By Woodrow Wilcox

On March 3, 2012, I attended a fundraising event to benefit the Zakat Foundation at the Northwest Indiana Islamic Center. I attended with some of my Muslim friends.

The purpose of the event was to raise money to send medical supplies to Syrian refugees who fled to Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey because they wanted to escape the bloodshed in Syria.

At the event, I learned that the current struggle in Syria started when fifteen children wrote anti-government graffiti and were arrested. Two weeks later, the government gave the parents the mutilated bodies of the fifteen children. The children were tortured to death.

Massive demonstrations against the Syrian government ensued. With few exceptions, it has been a one-sided slaughter. There is strict gun control in Syria. Only government employees and agents can have guns legally. The only way for a rebel to get a gun is if someone kills a government agent and takes a gun. The strict gun control does not make the Syrian people feel safer.

According to some of my Muslim friends, for decades, such gun control in Syria made the people of Syria silent, passive, and fearful. Government did not have any restraint on its power. People who simply asked questions which the government did not like could be arrested, tortured, and killed.

Recently, one such Syrian who was arrested, held, questioned, tortured, and killed was Dr. SakherHallak. His brother was at the event to tell how Dr. Hallak died at the hands of the Syrian government’s secret police. What was the terrible crime that Dr. Hallak committed which deserved death? He signed a petition which affirmed his belief that doctors should be free to treat any injured or wounded person, even people who were demonstrating against the Syrian government. Dozens of doctors have been murdered by the Syrian government and hundreds have been arrested and held in jails.

The Syrian government is now enforcing a law that no doctor is allowed to treat anyone who may have been injured in an anti-government demonstration without the doctor first getting permission from the government. So, even people who are not injured due to a freedom demonstration must wait for medical services until a government agent approves their treatment. One of the speakers told the attendees that the father of an injured boy had to bribe a government agent with $2,000 to get permission for his injured son to get medical treatment.

That is how government health care is used as a weapon against the people in many countries around the world. The threat of withholding medical treatment is used to silence people who might otherwise criticize those who have and abuse government power.

Syria has gun control and government provided health care. Aren’t you impressed?

© 2012 Woodrow Wilcox