Never again – A genocide

Suleiman Hani

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Channel: Suleiman Hani

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ICNA-MAS Convention 2022 Baltimore, MD

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Bismillah Alhamdulillah wa Salatu was Salam ala Rasulillah. While early he was happy to be here, woman Wallah.

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When you hear the words, Never again, never again, never again.

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What do you think of oftentimes, when people have horrible experiences, they'll say never again. But generally speaking, when we talk about cultural norms, the phrase never again is usually associated with the Holocaust, never again.

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And for many Muslims, when we talk about different threats to society, different forms of violence and oppression,

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there are some causes that we are more aware of than others. Amongst them, for example, is Zionism. And the invasion of and the occupation of Palestine. For many Muslims because of Masjid Al Aqsa, we are aware of it, and our hearts are attached to it. And we have been hearing about it's a 70 year military occupation. May Allah subhanaw taala alleviate the affairs of her brothers and sisters in Palestine and all around the world say I mean,

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but what many, many Muslims don't know is that a very important here 1948

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With the next step of the occupation of Palestine, but rather 1949

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The invasion of East Turkistan

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one step of many historically, that if we were to fast forward to the present day, we find that millions of Muslims, Turkic Muslims are eager or Uighur in background,

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are facing ethnic cleansing are facing concentration camps of different forms are dealing with various forms of violence and oppression.

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In year 2018, at Harvard University, there were a few students who formed a protests to raise awareness about the orders.

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And a few students who were there were actually refugees.

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And the entire time they had masks on, constantly worried about being surveilled watched.

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And shortly after that, and Hamdulillah, as more and more awareness started to increase around the world, now many Muslims are aware of what's happening.

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A sister was hosted by one of our coalition's in Michigan to give us some insight,

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awareness what's happening.

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She spoke for a while and many people were shedding tears. And one of the things that she said perhaps for many of us here, hits a spiritual note, if you pay attention to it hits a really strong spiritual note.

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She said, what's happening to many of our family members is that we can't talk to them. We can't communicate as soon as you communicate with them. They're taken any excuse to take away an oyster and Muslim, the government will take advantage and in fact, sometimes many times no excuse whatsoever. A man who was put in prison for downloading a Quran recitation app, a man who was put in prison for refusing to eat pork, a man put in prison because he was on his way to the masjid. A man who was put in prison because in the month of Ramadan, a sacred month for us,

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was forced to eat on the streets at certain checkpoints made for Muslims, and he refused to eat.

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This is aside from the mass organ harvesting, the kidnapping, the many husbands who are taken away and replaced with pro government, husbands, for all your women. Is this not a mass violation of rights? The many children who are taken away from their families, the many people are living in constant fear.

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Never again, never again, what are we seeing in the world today? If we were to begin to list the number of places in the world in which there is violence and oppression, we would be here for the rest of the night.

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What's important is that we raise awareness, and then we take action in a multifaceted way. And what's important for those who live in countries in which you have the privilege of speaking up and addressing and research and articles, publishing working campaigns and protests, a multifaceted collective effort, don't give up.

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The sister said or your sister, many of our relatives there

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would wish to live in your shoes here would wish to be able to wear the hijab would wish to be able to go to the masjid without worrying about consequences would wish to be able to say I'm muslim, and they would definitely wish to be able to speak on behalf of those who

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cannot speak for their own sake, they would wish to be in your shoes. And she said, What's shocking to me, and really disappointing, and very, frankly, is that there are many Muslims here who do not care. Not about just one cause or two causes or three, but they do not care about a greater purpose in life. They do not care about the rights of other people. They don't even care about their own faith, because all around them is freedom all around them as temptation. We would wish to be in the shoes of those who can practice their religion freely. Shall we not be more grateful to Allah? subhanho wa taala? May Allah subhanaw taala make us amongst the people of gratitude Allahumma Amin.

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The question for us is again, on a spiritual note. I know it's heavy. I know it's Stern, but we are in need of these reminders. What's your struggle?

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What's your sacrifice? Is it that you're getting less sleep? Is it that you're staying away from certain segments of society? Or is it that you feel like you need some validation on campus or at work? Or acceptance from the wrong crowds? While displeasing ALLAH SubhanA wa Tada? Is it that we're refraining from certain immoral actions that anyway are destructive for us? What is it that we are sacrificing? Are we worried we're going to lose some status in society because we're addressing these causes, or practicing Muslims? Think about the many warriors and Muslim Indians, Palestinians all across the world and I cannot begin to list them for dealing with different atrocities and forms

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of violence. And if you will, I want us to think about

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the examples of people who do speak up. We give an example of those who are ashamed and those who let go of important matters. There are many people who do address these causes. There are many people who are working hard, there are many organizations Alhamdulillah, in their own way, are facilitating change in the world. At the very least, raising awareness at the very least hosting sessions like this at major conferences in North America, in which we're even talking about these causes. That is a blessing from Allah subhanaw taala. May Allah reward all of those organizations and all of the individuals who are working hard say, I mean,

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there's a lot more work that we need to do. Not all people remain silent. Not all people are afraid.

