Her body was still intact… Her short blue dress was covered with some dust and the knot perfectly tied at the waist… Her socks were still white covering her skinny legs, while her tiny palms seemed a little clenched. The body of the eight-year-old girl seemed so perfect that one would think she was still alive… but decapitated.
I tried in vain to escape the terrifying image of the beheaded little Syrian girl and erase the scene from my head. I learned later that she was named “Fatima”, that she was from “Idlib” and that she was killed when the Syrian regime dropped booby-trapped barrels that decapitated her and killed many others.
I have been trying to curb my reactions and resentment from the “angry” scenes of killings and destructions taking place in the streets of Egypt, Libya and other parts of the world before getting shocked by the photo of the beheaded little girl that was spreading on Facebook.
I wonder why those fanatics in the streets were not filled with anger upon seeing the image of this little girl and who actually lost his head? Did the little girl lose her head or do we all carry useless heads?
There is no doubt that the director of the “Innocence of Muslims” despises Muslims and means to offend them, but what is new here? Do we really believe that in this era we can control all the meaningless provocations and stop them?
Aren’t we living in an open-space world? Can’t we, in few minutes, surf hundreds of websites and watch scenes and photos that offend Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism and all other beliefs? Why did a trivial film shake our world while we didn’t move a muscle upon watching actual scenes of horror and films from real life showing bloodshed and murdered people broadcasted around the clock?
An “artist” accused of bank forgery in California was able to gather a bunch of people for $75 a day in his house to film these silly scenes before having recourse to voice-overs in order to put dialogues that were not actually said by actors and then collecting all of this in a production that does not even deserve to be called a film. He placed ads for the show but no one came. Indeed, no one came.
The catastrophe took place when Egyptian activists came across some scenes on YouTube and broadcasted them on a TV program. Politicians and Religious figures were offended and acted as if they had found a treasure, aiming at covering political, religious and moral failures by inciting naïve and ignorant people.
Some immediately started with the burning and killing and escalating tensions, while others are still trying to catch up by considering the situation open and ongoing; indeed, didn’t Hassan Nasrallah threaten of dangerous consequences?
The problem does not lie in the film itself, but in those who are trying to take advantage of the film to cover for a huge moral failure. Here, we should also be thankful to the film because it made the Muslim Sunnis and Shiites equal in their miserable way of handling this unsuccessful production so-called “film”.
Those people have accepted the killing of innocents and kept mum. They even supported the murderers; however, they protest against a film.
Oh little girl of Idlib, do not forgive our silence… May you rest in peace wherever you are, and may your beautiful head float away, far from us.
The writer is a columnist at the London-based Asharq al-Awsat, where this article was published on Sept. 20, 2012