We are I am sure had hundreds of emails through from friends, activists and organisations urging us to participate in various small actions we can carry out in order to Help Gaza. These range from an ongoing boycott of Israeli produce, demonstrations, petitions, and letters to members of parliament.
However, no matter what we do we still feel fairly helpless in what we can do to stop the massacre happening in Gaza. We surely know, in our heart of hearts, that our small actions may not be having the impact we hope they have. We should still continue to carry out these actions however, and make dua’ that Allah(swt) grants victory to the muslims og Gaza, ameen.
Instead, this article intend to focus on an issue that is seemingly ignored in the appeals that we receive, as well as the actions we participate in. This is the issue of the “muslim” governments and their complete inaction with regards Gaza, and in some cases their efforts to help the other side, this side being Israel, the United States and the United Kingdom. I decided to write this after learning that a non-muslim leader, Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, had expelled the Israeli Ambassador. This reverberated around the world, and indeed placed pressure on Israel through a small action that it never anticipated. It made me think how much impact a state can have on another, versus how much impact 1000’s of us, the stateless, have upon a state. I thought of 5 ways that the Arab / “Muslim” countries could help, and have listed them below.
1. Open the Borders
Currently the border between Egypt and the southern Gaza Strip is closed. This has a massive impact upon the peoples basic survival. In Gaza, 80% of them relied on humanitarian aid due to poverty, even before the Israeli actions. Fuel, Spare parts, Cotton, and other essential goods were prevented by Israel even before their bombing campaign. Baby Milk, Flour, Cooking oil and other items were scarce before the bombing campaign by the Israelis, and now there is NO aid or goods getting through. Hospitals are subjected to powercuts lasting 12 hours or more, meaning the injured are not getting proper treatment during this time.
Egypt has so far failed to do this. Not only have the not opened the border, but they are actively repelling those who try to cross for urgent medical treatment. Egypt fired shots at the muslims on Palestine on the 28th December 2008, among the first days in the crisis. They also received $23 Million in aid last year from the United States, in order to close up tunnels being used by the Palestinians to get essential food and medical supplies into Gaza. Germany have also pledged to provide staff and equipment in order to help Egypt close the tunnels and seal the border. All this is occurring when the muslims of Gaza do not have any functioning infrastructure and are dependent on these tunnels.
If Egypt were to open the border, the Gaza crisis would be all but averted. Supplies, aid, International efforts from “muslim” countries and muslim supporters could enter the Gaza strip and help. Independent journalists and news networks could cover the crisis.
2. Stop Trade With Israel
Whilst muslims from the UK are in the midst of a boycott, putting back peppers labelled “Israel”, walking past Marks and Spencers without a second glance, in order to cease any trade with Israel, the “muslim” nations are trading with them like never before.
With Jordan ( And let us not forget that “King” Abdullah recently gave blood to help the innocents of Gaza ), they imported least $78 Million worth of Israeli goods to the territory in 2004, and no doubt that figure has increased. Jordan also exported $130 Million of goods to Israel. In 2006, Military expenditure as a percentage of GDP was 7.3%. This would mean that a significant portion of the $78 Million went towards the same Israeli tanks and planes that we see attacking Gaza today.
Other states have followed this pattern. Turkey imported goods from Israel worth $903 Million in 2005, an incredible figure.Egypt imported $90 Million of Israeli goods in 2005, whilst Morocco Imported $11.5 Million, Tunisia $1.9 Million, the list goes on. By contrast, export of goods and services from the Palestinian territories ( if one accepts such a term ) suffers from high unemployment rates, lack of investment in infrastructure, lack of knowledge and skills, meaning that its total exports WORLDWIDE are one fifth than that of the “muslim” countries purchases from Israel. Is it too much to ask that the trade that the “Muslim” countries do with Israel, they instead direct their money and resources to the impoverished muslims of Palestine?
3. Recall their Ambassadors and Cut Diplomatic Relations Immediately
I am sure half the world cheered when Hugo Chavez, a left-wing non-muslim president of Venezuela ( a country with a muslim population of approximately 0.6% ), expelled the Israeli Ambassador. He stated, whilst commenting on this expulsion, “The Israeli army is cowardly attacking worn-out, innocent people, while they claim that they are defending their people. I call on the people of Israel to stand up against that government, to demand, to put a hand on their hearts and look at their children, and I call on the world to stop this madness.”
