Published On: Thu, Apr 25th, 2013

Is It Justified?


By Ece Koç*

Morocco News Tribune

Perhaps most of you have heard the name Tarek al-Tayep Mohamed Bouazizi by now. However, until January 4, 2011, he was an ordinary person selling fruit in the streets of Ben Arous, Tunisia. This street vendor set himself on fire as a reaction to the confiscation of his wares and the subsequent humiliation inflicted upon him by a municipal official. His self-immolation in protest against this injustice unleashed a tsunami of public indignation that led to then President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali – who had assumed the Presidency in 1987 in a coup d’etat – to step down.

The success of the Tunisian uprisings inspired revolutions in some other Arab countries. These revolutions attempted to bring down the ruling dictatorships in their own countries. If you wish to buy term papers online focused on this topic, look through the articles at the main page for examples.

One of the countries that was affected by the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ is Syria. The Syrian conflict began as a secular revolt against autocracy. Revolutionaries aimed to prosecute Assad’s government and they are now trying to liberate this country from this ruthless regime that has exploited the country for 40 years.

As you are no doubt well aware, since March 2011 there has been a great deal of mass killings and suffering going on in Syria. The massacre committed by the Assad regime against the people of Syria have been continuing unabated; it is estimated that more than 60,000 to 70,000 people have lost their lives thus far. Due to the internal crisis raging in Syria, three million Syrians have been displaced internally and one million have fled to neighboring countries.

We cannot talk about any stability or security within Syria for the time being; the regime unleashed tens of thousands of ‘militia volunteers’. Aleppo was guarded initially by these gangsters. They were the ones who stopped any sort of demonstrations in the city. When Assad decided to pull most of his forces out of the city, these gangsters started looting, and stealing some of the items. This rampant  theft has taken place not only in Aleppo but in some of the other cities, as well. The city of Aleppo has been under siege for 40 days and at this point, four divisions consisting of over 12,000 men at arms  has surrounded the city; they have systematically looted stores as a way of obtaining food and stolen pretty much anything that wasn’t nailed down. It is an unfortunate fact that looting is common in situations of war or in examples of societal collapse, however, it can never be justified. We cannot defend looting or stealing or any kind of crimes or misbehavior.

 We should first consider the context of the situation in Syria. What made them do these unjust actions? Can these unlawful deeds be justified? It is a question everyone should ask themselves; I have also asked this question to myself. But before answering this question we must first consider what brought these people to this point. I think it can be safely said that the conditions in Syria now is beyond anyone’s imagination. Civilians are being tortured and ruthlessly and systematically killed before the eyes of their loved ones by the Assad regime. The regime is targeting everyone indiscriminately destroying cities wholesale and leaving the residents homeless . They have no food to eat, no water to drink or wash with , and no electricity in many parts of the city. They are desperate as is often the cases in severe social breakdown, looters typically are not after anything luxurious; they are simply trying to survive and help their children and elderly . They are not safe anywhere; they cannot even go to breadlines to feed their families because many have been killed while patiently waiting in line for food once the bombing and shelling begins.

Many have started to chop down trees despite the fact that it is actually illegal to cut down trees in Syria without a permit, but since they have run out of fuel and it is freezing cold, they are doing what they can just to survive. They are also digging trenches to protect their families from the constant shelling. They are in survival mode. They may loot or they may steal; after all, they need to eat. We are talking about people who are at the brink of starvation or freezing to death because they cannot find a loaf of bread or fuel for heat. Some say that it is a natural reaction or inevitable result to the disorder the Assad regime has caused since March 2011 for there is no presence of law and order in some areas.

All this violence is taking place before the eyes of the world. Yet so far, a real solution has not come from the initiatives or meetings of United Nations or NATO. Some neighboring countries are trying to help by opening refugee camps for them. Yet, these solutions are all temporary and do not constitute a real solution.

Then, what can be done to end all this misery? Would all return to normal if the Assad regime left? Surely, it would bring some relief, but is that a permanent solution? Look at Egypt or Tunisia. Have they really gotten what they were hoping for? Temporary solutions only work to an extent and the people are still poor, still suffer from lack of democracy, a lack of good living standards and still yearn for a better life. They still face attacks and exploitation because as a country they are still weak. They are weak because they are apart from their brothers and sisters and it is all too easy to attack small groups. They are weak because the underlying ideology is still there; the materialistic view that cares only about oneself, and no one else. The Islamic world is suffering greatly at the moment, because instead of coming together, they choose to stay apart; they revel in their own disputes and become easy targets for attacks.

The only real solution is for Muslims to unite together. All of the disasters that have befallen the Islamic world can be traced to a lack of unity. The ummah has split itself into countless sects, and allowed sectarian disputes to rise to the fore. Sectarian disputes and endless bickering over who is right and who is wrong is not only most unbecoming, it’s put the Islamic in peril through the rise of extremism and terrorism. And I must point out that it is not only unity between Muslims that must occur, it is also a unity with our Christian and Jewish brothers and sisters; it is only in this way that any real and long-lasting solutions to the immense problems facing the Islamic world can be found. God commands us to be united, and He also commands us to work together with the People of the Book. This is a necessity for us, and achieving this unity should be what we strive for the most.

This is the only solution that will work, because it is the divine solution, it is the order of God, revealed to His Messenger (pbuh). Almighty God says : Obey God and His Messenger and do not quarrel among yourselves lest you lose heart and your momentum disappear. And be steadfast. Allah is with the steadfast. (Koran 8:46)


*Ece Koç is a graduate of the University of Istanbul, where she studied economics. She is Executive Director of the NGO “Building Bridges.” She organizes and interviews foreign delegations/guests for the program; she’s also a guest columnist and blogger. Additionally, she’s an International Affairs coordinator, and has organized and attended major interfaith conferences in her official capacity such as the Second Istanbul World Political Forum, the 21st Congress of the Union of Islamic Communities, The First International Balkan Conference, the Istanbul World Forum, and Science for Peace.


  • Franklin Ampah-korsah

    All these unrest around the world is towards one INEVITABLE end ; the fusing together of Judaism, Christianity and Islam into a SINGLE LIGHT OF THE ONE TRUE GOD. The more mankind allows the Devil to use us to resist this DIVINE DESIGN to bring back all of God’s Children for His End-Time work……the more this chaos intensifies. Till we dropped all political solutions to this problem and WENT BACK to the BASIC TENETS of the Bible/Al Qur’an these restive situations would continue. Let me re-emphasize that God is gathering His Children in Judaism, Islam and Christianity together hence, lets side with God by GOING BACK TO THE BASICS of what God has taught us through our prophets and the messiah. The MAHDI/CHRIST…HAS RETURNED.

  • anouar mourad

    very interesting article, I love it