How Palestine is Testing Your Conscience
Channel: Omar Suleiman
File Size: 73.09MB
Salam aleikum wa rahmatullah wa barakato.
I will have Samira administrators him smell Rahman Rahim Al hamdu Lillahi Rabbil Alameen wa Salatu was Salam ala Rasulillah Karim Allah Allah He must be a domain
I want to actually start off with a story
that the mammal quarter we may Allah have mercy on him reports in the explanation of a verse that many of us have been recalling in these last few weeks what either moda to see that the A them been quoted runs when the infant girl who was buried alive asks for what crime was killed.
And the mom and caught it to be says that it was narrated, that a man came to the Messenger of Allah peace and blessings be upon him sallallahu alayhi wa sallam.
And he said to the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, O Messenger of Allah, La Knapp to them been, I have committed a sin.
And I don't think that Allah will forgive me for that sin, Willow as slumps, even if I had become Muslim,
knowing that the understanding was that Islam did away with every sin that came before.
So the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him says to him, what is it that you did?
So he says, oh, messenger of Allah.
I was one of those people who used to bury his daughter's life.
And I was gifted with a beautiful young girl.
And every time the time would come for me to bury her, I would look at her and I would feel mercy.
Now a lot of to lay her, I looked at her for him to her, and mercy overtook me.
And he said, I kept on finding this conflict within myself knowing that it was wrong to bury her alive. And when I looked at her, I couldn't do it.
But at the same time, I knew that I had to do it.
So time goes on. And he said that the older that she got,
the more beautiful she became,
until it got to a point where she was reaching marriage age.
And I knew that I would have to make this decision soon.
So he said that one day,
I told her mother
that I want to take her to visit some relatives of mine.
So I took her
and then I took her to a ditch.
And there was a deep well, and I grabbed her to throw her into that well.
And as I was about to throw her, she called out to me. Oh, my father. Yeah, I have a T.
Love to play here. Amanda told me do not betray the trust of my mother. Don't do it.
So he said that I would look at her and I'd feel mercy.
But then I'd look away from her, and the rage of ignorance would overtake me.
And he said, eventually, I looked at her and then I looked away. And she continued to plead with me, until high cast her into
And he said, that she was calling out to me and until I could no longer hear her voice than I left. He looks up at the face of the messenger of allah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, and he sees the Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him, with the tears running down his face. And the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam says to him, Lo, our cup to Adam the morale of vilja, Haryana our cup Touka. If I could punish someone for what they had done in the days of ignorance, then I would punish you.
But indeed, Islam does away with everything that comes before it. This was a read on the state of humanity
that existed before faith. That despite a person's natural fitrah a person's natural instincts, his conscience saying, Don't do it. And there were many other such people who killed their own children, whose conscience said, Don't do it. This is unnatural. They still forced themselves and they reasoned with themselves that this was a natural way of living until they killed their own hearts. They killed their own contents.
Well either moda to be even been quoted.
And while many of them would have been haunted by the screams of those children, the shouts of those children, they had desensitize themselves to it over time. And Allah reminds me of a day in the Quran that those children will speak and be asked for what crime were you killed.
There's something deeply profound
about how the Quran spoke to basic moral truths in the beginning of its revelation.
When you go back to that society, it's not that anyone thought this was the right way to live.
But it's not they had accepted this as an acceptable way to live.
They had reasons
that young girls did not provide the economic value to warrant their lives, therefore, we can dispose of them.
And so the cognitive dissonance would have been that there would be a man who would provide charity to hundreds of unknown pilgrims, but still find in himself the capacity to bury his own daughter alive, how
the Quran spoke to something that the Arabs knew was wrong on the inside, and try to awaken that basic human conscience that we call the fitrah their natural disposition, what is wrong with you people,
that you found it morally acceptable to dispose of these children. And even if we don't have the stories that are narrated with the chains of Hadith,
we certainly have the tears of the companions, many of whom would have remembered their darkest days and how they allowed themselves to succumb to something that was so inhumane.
Now, there were people in that society
that would have known that something is wrong, and maybe found a way to escape committing the evil unspeakable deed themselves. And there is a man known as a liberal entrepreneur, no fail, while the Allahu anhu, who was a monotheist, who died before the Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him received revelation, and who identified with the Abrahamic way. And one of the things that he used to do besides worshiping one God and one God alone
was he would go to the ditches where they would bury their young daughters alive. And he would stop a man from doing so and say, let me take her.
And he would take these girls and he would raise them until they were at a marriageable age, and then he would act in the capacity of their guardian and marry them off, because that's what his fits his natural disposition, his fitrah, which would be incomplete synchrony with the faith that he was longing for, told him to do. Go save those young girls, you know, this is wrong.
The Quran spoke to
an evil practice of consuming the wealth of an orphan.
You don't need a scripture to tell you that an orphan better your team should not be taken advantage of that the most vulnerable of society should not be further exploited.
But people looked around themselves and they said, Well, these orphans have no one to protect them. And so they would take them in with the intention of collecting
and then diverting the resources to those orphans to themselves. They knew it was wrong.
But the Quran revealed about how evil that practice was, it spoke to a very basic moral human truth. What is wrong with you people, that you would consume the wealth of an orphan, again, the same people might provide much charity and be celebrated in public for other moral standards that they carry their hospitality and practices that they were celebrated for. What are you doing,
taking advantage of the orphan in that way? If you were to read the speech of Jaffa ibn Abi Taalib, may Allah be pleased with him when he represented Islam as its first ambassador to Najafi of Abyssinia to the Negus of Abyssinia
and he spoke to the way that prior to Islam we did not consider
poll to be human beings, the captive, the orphan, our own mothers.
We didn't use to see them in the way that Islam taught us to see them, because it's not magnified God in our hearts in a way that we saw the basic human truths that we were ignoring. And then we honored the same human beings that we used to exploit.
