Happy, innocent, and carefree, and like all children of their age, the children of the middle east and north Africa (MENA) region were full of dreams, hopes, and expectations that were all buried with the beginning of the war. Now we know that war is one of the worst tragedies that can affect humans but sad enough, war has become an inevitable part of many children especially those living in the MENA region. Why does this mainly happens to countries in the MENA region? Why does it mostly target the Muslim communities? Is it because those countries are rich in petroleum? Well, that may be one of the reasons, but, I believe that the main reason for the ongoing war in the region that is burying the innocence of every child exposed to it, turning children to orphans and refugees is sectarianism (The split of Islam to Sunni and Shia).
Like how a malignant tumor originates in one organ and slowly grows to metastasize other parts of the body, sectarianism started following the death of the prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Since then, sectarianism has slowly grown to metastasize the soul of almost every Muslim making it a major weakness. The reason I call it a major weakness is because sectarianism has blinded members within both sects by their differences until they have forgotten what unites them. They have forgotten that they believe in the same god, the same prophet, the same holy book and that they even share the same pillars of Islam. In the battle of believing in fixed beliefs that atone and cancel the other sect, members within both sects have forgotten the purpose of any religion, which I believe is to spread love, peace, and unity among its members. In the conflict of ending their differences, members within the two sects have forgotten that the beauty of this life lies in the variety and the difference among everything. Just like how a garden would lose its beauty if it was solely made of one type of flowers, I believe that our life would also lose its meaning if it lacked its differences.
Today, it is imperative to end this sectarian division because sectarianism is like a timed bomb, a bomb that may explode at any time and anywhere as long as this division exists. Hence, it is time to unite and forgive whatever happened in the past because Islam and every religion teach us forgiveness and if God can forgive us when we sin then who are we to not forgive each other?
I am aware that this is easier said than implemented and there will be moments where our heart will be filled with grudges and hatred but when that happens just close your eyes, take a deep breath and place your hand over your heart. Now can you feel that beat? Well, that beat is the same in every heart and that is what your heart is trying to tell you, that we are all similar in terms of humanity regardless of what religion or sect we belong to. We have to remind ourselves that religion is a connection between a person and God, and apart from God, no one has the right to judge who is right and who is wrong. As humans, we must leave the creators for the creator and focus on ourselves and how to heal this world.
Today, before thinking to fight any difference, it is crucial to always remind yourself that the future of the next generation and many of the children lies in your hand and it is up to you to decide whether as Muslims, to unite or to divide.