Powerful tweet has people divided – but is this a reality we need to face? 95



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We know Sonny Bill Williams’ name from rugby league games however it’s made headlines today after the All Blacks player caused controversy on Twitter with graphic photos of dead children.

The football star visited Syrian refugee camps in Lebanon earlier this month with UNICEF NZ and wanted to bring attention to the reality of the situation in this harrowing part of the world, albeit in a very confronting way.

Some have condemned Sonny Bill for the graphic photos (which are behind a warning message) while others have applauded him for highlighting an issue so many don’t want to admit is happening.

“What did these children do to deserve this?” he wrote alongside the pictures of the bloodied bodies.

“This summer share a thought for innocent lives lost everyday in war.”

Starts at 60 has chosen not to publish the images and warns readers they are graphic, however this is the link should you wish to see them.

Twitter user MF said, “Trigger warning is nonsense. If you’re likely to be harmed by images, avoid Twitter. He’s just highlighted reality”, and user C_NZ said, “Insensitive. He’s a rugbyplayer w young followers who follow him because he’s their sports hero, not for politics”.

The ABC reports Williams also kept a video diary during his trip, which you can watch below.

“It’s a pretty humbling experience,” he said in one of the videos.

“The thing that surprised me is how resilient and how happy everyone is here with next to nothing.

“Hopefully we can shed some light on what’s going on here and hopefully give them a better way of living”.

Tell us, do you think it’s necessary for our society to see these images and know what’s really going on? Or is the news media enough?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. It ios not as graphic as I thought it would be. My heart goes out to these innocent people.

    4 REPLY
    • We have a number of Muslims in our court of 21 houses. Never ever had a problem with any of them Not to mention others that we know really well.

    • I have worked with several Muslims over the years (both male and female) I have never had a problem with any of them.

    • I hate Racism with a vengeance. We arrived from England in1960 and I was 5 1/2. I got so many racist coments as a kid I understand what these people are going through.

    • I agree Kathy. Racism is a blight on any society. Surely people should be judged as individuals not as a race? It is sickening to read some of these hate filled and ignorant comments.

  2. I would say the same thing as what Sonny Bill said. Those children deserved much better if not because of war. This is a reality we need to face. This is the effect of war and fighting for an ideology that we do not understand. Children are the helpless creatures who suffered the most.

  3. I can’t see the images, it telling me my setting is wrong BUT I don’t think want to see them, anything that will shake the world up and allow them to see that people including children are dying might be a good thing. We tend to sit safe in our own little worlds forgetting there is much suffering going on out there. I hope it gets them more support and help

  4. This needs to be seen, I think the majority of people that have complained just wish it to go away and are uncomfortable with the reality

  5. for God’s sake, the man plays rugby, he usually doesn’t need to think

    8 REPLY
  6. Those poor children, and yet we sit here safely in Australia arguing should we give these people refuge, the alternative for them is death, it does not say much for the collective character of this country

    1 REPLY
    • I disagree Rosalind. I think it says it all about the collective character of this country and what we have become. We have no shame or moral fortitude. It’s time this country took a long hard look at its self and grew some balls.

  7. I am disgusted by many Australians attitudes that I hear or read. It seems they think the horror, death and destruction is faked just so the refugees can get better economic circumstances. It should be rammed home to these people in their comfortable, safe existence that people are dying, young children among them. That they seek safety and possibly a future elsewhere is hardly surprising. That successive Australian governments have allowed refugee children to languish in detention disgusts me and shames me as an Australian.

    12 REPLY
    • You have no idea wot these people will do to get their cause across to the western world , I dare say you have no respect for our diggers that died fighting the scum

    • Phil Smith. Feeling compassion for this suffering does not prevent us feeling respect for our diggers

    • Phil Smith , I am an exserviceman, and my nephew did 2 tours of Afghanistan. He stated that most muslim men and many women fought beside our troops. Not all muslims are low life, we have good and bad in every race and religion. What this is about is the blatant murder of children, just imagine you were born over there and had a family, i`m very sure your opinions would be quite different. I hope you and your family have a wonderful and very safe 2016, cheers mate.

    • Carolyn Whitfield ME TOO sad to see how many hard hearted racists we have in this country..if you have no compassio for children you are a low life ..just enjoy your safe overfed life phil smith

    • People forget the amount of bombing etc that has racked Iraq and Syria for years. America has been at war for something like 217 years of their 235 year existence. I wonder why.

    • Agree Oz. many of the conflicts have been of their own making. One day they may figure out that “might is right” is not a good tenet to live by.

  8. We know what’s going on the Men have fled the countries and gone to Europe leaving their wives and children behind instead of caring for them and fighting Isis Its a huge plan for us to fall for so we feel sorry for them and bring them to our countries Soon there will be nowhere for us to go to escape Islamism it is coming I for one am very scared for all women we will be in big trouble we are all Whores to them it is happening in Europe already but you don’t see it because the government don’t want us to All women will be in fear of their lives we will have to wear those horrible clothes and never leave the house like we do now

    26 REPLY
    • Excellent reply , couldn’t have said it better myself , I would die for my children , these blokes are running scared like rabbits , why aren’t they protecting their wives and children from the Isis morons ?

