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Opinion: An Injustice to the Unseen and Unheard - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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“God help us triumph over them,” chanted the girl carried on someone’s shoulders, before she tilted her head a little, cried, and then pulled herself together to chant again. This young girl has previously chanted against the regime of Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad, but now she protests against the unjust treatment of others.

This girl was chanting against the Al-Nusra Front. This young Syrian girl led the residents of Al-Raqqah in protest against the extremist front that has implemented radical, bloody methods in dealing with residents in areas where they are deployed, ever since it infiltrated the Syrian revolution. The front arrested the girl’s father for no clear reason, and refuses to release him or others who are now in jail suffering from lashes, bullets and knives.

In a video published by activists on YouTube, young girls and veiled women scream in front of the Al-Nusra headquarters, condemning the group and the crimes it is committing under the banner of the revolution. The angry residents attempted to restore the spirit of the first days of their revolution, and so they chanted “peaceful, peaceful” and announced that they will escalate their activity against this group.

Few media outlets were concerned with this protest, since there is no media concern regarding the activity of Al-Raqqah’s residents. Before that, there was no media interest regarding the activities of Saraqeb and Aleppo residents either. Few media outlets concern themselves with the activity against the practices of Al-Nusra and other extremist groups that began in more than one Syrian city. Activities against such groups aim to voice rejection of their detestable, violent ideologies and methodologies, and some reject their ideology just as they have rejected the practices of the Syrian regime.

A huge category of media outlets have placed themselves in a moral crisis, and they are probably aware of this. In the past months, a common formula has been to depict a battle between Bashar Al-Assad and Abu Saqqar—who ate a man’s heart and became a symbol for media outlets against the Syrian revolution.

Lashing a man, killing innocent people under the banner of infidelity, and eating a human heart are stories that deserve to be highlighted for weeks and months. It is certainly not a problem that they receive expanded coverage as the blood of the 100,000 victims has evaporated.

The media coverage does not have space to mention the activities of the Al-Raqqah residents and before them, residents of Saraqeb and Aleppo, who revolted against the assassination of a child, Mohammed, under religious excuses.

The media that claims it supports the revolution is no less unjust towards the Syrians. It focuses on the Islamic brigades, intentionally ignoring any civil society activity. Activists have frankly stated that a satellite channel clearly told them it is not interested in such activity. Such channels dedicate plenty of their coverage to everything Islamic, such as the actions of the Al-Nusra Front, in an attempt to show their role in the Syrian crisis.

Once again, Abu Saqqar and Bashar are both killers, and between them they have killed 100,000 people. This is what those who claim to be neutral want us to believe. They use Abu Saqqar as an image to hide behind, forgetting the blood of the people that was shed and overlooking brave youths like the little girl from Al-Raqqah.

Diana Moukalled

Diana Moukalled

Diana Moukalled is a prominent and well-respected TV journalist in the Arab world thanks to her phenomenal show Bil Ayn Al-Mojarada (By The Naked Eye), a series of documentaries on controversial areas and topics which airs on Lebanon's leading local and satelite channel, Future Television. Diana also is a veteran war correspondent, having covered both the wars in Iraq and in Afghanistan, as well as the Israeli "Grapes of Wrath" massacre in southern Lebanon. Ms. Moukalled has gained worldwide recognition and was named one of the most influential women in a special feature that ran in Time Magazine in 2004.

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