If only our so-called leaders were so brave. As of today Albania, Azerbaijan, Bosnia, Egypt, Eritrea, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Mauritania, Qatar (trade relations), Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan have continued to maintain ties and relations with Israel. That is 15 muslim-majority countries that still have not even so much as expelled their ambassador or trade representatives whilst the muslims in Gaza are slaughtered.
Recalling ambassadors and expelling Israeli one would be an embarrassment for Israel, and would heap create diplomatic pressure upon Israel to end their war on muslims. Of course, none of the countries have emitted so much as a whimper against their Israeli representatives, let alone take steps to expel them.
4. Begin an Oil Embargo
When we see Jets over Gaza, or tanks / ARVs roll into Gaza, they need oil in order to function. Lots of Oil. Under estimates, each plane requires 85 Gallons per minute. If we assume that each mission lasts for 2 hours, this is 10,000 gallons per sortie (mission). This means that Israel, since the war began, has required 15 Million gallons of fuel. This fuel is provided by the USA.
The OPEC countries provide over 1134 Million Gallons of Oil per day around the world. If Oil production were to seize, the impact upon the global economy would be enormous, as well as the USA no longer supplying fuel to Israel, as it would be scarce. Country to popular belief, US oil reserves are nowhere near significant enough to allow the fueling of a proxy war via Israel. The fighting would be over within days, perhaps even sooner than this.
5. Threaten to mobilise their Armies and Air Force
If one looks through the list of largest Armed forces, we can see that “muslim” countries easily figure in the top 20. Pakistan has 650,000 troops, Iran 545, 000, Egypt 450,000 Turkey 514,000, Indonesia 316,000, Syria 296,000, and the list goes on. This is a combined 2.8 Million troops. Out of these countries, there are a combined 16,000 Tanks, 3,000 Aircraft and over 200 Naval Vessels. These are truly astonishing figures, in which forces outnumber the size of the Israeli force by almost 11 to 1.
Simply the threat of united military action would be enough to stop Israels slaughter of Palestinians, without a shot needing to be fired. However, these countries would rather use their troops against their own populations, as we have seen with demonstrations in Jordan, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, whilst Egypt actually fired on the muslims of Palestine from the Rafah crossing.
5 Steps we can do
Once we understand that the problem of this conflict can be solved with a proper human leadership instead of the taghut ( allies of evil ) governments that we see today, we can understand that we can stop the slaughter of Gaza by stopping our trade and embarking upon protests and actions against these treacherous governments, who are the real problem regarding Gaza (Along with the United States and Gaza of course.)
Below are five actions we can do :-
1. Protest against these governments
Arrange demonstrations, blockades, petitions, letters to the media both in the west and the muslim world. This will create pressure upon the governments to do something, however small.
2. Organise an Economic Boycott
Refuse to purchase goods from these governments. Though this may harm individual businesses, it will also create resentment on the part of those who are made to suffer because of their countries actions. In most cases, because these countries are so endemically corrupt the only people impacted would be those with close government connections.
3. Refuse Tourism
Many offers are available to visit Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, and others , whilst the muslims of Gaza are suffering. Do not visit these countries unless you have family there, and do not inject your hard currency into their economies. Most of the tourist drives are highly unislamic in the first place ( Alcohol, nightclubs, gambling, riba transactions all play a part at most resorts ). Advise your non-muslim colleagues to do the same, explaining how their tourism industry is actually leading to people being killed.
4. Talk to citizens of these countries
Mention the details of this campaign to those who are citizens of the countries. Inform them of the damage that their country specifically is doing to the muslims of Gaza.
5. Spread the message through the internet
Let people know that this situation is not just black and white, Israel vs Gaza. Let them know that the “Muslim” countries are specifically aiding the Israelis through their actions in co-operation with the hidden hand of the United states.
I thank you for taking the time to read this note, and remember inshallah we can all play a part in ending the oppression of the muslims of Gaza.