I RECEIVED a ‘colorful’ message through the social communication media, saying “the Eiffel Tower is not more precious than Bourj el-Barajneh.” I wished these words could reach as many people as possible who are still alive like you and me, and billions of other humans.
The atrocities being committed by the ISIL, Nusra Front and others like them continue to shake our souls and sadden the hearts of every Arab and Muslim; let alone our inattention to those who support them, whether individuals, groups or government, in their gruesomeness which shows their emotions and hearts are hard like a stone, if not harder.
I remember an incident that happened three years ago when I argued with a friend during a social occasion as he justified the action of a Syrian who took a photo of someone chewing the heart of a dead Syrian soldier. This Syrian removed the heart of the dead soldier and started munching it gruesomely.
The words of my friend frustrated me, particularly when he justified the action of the fighter or savage — it makes no difference — chewing the heart of another human being. He did so in retaliation to the atrocities committed by the Syrian regime against its people.
I told my friend this is not the way to deal with such issues. No one could deny the atrocities of the Syrian regime against its people, but it does not justify the disgusting and loathsome action of the fighter.
I watched the press conference between Russian President Putin and the British Prime Minister who said his government supports the revolution against the Syrian regime… and Putin’s response was, “We cannot stand in favor of, or rather, with cannibals.” Putin’s response made me realize I was right and my friend was wrong.
The atrocities and crimes committed by ISIL reached our beloved country and murdered 26 martyrs who were worshiping on a Friday afternoon in the Month of Ramadan. Perhaps, if it were not for the words of our Amir and humanitarian global leader, and his unprecedented heartfelt commiseration, the undesirable would have occurred.
The bloody sectarian terrorism then moved to our neighbor — older brother — the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Together, we sympathized regardless of those who were targeted by the blind acts of terrorists.
The atrocity continued to move and went to blow up a Russian civilian plane in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. We sympathized with the bereaved for the sake of humanity. Blind terrorism continues to antagonize humanity, and in this case, any human. This is why we should unite against it (terrorism).
The bloody ISIL terror act moved to Lebanon, in one of the worshiping places in an area called ‘Bourj el-Barajneh’. The people of Lebanon, who have been divided by political practices, united against the terrorist attack. We sympathized with the bereaved. After that, just a few days later, it happened in Paris, France — the city of light and enlightenment. The whole world, from one corner to the other, went berserk over the terrorist act and filth of the culprits.
What really shook us was the fact that just because of creedal differences, the level of condemnation on the Paris incident, especially among some Arabs and Muslims — by name, is far much higher compared to that of ‘Bourj el-Barajneh’.
The Eiffel Tower is the symbol of Paris and it received condolences that exceed what the victims of ‘Bourj el-Barajneh’ received, those who will enjoy the level of martyrdom regardless of what the ignorant say.
Therefore, I will continue to repost the hashtag, “The Eiffel Tower is not more precious than Bourj el-Barajneh.”
By Ali Ahmed Al-Baghli
Former Minister of Oil