And so every time Allah talks about the orphan, Allah talks about Kela Bella to Cremona, Leah team, Karamoja team, honor the orphan, the Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him. Did not just say don't beat those that you have enslaved. He said they are your brothers. They are your sisters. They should eat from what you eat, they should be clothed from what you should be clothed. You shouldn't call them with names that are hated to them. These are human beings all metal the Allahu Anhu says couldn't learn or do the nisa ha we used to have no consideration for women Hazza Anza lofi hidden Monza until Allah revealed about them what he revealed an importance to them what he a
you started looking at human beings differently, because basic moral truths were spoken to and basic moral failings were called out, and those who managed to see through the veil of what had become acceptable amongst human beings, as inhumane as it was, and as much as it didn't resonate with the basic human conscience that they had.
Those that managed to see through it, the few legs eight are praised.
Because Allah put in them God had put in them not just a belief in him, but a natural inclination to mercy and to justice. If you read the timeline of Islam,
it's very interesting. It starts off with calling out the most basic human truths, the most basic of moral failings, the most basic of human considerations, things that a society should be able to read in itself quickly and easily. And it should not take much to decipher
what was atrocious of the notorious practices of the day.
But as time goes on,
you reach to suit the Toba, the last chapter in the Quran that was revealed in its entirety, according to many of the scholars, and one of the names of SUTA Toba is certain fall they have
the surah that exposed what did it exposed to Nabil Combi mafia coleauxv Come to the hypocrites. It exposed what was in your hearts. There were hypocritical practices, there were diseased practices in society. And there were diseased hearts
that concealed what was in them, and trying to continue to ride the waves around in order to make sure that corruption
continues to dominate in society. And slowly, slowly over those 23 years as the Quran was coming down, it was peeling back the layers of hypocrisy peeling back the moral failings, making people more human making people more righteous. And as the layers are being peeled back.
In that process, the exposure
is becoming more magnified. And so the last Surah of the Quran is far behind. It is the ultimate exposure, because the hypocrites at that point had nowhere to run, they had run out of excuses.
Now let's bring it to Palestine.
I want you to think about a decent human being
that has basic literacy, a basic understanding of international law, a basic sense of morality that goes home at night and puts their own kids to sleep in a comfortable bed that can sit on
a set of television sets and look the world in the eyes and justify the massacre of over 5000 children.
I want you to think about the basic moral failing of such a person and how inhumane that person sounds. And if you were to take that person out of that situation and say, do you hear yourself right now?
Do you hear the excuses you are making
for the murder of a civilian population? Do you hear the excuses that term
in 2023, to withhold the basic necessities of life, from over 2 million people to inflict collective punishment on them, do you hear the excuses that you're making?
Do you see the images that you are seeing?
And have you really reasoned with this in a way that allows you to sleep at night without a tortured conscience?
If you were to take any child that doesn't have any political education, and say, Do you think it is moral? To murder this many people in a short span of time to inflict every form of cruelty on them? In the name of getting the bad guys that are hidden under them? Or amongst them? Do you think that that's fair? An eight year old child would tell you? Of course not.
But somehow seasoned diplomats, politicians and media commentators
can look the world in the eyes and say this is entirely justified.
KIf attack on one? These are the types of people that Allah would say, how are you reasoning? That the Quran would challenge and say You have betrayed your basic human conscience? Palestine is a litmus test Palestine exposes, in fact, it is the folly of our time. It is the exposing factor of our time. You have those that are progressive on everything except Palestine, they have a name progresses, progressives except Palestine, that apply a filter to every conflict to every other cause in the world, but exceptional lies the Palestinians. Palestine is the folly. It is that which exposes those who masquerade as religious voices
and speak about honoring God
while tarnishing His creation, in the worst of waves, Palestine is the fall behind it is that which exposes corrupt politicians.
Palestine exposes human rights frameworks.
Palestine exposes those that claim to be on the side of truth and justice and that speak about a moral high ground. get asked in the lowest of ways Palestine exposes friends and enemies Palestine exposes
the way that humanity can betray its basic inclinations.
When there is a political advantage. You know, it's interesting, because when you live in the United States today, you ask yourself, I had no idea, or how is it possible that this person who I go to work with, that's a colleague at school, that seems like a pretty decent neighbor, that has sat at a table with my family has become a genocide apologist? How did this happen?
And you realize that just like those pre Islamic Arabs,
that had come to a collective reasoning, in regards to what was collectively objectively a moral failing and a basic inhumanity
you have people today
in their suits and ties, with their polished education's that can speak words that are not befitting of any human being to speak.
It's a test of human conscience in many ways. One of the things that we learn in our faith tradition that we learn in Islam is that it's one thing to recognize it's another thing to exert yourself.
The Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him,
taught his community to never be okay with something that had been looked at as a inevitable occurrence in the capacity of war. Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him saw a woman from the other side that was killed in the battlefield, and had been Miss rue de la the Allahu Anhu describes the rage of the Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him seeing an innocent woman from the other side. Despite this being on the side of a people that had mutilated his own family. It was unacceptable to him. The Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him taught them to see and hear
and feel the pain of animals, and the capacity of war, not to cut down trees. He taught them to be in consideration of every creation around them. And the idea that to be the most perfect of Muslims,
to be the most perfect of God's servants, to be the most perfect of those who submit themselves to the Creator is to be in harmony with the entirety of creation around you, and to understand the rights that are around you. And to never look past anything.
He heard the pain of a camel, of course, he would hear the pain of a crying mother.
He felt what other people did not feel he perceived what other people did not perceive. And so there are two tests of constants here and I'll put it up put forth the following proposition. Palestine is a test to the fitrah of all of humanity, it's a test specifically to the faith of all Muslims. So test of the natural disposition, the natural human conscience of every human being, that claims to uphold any moral framework, and it's specifically a test to those who consider themselves to be believers. How much can you witness without acting?
How much can you see?
How much can you hear? without crying?
How much can you witness without acting.
And there's something that Palestine does, to each and every single one of us.
