Walid J. Abdullah: The injustices in Palestine and Syria deserve equal outrage as the Paris attacks

I am not disturbed at all by people who change their profile pictures to incorporate the French flag. Some do it because they studied/worked in France, or have learnt French, and therefore have a natural affinity for the country and its people. Some do it because it’s cool to jump onto the bandwagon. Some do it simply because all it takes is to press a button. It is all fine. There is really no need to get upset about that.

Changing your profile picture does not need in any way imply you are fine with killing of innocent people elsewhere, so we must not make such tenuous claims.

What does disturb me though, is when people say that talking about innocent lives being taken away elsewhere, or speaking on how Western foreign policy could be one of the causes of terrorism (not the only one, obviously), is somehow equal to devaluing human life, or is equivalent to justifying the murders in Paris. I think that is just absurdity of the highest order.

Of course, we must in no way justify the Parisian murders, or devalue the lives lost. I just don’t see how saying that Palestinians go through similar stuff, or stating that Syrians have been through worse, or that many other peoples in the world face injustices everyday, ‘cheapens’ the lives lost in Paris.

Worse still, some of the people who are saying such stuff, are usually completely silent when innocent people are killed elsewhere.

If someone is vocal about the loss of innocent lives in Afghanistan, for example, and then says that we should not compare Paris to other countries, i can accept that, even if i may not agree with the premise.

But for those who are silent on other issues, and yet see the need to lecture others who are expressing dismay at the loss of Palestinian lives, i think we know for sure who are the ones that actually ‘cheapen’ the lives of others.

An innocent life is an innocent life: if we rush to condemn one act of terror vociferously, and then are silent towards others, i think it is good to check why on earth we are behaving in that manner, who is it that we are so eagerly trying to please, and whether that is indeed consistent with our own moral codes.

It also seems to me like people who refuse to discuss the causes of terrorism properly, are perhaps not really interested in solving it.

Source: Walid J. Abdullah

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