(This article was originally published on The Clarion Project on September 6, 2015. The author, Raheel Raza, is a member of The Mackenzie Institute’s Board of Governors)
The photo of three-year old Aylan Kurdi’s dead body lying on a Turkish beach is seared on the hearts and minds of the world. But who’s directly to blame for the Syrian cisis that made the Kurdi family flee for their lives along with thousands of others?
The photo of three-year old Aylan Kurdi’s dead body lying on a Turkish beach is seared on the hearts and minds of the world. There is nothing more tragic than children becoming victims of a massive refugee crisis.
It reminds us never to take our secure lifestyles for granted. It also brings home the fact that we are looking at a global humanitarian crisis.
It’s easy to put blame on the West for everything that happens in the Middle East – this has become the norm. In Canada Aylan Kurdi’s death is being used a political ploy for upcoming elections and personal agendas.
Meantime International leaders like Erdogan and Putin are using it as a tool to bash “the West” which is a way of deflecting from their own responsibilities.
This is not the first global humanitarian crisis we are facing. In my lifetime at least there have been many.
- In 1971West Pakistan began a military crackdown on what was then called East Pakistan to suppress the Bengalis calls for self-determination. During the war for Bangladesh’s independence, members of the Pakistani military and supporting militias killed approximately 3,000,000 people and raped between 200,000 to 400,000 Bangladeshi women in a systematic campaign. To date no one has blamed the Pakistan army or brought them to trial. Refugees from that massacre (the Beharis) have not been settled till today. The world was silent.
- From April to July 1994, members of the Hutu ethnic majority in the east-central African nation of Rwanda murdered as many as 800,000 people, mostly of the Tutsi minority. The world was silent because this was Africa – not the politically charged Middle East.
- It is estimated that Saddam Hussein murdered as many as a million of his people (mainly Shias) – many with poison gas. He tortured, maimed and imprisoned countless more. The world was silent.
But who’s directly to blame for the Syrian crisis that made the Kurdi family flee for their lives along with thousands of others? Lets put the blame where it belongs.
When the Syrian Revolution started, President Bashar al-Assad unleashed his military forces in violent crackdowns that forced 3.2 million people to flee the country and internally displaced 6.5 million others. Assad ordered chemical weapon attacks on his own people while the world watched.
Assad undoubtedly is a mass murderer bolstered by the Iranian Regime (which ironically is being handsomely rewarded for their own human rights abuses and for assisting murderous thugs.) These two entities are directly responsible not only for the death of Aylan Kurdi but thousands of others.
Why is the world not accusing them instead of pointing their fingers at Canada? And what is the UN doing about the global humanitarian crisis caused by Assad supported by the Iranian Regime that makes a mockery of human rights?
With regards to the Islamic State (ISIS), who is also creating a massive refugee crisis, Canadian Liberal leader Justin Trudeau suggested that victims of the terror organization just need warm cocoa and woolen toques (knitted hats), while Mr. Mulcair of the NDP said “this is simply not Canada’s war to fight.”
It’s abundantly clear that while Mr. Mulcair may not wish to engage with the Islamic State, they will make it a point to engage with him.
Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, the UAE and Qatar who have taken in no refugees, are some of the countries that need to take a deep hard look at the roles they have played in creating a global crisis and how little they have done to absorb their fellow-Arabs.
We know who the real perpetrators are. We know they are implicit in the murder of Aylan Kurdi.
Let the world wake up and instead of playing a blame-game, bring the real culprits to justice.