And that is
that it reminds us
of the reality of our own purpose. And it reminds us of the basic idea
of being committed to something greater than yourself.
There's one cause that can fill the streets,
in the Global North and the global South, that can fill the streets in the Muslim world where it's allowed, and fill the streets in the Western world. And it's this cause of Palestine.
And I want you to think about how far we have come.
How many of you remember the image of Muhammad adura, two decades ago.
Some of you may not have been alive, or he may have been too young.
Once upon a time,
seeing the image of one father,
holding his son, and trying to protect his son
from the Israeli occupation forces was enough to provoke the global conscience was enough
to elicit at least basic statements of sympathy and humanity from global politicians. It only took one boy at that time.
Now there are over 5000, Mohamed duras
and there are some who have not been able to, till now, state a basic truth about humanity.
I wrote something yesterday, if you have to call for a humanitarian pause, since when do we take a pause from being human? When you say humanitarian pause, you are admitting that everything that happens outside of that pause is basically inhumane.
And so at what point do we say that that level of inhumanity is wrong all the time? Rather than say, let's take a pause and give some goodie bags to the people that we are bombarding to pieces.
You know, at this point,
I come to you from one of the most backwards countries on earth, the United States of America.
And I'm happy to say that
Yep, paint pained at the same time
where the president of the most powerful country on earth
could stand in front of a camera
seemingly with tears in his eyes
and talk about seeing images
of beheaded babies that didn't actually exist
and provoke a man in the process
to go and try to decapitate a six year old Palestinian boy in Chicago, out of revenge.
Humanity is contagious
but so is in humanity.
When you create a
Culture of empathy, then even the one who had some hardness in their heart will soften up a bit and will start to pay attention to people they might not have been paying attention to before.
But when you create a culture of apathy and neglect, a culture in which the lives of Palestinian children do not matter, and you can lie about other children to make Palestinian children matter even less, that too is contagious.
And we have to question ourselves, and we have to say,
Does every headline matter the same to us?
We can be angry about the double standards of others, or we can interrogate ourselves in the United States. Can you really have a conversation about the erasure of Palestinian children at the hands of the Israeli government, with blank checks from the American government? Without talking about the erasure of hundreds of 1000s of Iraqi babies? I often challenge my colleagues in the United States and say, Can you name one victim of the Iraq war?
The war was so distant,
it's fought abroad.
And one of the things that we're seeing is just as human beings like to scroll past things that inconvenience them. Human beings seemingly have no problem with wars and inhumanity waves with their dollars and in their name, so long as it's far away from their territory.
As long as I don't have to touch the blood, I'm okay with supplying the weaponry that causes it.
As long as I don't have to physically be in proximity, with that death and destruction, I'm okay with it happening.
And that is condemned bubble.
as connected as the world is today.
as visible as the trauma and the torture is today.
There is no excuse anymore to turn a blind eye to it.
When we say Palestine as a test of human concepts,
Palestine as a test of dignity, Palestine is a test of humanity.
And it's important when we talk about those that have erased Palestinian children,
that we actually cause them to interrogate their own selves to interrogate the death of their hearts.
You know, when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, spoke about racism in the American context,
he tried to help the racist see
how much they had lost their own humanity and the capacity, or in the process of seeing as other human beings as less than them.
And as we witnessed what we are witnessing right now, it's important for us
to show those who have dehumanized the Palestinians and relegated them to being less than human to being animals, that in the process, they themselves have become animals.
In the process, they themselves have lost their humanity.
Palestine is a test of human conscience. That doesn't mean that we wait for others, to start seeing them as human. Before we exert every effort that we possibly can to rescue them in this darkening world.
It means that we hold back as much as we can the hens that are maiming them,
the hands that are murdering them.
And we start
by seeing our own children in those children.
The Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him said no one of you believes and so he loves for his brother, what he loves for himself.
It is one of the most basic truths that we can extrapolate from this hadith something that very few at the conceptual level would find any objection to
would you like for your own child, to live without citizenship? Would you accept for your own family, to live without the freedom of movements? Would you accept for your own family to live under the suffocation of occupation? Would you accept for your own family to be blockaded from every direction? Would you accept from your own family to walk through those checkpoints on a daily basis would you accept from your own family to live under the threat of settler violence?
On any given day, would you accept any of this for your own? And if not, then what have you become?
So we pray
for our brothers and sisters in Palestine. And we pray for ourselves. Because in many ways, they are alive. And they have exposed that hearts in many ways. They are not the ones that need prayer. We are in many ways, the inhumanity that has been inflicted upon them,
has not destroyed them. But it has set off the alarm for the entirety of humanity.
That our hearts are dying. If we're okay with Palestinian children dying, we pray, we pray. We pray for them. We pray for ourselves. May Allah protect them?
May Allah protect them.
May Allah help them. And may Allah protect our hearts. And help us to help them Allahumma Amin Thank you
Thank you, Dr. Amata. For that insightful and moving talk. I can definitely relate to the fact that I've been battling with what is my bigger purpose, looking at what everything has been happening in the news. I think a lot of people have been faced with that question, What can I do? I don't want to be a bystander. My conscious won't let me so what can I do about it? So thank you for shedding some light on that subject. I would like to look to the audience now and open the floor for questions in the q&a session. We have microphones placed on either side of each level. And I would like everyone who has a question to please line up at the microphones. But please, I'd like to urge you to stick
to questions and avoid making statements so that we can get through as many questions as we can.
So you have your microphones on each side, if anybody has questions.
We're going to start with the left side of the level two, please state your question.
I want to know if there's anything in the Quran or our studies and research that tells us that Palestine will be free Sunday What does Allah say about freeing Palestine and when it will end?
Thank you for your question.
