The above picture was doing the rounds on Facebook recently, being shared more than 70,000 times from one account by people who believe the threat of terrorist attacks is much more likely if we continue to let in those attempting to migrate here while seeking asylum. However, it was recently found out that the image is of a refugee named Laith Al Saleh who was a profile written by the Associated Press news agency.
The picture on the left of him brandishing a gun is during his time as a commander for the Free Syrian Army. For a job, he was a plasterer in Allepo before the civil war. Not only this, but he claims to have fought against ISIS, Al Qaeda and the government during his time as a commander. It seems he’s lucky that a profile was written on him before this picture was falsely shared, so his name can now be properly cleared before he hopefully reaches a country of refuge.
As Europe attempts to handle the large numbers of migrants attempting to find refuge, many countries are arguing that ISIS will be taking advantage of any country who is allowing people in. Since David Cameron announced the UK’s intention to take in thousands more refugees, there has been a high amount of fear mongering centred around the idea that we are letting thousands of terrorists past our borders, an idea that is clearly ridiculous.
How quickly this photo did the rounds before being disproved is a sign that there is a real fear in this country, a misplaced fear, that allowing asylum seekers into this country could be our undoing. It’s a shame that in this day and age, fear wins out against compassion for a fellow human being.
For contrast, this picture of a child washed up on the beach after drowning while escaping his own country in an attempt to find asylum has cemented many people’s minds on accepting as many as possible, even changing many minds as well. To anyone reading, please think before you move to judgement of those in danger on this planet. It can be easy to get swept up in the hate, but if you ever feel the rage beginning to rise, remember the above picture of the poor child who only wanted somewhere safe to live.