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An Appeal to the Ummah in the WorldSiraj Davis Salem-News.com
And I ask... where are my brothers and sisters of Islam?
(EAST JERUSALEM, Occupied Palestine) - The biggest enemy of our efforts are not those of other nations supporting the crimes against our btohers and sisters. It is our own Muslim brothers and sisters who either collaborate or remain silent.
This is how every form of occupation is effective.
Look at how many times slave rebellions in America were foiled by slaves telling their masters. The majority of them were. The same in colonialism. Without the support of collaborators amongst the Vietnamese, French colonialism could not have been successful. It was the Emporor Bao Gia who first invited the French into his kingdom of Vietnam to protect him from rebels. After that, every Vietnamese ruler after him was a puppet of the French.
Can you think of any countries in the Middle East playing the same role?
Many of my brothers and sisters of Islam know way more about Islam than I. But I am “schooled in the suffering of the oppressed” as the Jewish say about themselves through 8 years of research. I know struggle. The real victory lays in the minds of our brothers and sisters!
Until they realize that by collaborating or looking away at the crimes against our Palestinian brothers and sisters, they are allowing the crimes against our Muslim brothers and sisters to go on. Consequently, they will become victimized as well when time and circumstances allow.Or perhaps their children or grandchildren one day. Even Benjamin Franklin told his posterity after the American Revolution that those who sacrifice freedom for security inherit neither.
For example, I have struggled for peace in Palestine and Israel while some American Palestinians here in the US do NOTHING.
Some of my brothers and sisters of Islam know the hadiths, surahs and ayas, the etiquette more than I. However, there is a difference between following Allah out of respect and using this as an excuse to hide one’s own fear and apathy. Even Allah will frown upon those who when the time is presented, will hide behind our creator’s texts as an excuse. I will never promote violence, but even the prophet Muhammed (PBUH) stood with the sword to fight for rights, justice, and peace. Our sword today should be civil disobedience. It should be non-violence. It should be letting others know we care and are alive. Am I or anyone else, Allah most importantly, to respect you for praying and making dua while your brothers and sisters around you are systematically abused and slaughtered? Or does our creator want you to prove that you LIVE rather than TALK about following the prophet’s (PBUH) footsteps!?
And what of the other emotions which create division amongst us. Among all of the examples in history all over the world, there existed a collaborator class or those who refused to do anything because they were driven by a false sense of security and understanding of reality, a fear for their own lives and that of their children, jealousy and hate, and more importantly MONEY. Money has always been the primary motive for a people to have traitors amongst themselves and oppressors use this effectively.
Although we should all pay our dues and debts, we should NEVER allow it to become a means to drive division amongst us. NEVER! Yet throughout history, it has and continues to do so. We must survive, this is understandable. And do so! Yet never allow it to influence us to betray or harm our brothers and sisters of Islam. This in my heartfelt opinion, is what our creator will frown down upon. We must think LONG TERM, instead of short term.
Many of our Muslim Americans are afraid to stand for their rights. They think giving Zakah is good enough. WRONG! I have risked my career, my wife, my child, ostracization, harassment by law enforcement, death threats, and more. I am NOT EVEN PALESTINIAN and was not born into ISLAM!
It angers me. It discourages me. It saddens me that my Muslim brothers and sisters have allowed and will allow my whole life to go into the drain without taking a stand. Not for me! For their own rights!!! I can not lie. I am not doing this out of altruism alone. I am doing this because I love a woman, a Palestinian refugee, and for the first time in my life….I chose to go against my government rather than take money from them, to stand on the side of Palestinians and Muslims.
However, I do see some of my Muslim brothers and sisters who are GREAT examples of what the prophet (PBUH) would have praised amongst us. To them I smile and it gives me hope that something special CAN and WILL occur in this country soon. It is they who have courage and wisdom. It is they that should and will deserve the first step into jannah before I and many others.
All I ask is that I may follow them for they are struggling for more nobler reasons than mine, which is love for a woman and love for the oppressed all over the world. They do it b/c it affects their people. Their loyalty is unmatched!
When we are faced with so much potential and active harassment and threats for political participation, I ask can it get any worse for us? Is there nothing worse than watching our sisters and brothers suffer while we are afraid or apathetic to do everything we can to help them?
All we strive to do is to practice the same rights accorded to every American. Aren’t we Americans!? So we must watch the suffering of our people AND live like second-class citizens!? Can it get any worse?
Or how about the trumped up charges our government has placed upon those in America who have fought to stand for our brothers and sisters now!? Do you you know who has fought for you!? Do you know of how Affiya Sidduiqi was charged for conspiracy to commit terrorism because our government says she picked up a weapon that a soldier placed on the ground? Do you believe that a soldier would place a firearm on the ground while searching a house!? Are you serious!? Have lies brainwashed us into mindless sheep even now!?
What of the Fort Dix 5 and the North Carolina 7? Are they really guilty? Or were they indicted for a fear and paranoia in this country which drove our government to overreact and invade two nations for the actions of a group of extremist Muslims who number less than the bloods and crips in this nation!?
Did our government drop bombs on Tea Baggers or anyone else when Joe Stacks flew his plane into an IRS building? Did we invade any states? Did we blame it on any ideology with the suffix of “ism” like Communism or Terrorism? Did we blame it on Christians or whatever religion he was?
And I ask... where are my brothers and sisters of Islam. Whatever happens at the airport or when I come back for I have my own sources in the government, I ask this of you all. It does not matter what happens to me, what matters is our generations take on the torch and like the Olympic games continue something that some of us have continued to struggle in. It matters that people know we are ALIVE and we will not be inured to injustice!
I ask that you tell everyone what I have sacrificed for those who I never grew up with, but risked everything. I ask you tell others what I have thrown away because of this. I never had these problems until two things, when I became Muslim and when I became political. And all I ask is that my Muslim brothers and sisters stand for their rights. To stop betraying each over for minor and insignificant reasons. It is these reasons that an enemy who is more powerful has always used to create division amongst a people from the Middle East to Asia, to Latin America, to Africa, etc. We must think LONG TERM rather than about immediate concerns.
Let me stand in front of our creator and listen to him speak upon my behalf. If I get no justice from the tribulations I have experienced here.
Where are my Muslim brothers and sisters? Where? I and some others of my team stand alone.
But I and others will go on and struggle for justice and peace. Let Allah judge us and provide the words of justice so all can witness in the end. I am content with this for this judgement is what matters the most to me.
Teacher of English/History.
Author of two books and has written articles for academic journals, newspapers, and blogs.
Former Human Rights and Immigration Reform Lobbyist in South Carolina
Amnesty International Organizer
American Families United constituent
American Association for Palestinian Equal Rights Coordinator
Promoter for Aldin Entertainment Records
Co-founder of Clemson University Asian Student Association
Founder and President of Collective Consciousness Human Rights Organization
Speaks several languages and MMA enthusiast.
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