The Quran and the Sunnah speak about
the eventual prevailing of Justice on Earth. One of the things that parallels the descent of Jesus peace be upon him resigning his Saddam
is not just the return to monotheism. But justice prevails on Earth to the point that a predator would not attack it's pray that a child would be able to play with a Python and it would not bite them that the wolves would not attack the sheep. So there is an overall tranquillity that overcomes the earth and of course, the descendants of Jesus peace be upon him as an adult. Shep is in the area of a sham which is Syria, Palestine, Jordan and Lebanon. And his final place
in the initial
phase of his dissent is ultrasoft is the area of Jerusalem.
It's very interesting that out of the sham,
the area of greater Syria, Palestine, Jordan and Lebanon, shows up multiple times in the Quran and the Sunnah,
as a place of great virtue, and in the process of being a place of great virtue, it's a place of great tribulation.
The angels have their wings spread over the people of a sham
in many ways that is similar to when they have their wings over Alaska, the wife of the Pharaoh, the wife of her own,
and asiyah was being tortured, but the angels had their wings spread above her. And she saw her place in paradise. And so the presence of the eight
Angels does not mean that there isn't going to be tribulation. In fact, in many ways the Tribulation is equivalent to virtue, just as on an individual level, Allah tussles and he loves. And so in our individual capacity, the reward is in accordance with the tribulation. A specific timeline to the freedom of Palestine is not given to us. But there's a certainty that we find within the unfolding of the events that lead up to the final hour that the Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him, spoke about what I would say. And this is extremely important for us, as we may despair in the moment is that this is not the first time
this is not the first time that that place that holy place has been filled with corruption and bloodshed, and seemingly was unrecognizable. And Allah subhanaw taala made things change. In fact, once de la cadena UB Rahim Allah entered into Jerusalem after the Crusaders had wreaked havoc on Jerusalem and its people. The event had not been called for almost an entire century in that place, and OXA was completely
But Allah subhanaw taala brought it back. And once Salahuddin entered into it, he entered in the exemplary fashion to say that we are not our enemies. Our enemies are not our teachers. He did not read corruption. In fact, he set a legendary example of mercy.
If you lived 40 years into
an axon, you have to you have to keep in mind here that means that there were people that were born and that died on this earth.
And a van was not called an officer a single time in their lives. And if you're talking about the despair, and it ever being freed, if you lived in that time, and you went from being one to 80 and
a Muslim had not set foot in an upset that entire time. You probably thought this was not salvageable. But Allah subhanaw taala brought the light from the darkness as he always does. And so I'd caution for us as we sit back to say, the odds are stacked against us to say that I don't see a way out it's often when we don't see a way out and when the odds seem insurmountable surmountable, that that's when Allah subhanaw taala brings about victory to show you that he was in charge the entire time.
And that's why we say husband, Allah, when am I lucky? When people say it's over, we say husband, Allah, whenever lucky. We believe in Allah subhanaw taala. And we believe in his capability, and we believe in his overwhelming power, and we believe that change will come. The last thing I'll say, in this regard, it's not helpful to assign dates and years. Or to think always, in terms of the End of Times, this might not be the end of times, I know it feels that way. But every generation that has ever walked the face of the earth thought that it was the end of time since the Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him until now. They thought there were enough signs around them, that
this was the end of times. So it might not be the end of times, but it certainly is evil. And that's sufficient cause for us to exert whatever we can to try to free it and to see its liberation and to uphold the sanctity of its people. Knowing that at the end of the day, we're all on Allah's timeline. So will it be free? Yes.
Well, I'll be free Yes. Will the place of a sham the land of prophets and martyrs be free? Yes. Well, we live to see it we don't know. Are we called to it? Yes. And so we do what we can and at the same time we put our trust in Allah subhanaw taala
so husband Allah when I'm under keyless da I say often I say daily I pray for the people of Palestine always. So I can definitely
relate to saying that a lot because sometimes you feel powerless and that's a diet that really gives me comfort. We're going to take a question from the lower level on the right side
okay, then we will go on the lower level to the left side for now.
My question is about our role in the situation and what there is that we can do to help our brothers and sisters suffering and Palestine because it seems like our efforts and tweeting sharing stories talking about it online are to no avail. And it just evokes the sense of helplessness. So what is there that we can do more for them?
you know, the prophets like some said, that's lost pounds I will enter the dua of a person
until that person says down to further oh two. Oh, there are two other oh two fellow Mr. Jab Lee, I prayed and I prayed and a lot did not answer me.
There is a connection here to our need for the instance, especially in our generation, the instant the instant the instant.
There's a direct cause and effect, I need to see the immediacy of my efforts in order to believe in its efficacy. And that is counter to how our faith functions. And we know this when we look in the life of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon them in the lives of prophets before that there are times where you do not see the light at the end of the tunnel.
You know, use if it has Saddam, you read the story of use of the story of the Prophet Joseph Joseph peace be upon him from start to finish. And it's only a few pages and that in and of itself is grueling. Imagine having lived that reality for 20 years, before you see the end of it. Right? There are multiple points in the life of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon them when they really do not see a way out where they've been cut off from every direction. And so the first thing I say is definitely you're doing
your due out, you're out you're doing, you're doing significant, your prayer is significant. Your supplication is significant, it is the most significant form of protest that you have. And it is the most significant form of connection that you have. And it is the most effective of what is at your disposal. And then use your art to activate your other senses. I understand that it doesn't feel like we are changing the narrative. I live in the belly of the beast in the United States, I'm telling you, the narrative is changing. I'm telling you, as deaf as the halls of Congress has become, the streets are getting louder and louder and louder. I'm telling you that it's the average
people that are using social media that are breaking through the hypnosis of legacy media. I'm telling you that your boycotts are working, clearly.
They're putting pressure on corporations and big CEOs will think twice. Next time they make a donation to the idea for they want to make a donation to the idea for express solidarity, or operate out of settlements. It is making a difference. Is it the pace that we would all like? Of course not.
But Allah knows, and we don't know.
But we don't live for this life.
And oftentimes, we feel like our efforts are in significance, but we don't know which deed it is, that's going to provoke something significance, we don't know which effort of ours is going to be the one
that Allah puts Baraka in, and it breaks through. And so what's effective, is sustained collective work, sustained, collective work, emphasis on both of those words sustained.
