This past week has been one of heartache for all of humanity; there have been horrific atrocities committed all over the world. Countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, and France have been the victims of alarm, fear, and terror.
While the world is in a state of immense mourning, it also cannot stop itself from seeking justice for these senseless deaths, and nor should it. As far as justice is concerned, there is no question surrounding those held responsible behind the attacks, the perpetrators of these heinous crimes against humanity are none other than ISIS. The same terrorist group whom have put on the mask of Islam, yet have nothing to do with the religion of Islam.
It is well known to many that ISIS are the once “moderate rebels” of Syria and Iraq who received funding from foreign Western powers in order to topple the Assad government. The ISIS of today are the moderate rebels of yesterday. The irony of the matter is that while the powers sought a regime change with the assistance of moderate rebels, it is the same rebels that have joined the ranks of ISIS and are now threatening the safety and security of Western nations.
These nations have tried to make strategic moves and decisions in the Middle East, but it is these same decisions that have created the foundation for ‘moderate’ rebels to wreck havoc and establish breeding grounds for terrorism. Reviewing the acts of terror all over the world, one must ask the question: what do the beheadings in Afghanistan, bombs in Iraq and Lebanon share with one another? The majority of the victims belonged to the Muslim faith, and in particular, those ascribing to the Shi’i ideology. This is not uncommon, and as ISIS bursts out of control, the Shia and other minority groups remain its biggest victims throughout the Middle East.
The situation in Paris many believe, is due to ISIS’s retaliation against the French government’s bombings in Syria as to attack its civilians in order to prove a point to Hollande. But if all these countries are victims of the monstrous ISIS–Beirut, Lebanon, Baghdad, Iraq, and so forth–why is that only one of them have received extensive news coverage? Why is it that the entire world is at a stand still for the innocent lives lost in Paris? Hashtags trending and profile picture changes have appeared on all social media platforms for Paris yet mainstream and social media hardly bat an eye when it comes to the lives lost in the Middle East. There are Christian lives being lost in the Middle East as well, why hasn’t the international community spoken up about them? Does geography play a role in how we mourn? Furthermore, what is the agenda behind the selective mourning and extensive coverage and lack thereof in these cities?
I am not declaring that the lives lost in the Middle East are worth more than the French lives lost, absolutely not. But what I am declaring is that all losses be treated the same–despite where they be. Muslims are victims of ISIS on a daily basis in countries like Iraq and Syria, yet the mainstream media fails to represent the situation accurately. The silence of the international community on the matter of the lost lives is deafening. Instead, we witness the hypocrisy that is present today–reporters failing to cover the fallen lives of those defending Iraq, and rather, share the threats of ISIS on American borders who are ‘coming for our freedom’, giving legitimacy to a group that deserves none. While news stations look for increased ratings in their war and fear mongering, the death toll of these countries has reached the thousands. France remains at the forefront of the media coverage, precedence given to a country that participates in discrimination against Muslims openly. One again must question the intentions behind the coverage of the media and where their loyalty truly lies–fair and honest news seems to be far stretched at this point.
As we all respectively change our social media icons and status updates in memory about the lives lost in Paris, let us also mention about raise awareness about the thousands of lives continuing to be lost at the hands of ISIS in countries like Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. Let us remember that ISIS was not born out of necessity in Iraq, nor were they organically founded–instead they have been trained, armed, and funded by powers that are now mourning. Let us mourn with them too–for we will not place our martyred above theirs–today, our hearts truly ache for humanity from Beirut to Paris.