This plea is directed towards all those who care about humanity, particularly Muslims. Islam has endowed upon us a set of ethics and moral guidelines that not only benefit us as individuals, but also the larger Muslim ummah and indeed our non-Muslim brothers in humanity. Many of these ethics are concerned largely with conflict and the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) informed his companions of these guidelines on various occasions throughout his life, but they are most famously outlined as ten rules, by the first Caliph Abu Bakr RA when he instructed his army:
'O people! I charge you with ten rules; learn them well!
Stop, O people, that I may give you ten rules for your guidance in the battlefield. Do not commit treachery or deviate from the right path. You must not mutilate dead bodies. Neither kill a child, nor a woman, nor an aged man. Bring no harm to the trees, nor burn them with fire, especially those which are fruitful. Slay not any of the enemy's flock, save for your food. You are likely to pass by people who have devoted their lives to monastic services; leave them alone.'
We therefore accept as Muslims that the killing of non-combatant men, women and children is Islamically forbidden and the Quran tells us that commanding good and forbidding evil is a must. It is therefore imperative for us to come to the aid of the Syrian people (amongst others suffering of course) in their hour of need.
And if we are to understand Islam in the modern context, then we can look at some of the Geneva Conventions, especially with regards to armed conflicts (civil war e.g. Syria) which state that non-combatants must not be killed, no hostages may be taken, caring for the sick and no humiliation or outrages upon personal dignity may be carried out. Assad’s regime has flouted all the bounds of reason, every law and religious guideline has been walked all over.
I am not telling you we should campaign for western military intervention in Syria. Syria needs humanitarian aid, i.e. food, clean water, shelter, safety and security. This can only be provided by international organisations and NGOs (non-government organisations) who exist only to alleviate the pain and suffering of human beings. These organisations must be allowed to function and they can only do so if humanitarian corridors on both sides of the Syrian border exist.
The French are prepared to be involved in creating a humanitarian corridor, but they cannot do it alone. We, the Muslims need to show our support by lobbying our governments and writing to our MPs wherever we are, to pressure Syria into allowing aid in and to pressure our governments into creating humanitarian zones on Syria’s borders.