather incomplete story of the state of international terrorism in 2015. As I took a look at this year’s statistics for terrorism incidents around the world, it became rather horrifying. With the intent of producing an image that depicts the flags of countries who have had significant incidents occur, I initially chose a random number of 20 deaths/incident to be ’significant’, with the intent of keeping it to a manageable number. As my list grew, I went to >50 deaths, and then to 100+ deaths per incident. That arbitrary three-digit number happened to round it out to the top ten incidents of 2015, encompassing eight different countries around the world where more than 100 people died as a result of a terrorist incident.
I grieve for those in France affected by the atrocities carried out by these political/religious extremists, but I also grieve for the 3196 others who died or vanished as result of the 9 other significant terrorist incidents around the world this year, and for the additional 775 who died as a result of ‘medium-sized’ (50-99) incidents, and… where does it end? Where do you draw a line between what is acceptable and what is not, what is worth waving on Facebook, or not? Those calling for (also) hoisting the flag of Lebanon in order to honor the fallen there may not realize that that incident didn’t even make the Top 20 for the year.
So, my FB page banner now consists of the flags of many nations touched in 2015 by the horrors of terrorism, presented in a way in which none stand out from the rest.
Nigeria (100-2000+, unknown)
France (129) =3325 deaths
10 incidents >100 dead
9 incidents 50-99 dead (add Philippines, Pakistan, Camaroon, Somalia, Afghanistan)
49 incidents 20-49 dead (add Ukraine, Macedonia, Saudi Arabia, India, Chad, Niger, Kuwait, Khost, Thailand, Lebanon, Tunisia)