Israel is counting on us to get tired,
they're counting on the protests to die down. Because they feel like if they can keep this up this murderous pace up, eventually we will all be fatigued. And we'll check out sustained action. Keep that in mind. The second thing is collective. When you work together, strategically, you can work miracles. If you come together and you think of a single campaign, and you're able to galvanize around that campaign, it doesn't matter what part of the world you are in, if you are sincere in your strategic, it will be successful. Inshallah. When will this end? We don't know. But at the end of the day, we know that we can be effective with what Allah subhanaw taala has given to us. So keep
at it. And just know that the timeline is in Allah's hands, but the deeds have already been provided to you.
We're gonna take a question from the front row.
Selam aleykum. First, thank you very much for shaking our consciousness continuously in I think you are awakening more and more pass, being from Bosnia, actually, former foreign minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina and knowing what we went through, through genocide, through pretty much similar happenings as it is in Palestine nowadays. I'm wondering, what's your opinion? What lessons can be learned and applied from Bosnia now to Palestinian people, and also what Bosnians can do? Certainly we are not doing enough but how to rise awareness so that people who suffered so much and being killed in the huge number and being going through
increase the understanding and activity when it comes to Palestine.
Thank you. It's good to see you again. Dr. Messina. Thank you for being here. And thank you for your endless support, had the opportunity to obviously visit Bosnia and visit Sarajevo and visit Serbia, Anita, and to witness the remnants and the stench of genocide myself, in Bosnia, the smell of it is still there.
And that's actually something that I think is deeply interconnected. With the current reality. Bosnia was the first genocide that hit our newspapers in real time. And it was the first genocide that is hitting our screens on social media in real time. And so there are two genocides that offer and exposure that the world had not known before, certainly not the first two genocides. But we're talking about the 1990s. And now 2023.
There's a deep connection, and a resonance to the brutality and the savagery that was shown to the people of Bosnia. And that is being shown to the people who have as of right now, I would say, the most effective way
for the people who have experienced the genocide in Bosnia, to advocate for the Palestinians, is to raise their voices and invoke the same conventions that were used to gather a consensus, a world consensus, a global consensus for your cause, on behalf of the Palestinians, what I mean by that
what the West hates more than anything else, when it comes to apartheid, is when the South Africans speak.
They can't stand it.
Because the same West that called Nelson Mandela, a terrorist celebrated him when he died, the same West, that same western world that
eulogize Desmond Tutu, right, once called him a terrorist. And so when you invoke the voices from South Africa that fought what is now consensus recognized by consensus as apartheid,
you mute those voices that say this is not apartheid, because those who experienced apartheid, according to you certainly would know it when they're seeing it again. So when it comes to genocide, I think that what would be very powerful from the people of Bosnia and from those who were a part of
gathering global consensus, to class this as a genocide is to go back and invoke those same conventions in those same spaces and say, We know genocide had happened to us, the Palestinians are experiencing genocide, use the word. It's really a sad reading on humanity, that we always make the declarations after the disasters. What's the point of these genocide conventions, if they're only invoked after the genocide is complete?
You know, one day, I'm sure that many of those who are carrying out the ethnic cleansing have no problem, saying one day, we'll see you some some symbolism will give you some street names, will recognize your abandoned plight. In our textbooks, we're not satisfied with that. We're fighting ethnic cleansing in real time, we're fighting genocide in real time. So I think the people are buzzing, especially in regards to Joe Biden, right, who we now finally call genocide Joe, in the United States of America,
Joe Biden, who spoke admirably about the genocide of the Bosnian people, Joe Biden, who spoke admirably about apartheid in South Africa, has become the greatest apologist for apartheid and genocide in regards to the Palestinians. So to call them out on that double standard, and to speak to his moral failings, and to remind him of a time that he was on the right side of history is very important to us right now. And so we need those voices to challenge and to invoke, that have been at the receiving end of genocide before. And may Allah bless you all, and bless the people of Bosnia, because I think it's important to remind the world that Bosnians are still vulnerable. And so we
cannot forget Bosnia, at this moment, either to keep our eyes and to keep our hearts connected to Bosnia as well.
Thank you, Dr. Owen, please, the people on the right. So
my question is when you're part of a narrative that's been taken over
by the Western media, and the question becomes synonymous
with anti Islam rhetoric, how can you have a debate about humanity with non Muslims who are, you know, Jews, Christians, Buddhists, atheists? How can you talk about humanity when it's become synonymous with anti Islam? That in order for me to talk about these children who have died and been committed under genocide, for them, moving them from a point of they all must die because they're subhuman or they're not human or their animals to this is inhumane. How can you do that when it's the word Islam has become synonymous with something so
So I think there's something very profound about speaking to the truths that they claim to uphold, holding them by the standards that they claim to uphold. Right, as your basic premise, but also not waiting on them.
To recognize our humanity in order to fight for it. I think that,
you know, look, I'm an American, I'm a Palestinian American, I have an American citizenship. It's my job to challenge my government on its moral failings.
I'm a Muslim, it's my job to challenge Muslims around the world governments or otherwise on their moral failings right now, on the principles that they claim to uphold. So if you claim to uphold the concept of OMA,
then I'm going to challenge you on the concept of OMA on the basis of your suppose that belonging to an ummah, if you don't uphold that, you know, that standard, but you're part of the human race, then I'm gonna challenge you on the basis of your humanity. If you're using my tax dollars to kill my brothers and sisters, then I'm gonna do everything I possibly can to make sure that my tax dollars are not being used to kill my brothers and sisters. So I think speaking to people on the terms that they recognize,
this is something the Quran does, right? It invokes how the journey Arabs considered sacred months, certain months sacred, but then they played around with those sacred months. So it invoked them on the basis of an assured haram to uphold their basic understanding of what sanctified months look like and how, you know, people should not be attacked in certain time periods. Right. So I think this is where you interrogate, you interrogate on the basis of shared values, and different spaces are going to come with different shared values. And the tighter those spaces become, the more refined those values become, the more specific the challenge becomes. I'm not waiting for America,
to recognize the humanity of Palestinian children, I hope and I pray as an American citizen, I hope the United States is taken to the ICC, and prosecuted for crimes against humanity, I hope my government was prosecuted for crimes against humanity. So
there are different layers of action here. And there are different places where the challenge needs to be differentiated and refined. And
everyone should work in accordance with their own space. And we pray for the best and the process. Thank you. Absolutely. We'd like to take a question from the second level to my right, please.
