As-salaam alaikum. By now, millions of people around the world have seen the photo of three-year old Aylan Kurdi lying lifeless on a beach in Turkey, the latest victim (along with his mother and older brother) of the Syrian civil war and the spiraling refugee crisis in Europe. A picture is worth a thousand words. So states a Chinese proverb. For more than four years now, the Syrian civil war has raged continuously, claiming the lives of over 250,000 people, including thousands of children like Aylan Kurdi, the result of the so-called “Arab Spring”. Of course, every person who sees the photo inevitably expresses sorrow and anger, outraged by the loss of such a precious life. But how many of those people even knew there was a war in Syria? How many of them even knew there was a country called “Syria”? And how many Muslims have expressed outrage at Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians, while remaining silent about the suffering of their Syrian brothers at the hands of Assad’s thugs or the monsters of the so-called “Islamic State”? Four years of war and countless reports and articles have not moved the world to stop the tragedy of Syria, but a photo of a dead child has sparked anger from many people who, up until now, were either oblivious to the suffering or cared little about it. A picture is certainly worth a thousand words, for one picture has managed to finally inform people of a conflict that has already raged for years. But will it change anything? That remains to be seen.
On a closing note, the photo of the child is not being posted here, for it has been shared throughout the world already. But there is another reason for not posting the photo here. Most people will express their anger and sorrow, but they will do nothing beyond that and will move on with their lives. Certainly, in many cases, most people cannot do anything to bring real change, aside from signing petitions or pressuring the politicians to do something (many will not even do that), but others, like the politicians, can do something but will not. And so, the only thing that will probably happen is that the dead will continue to pile up as Syria’s tragedy continues for the time being, and the photo of the dead child will be passed around for a while until it becomes old news. One thing is for sure. The photo of the child represents not only the tragedy of Syria. It represents the tragedy facing many Muslim countries, like Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Palestine, and the Ummah as a whole.
May Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) bring peace to Syria, to the Muslim world and to all of humanity.
Not surprisingly, the corrupt and criminal regimes in such “Islamic” countries as Kuwait and Saudi Arabia have not raised a finger to help the desperate refugees fleeing the war in Syria. When the world was expressing its outrage at the Rohingya crisis (which is still going on), these same regimes were no where to be seen. Thankfully, other countries such as Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and even Iraq have taken in the refugees.
Any Muslim who has even an iota of iman, not to mention basic human decency, should be disgusted and outraged at the behavior of the Middle Eastern regimes. In a perfect world, these hypocritical despots would be arrested and thrown in jail for the rest of their miserable lives instead of being allowed to remain in power. When given the opportunity, they don’t hesitate to exhibit their “Muslimness”, just like the hypocrites who pretended to be Muslims but in fact were the enemies of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his companions.
So where are the protests from the Muslim world? Where is the outrage, the likes of what we see when Israel bombs Palestinian villages? When desperate Muslims are drowning in an attempt to provide a better life for their children in Europe, countries like Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have refused to let even one person in. No wonder then that the Ummah continues to bleed profusely. We have corrupt and hypocritical leaders and our people are indifferent. But the second some person in a western country says something bad about the blessed Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) or publishes a cartoon or a video, then the Muslim world reacts in anger! Let’s put this in perspective:
Thousands of Muslim migrants are dying?
The Muslim world’s response: “Eh.”
One non-Muslim publishes a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)?
The Muslim world’s response: “What?! How dare they! Those unbelieving infidels will pay!”
To be fair, some people have spoken out and are very critical of the Arab regimes. See the last link below. But many others (mostly from the same Arab countries) have not said anything and that is shameful.
The bottom-line is that the current plight of the Muslim world has only one blameworthy party, and it is not America or some other non-Muslim country. It is the Muslim world itself. We have no one to blame but ourselves. May Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) forgive us and bring us better days ahead. Ameen.