Common Word, Common Lord

In the Name of God, The Extremely and Eternally Loving and Caring

The chemical weapons attack on Syrian children was beyond heinous. This man, Assad, is beyond Satanic. He will face justice: possibly in this world, but most definitely in the next. Something had to be done. And, all of his problems and faults notwithstanding, President Trump acted: he launched more than 50 cruise missiles into Syria.

Analysts, politicians, and pundits are debating his true motivations for the attack. Even Nicholas Kristof, no fan of Trump in the least, praised his actions:

President Trump’s air strikes against Syria were of dubious legality. They were hypocritical. They were impulsive. They may have had political motivations. They create new risks for the United States.

But most of all, they were right.

Yet, President Trump should not have had to act on Syria. Muslims should have stopped him long ago.

The Syrian civil war has been a disaster of monumental proportions: hundreds of thousands have been killed; millions have been displaced; vicious terrorists have been given the sanctuary to thrive in the midst of the chaos – and strike at innocents both in the Muslim world and the West.

What makes this disaster all the more heinous is the fact that Muslims are fueling the fires of conflict on both sides. Muslims should know better – their Scripture tells them what to do if internecine conflict arises:

Hence, if two groups of believers fall to fighting, make peace between them; but then, if one of the two groups goes on acting wrongfully towards the other, fight against the one that acts wrongfully until it reverts to God’s commandment; and if they revert, make peace between them with justice, and deal equitably with them: for verily, God loves those who act equitably! (49:9)

Once it was clear that the Syrian uprising degenerated into a full-fledged civil war, the Muslim world should have gotten together to stop the conflict and make peace. It should not have had to come to this, if Muslims were true to their Scriptures and commandments.

If you don’t know already, nerve gas such as sarin causes an overload in nerve receptors that respond to a body chemical called acetylcholine. As a result, the victim of nerve gas literally drowns in his or her own secretions. It is an horrific death.

Those children, suffocating from sarin, are the children of all Muslims, not just their Syrian parents. Those parents, hysterical at the loss of their children, are Muslims’ brothers and sisters in, not only humanity, but also in faith. Even if the victims of the brutal Assad regime were Christians, or Yazidis, or Jews, or atheists, Muslims should have stood up for them, because God commanded them to stand up against any injustice, even if committed by one of their own.

Am I being naive by saying this? Some may think so, and I do understand that geopolitical reality is much more complicated than the ideal world of a column. Nevertheless, this is the word of God, and it is the height of hypocrisy for the so-called “Islamic republics” to be right thick in the middle of the Syrian quagmire, making it grow much worse by the day.

History will tell us what exactly motivated President Trump to strike at the Syrian regime after its barbaric chemical weapons attack. We will see if this strike is the opening salvo of escalation, or a one-time strike intended to send a message. Still, President Trump should not have had to act at all. The Muslims should have taken care of the cancer of the Syrian civil war all by themselves.

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