More allegations are surfacing from surviving passengers of the capsized boat stating Alan Kurdi’s father was working with smugglers and drove the boat – Syrian toddler Aylan’s father drove capsized boat, other passengers say. (Reuters):
Ahmed Hadi Jawwad and his wife, Iraqis who lost their 11-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son in the crossing, told Reuters that Abdullah Kurdi panicked and accelerated when a wave hit the boat, raising questions about his claim that somebody else was driving the boat…
Kurdi however is quoted as saying, “I thought about driving the boat but I didn’t do it. That is all lies,” he said.” (same article)
Previously passenger Zainab Abbas had talked to Australian media about Kurdi being a people smuggler and alleging that he had driven the boat. But as pointed out in the linked article, Kurdi originally ‘told the media he took over steering the boat after the captain panicked and jumped ship.‘ So it would seem he has trouble keeping his story straight.
CBC apparently felt the need to attempt some kind of reporting on the Zainab Abbas story but made sure they interviewed Tima Kurdi’s husband in Vancouver who calls the allegations ‘ridiculous’ and maintains that Abdullah “doesn’t know how to operate a boat.”
So we are left with a lot of inconsistencies and more questions.
And why does any of this matter? Well for a lot of reasons. First of all this is happening during a federal election. Media and opposition parties were eagerly trying to pin this on the Canadian government, Stephen Harper and Chris Alexander in particular.
When that story began to fall apart due to the fact that a formal application was never actually made on behalf of Abdullah Kurdi’s immediate family, the media and opposition parties then began to either back off the story or continue to push the original misconceptions (i.e. lies).
Last but not least, Abdullah Kurdi has been blaming Canada for the death of his family members:
Abdullah Kurdi told Die Welt that he does not understand why Canada rejected his application for asylum, although Citizenship and Immigration Canada received no such application from the man.
When Die Welt asked Kurdi whether he blamed anyone for the tragedy, he responded: “Yes, the authorities in Canada, which rejected my application for asylum, even though there were five families who were willing to support us financially.”
At the very least his own credibility is now in question; as is that of certain political and media types who it seemed were deliberately trying to smear the Harper Government.
How this will end up is anyone’s guess but the real harm done may very possibly end up being to undermine our future response to genuine refugees.
One undeniable truth is that a little boy died and that is very sad, as is the death of any child.
The iconic Alan Kurdi photo may have stirred the world, but the ensuing inconsistencies and contradictions in the story may serve to harden the hearts of people who learn to become skeptical and suspicious of media manipulation. (There are even reports of the photo itself being staged and manipulated.)
In other words, we may have been had. But you be the judge.