“Surely We created man of the best stature.
Then We reduced him to the lowest of the low,
Save those who believe and do good works, and theirs is a reward unfailing.”
Holy Quran – Surah 95, verses 4-6.
Commenting on this verse, scholars of Islam mention that it means that human beings have the capacity to be higher in stature than the angels, but also could become reduced to a state lower than the animals.
Reading the tragic story below – which occurred in Syria recently – this verse came to mind. The perpetrators of this crime – as well as all others who use rape as a weapon of war and oppression – are indeed far lower than an animal could ever be:
“This is a story of a 28-year-old single woman. She was a virgin, like all the single women in our society. It took place in Douma (a suburb of Damascus), where the Republican Guards broke into the three-floor building where she used to reside, entered all the apartments, and took out all the residents.
“They killed the men, eight total, and kept the women. One officer chose this young woman, dragged her by her hair, tearing her headscarf. When her mother tried to help and protect her, [the officers’] guards hit the mother on the head with their rifles and she fell on the ground bleeding. They took the young woman into a room and raped her. All the women outside heard her screams. They started crying and shouting, asking for mercy for the woman and for themselves, but it was in vain.
“When the victim came out of the room, there was blood everywhere. She had been brutally raped multiple times. They took the bodies of the murdered men and threw
them in front of the entrance to the building and left.
“The young woman was in a heartbreaking condition. She was hysterical. Her mom lost her mind when she saw the horrible state of her daughter.”
The dates of the reported rape is unknown. Because Syrian government officials currently refuse to allow access to journalists, researchers, and aid workers, WMC’s Women Under Siege cannot independently verify this report of sexualized violence in Syria.” (Source: https://womenundersiegesyria.crowdmap.com/reports/view/119 )
We may feel helpless about the situations in Syria, Burma, and elsewhere, but the least we can do is pray for the innocent people whose lives are being ruined by the ruthless criminals that perpetrate such acts.
Beyond that, we can speak about it – or help spread awareness about what’s going on.
With that in mind, here are several Facebook groups/pages you can subscribe to to help keep up to date with the events.
- British Syrians & Friends in Solidarity with the Syrian Revolution
- Children of Syria
- Syrian Uprising 2011 Information Centre
- Syrian4allWorld Team
- Protect the Rohingya
Feel free to add your own additions in the comments section – whether it be related to Syria, Burma, Palestine, or anywhere else that rampant oppression and injustice continues to thrive.
Beyond words and spreading awareness, the actions we take are even greater – whether that be through donating to reputable organisations that are assisting the victims, actually trying to go to such places to assist in relief work, or any other well-intentioned action.
It’s always beautiful to see how tragic events – such as 9-11, the tsunami of a few years ago, and now Hurricane Sandy – pull people together and bring the best out of them. Telethons are held, donation drives are publicised, and people really open their hearts, wallets, and hands (via volunteer efforts) to help the victims.
But tragedies worse than all of those events are happening on a daily basis in these troubled regions of the world – so let’s not limit our generosity to the latest popular cause. Hundreds, thousands, and even millions in these places would welcome our efforts.