Thank you, thank you for coming here today. And it's an honor to finally watch you speak in person. I think I speak for everyone in the audience today, when I say that our veil of ignorance has been lifted. Inshallah we are never going to forget ever again. But my fear as a 21 year old Muslim, as a student of politics, as someone who's trying to figure out my, my spiritual, my practical way in life is that this change is permanent. Like, I'm afraid that this will not be permanent. And I want to ask you,
how do you think we can truly permanently and in an all encompassing way decolonize our minds, and our institutions, our educational systems, the way we live, the way we preach the way we set standards for things like morality and social justice? Because I think the way the world is positioned right now and the way we function, we are still using the West as our standard for morality and justice.
And as a student of International Affairs and politics, I'm incredibly disillusioned with the history of how these disciplines are taught. And so spiritually and practically, how do you think we can permanently decolonize our minds? Thank you. Great question. I think you probably know better than I do, to be honest with you, Mashallah. Seems like you're
You're heading in the right direction. Two things. Number one, if you were okay with the status quo before, if you were okay with Palestine, October 6, then that's a problem.
Right now, it's a ceasefire.
But permanently, it's the end of occupation, the end of apartheid,
a free Palestine altogether. And so it's important for us that as we seek the end of bloodshed, that we exert ourselves towards this cause in the long term, it's been 75 years too long, 75 years too long. And so if you have awakened to this new reality of what is happening specifically to our brothers and sisters there and have a renewed sense of energy and interest in Palestine, don't let it go away until the people have achieved their freedom and Shawn Lazzara. So that means that if you're in academia, right, we need Palestine study centers, we need, you know, we need articles, we need efforts that builds on the legal case of prosecuting Israel and the United States for war
crimes and of the rights of the Palestinian people to freedom, we need Muslims that are working in these spaces of different human rights spaces that are speaking directly to what is happening that are even more educated and building upon what has already been written. We need collective efforts, young, brilliant minds, that are untainted, that are going to move the conversation and move the needle. So that's one thing when it comes to Palestine. The second thing is, though, to the point that you mentioned about human rights, and follow the HA, with the Western human rights framework has been exposed as simply another tool of human subjugation and a tool of American internationalism
and colonialism. And so it's important for us to start
building on our own authentic human rights values, our own frameworks, our own sets of Scripture, and understanding and looking at the historical application of the Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him sunnah in regards to justice and society and how that functions is important for us to start building our own and to free ourselves from faulty foundations, not just hypocritical outcomes.
Thank you for the powerful question. And the powerful answer, we're gonna take question from the left side, the second level Hello. So I can or you can
if there's no one that Johannes is the better thing to do. So is there anything that we can help our brothers and sisters in Palestine like other than boycotting and praying for them? Like I want to do one you
I saw I saw your energy
from the very beginning. And I was like, I hope we get to his question. Yes.
May Allah subhanho wa Taala channel your ambition into that which is most pleasing to Him and that which is most beneficial to our brothers and sisters Olam? I mean, that energy means something to him,
you know, means something, the desire to do more. You know, my last chutzpah
was about a painful episode in the life of the prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam where he had to walk by there was an area that mental Masoom had, where they used to torture the slaves, the early Muslim slaves, and the prophets lie, some could do nothing except for say, sub Rania Alyansa be patients or a glucometer. Jana, you're promised paradise. So our prophets lie, some witnessed something like this, where he walked by a group of people, and he couldn't do anything about it, and he had a bigger heart than we have. And he couldn't do anything about it. He was restrained. And so certainly, that feeling of being restrained is a real one. And it should provoke a sense of guilt on
our behalf. And so, continue to strive with your tongue. continue to strive with your economic power, continue to strive with your organizing. Right now there's a battle of hearts and minds. There's a battle for narrative continue insha Allah to Allah in every way that you possibly can. And when he mentioned he had enough so I actually want to speak to something that's really important there.
You know, in the prophets lie, some says that the almost like one body.
Sometimes different parts of the body, have to bear heavier loads. And one of the ways that you strengthen the body is by making sure that you're holding up your end of the deal and
So that means being the best version of yourself as an individual. And as a community means that that body, that part of the body is naturally stronger and more capable. And so you don't become another pain point for the body. You can focus on where the pain is being felt. And so being strong in every element of your faith, benefits the entire body
in ways that we cannot understand in the grand scheme of things, and so we pray that Allah subhanaw taala, rectify us and rectify for us long, because I can walk out thank you so much
we're gonna take a question from the right side. Salam, Aleikum? Salama, I'm going to ask a question that young guys ask also on the same time, so they can ask.
My question is maybe one of the people here already asked is we really feel extremely stuck in terms of we see the burnt babies and how it's turned into pieces. And we feel like Yanni, we just need to go to the board doesn't stand with the guys and Palestine. But I want to hear from you. Like, I went to almost every protest, protest and copper, and we're sharing on social media, but we think that we really can do much more.
So from your perspective, perspective, what do you think that it's really going to give the most impact to what's happening now in Palestine, rather than sharing on social media, and going to protest and etc, like how we can do the biggest impact?
I'm gonna, I'm gonna say, what I truly do believe in regards to the most effective way. I believe that the reason why Israel fears the BDS movement so much is because it is the most effective global tool to actually curtail its genocide and curtail its apartheid.
