What Will Prevent The Children Of Syria From Becoming ‘Lost Generation’?
News & Comment
What will Prevent the Children of Syria from becoming a ‘Lost Generation’?
On the 8th of September, NBC News published an article entitled, “All they can do is scream” that discussed the severe post-traumatic stress affecting the children of Syria due to what they have endured during the ongoing brutal war waged by the tyrant Assad against the sincere Muslims of Ash-Sham.
Undoubtedly, the children of Syria have been one of the main victims of this war, having witnessed and experienced unspeakable horrors that no child should ever witness or endure. Thousands have been killed, and in the recent Ghouta massacre, the majority of victims were women and children. Many have been tortured and even raped, while others have seen killings, butchery, and even witnessed their parents murdered in front of their eyes. In addition, the charity, Save the Children Fund, has received reports of children dying by the roadside, or being driven to lick the moisture from grass and leaves in a desperate attempt to starve off thirst in the searing heat during treacherous and desperate ‘death journeys’ to flee the fighting.
However, the traumatized children of Syria do not only carry the physical and psychological scars of war but face yet another phase of hardship, struggle, and oppression when seeking refuge in neighbouring countries as also addressed in the NBC News article and a piece published by Al-Jazeera on 3rd of September that discussed the poverty, exploitation, and poor treatment that Syrian child refugees face in surrounding states such as Lebanon or Jordan. According to the UN, 1 million child refugees from Syria are children, ¾ of whom it estimates are under 11 years old. Many are orphaned and left to survive on their own or placed in impoverished camps with inadequate food and medical care, and no clean water, sanitation, or electricity resulting in diseases, chronic malnutrition, and even death. Thousands of Syrian child refugees, especially orphans have been forced to fend for themselves and their families as a result of extreme poverty in host states due to governments and rulers who have shunned their responsibility of taking care of their needs adequately. In Lebanon, that has the highest numbers of Syrian refugees, it is estimated that 50,000 to 70,000 children work on the streets, mainly in construction work, in shops, agriculture, or as domestic workers. They face deplorable working conditions, long working hours, and poor pay, alongside facing the danger of physical or sexual violence or exploitation on the streets. In Jordan there are around 30,000 Syrian children currently working in the country. Furthermore, Syrian child refugees in Lebanon do not have any official form of identification and therefore are treated as ‘non-persons’ by the state preventing them from access to any formal education, while only a tiny proportion of refugee children in other countries have access to education. All this has led a number of aid agencies to talk about the creation of a ‘lost generation’ of Syrian children.
Indeed, the children of Syria and their families have paid a heavy price in their noble struggle to remove the oppressive secular dictatorship and system in their land and replace it with guardianship under the rule of Islam implemented by the Khilafah. Now, as Western governments ratchet up their rhetoric for military intervention in Syria, as Muslims any form of Western interference in the country should be fervently rejected for not only is it decisively prohibited by Allah (swt) but has two primary aims: Firstly, to install their next client regime in the country, the Syrian National Council who will implement a Western secular system and serve the interests of Western governments rather than those of the people, and secondly, to prevent the establishment of the Khilafah. This is not military intervention driven by a genuine concern for the children of Syria. The US is afterall a regime that is happy to continue a policy of drone attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan that has killed hundreds of Muslim children. Support for Western military intervention will therefore betray the great sacrifices that the Muslims of Syria have made in this revolution for Islam AND result in the realization of the prediction of a ‘lost generation’ of Syrian children who will be left abandoned to live out the rest of their childhood if not their lives in these wretched conditions. They will be deprived of the right to live under the security of the Islamic leadership and system of the Khilafah that would truly take care of their needs, providing them adequate provision, shelter, and a good education as Allah (swt) has obliged and as expressed by the Prophet (saw) when he said:”مَنْ تَرَكَ مَالاً فَلِوَرَثَتِهِ، وَمَنْ تَرَكَ كَلاًّ فَإِلَيْنَا” “If someone leaves some property, it will be for the inheritors, and if he leaves some weak offspring, it will be for us to support them.“
The call must go out to the Muslim armies alone to intervene urgently in this war to protect the blood of their Ummah and to give their Nusrah (material support) for the establishment of the Khilafah that alone can save the children of Syria and those across the Muslim world from their desperate plight. This call will be one of the many messages expressed in a large women and children’s march to be held in London on September 22nd and to be attended by women from across the UK. It has been organised by the women of Hizb ut Tahrir who hope to mobilise Muslim women to stand in solidarity and support of the Islamic struggle of their sisters in Syria who are sacrificing their lives and that of their children to establish the rule of Islam in their land which alone holds the promise of a brighter future for the children of this Ummah.
Written for the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir
by Dr. Nazreen Nawaz
Member of the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir