EDITORIAL – Should we dilute the truth to make it palatable? The War on Yemen

Yemen2017SHAFAQNA – If you have been following events in Yemen you must be aware of the tragedy that befell this poorest nation of Arabia, when, a couple of days ago Saudi Arabia and its coalition of murderers targeted a school in the highlands.

Saudi Arabia knew exactly what it was doing when it rained death from the sky and martyred innocent children … Yemen has lost many innocent since March 25, 2015; it is likely many more will be lost still since silence is all we can master in the face of tyranny.

But today I wish not to address the ignominy of al-Saud … I have done plenty of that already, and for the life of me, words fail me before the evil of the kingdom. How many times can one convey horror without risking to mainstream the intolerable and somewhat allow for people to become desensitise?

Today I want to address a comment that was made after pictures relating to Yemen’s war were posted online. The premise was that featuring Yemen’s suffering might offend mainstream and serve to objectify such human tragedy.

While I can understand that famine, death, torture and brutal hardship may cause distress … imagine what the victims of war and their families must endure, this does not change the fact that Truth ought to be told.

If Yemen’s war offends your eyes and your ears, then step up, speak up and for the love of God change that very reality you cannot bear. Playing the ostrich only serves to reinforce tyrants’ hold over the oppressed.

I would go one step further and argue that our collective refusal to acknowledge injustice makes us accessories to murder! Yes murder. Innocent men, women and children are being massacred on our watch and we argue how many bloody pictures we are willing to tolerate.

Some communities don’t have the luxury of such censorship …or is it just that we lack empathy and humanity those days?

Could it be maybe that the secular liberal monster polluted our mind so deeply that we can’t even fake caring anymore – at least not beyond the 5 second attention span quota.

The Truth cannot, I repeat cannot become subject to debate. The Truth does not need to be popular, or trendy, or fancy, or even packaged with a pretty bow. The Truth is.

And if the Truth bothers you it is maybe because it offers a reflection of ourselves we refuse to admit.

Yemen’s war has shocked me, it has broken my heart, it has angered me beyond what I thought was possible and most of all it has torn my soul in million pieces … For every fallen child, every death it is our history I see repeated. For every martyr, we don’t acknowledge in righteous anger, it is the unsung martyr of our Imams and our people I see play out.

By Catherine Shakdam – Director of Programs for the Shafaqna Institute of Middle Eastern Studies

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