    • This is NOT meant to become a Muslim hate site. It is meant to highlight the suffering of CHILDREN due to a war!

    • Hey I dislike the way Muslim s treat their wives and children , my choice not yours , all men should treat woman and kids with respect

    • You can all turn a blind eye to what’s happening if you like and by the way I never said Hate once I said I was scared

    • Knew a few until they pissed me off ,so now I don’t want to know any as the bad ones have stuffed it for the rest , goodie goodie two shoes

    • What about Aussie wife beaters? Unfortunately domestic violence is not restricted to one race or religion.

    • Oh I know that and it’s why I am passionate about women’s safety you see was a victim of horrendous domestic violence he actually attempted to kill me The Police charged him. But the stupid judge gave him a slap on the wrist I found out I am the third wife he has done this too and there has been a fourth partner since me and he still gets away with it
      Next dig at me ??

    • I am not trying to dig at you or anyone else. I just believe as I said that this discussion is meant to be about the plight of these children caught up in a war. I am sorry that you have suffered domestic violence but stand by my comment that it is not just one racial or religious group in which women suffer it. It happens in all societies and in all social groups.

    • Angie you are generalising, but maybe now I can understand why you feel as you do but many of the men fleeing are young men sent away by their families to protect them from being forced to fight for a side they don’t support or be killed. The situation isn’t a case of good and bad like we would find here if invaded these groups may have more than one enemy and no access to training or arms. That women are oppressed would seem to me all the more reason to welcome families to the west where our existing laws provide some protection to women and children.

    • I know a lot of white Christian men who piss me off, should I judge all white Christian men based on those ?

    • Nita Crompton If an Aussie beats his wife – it is against his religion. If a Muslim does it – he is following his religious beliefs. People need to take a good look at the religion itself instead of just spouting “I know some really nice Muslims” – I know some really nice crocodiles too but I don’t want them anywhere near my kids either

    • I believe we have something to be concerned and careful our whole life will change They demand so much I have seen white women being beaten by Islamic men because they wear western clothes calling then whores and chanting I have seen young girls slapped by Islamic boys Do you all condone their behaviour and do you really want it here where are we going to get the money from to assist these people we as a country are broke Aged Pensioners are doing it very tough Drought stricken farmers are committing suicide driven off their land there is NO money to help them There are not enough jobs for us let alone Millions of Refugees
      I am entitled to my opinion as are you I don’t agree with you but I am not judging you as you are me !!!

    • Are you one of those people that called me and my mates baby killers back in the early 70 s when we came home from war we had no reason to be in .

    • Angela, having witnessed this abuse I assume you reported it to the authorities and were willing to back you claims by agreeing to be a witness in court. If well done, if not why not as you are then encouraging such appalling behaviour by your silence. Either way it is very unfair to brand everyone as bed just because they are not the same faith as you. Christianity isn’t without its own violent, abusive history either.

    • Of course I have given information to the appropriate services it’s a pity most people though just stand and watch then walk away As for the abusive history of Christians I have grown up with Domestic Violence then actually experienced it myself Unfortunately it is quite widespread all of East and Western Europe We are fighting Domestic Violence finally here in OZ but if Sharia Law takes a hold well the fight will be for nothing !!!!

    • It saddens me to read the uninformed & ignorant posts on here. This is supposed to be a discussion about the tragedy of these poor ,innocent children. Instead some people have turned it into a hate fest . If you want to live your life in fear & hatred it is your right to do so but don’t try to infect everyone with your groundless malice.

    • I feel for the children and the wives but what can we do really They reject our customs etc if we bring more here then we might as well just give in to them

    • Anyway I am out of here I am sick of being hung and quartered for having a different opinion what ever happened to the good old days when we could have a great debate now people have to get nasty and insulting
      We are all doomed and none of you can see it

    • I hate it when people call others disgusting names your all the same the only difference is you hate you own kind

    • They are not uninformed & ignorant posts , you are the arrogant ill informed in this argument miss, they are no good they would kill us all if they had the chance , so when you are getting your throat cut I hope you remember how good Oz was

    • Of course she would have reported it , you people are unbelievable questioning wot happened to Angie , and why should women who go though this be interrogated by the police and the instigator

    • The reasons behind the men leaving the women and children behind is based on separation. Men and women do not appear together under Sharia law. The Sunni based ISIS terrorists, want to take over the Muslim world. As they see it there are Muslims in every country in the world, some are Sunni but the majority of the peace loving Muslims are Shia Muslims, who ISIS want to destroy. They care not for their women and children except to use them as bait to get them into countries like Australia so they have a reason to also migrate (and probably be accepted) into Australia.

  9. There is nothing in the news about what is going on , sometimes reality has to be seen , before ww2 really took hold no one wanted to believe what the nazis and hitler were doing in Germany ,Poland and other places, now we have Isis and the likes no one wants to know about them , history repeating itself

  10. We are all aware that the first victim of war is truth and it is always the innocents that suffer the most. Williams has only shown us what we already know and can’t find the moral courage to face full on. How easy is it for us to salve our concsciousness when the deeds of horror carried out in our name are so distant.

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