The Kurdish fighters in Rojava (western Kurdistan) have been fighting renewed advances from the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) for the past week. The IS offensive against Kurdish villages and the autonomous city of Kobane comes after the United States of America approved airstrikes in Syria, and arming rebels against IS, in an effort to curb its spread.
Kurdish fighters are at a clear disadvantage because they lack high-tech weaponry, tanks and are outnumbered. Despite this, Kurdish fighters (People’s Protection Units, YPG) have evacuated civilians from Kobane and surrounding villages in fear of IS slaughter.
Not long ago, the world watched silently as the notorious IS militants took over Sinjar, kidnapping women, young girls, and even children, who were later sold on the “slave” market. You can read more about IS atrocities here, here, here, and here.
Kurdish activists, particularly those in diaspora have been keen to raise awareness about the onslaught of IS militants towards Kurdish populated areas in Rojava using social networking outlets as a platform to politically communicate their grievances.
Calls for international support have fallen on deaf ears — voices of a largely marginalised group are being disregarded because they’re simply not a convenient reality to acknowledge or help.
Unfortunately the political relations between different parties in South Kurdistan and Kurdish fighters in West have been shaky, and at best unstable. Which is why when Kurds suffer at the hands of foreign terrorist groups, there is a lack of united military support/front.
It is necessary for Kurdish activists to move beyond online activism and realise that raising awareness online must be met by action as well. Although, some people are keen to tweet, Facebook and Google+ their outrage at the notorious group, there is a lack of efficient lobbying for Kurdish people internationally.
If you are based in United Kingdom, you can contact your local member of parliament here and send them a written letter asking for the British government to support Kurdish forces battling IS militants. Alternatively, you can set up local meetings with Kurdish and pro-Kurdish campaigners to initiate a campaign on how to raise awareness, as well as effectively lobby for Kurdish Rights.
The worst thing anyone could do, is remain silent.
If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse, and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.