As we welcome in a new Islamic year, we are met with the all too familiar scenes of violence and desperation from Palestine. In the world we live in today, with the constant and instant access to news and information we receive, we have become depressingly desensitised to horrific images of death and destruction.
Image after image, video after video we witness indescribable horrors. We see the brutal killing of innocent children, vile abuses of power from police and servicemen, the frustration of years of oppression and hardships, the anguish and pain of mothers and fathers and within all that, the unwavering defiance of young Palestinians.
This most recent escalation of violence has seen some of the most horrific scenes yet. Social media gives us an unprecedented insight into the realities on the ground, realities that seem to be all too often ignored by mainstream media outlets. When the images of Aylan Kurdi sparked international outrage and a global outpouring of grief, the silence of the world now is indeed deafening. As we watch in horror the senseless killing of women and children in Palestine, Imams and Islamic leaders from around the world share in the grief and speak out in outrage to ask where has our humanity gone?
Shaykh Yasir Qadhi posted,
I don’t pretend to understand Divine Wisdom. However, faith, and faith alone, keeps optimism alive. Truly, dawn only comes after the darkest hour of the night, and it is our goal and hope that such blatant brutality, which the world is now witnessing, cannot last for much longer
Imam Suhaib Webb writes,
The events in Palestine only increase my commitment to the BDS movement and support for organizations in America that are working to give life to Palestinians.
Shaykh Omar Suleiman reiterated these sentiments as he wrote,
It might not be as newsworthy as an Israeli’s death, but Palestinians are fighting to survive daily. The silence of the world is indeed deafening. With a ruthless tyrant who incites and uses pure racism to justify his murder of the innocent, the world is waking up. The occupation is not sustainable.
Indeed, this is not sustainable. The only result that ever comes out of constant violence and oppression is the perpetuation of animosity and the birth of countless generations of young Palestinians that will grow up in an environment that disregards their humanity and forces them to continue a tradition of resistance and protection for their lives and the lives of their families.
This is not a conflict that began last week and nor will it be resolved tomorrow. The political dynamics have morphed into such complexities that finding a solution seems ever more unlikely. When there is no clear road map for peace, no real compromise for a solution we will only see more and more innocent lives being lost.
As faith leaders, Imams and Scholars have a responsibility to speak out against injustice and provide faith based solutions to their communities. In their capacity as faith leaders, they need to be at the forefront in calling for assertive action and pushing for a solution. As always, they continue to lead us in a collective prayer for the oppressed as we call for the swift eradication of injustice.