by Farouk Martins Aresa
Saudi Prince blamed the Africans for stampede in Mina? Yeah, right! There we go again. Even Bible linked black Nimrod with the devil. Africans have neglected their God for too long. While the hypocrites were stoning devil, it reacted like Samson betrayed by Delilah. People forget that the devil used to be a trusted angel of Allah until he went astray. Blame everything on Africans for forsaking their Holy Shrines by taking a long journey to seek a foreign God. It has consequences.
If you brutalize your fellow Africans and seek forgiveness in a foreign land, what are you? If it is not Mecca, Africans would seek God anywhere including Jesus Christ in Jerusalem. No one can convince some Africans that when they look everywhere and find no salvation, they must look into own hearts where salvation is waiting for them. It is beyond comprehension that Africans do not see God in their fellow man, even when God said he made man in his own image.
Africa’s slave trade by Arabs and Europeans still echo repercussive vestiges on all mankind since every continent had its turn of the evil trade. Africans still suffer from the indignity at home and in Diaspora. Too many died in the slave ships from inhuman treatment, revolts or suicide rather than be taken alive to plantations. Not even Africans wish the refugee plight and flight on Arabs.
It seems that some senses are prevailing along USA, Russia, Iran and Syria understanding on how to confront the ISIS that has turned out to be worse than cancer invading many countries in the name of religion. No amount of money and tolerance can accommodate war ravaged land of the Arabs as the refugees flee their own comfort, land and religion to take solace in foreign land where they do not belong and fed like animals. Disturbing humiliation
President Assad of Syria, Putin of Russia and American presidential candidates pointed to Iraq War as the beginning of the Arab refugee crisis. Most people including the Arabs agree that the solution to refugees’ flight from Arab countries must be solved at the root. Religion has divided the Arabs beyond any reasonable explanation. It is not the difference between Muslims and Christians, but within the Muslim sects.
The call for Assad to go can only be decided within Syria, not by United States. Distractors of Obama claimed if he had only enforced the red line against Syria, ISIS would not dare him. But it was the U.S Congress that sat on the authorization to go to war. Moreover, Britain also denied its Prime Minister the authorization to go into Syria with U.S. Nevertheless, Obama negotiated chemical weapons out of Syria. Otherwise, ISIS could have benefited from redline enforcement.
Today, only the middleclass and rich Arabs refugees can afford the exorbitant fees paid to the smugglers from Libya, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan only to be dumped in the sea. If they survived they face ignominy, rejection, hostility with cases of hospitality from good Samaritans in the land they desire in Europe and America. The picture is so disturbing; it haunts our historical memories of slave trade days and memories of it will haunt us many years from now.
The difference here is that they are not forced into ships as Arab and Europeans did to Africans, they paid dearly for their escape. Some prefer to go back home as the father of the dead child that caught world attention when the dead body floated to the shore. The struggle of man to survive actually resulted in misery. Many of them do not know which is worse: getting into the middle of war at home against Gadhafi and Assad or fighting rejection in Europe.
It gets more complicated when one looks at the sponsors of the present conflict: from Saudi Arabia Sunni Muslins to Iran Shiite Muslims and some sub-religions between them. Even the European and American supporters have run into dead-ends trying to support a Country like Iraq with majority Shiite against ISIS that are Sunnis. So far only Iran-Iraq Shiite with the support of Russia seems to be effective against ISIS to the displeasure of Americans that want Assad out.
This is separate from the Kurds that have strife against ISIS but also seeking independence from Turkey and Iraq. Saudi Arabia had to get involved in Yemen for the fear of losing influence in a country that is too close for comfort. As long as the initial sponsors of ISIS include Saudi Arabia, it will be difficult not to blame them as part of the problem in the area. Moreover, Saudi Arabia is very conservative with its funds to other Arabs unless their interest is at stake; like everyone.
Russia learnt its lesson in Afghanistan. Nobody could have argued against United States that was provoked but could have taught them a lesson one at a time rather than getting into many wars at the same time. It drained resources and manpower that could have been better used inside USA. At the end of the day, like wild grass, the people of the region will outlast invaders and go back to their old ways. American youths cannot sacrifice their lives for every country.
Change is never easy but it must come from within to last. Even then, it must be well managed and controlled, otherwise Arab Spring would be taken over by undesirable elements like ISIS. It is a lesson United States should have learnt from The Shah of Iran, Libya and Egypt. You cannot keep on making the same mistakes and keep on expecting different results. People can only be encouraged to change their own system from within, not by invasion by innocent young blood.
There is a lesson for Africans here at home and in Diaspora. Stop looking for salvation outside your own influence when you can create it at home. God said he is everywhere including your souls and land. If you refuse to seek salvation where you are, you cannot get it where you are not the master of your own destiny. All the countries that lost their citizens in Mina, Saudi Arabia are grieving for their dead, Africans are given the additional fault on top of their grief.
Africans have claimed to be Egyptians, Jews and now as Syrians to gain refugee status!