As the days unfold, we find ourselves bearing witness to the extraordinary fortitude displayed by our Palestinian brothers and sisters. Amidst the thunderous clamour of bombs that shatter their homes and spill innocent blood, their resolve remains unshaken. It is a patience that transcends understanding, a patience borne of profound faith and indomitable spirit.
Media’s silence and the resilience of the spirit
Yet, the mainstream media scarcely reflects their tribulations and endurance in its narratives. A media that, by its silence and omissions, often partakes in the stripping away of their humanity. How does one account for this resilience, this unyielding defiance that stands tall against the dark tide of brutality and despair?
This, indeed, is the power of an unbreakable connection with the Divine, an unwavering belief in justice, and an eternal hope that righteousness will, in the end, prevail.
The reality stands unchallenged, and its harshness is beyond question. For approximately seven decades, an apartheid and colonial regime has relentlessly dispossessed the Palestinians. A system designed to strip them of their rightful land and squeeze them into living conditions that far exceed the brutality of an open-air prison.
Faith amidst suffering
Consider this, even those behind bars are spared the horror of aerial bombardments that Palestinians endure with harrowing regularity. Their faith, an intrinsic part of their identity, becomes the very cause for their persecution; their economy is shattered; their minds are targeted in a failed attempt to fracture their resolve. They live under the shadow of an oppressive policy that oscillates between systematic terror and outright massacre – a policy so egregious that some Israeli political figures have coldly likened it to the routine cutting of grass.
The world has watched in dismay, unable to do anything to stop the massacre. “Slow genocide” is how one Israeli historian has described it. Muslims around the world are furious and frustrated at the inaction of their leaders. They are helpless, disunited and lacking in wisdom.
The Almighty’s support for the steadfast
We thus turn to the Almighty and plead for justice for those who are oppressed. The Majestic Quran exhorts “The believers find strength in patience and prayer – surely Allah is with those who are patient and do not say of those who have been killed fighting in Allah’s way, that they are ‘dead’; rather they are living, though you do not feel it. We will certainly test you partly with fear and hunger and partly with loss of wealth, health and crops; but give good news to those who are patient and who, when they are struck by misfortune, say, ‘We belong to Allah, and to Him we shall return.’ These are the ones who shall be blessed and kindly treated by their Lord, they alone are the guided” (Surah Al-Baqarah: 153-157).
The assault on Gaza’s lifelines
For nearly a month now, the skies over Gaza have been ablaze with the fire of relentless Israeli bombardments. Entire neighbourhoods have been turned to rubble, and homes reduced to dust. The sacred silence of places of worship, be they mosques or churches, has been violently shattered. Vital public facilities like schools and hospitals have not been spared, and the very lifelines of civilisation, such as electricity, fuel, and water supplies, have been severed.
Amidst this, the people of Gaza, all 2.3 million of them, face an unfathomable humanitarian blockade. Even the vital necessities like medicine and food are being cut off. Adding to their plight, a recent US veto has thwarted the efforts to deliver life-saving aid to the region partly thanks to our government. The human cost of this conflict has been staggering. At least 9,000 Palestinian lives are lost, many of which are women and children. Those who have survived the onslaught now contend with the looming spectre of death. All of this through starvation and the ravages of severe dehydration.
In response to this crisis, here are five actionable steps you can take to lend your support to the people of Gaza:
Engage with your representatives:
Reach out and write to your local MP demanding their support for an immediate ceasefire. Urging them to take a stand in the international arena.
Participate in peaceful protests:
Show solidarity with the people of Gaza by attending peaceful protests and vigils. Let your presence be a testament to your support for their cause.
Leverage public figures:
Encourage celebrities, prominent scholars, athletes, and artists to use their platform and influence to draw global attention to the plight of Palestinians.
Exercise your consumer power by boycotting products and services from Israeli companies. Also, include any other entities that are implicated in this conflict. Thereby applying economic pressure for change.
Offer your prayers for the people of Gaza. Ask Allah for their protection, their safety, and the restoration of peace. The power of prayer should never be underestimated.