Hell is for Children.

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When I was a child, I often wondered how it could be that God created Hell? If God loves us more than a mother loves a child - then how could he let anyone enter Hell?

The picture is an AP picture that I stumbled upon on Arabisto.com a few days ago. Among the headlines, it is just one of thousands like it. Another incursion, another struggle, and another story remotely familiar. Between the emails, meetings, ringing phones, and busy schedules, I paused on this picture. I saved it to my desktop. I opened it, and stared at it. Why is this one different than the others?

I could write a volume of what I see in the father's eyes, or the mothers. There's a sense of remoteness and unflinching care of their own condition. Both appear to be fixated on something other than themselves. I can only guess how deep his wounds are in his head, shoulders, and other parts of his body. She's covered with bandages, her shirt is soaked with blood, how badly is she hurt?

It's not their state of shock that captures my attention, it's what the mother carries in her arms. The fragile bundle she's carrying - this has to be the reason they seem unconcerned for their own state. What are they thinking? Is help coming? Or is it more harm?

I'm fixated by the fragile bundle - this is what made me save the picture. This is what reminds me, now as an adult, why God in all of His wisdom, created a Hell. His Wisdom and Knowing set the scales of a Hell and Heaven, for what we demand. Of course, there's no other way. How could He not create a Hell?

When baby Zak slammed his little hand in a bedroom drawer, I instantly dropped whatever it was I was doing without thinking. In a couple of seconds I rushed to grab him, Sonia was already there. I took him in my arms, and as he screamed in pain, for a few seconds, I lost all reality, and could only see and hear his pain. I cannot fathom any serious harm coming to him, or even worse a tragedy. It is beyond my comprehension to be able to even grasp at the concept of my child in any serious injury or pain.

The words that I write here, as I look at this photograph can only be a pale echo of the reality of this father and mother's pain. Holding their child, wrapped in bandages. What has the child suffered? He little head is covered in bandages, how severe is the damage? His body also looks like it's covered in bandages. How is the mother and father bearing this? Will the child survive?

Who could do this? Again, and again, and again? There is a Hell, not because because the blood of innocents demands it, but because hate demands it. It is an action of hate, and whether it is result of a trigger that is pulled, or a signature on a document - there must be accountability. "hell" is for children and innocence, "Hell" is for the accountable.

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About Naeem Randhawa

Naeem Randhawa is a filmmaker, travel writer, and IT project manager, living in Dallas with his wife and baby boy. He has been writing about travel for over 12 years, and made his film directorial debut last year, with a film about fasting called “American Ramadan.” Having traveled almost every state in the US, Canada, as well as international destinations, his travel writings cover everything from adventure trails across White Sands in New Mexico, exclusive resorts in Quebec, Baja trekking in Mexico, to the many travel destinations in the US. He is currently developing a diversity based travel show, to premiere later this year. A self-starter, he taught himself filmmaking, to add a voice in countering the current media bias and void of Muslim representation in mainstream media. Last year, the film was picked up and broadcast by Link TV, Geo TV, Bridges TV, as well as international networks. This year the documentary will air across 50 PBS stations this year, and reach over 70 million TV US homes. He has also shot, and produced over 70 field television reports for a national satellite network, reporting on the Muslim community locally in Dallas, and at large. Highlights include coverage of on-the-ground reporting from New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, and many others. He is currently working on research for his next documentary projects, about Hajj, Muslims in the US Army, Faith conversion stories, and a PSA for a national organization. His media website can be viewed here at JustSayGoFILMS.com.

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