By Dr. Tayyab Ahmad Mansoor, UK
There is increasing pressure on Western leaders to cope with the humanitarian crisis resulting from the Syrian conflict in Middle East. Some Western countries are taking action to respond to these problems whilst others are pondering over how best to deal with it. The recent images of a drowned Syrian toddler, Aylan Kurdi, washed up on a Turkish beach drew worldwide attention towards this grave humanitarian situation, and even very hard-hearted could not hold back their tears. Notably the media, including social media, unanimously expressed its outrage on this issue, which gives some hope that care for humanity has not vanished altogether.
However, the cold hearted behaviour of wealthy Muslim countries is truly astonishing. Such countries claim to be the followers of the Holy Prophet of Islam, whose teaching is that, “The similitude of believers in regard to mutual love, affection, fellow-feeling is that of one body; when any limb of it aches, the whole body aches, because of sleeplessness and fever”, but instead of opening their hearts and countries to welcome these war-affected Syrian refugees, they are seemingly standing idle and watching innocent lives waste away in such a horrific manner.
The senseless attitude of ignoring the suffering of people in their neighbouring country, who are crossing the oceans with their families including babies and young children on flimsy boats, makes me wonder if these rich Muslim leaders have completely forgotten the aforementioned teaching of the beloved Prophet?
The whole world has a moral duty to help the refugees, but surely the first and foremost to act must be the neighbouring countries such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iran and Kuwait.
In just a few weeks a massive display of Muslim brotherhood will take place in Makkah, on the blessed occasion of Hajj where many Muslims from such countries will also partake, pledging themselves to become better Muslims. Surely this begs the question of whether the millions gathered in the holy land of the Noble Prophet will simply be offering hollow pledges or will they really seek to follow the example of the Prophet? If they genuinely intend to reform then how could they wait even a second when they know that their neighbouring brothers and sisters are in such pain, spending restless nights in the cold under open skies, or in some cases adrift on the sea, without food or water?
If they wished to help the refugees then the rich and resourceful Muslim countries certainly have the capacity to do so. I hope that we see a sign of true Muslim brotherhood in action, that carries out its moral duty, as humans and as people of faith, to help those in need, before another Syrian toddler ends up dead on a foreign beach.
Dr Tayyab Ahmad Mansoor holds a Doctorate in Pharmacy and has authored numerous publications in scientific journals, for which he is also a reviewer. He has an interest in contemporary and scientific issues and been a national youth leader in Portugal. He is currently based in London and can be reached @DrTAMansoor