I feel attacked by the terrorist rampage in Mumbai in very much the same way I did when hijacked airliners slammed into my own country's World Trade Towers on 9/11.
The Indian people have not only my sympathy, but also my shared anger, and a determination that the civilized world must prevail over the forces of destruction and terror. We all need to fight together.
We need to fight hard--and we also need to fight smart.
Bringing the parties responsible for the attacks to justice is an objective that must be relentlessly pursued. But when it comes to dealing with the uninvolved Muslim people, it's important to avoid playing into the attackers' hands. Here, unwarranted suspicion, hostility, and worse can produce exactly the kind of us-versus-them conflict and polarization that jihadists want.
Still, it's human nature to want to fight back in some way. Adrenaline is for fight or flight, and if we can't find a fight to channel it into, we shift over to the flight reaction, and our fears tend to magnify.
It's widely acknowledged that one of the best ways to resist terrorism is to simply refuse, as far as possible, to be influenced by it. The English people of an earlier generation set a good example for us all, when they faced down Adolph Hitler and the worst hell the Luftwaffe could hurl down on them by simply continuing to go about their business.
How to keep that sense of purpose alive in today's environment?
For whatever help it may be in that effort, I'd like to offer one small artifact. I've adapted it from something I came up with when there were reports that another attack on the United States was likely to occur soon.
It's meant to be worn, on a T shirt or elsewhere.
I realize it's not much, but it's what I have.
NOTE to Non-Indians: This design is based on the colors and components of the Indian flag. I'm sure Indians wouldn't mind it if you were to wear one, too.
Please click on the asterisk at the bottom of this page for a free downloadable version of the image in a reversed format that can be enlarged to whatever size you like, then printed onto transfer material and ironed onto a T shirt.
If you have a popup blocker, you may need to hold down the Control key while you click.
If you'd prefer to just buy one ready-made, I've also made the design available at zazzle.com/unauthvu. I think they made it too small--the letters should be BIG and extremely readable--but it's at least a way to get one, if you don't feel comfortable doing your own.