Death By Democracy

He never thought , as he was taking part in ‘’ pro- democracy ‘’ demonstrations in Aleppo that  he was in a way signing his own death warrant , not because the government would crack down and arrest him- oh no – but because those who he hoped would come and save him from the regime – those he called upon to bring him democracy did come in the end- bringing him not democracy but death- his own. At the end of the day he was just another poor boy .

His name was Mohammad Qatta and he was only fifteen years old . He sold coffee on the corner of the street and on that fateful Saturday he had the bad luck of running into one of the religious fundamentalists who wanted to buy his coffee but not pay for it ! Apparently , the story goes that the man asked Mohammad(the coffee vendor) to consider the price of the coffee as a loan and Mohammad replied that he doesn’t lend money “ even if Mohammad(the prophet) were to come back to life. “ This of course is a common phrase used by many Syrians and doesn’t in any way signify blasphemy or  a lack of respect to God or prophet Mohammad ( Peace be upon him )

They came for him- the members of a rebel group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria- and they took him. They brought him back sometime later with signs of torture on him and in the middle of the square they assembled the people of Aleppo, including his mother and father and issued their warning- “ this is the fate of he who takes the name of the prophet in vain. “ They were speaking a classical Arabic dialect and not a local Syrian one signifying that they were foreigners- and so they turned their machine guns on him and shot him down once in the neck and once in the head. So died Mohammad named after prophet Mohammad!

And indeed it is ironic that a Syrian should die at the hands of a Chechen or a Turk or some foreigner in his own country!!But the irony doesn’t stop here. In Deir Al Zor in the village of Hatleh  (a Shiite village)where at least thirty people were massacred and then dissected and then videoed by religious extremists one cannot help but wonder at the video of a dead woman-her body cut into pieces as is shown by the video yet when the camera moves to show her face one of her killers shouts ”haram-don’t show the face of a woman.”Haram meaning it is sinful. For in this man’s warped vision of Islam it is sinful to show the face of a woman because of her gender, but it is right to dissect her because of her sect!!

Democracy died a long time ago in this “revolution” of Syria! It died when the demonstrations became armed-it died when foreign money and arms flooded the border and it died when those calling for democracy thought that democracy would come in the shape of foreign fighters and terrorists. It died when Mohamad Al Qatta the anti government demonstrator died at the hands of those he thought of as his saviors and when a woman’s gender and sex became more important than the crime of her murder and mutilation!

Reem Haddad

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