Suffer the little children

I am haunted by a photo. It’s a very ordinary photo: the sort many excited, loving parents might take on their baby’s first holiday. It shows a ten month old baby – just becoming a toddler – standing with her chubby baby hands leaning on a window as she looks at the aeroplanes. She is waiting with her loving and, almost certainly, hard-working parents for the flight home. Her name is Darina.

Her body was found, alone, in the desolation of the Sinai desert.

She is the latest in a long line of innocent victims – those who have done nothing to bring trouble on themselves, have never lifted a weapon or sought to obliterate anyone or anything else.

And I wonder: how long must this world be besmirched, made less than it is, by the men – for it is predominantly men – in their uniforms – combat fatigues (real or faux), jeans and sweatshirts, suits and ties – with their weapons – rifles, guns, knives, bombs, backpacks, words, ideologies, beliefs and, most deadly of all, hatred – who believe anyone and anything is fair game?

And I wonder which god would sanction this? Which god would require this? Which god  needs to be appeased like this? What bit of land is worth this? What belief is worth this? What ideology is worth this?

And I think of that baby: all that promise and hope and possibility. Extinguished. And my heart weeps.

No god, no land, no belief, no ideology …nothing…nothing… is worth the loss of, her single, tiny life.