There are different layers of the BDS movement.
One of them is certainly the targeted boycotts where businesses, corporations, that directly invest in our oppression do not get to benefit from our currency, and that there is a buy in at the societal level, all across the world, that when there's a targeted boycott, that those companies will always go out of business 100% of the time and shallow because we're working at the same pace. That's number one.
Number two, you're in the Arab world,
there needs to be a renewed call to the suspension of the normalization of ties with Israel, by any Muslim country.
And to make sure, and that's a layer that's a layer of BDS. Any country that has not yet normalized doesn't even think about normalizing with Israel at this point, any country that has expels its ambassador and suspends This ties, until freedom is achieved for the Palestinians. And so this is, I think, the most effective you know, and the prophets lie, Selim says, mantra, I mean, c'mon car, whoever amongst you sees an evil than changing with your hand. And if you can't, then with your tongue, and if you can't, then with your heart, and that is the lowest of faith, this is something in your hands. And let me tell you, subhanAllah, this is,
you know, there's that famous narration, that if you can't go and pray, and most of the upside for both movies eaten, send some oil to light its lamps.
And I always think about this hadith in terms of the boycott movement. If you can't fill the lamps of the oppressed do not fill the lamps of the oppressors. If you can't put oil in your lamps, do not put oil in their lamps. And so it's important for us to discipline ourselves with this at a collective level, and it will have international consequences. I live in Texas now. Where in order to become a school teacher, or to work for any
corporation in Texas, America, the land of the free, you have to sign a loyalty oath. Basically, you have to sign a contract that you will not boycott Israel.
And if you go watch a movie called boycott about a school teacher that lost her job, because he refused to sign a letter that she would not boycott Israel.
This is your great democracy. 38 states your great democracy, the beacon of freedom of speech. And they're criminalizing pro Palestinian organizations, and even taking away the personal agency of its own citizens to boycott a foreign government
and follow the hypocrisy at its finest. We have to expose that but that tells me that Israel is terrified of this movement. And there's a there's a Western manifestation of it, and an Eastern manifestation of it. There's a reputational element to this and a revenue element of this. But the point is, is that this is where your financial power comes into play.
If you have investments, and I know that we have people that invest in the Arab world and different companies, can you imagine if the businessman of Qatar alone, and I'm not speaking about a specific example, because I'm saying this would be true of pretty much any Muslim country, all right, that if you took the wealthiest CEOs, the wealthiest investors, and you got them to commit to divesting from a particular company, because it stocks are also in settlements, you better believe that that CEO will be on a flight to Doha the next day, begging them not to divest. And so it's important for us to do the research. And then to use the pressure that we have to use that collective pressure that
we have. We have it at our disposal, we just need to be intelligent about its deployment
are indeed very powerful people when we're united. That's a lesson. I want to take a question from the eager young man over there. I'm very eager to hear what you have to say.
So I'm only craft a lawyer, but
I would like to join on to the previous question about boycotting, how could boycotting actually help or impact Palestine right now?
Mashallah, so first of all, you gotta be willing to boycott or you're gonna boycott
no matter what it is? All right.
Yeah, I had to have like, a really tough discussion with my kids about Disney plus, wasn't an easy one. It was a tough, it was a tough conversation.
First of all, it's at a personal level, that we show solidarity with our brothers and sisters, because we do not we refuse to engage in purchasing and buying the goods of those that directly harmed them. So it's, it's good for you on a personal level, to not engage that spiritually, I'm not going to touch it. Because you'd want the same thing for yourself, right? If your brother, your brother knew that this person was hurting you, you wouldn't want your brother to do business with that person, you would see that as a betrayal. So it's an expression of solidarity of togetherness with them. The first place number two, when a bunch of people do the same thing, it has impact. And
that's where collective and united power comes from. So whenever you find out what company you're boycotting, and you're not going to purchase from, I want you to make sure that all of your friends also boycott that same place. All right.
I'd like to take a question from the lower level left time. Thank you. It's good to see you, Dr. Ahmad. And thank you for being with us today. I've been standing here for 20 minutes, you've already answered bits and pieces off of my questions, speaking with everyone else, just getting by the way.
In my opinion, one of the biggest victories of this battle to date is the awareness that it's spread around the world. And and you know, there's
people didn't know the truth of Israel in the IDF. We though however, as a Muslim, I've been I've been learning about it and hearing about it, since I was a child at home. So to me, it's not new. I guess my question to you is, and I don't even know if there's a direct answer this question. I'm sure that I have to do my due diligence in order to be able to answer someone when when they speak to me, for those amongst us who deal with a lot of, you know, Westerners or IE Europeans or North Americans, and you got a lot of unpopular opinion like, well, it's not really unpopular.
God gave us Islam 3000 years ago, right? And while my Palestinian best friend would, would answer and say, I didn't know God to be a real estate agent.
There is probably more that, that we can answer to. And we also know from the Quran that it is a Holy Land, and that's wholly for Jews, Christians and Muslims. So at least, you probably know better than I do, to ponder the sort of the Abdullah Island and mess with the Haram and Masjid Al Aqsa, Olivia Baraka howdah. Right. So, Vietnam, Hamid said, Now, Kob, which has been with sorry, and said, Nisa, this is how you learn. So,
obviously, there is no logic with these guys, there is no reasoning, we don't see any of that it's not when they speak, definitely not when they act. And is there a time that we should foresee or we should expect, when in sha Allah, Allah will be free and so will Palestine in sha Allah. But Will there be a time when Jews and Muslims will live in peace and all that stuff? Because as Muslims, we do recognize that it is a holy book and they are people of Kitab as well.
So I guess there's a few questions here. I got like five questions. So I'm gonna give you up standing here for too long this muscle is your number one, your first question about the claims that are made to the land we have to understand that Zionism is a secular ideology. It's an extension of European colonialism. It is
is an ethno supremacist ideology. That's why a true scriptural Jew would actually reject Zionism and would would would see through its religious claims. So that's number one. This is a settler colonial state that is based on Euro supremacism that is based on ethno supremacism.
