Ravished Innocence

Middle Eastern Children: Victims of Violence

By: Hussein Al-Rumaithi

I have written several articles, journals, researches and opinion pieces that have been published on this site and other websites, with an intend to simplify some of the most complex notions and matters the Muslim World is currently facing. I used historical facts, social principles, religious fundamentals, political doctrines and intellectual evidence to clarify numerous distortions and rouge stereotypes that have been brought upon my religion and sect. I have been contacted by several groups and individuals, inquiring about certain topics and issues about Muslim societies and political foundations. I have campaigned against tyranny, oppression, brutality, illegal political conducts, illegitimate political regimes and policies and other destructing notions, which have brought nothing but calamities and grievance. I have campaigned for freedom, individual liberties, religious freedom, freedom of expression and tolerance through different methods to present an alternative picture about the religion that I follow and worship my God through. BUT, couple of days ago, I saw a picture that was taken by Osman Sagirli at Atmen refugee camp in Turkey near the Syrian border. The picture portrayed a four years old Syrian girl, who surrendered and raised her hand front of a camera, thinking the camera is a deadly weapon. The picture put me in tear and made me speechless, not knowing how to describe the feeling of that little girl that made her give up on life and accept death with such innocence and calmness.

I was a victim of many brutalities and heartless actions, which are still being revived on daily basis to keep me alert and prepared for defending my fellow humans. I was beaten, I was insulted, I was humiliated, I saw my father being arrested, I saw my father being beaten, I saw my father being taken away to an unknown place, knowing he might not come back. I witnessed my mother being slapped by a police officer, we were chased by police officers when we tried to flee the hell we were living in, we had to walk through a landmine, which made us picture what death would look like. We had to live through a war zone to cross into another less evil place, hoping we would be safer and happier, but I NEVER GAVE UP ON LIFE. No matter what the conditions were, I never thought about death as an option, as I was planning and picturing a brighter future for myself, which made those vicious experience as a classroom for me, with a brutal teacher named life. Therefore, I am still trying to imagine the atrocities this child has been through that made her accept death and forget about hope at such a young age.

How many deaths has this child seen that made her innocent mind convinced death is easy to confront? How many guns has she had to face, which made her accustomed to the fact that she has to raise her hand to anything that is pointed at her? How long has it been since the last time she spent hours playing and being a normal child, instead of spending hours in wreckage and remains of her demolished house? What kind of life is she currently living that is still similar to the violent days she had to go through, which is preventing her from forgetting guns and death? Does she know about her father’s murder and is she considering death as a way to reunite with him?

I don’t think my questions are anywhere near the horrors and vicious days and nights this girl has been through. It is not a matter of innocence anymore, as some might argue, when they see this photograph. The notion of innocence has been seized and this child is left with horrific memories that need years and years of therapy and hospitable environment to make her put her past behind and look at life optimistically again.

However, I must conclude by talking to state leaders of Middle East. What is this precious goal and purpose that makes it legitimate for you to ravish the innocence of our children? Is it national security? Is it sovereignty? Is it the tendency to lead the region? Is it oil and the enormous revenues? Is it political survival? What is it that has transformed you into monsters and war lords, thirsty for blood and destruction? What kind of security and sovereignty are you planning to have with these types of grievances and hate being formed within your future generations? Who are you accumulating the revenues for? Is it your own families and surrounding circles or is it your population? Well, you will not have a population to rule and spend these revenues for. The holy Quran portrays killing an innocent soul to killing the entire humanity. I wonder how many entire humanities have you (Middle Eastern Leaders) killed and are still killing?

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