Jordanian Pilot, Charlie Hebdo and others VS Shi’a Victims

When double standards becomes a norm

By: Hussein Al-Rumaithi

There is no gloating in death and calamities, as these types of things can happen to any individual at any time. However, by conducting a small online search about the victims of terror attacks in the past year, we shall witness the notion of ambivalence in media coverage. I have stated in previous article that Islam and Muslims strongly condemn the actions of terrorist groups and ask the world to acknowledge the primary victims of terrorism are Muslims and the Middle East in general.

Yesterday the world was shaken by the images of ISIS fighters setting a Jordanian fighter jet pilot on fire alive and the statements of condemnation and sympathy were pouring from all over the world. Indeed, the images of this horrific act were horrendous and barbaric. However, what makes me wonder and sad at the same time is the notion of ignoring some victims over others. Last year there were two major genocides that took place in Iraq and did not receive half of the coverage the Paris attacks and the Jordanian pilot received. The camp Speicher in Northern Iraq, which witnessed the massacre of 1700 Iraqi trainees received next to zero coverage in the Arab Media and very little coverage in the global media. The Tholue’ya massacre in Iraq was another act of terror, which took 400 Iraqi lives within a day.

My question to the global media and the Arab media as well would be:

Do you not consider the citizens of Iraq worthy of receiving media coverage in case they are victimized by terrorism? Isn’t there a global coalition in Iraq as we speak, trying to crush ISIS and eliminate the threat of this barbaric group? Aren’t Iraqis part of this coalition to crush ISIS? Hasn’t Iraq paid enough price from being an unwilling host to this terrorist group? Is the global media and world super powers afraid of publicly condemning the terrorist acts in Iraq and not everywhere else? Is there a political agenda that mandates such a silence in regard of Iraqi lives?

There are numerous questions in my mind and the minds of many Iraqis that want to know why would a single army pilot receive more attention than thousands of innocent lives? I am afraid the sectarian aspect of this conflict has leaked into the moral side of this turmoil, and it is making politicians, journalist and TV networks give preponderance to political legitimization and self-interest more than lives of people.

Finally, I would like to express sorrow and condolences to the family of the Jordanian Pilot and all victims of ISIS and any terrorist group around the world.

TERRORISM HAS NO RELIGION.

Shia Wisdom Condemns Paris Terrorist Attacks

Shia Wisdom  strongly condemns the Paris terrorist attacks that led to death of 12 journalists and dismay of many others. These cowardly acts are inhumane and un-Islamic and we hope that the the perpetrators are soon arrested and brought to justice.

This does not mean that we support or condone the satirical work and insults of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, that had depicted insulting satires of prophet Muhammad (SAWS) and Muslim figures,  which apparently had given motive to the terrorists.  However we believe such criminal actions are in contradictions of teaching of Quran and traditions of Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) and his holy progeny (PBUT). We believe the best response to such satirical should be challenged by peaceful protests and dialogues and not violence certainly not killing any one.

Those that have committed such barbaric acts have not only committed a heinous crime and injustice against those that they killed but also againstIslam, a religion that puts so much focus on fairness, peace, equality and human rights. Therefore those that claim that they were “defending Islam” by killing unarmed journalists were indeed in the plot of destroying Islam.

Holy Quran has been clear about such concepts especially protecting lives of others:

“Do not take life, God has made life sacred, except through justice and the law.” (6:151)

“Do not take life, God has made (life) sacred, except for a just cause. If anyone is killed unjustly, We allow justice through his heir but do not allow him to exceed bounds when it comes to taking life, for he is helped (by the law)” (17:33)

The terms “law” and “just cause” in above verses refer to Sharia law which only allows capital punishment in retaliation of murder and manslaughter and only within a judiciary system. No individual can take law into his hands in Islam. Expressions and insults are not reasons of killing anyone according to Islamic law or the traditions of prophet and his family.

Traditions of Prophet and Ahulbayt

Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) and his holy progeny (Ahlulbayt) always had open enemies who cursed them and abused them but they never ordered killing or punishing those people. In fact the history testifies the contrary. Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) was known to often forgive people even his enemies so as long as they remained peaceful. The holy Quran testifies that too:

Thus it is due to mercy from God that you deal with them gently, and had you been rough, hard hearted, they would certainly have dispersed from around you; pardon them therefore and ask pardon for them, and take counsel with them in the affair; so when you have decided, then place your trust in God; surely God loves those who trust. [3:159]

Another good example is the leadership of Imam Ali (a) after death of holy prophet. Imam Ali (a) had many enemies because he was a fair and just person and such leadership traits were not welcome by many Arabs back then. Among his enemies were the Khawarej that constantly insulted the Imam. It has been narrated that the Khawarej would stand outside the mosque and insult the Imam and his family while he was preaching. But the Imam, while he had the power to punish them,  remained calm and ordered his men not to harm the Khawarej but to treat them equally as other citizens.

Final Thoughts
Terrorism in all shapes and forms should be condemned and terrorists have no place in Islam .  Every-time someone commits a crime or act of terrorism in name of Islam, he is acting on his own as he is far from teachings and traditions of prophet and his progeny. In reaction of insults against Islam, Muslims need to learn to increase their tolerance towards such insults, challenge them intellectually, protest peacefully, and if all don’t work, simply challenge such insults by patience:

By time,Indeed, mankind is in loss, Except for those who have believed and done righteous deeds and advised each other to truth and advised each other to patience. [Quran:103]

 

Over 22 Million Shia Pilgrims Observe Arbaeen in Karbala Despite ISIS Threats

As we wrote earlier, the world’s largest  Pilgrimage called Arbaeen has been taking place in Karbala, where Shias and lovers of Imam Hussain (a) visited Imam’s shrine and shrine of his brother and family in Karbala.

Over 22 Million Attended Despite ISIS Threat
Reports from a various sources indicate that  over 22 million have attended the Arbaeen gathering this year in 2014 . This number is much higher of numbers reported last year which was near 20 million. Some sources have also said the Arbaeen attendees this year in 2014 were near 30 million although we were unable to confirm.

Tight Security
Local security forces, Iraqi police and Iraqi military had strong presence in Najaf and Karbala and other parts of Iraq where most of the pilgrims were attending. The Pilgrimage usually starts at Shrine of Imam Ali (a) Najaf where to pilgrims walk for almost 70 kilometer to Karbala, where Imam Hussein (a) and his companions were martyred and where their shrines are located.

Arbaeen 2014 in Pictures
Below are some pictures of 2010 Arbaeen Pilgrimage:

 

Karbala; Arbaeen 2014; Beinulharamein
Karbala; Arbaeen 2014; Beinulharamein
Kabala Arbaeen 2014
Kabala Arbaeen 2014
Kabala Arbaeen 2014 Between Harams
Kabala Arbaeen 2014
Kabala Arbaeen 2014 Between Harams
Kabala Arbaeen 2014