Terrorism isn’t dangerous because it kills innocent people; it is dangerous because it spreads unfathomable amounts of fear and anguish. In fact, we are more likely to die from our own clothes melting than from a terrorist attack. (Don’t worry I didn’t know either that clothes could melt, let alone that it could lead to death.) And yet, the difference lies in the traumatising violence involved in tragedies such as the one that occurred in London a few weeks ago; in the idea that 4 people were robbed of their lives; that an external force brutally prevented them from achieving their potential and fulfilling their dreams. This trauma leads to a terror that spreads like a social pandemic throughout society; to the point where we psychologically exaggerate the threat of terrorism. To the point where we start thinking not only that terrorists are stronger than us, but also that terrorism itself is an ever present danger that permeates every single facet of our everyday lives.
And this is exactly what terrorists want: for us to fear that we might get shot going to our local supermarket, to a football game, or, incidentally, to visit Big Ben. Simply due to the fact that this societal inflation of the threat of terrorism would lead us to advocate for impossibly restrictive immigration policies and a draconian treatment of foreigners whilst ignoring the obvious fact: that immigrants and refugees are less likely to commit crimes than U.K born citizens. Terrorists want to scare you into hating immigrants, so that they can in turn tell to those that they want to radicalise and indoctrinate: “See how much they despise you? The only option you have, my brothers, is to fight with us”. Every time we are afraid, the terrorists win a battle.