Obligatory Gaza Post

I know, I’ve been silent on this issue. I’m also sure that a number of detractors view my silence as a sign of my apathy towards the struggles of the people in Gaza and lack of sympathy for the civilians who have died or have been wounded. The truth is, I’ve been away from my computer living life. We muslims aren’t really supposed to take time to enjoy our lives, celebrate marriages, births, feel joy, happiness, or fall in love, when our brethren are suffering in some central Muslim land. We are supposed to be wracked with guilt, laden with heavy hearts, feel insecure because of our political impotence, and develop a heavy case of neuroses out of worry about the future and impending decline of civilization as we know it. I guess that’s the feeling I got from last Friday’s khutbah, and most khutbahs that I’ve gone to since well forever. This past week, I felt kind of guilty because I wasn’t reading every article on Gaza. Instead, I was celebrating this new chapter of my life, especially in light of some of the hardships and obstacles both me and my husband went through over the past year. Although we were able to steal away from our everyday troubles and enjoy a few moments of marital bliss, Gaza reached us. I don’t think anybody can escape the news coverage of the bombing, the protests, and the friday sermons where every imam across America calls on American Muslims to sympathize with the plight of the people of Gaza, and Iraq, and Kashmir, and Somalia, and Sudan (notice how they don’t say Darfur). So, in my obligatory, and likely at this time superfluous, post I will state clearly that I think what’s happening to the people in Gaza really stinks. I feel bad for the Gazans, and I am with them in solidarity. The whole blockade thing was a bad idea, because squeezing the Gazans would only make Hamas look better, similar to Hizbullah in Lebanon. Like the invasion of Lebanon, I don’t get why the international community can let this happen. But my concern for Gazans is not about a Muslim thing, but a humanist concern. My empathy for their suffering does not mean that I can hang up my ethical framework and demonize Israelis and Jews. Nor does it mean that I forget the suffering in unjust wars like Congo, Cote D’ivoire, and Nigeria. In fact, there is so much suffering in the world and everyone is fighting their own personal battles. I guess it is a careful balance of looking for hope, of accepting God’s will, of being grateful, of feeling for your brothers and sisters who are suffering and recognizing that we all have our moments of joy and sorrow. I’m not saying that our community centers shouldn’t take a stance against unjust wars. I guess I want to go to my friday sermon and not feel like I’m at a political rally. Maybe that should be reason enough to develop a lobby, some political coalitions, and effective political organizations that represent the interests of American Muslims. Maybe then the minbar can be used to focus on spiritual and moral life, as opposed to always reflecting on the political conditions of Muslims throughout the world. It seems like as long as there is war, occupation, and oppression, all of us Muslims can look at the enemy without, while ignoring the enemy within.

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16 thoughts on “Obligatory Gaza Post

  1. Well said sis,

    Its a sad situation.

    And the same time an individual needs to breathe life must be lived and the lessons from this need to be taken (even if its gratefulness for your own life).

    It would be nice to see the day where you didn’t need to put up an “obligatory” post about an issue involving Muslims because you are one. May God bring an end to this conflict and the teams of others.

    Alf Mabruk on your wedding 🙂

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  2. Congratulation for your wedding! Wish you happy mariage inch’Allah!

    I admit that I was also surprised that many bloggers did not manifest anything about this problem. I congratulate those who did but still I have one issue with their posts. I dont understand why they feel obliged to specify that they are not antisemitic when sympathisizing with the palestinians. I dont remember anyone claiming that he was not anti-hutu when there were a problem in Rwanda, nor did I hear anyone trying to make it clear that he was not anti-arab when taking a position on the situation in Darfur. So I wonder, why do people have to say, ” We dont hate jews” when they criticise Israel? In my opinion, it just proves that those who want to assimilate Criticism of Israel’s awful policies with anti-semitism have suceeded in their tactics.

    Last thing I wanted to say about the post: Muslims around the world are getting very frustrated with this issue, especially because the arab world is remaining silent, the press and public opinion are REALLY unfair in their views. This was not the case with Darfur or most wars in Africa. So I guess that many are happy that imams talk about it in the mosques. It helps to evacuate these frustrations.

    Best Wishes!

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  3. Assalaamualaikum-

    Once again Congratulations on your marriage : ) Being the romantic that I am it is wonderful to witness(even on the internet) two people come together. So beautiful.

    I don’t think one should be judged by if they post about Gaza or not. But I understand why some may look to your blog for critical insight. Yet there is a difference between critical insight & pandering to people’s expectations of what should be said in order to be authentic.

    You are right-on a human level one cannot help but to be disgusted when one witnesses the way in which people’s hearts are hardened and they so easily bomb and take the lives of innocent men, women & children.

    At the same time I, too, am not fond of the politics that find their way into khutbahs whether they are about Gaza, a new conspiracy theory or excessive fixation on American nationalism (these have been the topics of recent Friday prayers that I have attended).

    In the end they all leave me craving for that spiritual nourishment that fuels real introspection and change. I don’t find that these rants draw me any closer to Allah & they rarely produce any sustainable political work.

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  4. As Salaamu Alaikum Sis,

    I’m with Umm Adam. I missed the announcement! So I read back a post or two and saw it!!!

    Mabrook sis. I am sooooo happy for both of you. May Allah (swt) bless you both/Ameen!

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  5. Congratulations on your marriage and thank you for expressing so eloquently what I feel (re: feeling like your at a political rally and what about the others that are suffering throughout the world, regardless of faith).

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  6. The Jews suffered the worst persecutionf or 2000 years and lived through holocaust but they didn’t learn a lesson.

    Today they are doing what Hitler and Christendom did to Jews. It’s shameful and disgusting.

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  7. I agree with Samira 1000%!

    I am a Christian, and I as well feel that many Christians (including myself at times) craves a emotional and reactionary experience with God…instead of true nourishment. So much energy is fixated on current circumstances instead of looking at the big picture. I want to put my energy into serving God and not my emotions and establishing a true relationship.

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  8. Salaam Alaikum,

    Mabrouk on your marriage. May Allah the Almighty shower you with blessings and joy.

    I’m a firm believer that bloggers should write or not write about whatever they choose. I haven’t written about Gaza because I have nothing insightful to add and insha Allah, any du’a I make is more powerful then some regurgitated sentiments.

    I get your point about the khutbahs though.

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  9. aww shucks she done changed the name of her blog 🙂 so of course i followed the link to your husban’s (hehe she got a man) blog and saw the pic….i don’t know anything about you guys but you make the cutest muslim couple i’ve seen in a looong time. Kids are gonna be lil militant genius hafithul quran kids insha’allah o with o school adab.

    in honor of tariq nelson’s theory of cmplete stranger marrieges, I’d like to say…now hurry up and go have plenty of babies!!! yella

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  10. Huh-I thought that Future Husband comment was either pretty brazen or straight up 🙂 Congratulations to you both. My 2nd babies birth was overshadowed by 9/11. C’est la vie.
    Love and Peace,
    ~Brooke

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  11. Lot of posts on the Stanford email lists about Gaza lately. That’s a good thing, they’re pro-active. Not too much about what’s happening in Oakland though, much closer to home.

    Perhaps the current recession might help people understand just how much of a positive effect on someone’s psyche just having a job that earns you even a modest income provides.

    Also, don’t feel ashamed that you enjoy the good things in your life.

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  12. this is so sad, the death of innocent children is not political it is a crime against muslims.
    Really i am disappointed, what do you want to hear at a sermon when the world ignores the deaths of brothers????

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