Why is Putin invading Ukraine?
What is NATO?
Is World War 3 coming?

These questions loom on our search history as the potential for war and destruction expands.
Suddenly, the internet community shifts from being experts on public health to foreign affairs
masterminds and we wonder what next government decision will destroy civilian lives. We
passed high school having learnt the basic, mechanical facts of World War I and II but living
through something similar appears unimaginable.

For a 21st century teenager, our lives have been defined by the post-9/11 era. The war on
terror, launced by the nation built on terror, has formed a planet desensitized to the suffering of
the other. The unretrievable American lives murdered by terrorism meant millions of lives in the
East must also be taken. So, we pray and donate, important actions nonetheless, with
absentmindness, knowing we did something for those poor people millions of miles away.
Those poor people so different from us.

No life should be worth more than another life but in comparing the outcry of Ukraine with the
destruction in the Middle East, how can we truly say that statement with our chest? The irony is
everywhere from Isralies protesting occupation on occupied land to European nations
expressing solidarity while refugees from Africa and Asia continue to land at their feet.

This is not to say we must undermine efforts to the Russian invasion of Ukraine as history has
shown, wars kill lives, time, and families. Refugees must be provided with shelter and security
so donating and raising awareness are our responsibilities. But Ukraine also gives us the
opportunity to ask, does war only matter when it gets too close to home? It provides us with an
opportunity to test just how strong our beliefs are.

We know that whoever kills one innocent life, it is as if they have killed all of mankind. If one of
us bleeds, we all bleed. Islam is about the unification of community, of prayer, and of suffering.
In recognizing and reflecting on our own emotional response to Ukraine, we notice an
inconsistency in action or compassion or thought compared to other ongoing wars, we are
provided with an opportunity to challenge and improve our activism to make it more
representative of the issues our planet faces.