We media people should stop talking about revenge and vengeance. It is not becoming to see in the papers after every terrorist attack headlines like “The Army Takes Revenge,” “The State Takes Revenge” or “The Police Take Revenge.”
Revenge is what makes terrorism deviate from laws and ethics, which the state and its institutions should not do. Terrorism uses violence to achieve political ends, but the state should act in compliance with the law and administer justice among all citizens without discrimination. It is the duty of the state to stop the bloodshed and bring those who shed blood before the law and nothing else but the law.
Revenge will only breed counter-revenge, and shedding blood will only shed more blood. Families feel bereaved when they lose their beloved, regardless of who that beloved is. And only the law assures a just retribution.
When a lawyer dies in a police station, unidentified assailants assassinate a police officer of that station. And when a student of Ain Shams University is found dead in the desert, his colleagues claim the police killed him.
The only certainty about all this is that the lawyer died of torture, the police officer was shot dead and the student was also shot dead by police. And in all three cases, they died without investigation into the incident, and the grief extended beyond their families to the whole of society.
We are in exceptional circumstances that call on us to heed responsibility and wisdom, for the lawyer, the police officer and the student were all but our very sons. They were citizens with rights and duties.
Only law and justice save the oppressed from the oppressor and the slain from the killer. For the law is the authority to be obeyed by all.
We have not yet fallen completely into the quagmire of revenge. We can still avoid it and save society from its ramifications. Revenge is an outright deviation from the rule of law, just as terrorism is an outright aggression on the safety of the community and the state institutions. We should only be biased to the rule of law and justice.
My last words: We will face more violence and terrorism. It is wise to drain their sources and not increase them. We will only defeat terrorism with the law. And we will be defeated by terrorism if we use its same logic, the blind logic that justifies the loss of innocent lives.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm