Yasmina Reality

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Guest Blogger: Gaza Massacre: What Can You Do?

Guest Blogger: Gaza Massacre: What Can You Do?

I’m honored to have my friend, fellow American Muslim and fellow interfaith activist, guest blog here on yasminareality.com.

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The world is heartbroken and outraged at the 200 + civilian deaths and 1,500 injuries in Palestine.  The war crimes and slaughtering of innocent children is playing out on social media and we feel helpless.  The United States funds the massive Israeli millitary with 3.15 billion dollars of our hard earned tax dollars annually.  This means each and every tax paying United States citizen has a stake in this Middle East conflict. What can we do besides share pictures of children’s dead bodies that are torn to shreds from DIME missiles dropped on their homes in the night? What else can we do besides pray for their safety and pray for peace?

 Ayah shares her reflections here … followed by action items I’ve put together down below:

Grieving 4 boys ages 9-11 that were massacred. According to eyewitnesses, the attack targeted a group of children playing on a Gaza beach.

Grieving 4 boys ages 9-11 that were massacred. According to eyewitnesses, the attack targeted a group of children playing on a Gaza beach.

I usually eschew inflammatory pictures and videos because I think it allows for people to accuse you of not having a logical argument- and the argument against what has been happening in Palestine-Israel is fully logical and valid.

However, I just came across a video- listened to it with the sound turned off because there’s some emotional music playing that doesn’t really help anyone. It’s a video of the aftermath of the beach bombing today, which killed four young Palestinian boys, ages 9-11. Their bodies are charred and mangled, legs torn from torsos, heads in pieces. The boys had been kicking a ball around with reporters moments earlier, but with highly sophisticated and precise missiles, they were murdered in the sun, on the sandy Gaza City beach, with the waves lapping at their mangled bodies.

We are bearing witness to large-scale massacres once every 2-3 years in Gaza, barring any talk of the ongoing occupation and siege. Our tax dollars funded the deaths of those boys. Each of us is culpable for what we now know is happening and how we go about conducting ourselves once we know it.

We may not have the ability to stop Israeli war crimes, but we have the ability to speak out against them and the ability to hold our representatives liable for what they support in congress. Representatives in Congress, governors, cabinet members, and the president get daily interactions from pro-Israel (and by pro-Israel, I mean with no room for critique) factions and lobbyists. These are the loudest voices they hear. Despite it going against even what they may think is right, the political machine requires their complicity in the ongoing violence (both air raids and the ongoing occupation) against Palestinians- and by proxy, our ongoing complicity.

It makes me sick that my relationship with the Palestinian people (or other people in the world whose slaughter we sanction with our money) is at the barrel of a gun or a missile destroying a home and its residents.

Three Israelis were tragically kidnapped and murdered earlier this month. That is heartbreaking. But by allowing the slaughter of over 200 Palestinians (75% of them innocents, by UN count) and counting, are we saying that three Israeli lives count for 200+ Palestinian lives, destruction of the little infrastructure there is in Gaza, and continuing the cycle of violence?

We are kidding ourselves beyond reason if we seriously think that we are being fair and balanced, as a country, toward the conflict in the Holy Land. As the silent majority, we are complicit in these horrific crimes, whether or not we want to be.

If you do anything in the next couple of days, do a small humanitarian task. Email your congressman and senator as little as a couple of lines to show your dissatisfaction with American policy toward the current massacre in Gaza. I’m going to, as I believe it may help alleviate my guilt. What will alleviate yours?

/End

Thank you, Ayah.

Now Get Moving!

1) Reach out to your Senators and Congressmen.  Talking points and links to Congressional contact information can be found at this handy link at Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC): ACTION ALERT: 3 Things You Can Do For Palestinian Human Rights Now

2) Donate for desperately needed medical and humanitarian supplies: ANERA is accepting donations for Gaza here: Help The People of Gaza Find Relief from this Nightmare

3) Boycott.  Did you know that the efforts of the BDS Movement (Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions) has successfullly resulted in the closing of a Soda Stream store in the UK? (Soda Stream’s plant is operated on illegally occupied Palestinian land.) BDS WORKS!  You can start now by refusing to purchase Coca Cola products, Victoria’s Secret, Sabra, HP and many others.  Go to their website – BDSmovement.net – like their page on Facebook, and follow the movement.  And boycott.  Make a conscience effort of this EACH AND EVERY DAY.  Everyone participating in BDS will make a difference in the pocketbooks of the Oppression machine.

4) Open your mouth.  Talk about Palestine and Israel and the Occupation. Educate people on facts. Debunk the myths and the spinning words of rhetoric used to justify the killing of babies.  There is NO justification! Don’t waste time getting into political arguments that are going nowhere. Focus on friends and neighbors and family that truly do not understand the situation and are mislead by the one-way narrative they see on TV.  Don’t stop talking about it.  Americans are the most giving people on earth.  Armed with the facts, they do the right thing.  This is not a time to be shy, lazy or feel like you are not making a difference.  You must speak.  It’s a matter of life and death.

5) INTERFAITH DIALOGUE.  This is NOT about religion!  The people comforting me during this difficult time in our world history are a mixture of Jews, Muslims, Christians and Atheists.  Dividing and conquering is what aids and abets war.  Sticking together and uniting defeats it.  We demand peace.  We will not hate each other.  Did you know there is a Twitter campaign: #JewsAndArabsRefuseToBeEnemies?  It’s AWESOME!  Get on Twitter and TWEET at this hashtag.  Share it with friends.  Inspire others to take part.  Do not allow war mongers to speak for you.  We are cousins of Abraham and this is a time where uniting in interfaith dialogue will empower the world to demand peace and justice for all.

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6) If you’re a person of faith, pray.  Make Dua. Allah (swt) is testing all of us. Keep the oppressed in your prayers and trust in Allah’s will.

7) Be persistent. Palestinians are never giving up.  Let’s not give up on them.  They’re counting on you.  They’re counting on me. They need us.

8) Read the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  Have you taken any of the rights on this list for granted in your own life?  Can you imagine someone stripping you of these basic human rights?  It’s happening in Palestine.  Remind yourself every single day if you have to – what these rights are – and remind yourself that they belong to each and every one of us.  No one was created above another human being.  Allah tells us to not look down upon another – they may be in highter standing with Allah. We are reminded to speak out against injustice – even if it’s against our own brother.  Read these and think about what examples were set by Prophet Muhammad, salalahu alaihi wasalam – and let this inspire you – and drive you – to action EACH AND EVERY DAY.  No amount of action each day is too small.  All of us — together —- will bring peace and dignity to everyone in the world.  It takes each of us to ACT.  amen / ameen

human-rights-in-islam

 

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About the Author

About the Author: I'm a Writer and Muslim Activist. I'm also a Board Member of the #MyJihad Public Education Campaign. Follow my blog at yasminareality.com or follow me on Twitter: @yasmina_reality. I'm also now on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/YasminaReality Peace! .

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