The following is an op-ed written by “Mohammed,” a Syrian War Refugee.
I am sorry it is taking me so long to post my outrage over Cecil the Lion. My village has been without electricity for the last week after the Americans bombed our power plant. I had to walk for two days — hiding from ISIS along the way — before I found this Internet cafe. But my anger over the death of Cecil is still hot as the desert sands.
I remember exactly what I was doing when I heard what had happened.
It started off as a normal day for my town, with the Syrian Air Force dropping barrel bombs on several neighborhoods and a local school. As I dug the bodies of several women out of the rubble, one of the other rescue workers asked if I’d heard that Cecil the Lion was killed.
I froze in shock, dropping part of what I assume was once a human arm on the ground. “Not Cecil the Lion!” I exclaimed. “Not him! Truly, is there no innocence left in this world?” I cried harder than when we discovered my brother was gay and ISIS forced us to throw him off a building.
The rest of the day was a numb blur: watching my neighbor getting beheaded by Sharia enforcers, foraging for food in bombed-out buildings, burying my daughter after she died of cholera, and registering my outrage that rich Americans can fly anywhere in the world and kill whatever they want.
My entire family — the ones not gassed to death — are also in shock. My sister was beside herself with tears from the acid that was flung in her face, but I am sure her tears were meant for poor, majestic Cecil.
It is times like this I thank Allah that my wife was kidnapped into sexual slavery last year and was spared the horror of learning what happened to this beautiful and majestic creature.
I often wonder what is wrong with America. You do not hear stories like this in Syria, partly because we already killed all our lions but also because we killed all our dentists.
The hardest part was explaining to my eldest son why Cecil was killed. He asked if Cecil was a Kurd or a Christian, and I said no, sometimes people and animals are killed for totally unjustifiable reasons.
I must go now. The Shabiha have surrounded the building to either press gang us into the Army or execute us. No matter. If we die, we die knowing that the infidel dentist has been appropriately punished on Facebook.
Hopefully I will see Cecil in the afterlife, along with my grandparents who were murdered at the massacre in Hama.