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The price of a life in East and West

January 19th, 2015

A conservative and a liberal columnist both find it sad that victims of fundamentalist radicalism outside the Western world receive very little attention. The conservative pundit blames the West for the chaos in the Middle East, while his liberal counterpart claims that ignorance serves anti-immigrant governments.

An African person’s life seems to worth less than that of a European, Levente Sitkei writes in Magyar Nemzet. He recalls that news of Boko Haram’s massacre of 2,000 in Nigeria, which took place on the same day as the Charlie Hebdo attack, received only sporadic coverage in the mainstream media. The conservative columnist finds it sad that local victims become “mere statistical data” in the news, while even military retaliation is considered as an option if Western individuals fall victim to violence. In conclusion, Sitkei accuses the West of “plunging these far-away places into chaos, and keeping them there”.

Népszabadság’s Sándor Révész also finds it abhorrent that victims of terrorist violence outside the Western world receive little attention. It is understandable, the liberal journalist says, that people are interested in events that happen in their proximity, but he considers abhorrent the low level of coverage of Boko Haram’s murders in Africa. Révész believes that the lack of attention distances us from the suffering of people in the developing world, and the lack of sympathy with their plight makes it easier for Western governments to keep refugees away from the developed world.