So, that's number one, critiquing Zionism and understanding its secular roots, and
being able to undermine it at the level of its religious claim. That's number one. Number two,
if you were to take the claims to Jerusalem over time, there are multiple peoples that have lived in that land over the course of history, multiple peoples that have governed that land over the course of history, who gets to privilege one claim over the other. So can a group of Canaanites you know that are some somehow find themselves oppressed in Spain one day decide that you know what, we had that land first. So we go and we're gonna go and drive the natives out of it and kick people out of their homes and walk in and say, This is my house, because 5000 years ago, you know, my great, great, great ancestors were here who gets to privilege claims, that's number one. And in that
process, is it based upon time, because if that's the case, it should be the Ottomans, right, that retake Jerusalem, so who gets to actually run it, whose claim is privileged over the other, we're not denying that people have ancestral claims. What we're denying is that is the right of people to go to this place, and to
drive people out of their homes and kill them on the basis of those ancestral claims. Muslims do not deny people their claims it was almost about the allowance, and who, who noticed the absence of Jews in Jerusalem and allowed Jews to resettle Jerusalem after Christians after the Romans had run them out? And so this is a very important point that when the Muslims have ruled, at no point in Islamic history, do you find the forbiddance of the Jewish people from their religious or ancestral connection or the Christians from the religious or ancestral connection? So when they speak in hypotheticals, we speak in history, we have a history. And we're governed by a consistent set of
ethics and morality. And so no, we're not the ones that want to sever anyone off from their ancestral times. But we see through the ridiculousness of the Palestinian people paying for Europe's anti semitism. anti semitism is Europe's primary crime. And this is why I've mentioned multiple times. It's an important point, again, we speak in history, they speak in hypotheticals, show me the counterpart to the historical Jewish communities in the Muslim world, that have lived through generations. In the West, it doesn't exist, because this is the crime of the West, primarily the crime of the Western world, not the crime of Muslims. Now, if you were to judge this on the basis of
lineage, all right, let's just make this clear as well. The modern European creation of the State of Israel has nothing to do with the Bani Israel in of history. In fact, if you were to do a lineage test, you'd find more Palestinian natives who could trace their lineage back to this whatever the remnants of Bani Israel, Edward, then a European, or a New Yorker who just walked into someone's house in Jerusalem today, who doesn't have an ounce of connection from the perspective of heritage. And so the claims are baseless, the claims are easily debunked by theology, and by common sense. And as Muslims, when we talk about when we talk about the sanctity of Jerusalem, we do not talk about
bloodshed and the severance of other people from their claims to that land. But we talk about restoring that land to its rightful place into its rightful sanctity. And we pray that Allah subhanaw taala will allow us to be a part of that restoration.
That's something I've been doing for a while now where I'm trying to educate myself more on our history so that I'm equipped enough to argue with such people. So thank you for that. We're gonna take one more pressing question because we're running out of time. So one more pressing question from the right side on the second level, please.
Salam aleikum wa rahmatullah. So,
we know that the Quran is the best teacher Alhamdulillah but the frowns of this age and
In fact, any age cannot profit from the distribution or dismantling of society without the cartoons present amongst them. And we see a lot of the leaders in the modern age who are supporting this ongoing genocide. And then there are also people who take reference and examples of those leaders as arguments against us, saying, Who are you to speak to us when the leader of so and so nation who belongs to your faith is also supporting this genocide? How do we respond to those leaders? And how do we respond to the people who use their references, if you can, please.
We are not bound by our worst examples, whether they are lay people or leaders, if that's the case, then the entirety of the West has to be judged by Donald Trump, right? So if you're gonna hold every American citizen responsible for Trump, or Biden mountain, or whatever it is, or the worst, the worst examples of a people, then we can all play that game. But at the end of the day, Shame on those Muslim leaders that have betrayed the Palestinian cause, there's no excuse for them whatsoever.
What I would say to
what I'd say to someone who tries to make me accountable to them, I would say, I'm not paying taxes to those people. I'm paying taxes to you, and you're killing my brothers and sisters with my tax dollars. So everyone is responsible for what's in their domain. But at the same time, we have to be consistent in our critique. And yes, the response of certain Muslim leaders is shameful, and is inexcusable. And the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him said about the people of obey to Democritus of the Holy Land, law yoga, Rohan Madhava, LA home, amen Hyla, for whom they will not be harmed by those who betray them, or those who oppose them. And the betrayal is apparent.
And it's clear that there is no red line, unfortunately, for many of these leaders to act, but you know what, it's important for the people to continue to exert pressure. And so
eventually, if that pressure builds, then even if the sole fan does not act the righteousness, hopefully the Sivan will act out of expedience. So that's just us doing our best to exert our pressure. So again, that has a language context that has a geographical context, that has a religious context, right? So
look, let's be clear. There are young Jews in the United States that are it's a significant group of people, by the way, that are not only opposed to the occupation, but they are taking to the streets, and they're shutting down Capitol Hill and shutting down bus stations and train stations and political offices, because they believe that Zionism is a betrayal of their Judaism good for them. They're challenging within their space. So everyone challenges in their space theologically, everyone challenges in their space to geographically, everyone challenges in their space when it comes to their language. We all have to challenge with what has been made available to us and where
our voice is going to be most effective. And my parting message to each and every single one of you, is use your voice even if you're speaking to five people alone. Do not stop using your voice and shot law to honor the chorus of righteous voices will overcome the corruption of the political powers that be and beyond all will continue to pray to Allah subhanaw taala, for victory and for success.
Thank you all for your questions. Thank you for your attendance. Before we close I would like to thank Dr. Ahmad for giving us from His precious time this afternoon. And I urge you to continue standing with Palestine and keeping the people of Palestine in your prayers. Just like a lot here, said I'm on a call when I'm at the La albaraka