Terrorism from our eyes – Zaara & Isra PANWALA

We two sisters are studying in The Ponds High school and John Palmer Public School in The Ponds, Black town Council area of Western Sydney. Our area is newly developed with large number of residents from a diverse, ethnic background. We have students from Asian countries such as Japan, Korea, China, India, Egypt and many more.

We do many activities together in the school like Soccer, Rugby, AFL, Netball, Newcombe ball and carnivals such as swimming and athletics with a Multicultural speaking competition every year. We love sharing and taking about people we meet every day. I am having camp in June called Great Aussie Bush Camp. My elder sister, Isra, attended this camp when she was in year five. Now that it is my turn, I am very excited.

In our school and outside whenever there is bomb blast or terrorist attack in UK, America or other places we do discuss about it in our class. We tell the person next to us about what we have seen on the TV or heard and discuss how and why we think the attack happened. We normally do not discuss who did it. We do not discuss openly that it has done by Muslim. There are many kids who may be traumatised or not feel very well about it.

We had a discussion about what we should have written about terrorism with my Dad. We decided to ask few of our friends what they think or believe what terrorism means to them. Just for privacy reason we are not mentioning our friends names.

I have asked 3 friends who are in 5B orange- in John Palmer Public School:

Friend 1: ‘’Terrorism is when someone comes to attack and kill people’.

Friend 2: ‘’Terrorism is destruction (which is killing)’.

Friend 3: ‘’Terrorism is when people kill/put bombs in other countries for many reasons’.

After getting the responses I was curious to know what the definition of terrorism is. I have searched on Google to find out the answer. There were few definitions about terrorism on Google. I have summarised as follows:

“Terrorism is the use of violence, especially murder and bombing, in order to achieve political aims or to force a government to do something. It is the systematic use of violence and intimidation to achieve some goal. It is also the use of threats or forces to demoralize intimidate and subjugate.”

My elder sister Isra also asked his friends in Year 9:

Friend 1: ‘’Well I reckon it means when there is a group that goes against all governments and society and uses force and abuse as a way to harm civilians and innocent people for their own beliefs’.

Friend 2: ‘’I think that terrorism is just unjustified hate and that no one should have to suffer for a crime they didn’t commit’.

Friend 3: ‘’When someone tries to gain power or another aim through the use of violence”

After getting responses from her friends Isra said: ’Terrorism means when a person has been treated unequally by the government or hasn’t received rights for a particular situation... and uses violence to release their stress and to make themselves feel good and help them run away from their problems. They try to hurt others to make themselves feel better’.

After listening to my friends and my sister I thought that ‘’Terrorism is when people unlawfully kill and traumatise other people and countries for mostly a political reason” We do not believe stereotype and branding of Muslim that they are terrorists.

I think that terrorism will increase in the future considering the fact that most of the Government has different views about Muslims. Ever since Donald Trump has been president, there have been many complaints about Muslim and racism. America has new law that ‘’ Muslims from some countries not allowed in America’’.

My sister Isra thinks that in the future: “Terrorism will increase considering the fact that nobody really tries to find the deeper reason as to why these attacks occur. The government only believes that Muslims are doing these acts because they want to, but what’s the real reason behind these attacks? If you think about in today’s society when anyone hears a Muslim reciting there prayer, everyone backs away and tells their kids that Muslims are bad, but realistically if you think not everyone is bad. Our country Australia and our parents’ county India should not differentiate between religions. In this world there are only 2 types of people good and bad, even if an English man did something wrong, his deed wouldn’t be a big of a deal. Yet if it was a Muslim the entire world would find out and strict actions would be taken against all Muslims.

I believe people should not take laws in their hands. One should not kill or harm other human beings. We should live and help others irrespective of religion, colour or other differences. May have Allah mercy on all who suffer from act of terrorism.

Zaara & Isra Panwala

Zaara Panwala & Isra Panwala

Zaara PANWALA is a 10 year old student in year 5 and is studying at John Palmer Public School – The Ponds. Her favourite sport is Newcombe ball and her favourite subject is English language. Isra PANWALA is a 14 year old student in year 9 and is studying at The Ponds High School. Her favourite subject Mathematics. She likes dancing and she is currently learning dance in the Shiamak Davar dance academy in Sydney.