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Opinion: The West is selectively blind

Where is the concern for human rights with the carnage that takes place every day in Syria which led to the killing of more than 100,000 Syrians
Opinion: The West is selectively blind

By: Mshari Al-Zaydi


Perhaps those who prefer to use the power of reasoning to analyze events have to relinquish this task during these days of chaos, unrest and contradiction.


In a legitimate and serious question about the West’s attack on the interim leaders of Egypt and support of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Saudi foreign minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal told the Saudi Press Agency on Sunday: “We see unfortunately today international positions which have taken a strange course to ignore these irrefutable facts and focus on general principles as if they want to cover up the committing of crimes, the burning of Egypt, and killing of its people and even to encourage these parties to persist in such practices.”


Al-Faisal continued: “Regrettably, we see that the international position towards the current events in Egypt is contrary to their attitudes towards the events in Syria. Where is the concern for human rights with the carnage that takes place every day in Syria which led to the killing of more than 100,000 Syrians and destruction of whole areas of Syria without hearing a whisper from the international community, which adheres to human rights according to its interests and whims.”


The Syrian tragedy is more than two years old now. Before the whole world and according to several international reports, the death toll in Syria— since the conflict started mid-March 2011—has exceeded 100,000. According to the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights (SOHR) the majority of the dead are civilians including 5144 children and 3330 women. This is not to mention the approximately 10,000 documented prisoners as well as the many more that are missing. As for Syrian refugees, scattered across several countries, they amount to approximately two million, with Lebanon and Jordan hosting two thirds, according to the United Nations Higher Commission for Refugees’ (UNHCR) latest report published in August.


The destruction of Syria’s ancient cultural heritage has spurred stakeholders to ring alarm bells. According to the Independent, UNESCO warned of the imminent danger facing the great cultural ruins of Syria due to the raging civil war. It indicated that the ancient souk of Aleppo has been burnt down completely and that violent fighting damaged the Great Mosque of Aleppo (the Umayyad)—built between the 8th and the 13th centuries—which is believed to contain the remains of John the Baptist as well as Islamic, Christian and other landmarks.


Compare the West’s cold and weak responses over the destruction and the violations against human rights in Syria with the international community’s muscle flexing and propaganda against the Egyptian government confronting chaos by law with a public mandate and the least possible use of force. How can one understand the West’s relaxed stance in Syria and the rigid one in Egypt?


This remains a puzzle.



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