There is currently a growing international movement against the aggressions of Israel, as even according to international law, the occupation of Palestine is illegal. Various activists and academics have taken the initiative of organizing a non-violent march across the so-called borders of Gaza into the Erez crossing, “Israel” on December 31, 2009. This is the one year anniversary from the massacre on Gaza in which 500 children and over 1000 civilians were murdered. While Israel does not shy away from killing thousands of Palestinians, it may shy away from killing 500 people with foreign passports.
The Gaza Freedom March is to show the world that together, united, we will not let the occupation and inhumane blockade on the people of Gaza continue. In fact, we will break the siege and get food, aid, and building materials to our brothers and sisters. This is indeed a great initiative of resistance, but in order for it to be a success that will truly end the blockade and occupation, we Muslims must stand with them. This historic non-violent march is an actual feat of resistance, an action to end the occupation. In order for our duas to be fulfilled in regards to abolishing oppression, we must act! “Verily, Allah does not change the condition of a people until they change their own condition.” (13:11)
It is of grave concern that our community has become desensitized to the suffering and countless massacres of the Palestinian people. There are many things that can be done for this march:
Spread the Word. The march in its nature needs to have hundreds of thousands of international people aware and in support for it in order for it to succeed.
Donate. This is very simple. All it requires is going to the Gaza Freedom March website and donating money on its secure server. Further, we need to spread the word about donating, put links up on our websites, and get people to donate as much as possible so that this movement is a success.
Organize solidarity events from December 27 through January 1 in your city! In order to become an organizer for your local city, organize something and then register your event on the main website by clicking on the link on the left-hand side titled “Solidarity Actions”. Since the event will coincide with the month of Muharram, it will be a great opportunity to spread the word through our majalis and to raise banners for Gaza during our Ashura processions.
Indeed, as Ayatollah Murtadha Mutahhari once said:
“I swear to Allah, I truly swear to Allah, we are held responsible for these affairs! I swear to God we have a responsibility! I swear to God we are not fulfilling it! I swear to Allah that the issue that hurts the Prophet the most today is this one! The one that hurts Hussain ibn Ali the most is this one. If we truly want to make ourselves valuable, if we want to make this commemoration of Imam Hussain valuable, we must think that if Imam Hussain were here today, and he himself were to come and ask us to commemorate his sacrifice, what would he tell us to chant? If he was here, he would have said, ‘If you want to commemorate my sacrifice, if you want to beat your chest for me, hit yourself with chains for me, then your chant today should be, PALESTINE!‘ The Shimr that existed 1300 years ago was one man, but you need to identify the Shimr of today. Today the entire Muslim nations should be shaking this world with their chants of PALESTINE!”
We live in a time of desperation, and we make continuous supplications for the reappearance of our beloved Master, the Proof of our time, Imam Mahdi (may Allah hasten his reappearance). But what has caused us to think that preparing for his advent is limited to words coming out of our mouth? If we are not joining these marches to justice now, what makes us think that we will do so when our beloved Imam returns? If we are too scared of the repercussions of our governments now, what are we going to do when faced with the Dajjal? We constantly speak of being ready and preparing, but when is the last time we have actually done something about it?
The Gaza Freedom March is not something we should shy away from. Even international law is on our side. This entire delegation has not been planned by Muslims, yet it is a courageous act of resistance that we should at the very least, donate to, join and endorse – if not lead. We need to ask ourselves what we are going to tell Allah on the Day of Judgment when he asks how we defended the oppressed.