Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Time to Speak Up

Today I had an interesting discussion with another Syrian about the attack that took place on a pro-regime television station near Damascus. I think such attacks are wrong and criminal, and as beastly as the propaganda coming out of those stations is, my argument is that some of those people might have no  choice but to do what they are doing out of fear or threats. Even if they were doing so in full complicity, there is no justification for somebody going in there and shooting unarmed people. To say that such actions are unacceptable and that those who do them should be held accountable strengthens and does not weaken the revolution.

I'm not interested in hearing about how brutal Assad's regime is, this is not a justification. It's also no excuse to say that in times of war, laws are silent. That is said because rulers stamp on laws in such times, but that does not negate the necessity of these laws.

This revolution did not come about to replace one dictator and his brutal reign with another, there is no place in a future Syria for people who carry out revenge attacks against unarmed people, there is no place for revenge attacks, period. To take out our grievance at an international community, and a tradition of human rights and the respect for it, is to concede the world to the laws that the regime thrives in, a world where only might is right, and where the strong define what morality is.

It is true that those who support the regime do not grieve for the Syrians it has murdered, and may not even have batted an eyelid when brave Syrians like Basel Shehadeh were shot dead. But the entire point is that we are better than this, and we can demonstrate that whilst remaining true to the principles of the Syrian revolution by demanding of ourselves a higher standard of morality than this regime and its supporters. Enough, it is important for each and every one of us to speak up when something wrong has been done in the name of the Syrian people. To stay quiet is to go back to the fear and self-censorship of the past forty years. A lot of Syrians have died to give us our voices again and so that we can finally say no to injustice, let's not stop just because we find the truth inconvenient.

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