Hussman and Milo
January 22, 2015 - single portrait
I met Hussman and Milo in Munich in May 2012. He came as a refugee from the civil war in Libya which has driven about three hundred thousand people away from their cities, jobs and homes since it started in 2011. He came looking for peace and a new home far away from the horrible experience of war. He told me that his friend who came with him to Germany was crippled by a grenade detonating next to them in the street.
He and Milo, the dog of his German girlfriend, were going for a walk meeting friends to hang out. Just doing what people do.
When I met Hussman and Milo, I was still living in Singapore and was a guest in a foreign country myself. In August that year I repatriated to Germany. The Middle East has not come to rest since. Civil war in Libya isn’t finished, Egypt is split between the Muslim brothers and the military. Syria is such a mess that nobody knows whether today’s partner will be your enemy tomorrow. Every day we receive new horrific information about the crimes of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria).
And the media in the West picks it up and makes it topic number one. Reports about lost kids all over Europe joining the Jihad are shown daily. We are exposed to videos with western people being beheaded by men wrapped up in black. The German government rushes the decision to deliver weapons to a hitherto terrorist organization to defend themselves against ISIS. Suddenly the plans of building a mosque in a German city becomes big and bad news. Even in detective movies Muslims are now more often the bad people. It seems the advance of the Islam is omnipresent. We live the siege of Vienna by the Turks in 1683 all over again. We have a new enemy.
Meanwhile on the street in Germany an organization called PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West, or in German: Patriotische Europäer gegen die Islamisierung des Abendlandes) is mobilizing Germany’s middle class. These people are voicing an opinion that is a disgrace to humanity but they are just repeating what propaganda brings to their eyes, daily.
What happened in Paris last week was cruel bloody murder. Nobody should be executed for displaying her or his opinion. Yes, the perpetrators were Muslims. Yet, that doesn’t turn all Muslims to criminals. One of the victims was Muslim as well and I was impressed to see so many people united in humanity independent of their religions and believes in Paris on Jan 11th 2015.
I’m glad more and more people stand up against PEGIDA in Germany to ensure that guys like Hussman, who came here to survive a war in their countries, have a future. We don’t have to bring them our culture and what we call freedom. Let’s just keep doing the human thing.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not defending the criminals that commit terrible crimes. I’m defending the innocent and that we need to differentiate. And that we can not turn our backs on the innocent and judge them because they belong to a certain religion.