The world has reacted to the Boston marathon bombings with horror and compassion, much as it did to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.
This reaction reflects normal human emotions when confronted with acts of such evil, and Bostonians will appreciate the common humanity expressed by so many the world over. It also reminds us that citizens from so many countries were drawn to the Boston Marathon, which is among this country’s most venerable and important sports events.
International visitors are now telling their stories to local media in their home countries—in graphic, terrifying detail—which means that the cruel face of terror is on full display. Newspapers from Europe to South Africa carried headlines and graphic front-page photos. The world also got to see how real Americans respond with selflessness and generosity to their neighbors, even when facing the threat of death.
Social media outlets passed around the instant images of the wounded, so much so that some Twitter users were appealing to others to stop re-tweeting and start praying for the victims.
Comments from officials worldwide were unanimous in condemnation. On Tuesday, China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, expressed Beijing’s condolences, strongly condemning any violent attack against civilians (ironic, since China deploys heavy-handed tactics to control its own citizens).
As reported by Voice of America, statements of support were quick to emerge from countries that have extensive experience with terrorism. Pakistan’s Foreign Office stated that the government and Pakistani people are “deeply shocked and saddened” by the “despicable act.” Nextdoor in Afghanistan, President Hamid Karzai strongly condemned the attack and offered condolences and sympathies to the families of the victims. In India, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stated his “solidarity with the American people in the struggle against terrorism.”
Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud called the bombing “the most depraved and vicious act of cowardice,” which sums up what so many are feeling. (At the same time, however, the Somali group al-Shabaab—exemplifying the sick minds of terrorists—mocked online those injured and killed.)
Among the many others who have expressed outrage and grief are Pope Francis, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and European Union President Herman Van Rompuy, as well as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
The Boston Marathon terror attack very quickly became a global media event, uniting people in revulsion against terrorism.