The recent media reports of Prince Harry’s imminent book mention the 25 Afghans that he murdered whilst serving as a helicopter pilot in Afghanistan during 2012-13. The prince describes those he killed as “chess pieces” removed from the board.
He also justifies these killings by saying they were “bad people” eliminated before they could kill “good people,” although how could he be sure of who exactly he was murdering when firing from a helicopter? Exactly what made them “bad people”? Were they “bad” because they didn’t like British Princes shooting at them from the skies above? Is that what made them bad. Just curious.
Muslims blood has been cheapened for some time now, and therefore something like this should not take us by surprise. In fact, the way that this has been reported across media outlets – a mere mention amongst other trivial family matters in his book – shows just how much they are minimising the extent of his crimes.
Imagine a Muslim in a helicopter above Wales firing away at people on the ground and then after killing scores of people he said it was like a video game. Would it be simply dismissed as it was dismissed by so many people around the world?
We can see this most recently in the response to the Russia-Ukraine war, where most people expressed extreme sadness, compassion and empathy for the victims, both Ukrainian and Russian. There was genuine care and concern for the victims of this war and for those witnessing it. Articles mentioned how to manage war-related anxiety after merely viewing or hearing about the war. The reports on this were unique to say the least. On the other hand, the deaths and persecution of Muslims that have been happening for decades – in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syrian, East Turkestan and Palestine – have rarely been mentioned.
But Muslims are deeply affected after hearing about the suffering of our brothers and sisters across the world, since our values are such that we view the Ummah as one body; and when one part of it is hurting, all of it is hurting.
Who then sets the standard about who is deserving of empathy, care and concern? There is blatant hypocrisy, and a selective lack of empathy shown by media outlets, which in turn affects the views of the masses when it comes to the death of Muslim men, women, mothers and infants. Yes as Muslims we show empathy for all people, all of the time. Our concern is not limited to a group of people who are somehow viewed as “superior” and “more deserving” of empathy due to some twisted standard set by the perpetrator.
So how should Muslims respond? The first step in my view is to be aware of it and support those organisations that report on the lives of Muslims. Secondly, in our day-to-day dealings with individuals, these topics should come up for discussion and we should speak up for Muslims and against this hypocrisy.
Finally, we should continue to show those who do not show us empathy and compassion, that we have our own code of conduct. Instead, our code of conduct, our values and morals are set through the Quran and the Sunnah. And this will always prevail.