By Zaher Mahruqi
The President of Turkey, Mr. Erdogan, is furious that a million-man march against the killings in France, a march intended to uphold and sanctify human life and the freedom of free speech, included Benjamin Netanyahu; a man who stands for neither.
Mr. Erdogan is definitely right in his condemnation of having the Zionist leader whose hands still smell of the blood of children, women and the elderly; that is with no doubt the dirtiest joke of our time. The indiscriminate falling bombs on children and hospitals of Gaza and even UN centers are not even one year old but Mr. Hollande and other leaders have completely forgotten. They lovingly hold hands with Netanyahu in the rally, a rally to uphold human life. What a tragedy!
It is this kind of behavior of Westerners that makes groups perpetrating such events either receive direct support, sympathy or at the very least indifference from Muslims around the world. Whereby Muslims within Europe might be under pressure to be apologetic and even join such rallies because they fear the backlash, millions of Muslims don’t have nearly as much sympathy. Why?
Apart from including blood thirsty people like Netanyahu, the rally highlighted the long standing double standard of the West in relation to others especially Muslims. Yes, there were people who killed in France but if the world and its leaders were to hold a rally against each massacre, Netanyahu massacres alone would have needed a billion-man march.
If you add to it the “collateral” killings committed by American drones and the Blood Rivers of Iraq, Syria, Yemen and elsewhere, in proportion to what happened in Paris, humanity alone wouldn’t be enough to organize a worthy rally. We might need to include angels to make it befitting of the numbers of people who lose their lives every single minute in such a fashion outside the Western hemisphere. Just imagine the presidency of Obama if he has to sign the condolences book in every embassy of every country that suffers such a tragedy!
Human life is human life. If the world wishes to create a violence-free world, the world needs to sanctify the lives of all of its inhabitants. If leaders like the Saudi king and the media come out with the strongest terms of condemnation against the French massacre as we all do, then they need to make it a habit in relation to all such deaths. Short of that, the “extremists” will always find sympathy or indifference not only within the Muslim world but among others as well.
Muslims need to see serious actions taken to also protect their people. The fight against extremists cannot be won while the people to whom they belong feel that their lives don’t matter nearly as much as those of their Western counterpart.
Erdogan wouldn’t go as far as saying that he sees double standards in a world aroused and united by the deaths of seventeen people but one which is happy to go on with life as usual for the last four years as hundreds of thousands died and continue to die in Iraq, Syria and other parts of the Muslim world because he has to be a politician as well but his sentiment is shared by millions of Muslims.
Since 2003 millions have died and no such a rally; a rally which is promptly headed by world leaders. The message being sent is that the West can tolerate violence as long as it happens elsewhere; in fact some argue that not only is the West ok with it but go as far as fueling a good chunk of it.
Violence cannot be condemned piece meal or selectively. If the world chooses to denounce violence, it must do so wholly and fully. There were children of Syria who froze to death on the same day that the Charlie Hebdo staffs were killed. If we are talking of innocence, the children are far more innocent and the global outrage should have been just as much if not more.