Like many parents, I can’t get the image out of my head of Syrian father Abdul Hamid al-Youssef holding his twin dead babies.
Abdul is mourning the loss of his babies, and his wife, and up to 40 members of his family. It’s simply unbearable to imagine.
After the events of last week and the shocking chemical attack, there’s a good chance you’ve spent at least some time over the weekend thinking about or talking about Syria.
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What’s happening there is tragic, complex and hard to comprehend, despite some far-out conspiracy theories that beggar belief. If you have 15 minutes to spare, this article provides a good understanding of how the situation there devolved from political unrest in 2010, to complete devastation and annihilation today.
But really, all we need to know is this: Syrians are suffering.
Many Australians are fearful of allowing refugees in. They are in favour of turning away people who are fleeing bombs, famine and genocide, because they’re afraid of getting hurt once we let them in. Afraid of bringing “terrorists” into the country.
In my view, this is a sad, entitled stance that completely lacks compassion – and also one that is completely misguided.
Do you know where terrorism thrives? In fear, isolation and rejection. When a person is told over and over again that nobody cares about them, they start to believe it.
Do you know how to change that ideology? You drown them in love, acceptance, compassion and tolerance.
Let’s not forget: these are human beings – millions of them – who are being threatened, tortured, bombed and attacked by their own leader.
These are children. Babies. Kids who should be in school, getting tucked into bed at night by their mum, reading a bedtime story on dad’s lap.
How do you see this happening to these children and sit comfortably with your conviction to keep Australia’s borders closed to them?
Following the chemical attack, America has stepped in and Russia is threatening to retaliate. All sorts of scary words are being thrown around about America and Russia going to war. In Australia, we are aligned with the United States so any future military action will involve us.
Which means this: one way or another, Australia is going to be involved in this conflict in a big way.