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I stand with the people of Kenya by Asad Rehman


Relatives stand to pray as they wait to go and view their loved ones.

When predominantly white students have been massacred in America or in European countries, I don’t remember graphic photographs being published of their blood-soaked bodies on the floors of classrooms. The same applies to those murdered in the ‪#‎CharlieHebdo‬ offices.

Asad Rehman makes a stark point here. I’ve chosen to quote him without sharing the pictures, which are all over the internet and can therefore be seen by the mothers, grandfathers, sisters, lovers and close friends of the murdered young people in Kenya. It is excruciating to imagine how it would feel to be one of those loved ones seeing those pictures online. ~ Vanessa Vine.

I stand with the people of Kenya by Asad Rehman

“I have been in two minds about posting these pics of the young people murdered in Kenya. Far too often black people even in death are not given the dignity afforded to the dead if they are European. Those deaths are marked with coffins, marches of global leaders, blanket tv coverage, editorials in every paper of the world. Whilst the dead, if they are born with non white skin, are depicted in gruesome detail – as if to reaffirm that even in death, as often in life, their lives are considered worthless. We don’t hear the stories of each individual, their dreams or even their names. They are just a number that fill our screens for a few minutes before the news cycle moves on.

However I have been shocked at how easy it has been to move on and just file this latest atrocity alongside others. Are we becoming desensitised or is it that we are moved to respond only when we feel it echo around us, simply amplifying what we see or hear around us. I haven’t seen any FB pics have switched to say I am Kenya or leaders flocking to Kenya.

The Rightwing Islamist jihadists who were responsible for these murders – as they were for the brutal slayings in Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Libya or Nigeria, France may fly the flag of various groups such as Al-Shahbab, Boko Horom, ISIS, Pakistan Taliban, Al Qaeda – but all are a symptom of military interventions, failed governments, right wing politics and a reactionary right wing jihadi interpretation of Islam.

Let me be clear thats not an excuse for their crimes. Indeed these murderous groups continue to kill other Muslims more than any other group of people. They may wish to depict a view of their actions as ‘islamic’ against ‘western or christian values’, and the right wing media may want to echo that narrative also creating an ‘us and them’ dynamic.
But these groups are more like the rightwing death squads that haunted the people of Latin America for decades. They can only be eradicated in the same way- a rejection of western military intervention, the implementation of economic policies to deal with poverty, social movements rising to challenge the politics of these right wing groups, progressive religious forces challenging the religious interpretation, and a genuine peoples resistance such as that in Kobane to militarily defeat these groups. It also means their apologists in our communities must also be challenged for their reactionary politics.

As A Muslim, these jihadists make me sick to my stomach, as a human being, these murders move me to tears, as an internationalist I still say no to more war and interventions, and as a revolutionary I say ‪#‎BlackLivesMatter‬ and these groups must be defeated.

I stand with the people of Kenya.”

– Asad Rehman.


About Obi_Live

Occupier at OccupyLSX Camp. Then an Occupy Nomad. The revolution will be Livestreamed.

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