Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Speak up for the oppressed people

You might have read one version of this poem by Pastor Martin Niemoller. Various versions that exist around the world have added or substituted one oppressed group of people or the other. I really like this poem because it reminds us to speak up against oppression, even when you are not the target.

While discussing about recent developments in Europe, a friend who sees a rise in anti-Islamic rhetoric everywhere, commented that we should probably have one version with "Muslims" as well.

"First they came for the Jews.
But I didn't speak up because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for the communists.
But I didn't speak up because I was not a communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists.
But I didn't speak up because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Catholics.
But I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant.

Then they came for me.
And by that time no one was left to speak up."

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