We Must Do Better

Warning: this article contains SENSITIVE CONTENT

Recently, a six-year old* was found dead in Pakistan. The young girl, Zainab, went missing on her way to her Quran class and was found dead , in a dumpster, a few days later. When her body was found, it was quite clear that young Zainab had been raped. Pakistanis, and other people, were filled with outrage. According to the BBC, Police in Kasur, her hometown, stated that there have been over TWELVE similar cases in the past two years. Protests have erupted in Pakistan, and many people around the world have sent their condolences to Zainab’s family. I was disgusted when I first heard about this, and I cried for her because she was an innocent kid who had done nothing wrong, yet she was killed in a brutal way. You can read more about the heartbreaking story here and here.

Here are a few more Tweets related to Zainab’s story and people’s thoughts on it:

This horrible incident led me wondering whether incidents like this occurred in Ancient Rome. While my heart tried its best to reassure myself that it didn’t, I took an educational guess that they most likely did. According to Vice, a popular magazine, there was no legal term for rape nor was it against the law. After all, the myths of the gods had many tales of them sexually assaulting mortals. However, what’s even more horrifying is that if a married women was raped, she could be tried for adultery. Besides that, according to a Classics professor at New York University, Michael Peachin, “If one did not want a baby, one could, without any legal consequence, throw it away––literally, on the garbage dump”.

Reading about how sexual violence was treated in Ancient Rome horrified me almost as much as Zainab’s story did. Ignoring victims and culprits is not alright. Making headlines for a few weeks and then disappearing into the back curtain is NOT okay (think of Brock Turner’s story). We, as a human race, need to do better; we must do better.

*different news articles state different ages for Zainab; she was between the ages of 6 and 8.

The Wall Street Journal & Acta Diurna

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The first newspaper in Ancient Rome was called the Acta Diruna. The Acta Diruna was a daily newspaper that was carved in stone and posted in public places, like the Forum. The Ancient Roman Forum was a marketplace for business owners, as well as customers. This made it the perfect place to have message boards. The original content on the Acta Diruna, also known as Acta, was news about the outcomes of trials and things happening in the legal world. However, it slowly started expanding by adding news about marriages, deaths, and births in influential families.

We have the same exact thing today. The Wall Street Journal, a well-known newspaper, started off as a newspaper that covered news on finance, economics, and business. However, it also occasionally covered topics on World War II and other current events. In the aftermath of the attacks on September 11, 2001, the Journal wrote several pieces on what was going on and later ended up winning several Pulitzer Prizes for it. Today, they cover a variety of topics, instead of being limited to the world of finance.

Does this make The Wall Street Journal the modern-day Acta Diruna?

 

References :

http://www.historyofinformation.com/expanded.php?id=1636

https://www.britannica.com/topic/The-Wall-Street-Journal

 

 

Las Vegas Shooting

On October 1, 2017, one of the worst mass shootings occurred in the United States of America. The shooter, Stephen Paddock, killed himself after injuring, and killing, over 550 people during the finale of a concert in Las Vegas. In the aftermath, many people had things to say about the gunman. Mayor Carolyn Goodman described the gunman as “a crazed lunatic full of hate” (CNN.com). News stations reported that Paddock acted alone and was not a terrorist. In the following days, social medias exploded, saying that he was a terrorist. Below is a screenshot from Snoopdogg’s Instagram page as one example.fullsizeoutput_31e

However, this leads to me asking myself what a terrorist truly is. A terrorist is someone who uses violence and targets civilians, according to a few dictionaries. So, doesn’t that make Stephen Paddock a terrorist? In my opinion, it does. How does this reference back to Latin? The word terrorist comes from the French word terroriste. The word terroriste was used for people in the French Revolution who used violence to strive towards gaining independence from the monarch and setting up a democracy. And where does terroriste come from? It comes from the Latin word terrorem. The definition for terrorem means cause of fear or object of fear, which comes from the Latin verb terrere. Terrere means to frighten. And boom, that’s a connection from our Modern world to the Ancient.

References:

Oxford Dictionary

Las Vegas Shooting Timeline

CNN

Online Etymology Dictionary

Religious Persecution

Wherever there has been more than one religion, religious persecution has existed. From the Ancient Romans up to today, 2017, a lot of religious groups have been targeted, hated upon, and persecuted. The Ancient Romans persecuted Christians, and we’re slowly beginning to persecute Muslims, or people who have Islamic beliefs. However, the way we persecute Muslims is completely different from the way the Ancient Romans persecuted Christians.

In Ancient Rome, followers of Christianity were often prosecuted and punished; death was often their punishment. The first emperor who targeted them was Emperor Nero. Emperor Nero ordered Christians to be rounded up and killed. Some ways Christians were killed were: being torn apart by dogs, being burnt alive as human torches, hung by their hands, using hooks, with weights fastened to their feet, hunted like wild animals, and many more disturbing ways.

Today, the way we ‘prosecute’ is different. Recently, there have been terrorist attacks in the U.S. Many people are starting to have a misconception that Muslims are terrorists. This makes them Islamophobic, or scared of followers of Islam. Along with this, hate on Muslims has been increasing. There have been a lot of shootings at mosques. It doesn’t help that our current president, Donald Trump, is contributing by making generalizations and accusing them of doing unbelievable and inhumane things. One thing some Islamophobic people do is accuse a woman of hiding a bomb underneath her hijab; which is disrespectful and insulting to Islam itself, because Islam means peace.

Even though we don’t physically torture Muslims, our hate against them is much stronger than the Ancient Romans’ hate for Christians (thus making it mental harassment). In fact, what most people don’t understand is that we are all victims of this. Most Muslims aren’t bad people and segregating them, accusing one religious group of being the cause and source of a problem is a pretty dumb thing to do.

Just look at history.

References:
http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_589347b9e4b0af07cb6bc406/amp

http://www.tribunesandtriumphs.org/roman-empire/persecution-of-christians.htm

https://newsone.com/750315/why-does-america-hate-islam/