By Ataul Fatir Tahir, for Al Hakam
The Western media’s portrayal of Ukraine’s suffering as somehow “different” and labelling Ukrainians as more “civilised” compared to those suffering from wars in countries like Yemen, Libya, Ethiopia, Palestine and Syria, has sparked disgust on social media.
News coverage of civilian Ukrainians defending their country by making Molotov cocktails and arming themselves with state-given machine guns has also been celebrated as “heroic” and these people have been called “freedom fighters”.
This empathy has not been voiced for others like Palestinians who experience an identical crisis yet are labelled “terrorists” when defending their land.
There are numerous other factors to consider, for example, crippling sanctions and the censoring of Russian media outlets like RT in Europe have not been consistent with the invasion of Iraq or following the bombing of Yemen by Saudi Arabia which continues to this day.
This is not about “whataboutism”, the focus is on upholding absolute justice.
The abhorrent selective empathy, double standards and casual racism have unveiled deep-rooted undertones of injustice in parts of Western society where ethnicity, “whiteness” and location matter.
A piece in The Telegraph about Ukraine’s plight read:
“They seem so like us. That is what makes it so shocking. Ukraine is a European country. Its people watch Netflix and have Instagram accounts, vote in free elections and read uncensored newspapers. War is no longer something visited upon impoverished and remote populations.”