Great scientist Einstein says that everything in life is relative without exceptions. Therefore, when we confront those who describe the West as being nonliberal and intolerant, we speak in general, and compare the situation of our countries where young men and women are sentenced to ten years in jail for a ‘bad’ tweet.
Strange enough, those who deny the value and the ceiling of freedom in Europe insist that they should not be deprived of travel to their cities whenever they wish, at a time they often use their media and institutions to say they live in countries that practice double standard policies and are unfair to strangers, especially Muslims.
Europe should not be seen by an imbalanced person, but it is so in the eyes of those who have seen the walls of prison, injustice, oppression, homelessness and living in snow-covered tents, and those who have not known hot water running from taps, the warmth and the safety, but have suffered from depression, family repression and lack of freedoms and even preventing a young woman or a girl from leaving the house without a mahram (unmarriageable kin) or without a brother’s permission who is not half her age.
All these things may not mean anything in the eyes of those who see only what they want to see, but health is most beautiful in the eyes of a patient, and freedom is most wonderful in the eyes of a prisoner. A German newspaper reported that a refugee Iraqi girl found a purse in a subway train and handed it over to the police. It turned out that it contained 14,000 Euros and belonged to an elderly woman .
The girl got a lot of coverage in various newspapers, because she illustrated that we are human beings, some of whom have the ‘other side of midnight’. Such news reminded me of an old funny joke. The joke says a New York Times photographer was walking around a park in New York and saw a dog ferociously running towards a young girl to kill her.
At the same time, a man intercepted, rescued the innocent girl, and killed the dog and the photographer took pictures of the entire incident. The photographer moved towards the man and thanked him for his courage and told him that his photo would appear on the front pages of The New York Times the following day and under the broad headline: ‘New Yorker hero saves a little girl from the clutches of a fierce dog’.
The man thanked him for this but said he was not from New York. The photographer replied: “We’ll change the headline and write: ‘An American hero risks his life and saves a girl from the clutches of a vicious dog’. The man replied that he was not an American. The photographer said: “It’s Okay, we change the headline and make it a visitor to America saves a girl from death from a fierce dog. The man replied that he was a refugee from Pakistan.
The photographer shook his head, and said: “The headline will be as follows: ‘A Muslim terrorist kills a beautiful New York dog’! We go back and say that all things are relative.
Freedom, which does not mean much in the eyes of a free man in his movement, and not necessarily in his thinking, does not mean anything in the thinking and the mind of a woman or a girl who expressed her opinion and then discovered that she may be imprisoned for ten years living a lonely life without mother or breadwinner.
Instead of attacking those who have chosen to emigrate or resort to other countries, we should seriously consider amending laws and regulations that restrict freedoms in our countries. The world does not tolerate such inhuman restrictions.’
By Ahmad Al-Sarraf
e-mail: habibi.enta1@gmail .com