The recent announcement by the British government on launching airstrikes within Syria has resulted in many people and organisations protesting against such a move. This move will have devastating consequences on the already displaced Syrian populace, and will result in further deaths, which by UN estimations is over 220,000 since the start of the civil war. The Muslim Council of Hong Kong wrote an open letter to the British Consul in Hong Kong, strongly condemning such a move. Other organisations which were signatories to the letter include: Discover Islam Hong Kong, Friends of Palestine in Hong Kong, Helpers of Islam Group, Khatme Nabuwwat, Muslim Filipino Association HK, Muslim Youth Association, Pakistani Students’ Association Hong Kong, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Pakistan Islamic Welfare Union Inc. HK, Pakistan Women’s Association of Hong Kong, Serving Islam Team Hong Kong and United Welfare Union Hong Kong. The letter in its entirety can be found below:
In view of the British lawmakers’ voting 397 in favour of launching airstrikes upon Daesh, most commonly known as ISIS, in Syria, we at Muslim Council of Hong Kong, alongside umpteen other Muslims and Non-Muslims in Hong Kong, sought to express our sheer shock, downright disgust and utter dismay at this heart-wrenching verdict.
Since you represent the British identity and are the Consulate General here in Hong Kong, we deemed it essential to pass this earnest message to you, which we duly hope will be passed to those in charge. The very first aspect we would like to make clear is that we are in no shape or form ‘terrorist sympathizers’ as the British Prime Minister David Cameron appallingly labelled those who were against these airstrikes. We are with those 223 British lawmakers that voted against this unethical, inhumane and frankly speaking uncivilised call of action.
We are deeply concerned about the consequences of this warmongering operation, since not only will this result in the escalation of innocent civilians being murdered in cold blood, but as history speaks, will also stem in more radicals being indoctrinated, leading to the continuous vicious cycle of indiscriminate killings around the world.
We sincerely ask everyone, who still has an atom worth of humanity left in them, to honestly reflect whether the response of an evil act should be another evil act, or should we wake up our consciousness and realise upon the non-denying fact that all previous such interventions – Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan – have all resulted in nothing but total chaos, destabilization of the countries and formation of further fanatics. The concept of collateral damage is outright ill-founded and if we truly value every single innocent life around the world, as we ought to do, then we should be using non-combatant means to eradicate the evil, and not becoming the evil itself or the means to the evil.
As Muslims, we are indeed instructed to uphold justice and accountability for our actions, especially when it comes to human life. Consequently, we ask a genuine question – who will hold the British, the French, the Russian and every other government responsible for the terrorizing killings of the innocents through these airstrikes?
With power comes responsibility, but it seems this notion is forgotten upon many leaders of today. The British are currently known to be a powerful nation, but let it also be known the dissatisfaction of many all over the world is rising towards their policies. All of which is adding to further disparity and intolerance within societies locally and globally.
We humbly request every single person with authority within the British Consulate General Hong Kong to pursue means of defusing this vicious cycle of violence and to be held accountable for their actions, for no one should be above the law. We hope your thoughts and prayers are, and should be, with every single innocent human life and we duly hope you stand firm with compassion and solidarity against all acts of violence.
Featured Image: Alisdare Hickson | Flickr Creative Commons