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The Radical v. the Humanitarian - Similarities of Empathy and Differences of Perception

A New Zealand man is facing ten-years imprisonment after being convicted by an Australian court on three counts of making preparations to travel to a foreign country to engage in hostile acts.

According to a BBC-News report, the court in Victoria, Australia, heard that Amin Mohamed wanted to fight against the government of Bashar al Assad. Prosecutors said he applied for a passport to enter Syria, booked flights to Turkey and obtained the contact details of a Turkish resident with the intent of fighting in Syria. It is a crime in Australia and other jurisdictions to fight for militants on either side of the Syrian war.

However, humanitarian agencies deploy workers and volunteers daily to assist the millions of Syrians displaced by Assad's war. Yet, while erecting a tent, building a cot and providing meals and medicine is legal, to physically attempt to alleviate the lives of Syrians thought the overthrow of Bashar al Assad is illegal. 

In other words, while both the radical and the humanitarian might have similarities of empathy for the victims of Syria's war, the humanitarian can act, but the radical - for fear that he/she would import terror, is precluded from action.

While all persons wanting to utilize terror upon peaceful communities must be condemned, some consideration should be meted to those, who in the name of justice and humanity, wish to fight the terror Assad in order to bring relief to the children and people of Syria. Not that any laws forbidding travel to fight for militants are wrong, but the cause should be tempered with the absence and the impotence of those having the power to effect true change in Syria.