A Shocking Attempted Terror Attack in New York City

This year’s New Year’s Eve saw a horrific and unjustified attack on police officers in the vicinity of Times Square in New York City. The perpetrator, 19-year-old Maine resident Trevor Bickford, is accused of shouting “Allahu Akbar” prior to the attack and declaring his intention to engage in “jihad” against government figures because of the US’s support for Israel. Bickford intended to use the kukri sword he had taken with him to kill people, according to Assistant District Attorney Lucy Nicholas.

Bickford attempted to use his sword to hit two cops, which set off the assault. He then attempted to take an officer’s gun in an effort to carry out his violent plot but was ultimately shot in the shoulder by another cop before he could finish his task. The fact that no one was seriously hurt during this terrible tragedy and that law enforcement officials were able to stop any deaths or injuries from happening is extraordinarily fortunate.

This attempted terror assault is just one more illustration of how religious extremism is being used more and more to commit acts of violence against those who are viewed as enemies or who hold different beliefs. Regrettably, this kind of conduct is spreading over the world, thus it is crucial for us all to constantly be cautious and aware of our surroundings.

Even worse, some politicians have been utilizing this narrative to support their anti-immigrant positions and stricter monitoring laws against people who follow Islam or other religions they deem “extreme.” Victimization of this kind does little to safeguard public safety or advance genuine intercultural understanding; instead, it just helps to escalate tensions already present between members of various communities.

We must not be influenced by attempts at political gain at the expense of innocent lives or by attempts to incite fear in order for us to all go forward together in peace and harmony. Instead of giving in to hate or bigotry, which would only further divide us all, we must continue striving toward unification through mutual respect and understanding.