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There were people in the 1950s who spoke up about certain atrocities 1960s 1970s and on and on and on. There are people who are still talking about the atrocities of the Holocaust, and saying never again and then being presented with what's happening in Palestine or to the lawyers in East Turkistan.

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The remain silent. Excuses justifications, blaming the victim rather than the oppressor. This is one of the tools of oppressors and occupiers. May Allah subhanaw taala grant us clarity in all situations Allahumma Amin.

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It's easy to remain silent. It's easy to give up. It's easy to burn out. It's easy to say you know what? Every single time I turn on the news, there is violence. Every time I connect to social media, news stories of violence.

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Many people say I'm exhausted.

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I'm tired, it's draining. There's so much pain in the world.

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It is painful.

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It is very painful.

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What would you say to the Palestinian

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to our brothers and sisters in East Turkistan.

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To anyone who's oppressed anywhere amongst the menu reminders, don't give up.

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It's more exhausting to be in concentration camps than to be sitting behind one screen. feeling drained that there are so many causes of oppression. It's more exhausting to live in Azusa today than to live in the United States and say, It's so tiring for me to read the news. It's more exhausting to wonder, are we going to wake up tomorrow? Are we going to be bombed in our village? Are we going to be kidnapped and taken away because of our ethnicity or language or in religion? La ilaha illa Allah, that's more exhausting. And as we remind them, hold on to your faith. Hold on to your faith. Hold on to your faith is Spirou Wausau Biru reminders from Allah for us and for them.

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They are exhausted and they are holding on to their faith. They are exhausted and they are resisting violence and occupation. We can be strong as well. May Allah Subhana Allah grant us resilience and perseverance along the mean.

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If you are made aware of a voiceless person today in the audience who's dealing with a crisis, and you have the tools and the means of solving the problem, at least by two

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taking the first step. Are you not responsible for taking that first step? If you know someone who cannot deal with a problem that they are facing some form of violence, and you have the solution and you remain silent? Are you not allowing the violence to persist? May Allah subhanho wa Taala utilize us for the sake of other people who are facing oppression all around the world. Allahumma Amin,

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the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said Pay attention to this hadith, Lao Bharara wildly wrong.

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Prophet sallallahu alayhi salam said there should be no harm nor the reciprocation of harm in another narration man Barbara God Rahula woman Chaka Chaka Allahu Allah. There was a maxim of principle in Islam, all Muslims should know this today. What's the principle extracted from this hadith? Lau God at all, when I lead on there should be no harm, nor the reciprocation of harm. Another principle taken from this, the elimination of harm principle, a lotto user, why am I mentioning this today? Oftentimes, when we hear from people who don't know Islam, they don't know shut er, all they've been hearing is Sharia law for the last 10 years. And they have no idea what

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it's actually about. One of the first things you can say is, Well, part of the Sharia is there should be no violence, the Elimination of Violence. This is a religion of peace, and a religion of justice, and the definition of that justice and the rights of people defined by Allah subhanaw taala, the framework of morality is objective revealed from ALLAH SubhanA wa, tada. It's interesting to take this hadith, this principle, if you will, there should be no harm. And we should all eliminate harm, as much as we can different forms of harm and violence, and to look at a typology of violence presented by a peace researcher. This is for the sake of observing the sake of thinking

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critically about how to apply the principle that we have as Muslims. So one of the peace researchers propose the idea of classifying violence in three ways. The first is direct violence. Number two is structural violence. And number three is cultural violence. What does this mean? As for the first direct violence is immediate happening now. It's something you're seeing in the news, because it's usually newsworthy. It's something that is visual, something just happened an attack on an innocent person, it could be physical abuse, behind closed doors to be sexual abuse, emotional abuse, could be bullying somebody else, whether children are bullying one another at school, online, or adults,

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politicians, sadly, are bullying other people. That is a form of direct violence. It could be violence against the environment. In Islam, you cannot harm an innocent cat. You can't harm a bird. This is the religion of mercy, the religion of peace, the religion of justice, direct violence against the Oh, yours is very easy to observe direct violence against the Palestinians constantly being reported in the news. direct violence is the one that you most likely will pay attention to. People become very emotional, reactive, posting all over social media, the news is all reporting the same thing. And then it's replaced with something else and we move on. The people were suffering,

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and he's Turkistan. They're still suffering. People were occupied and suffering in Palestine, they're still suffering, because Smead in Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, all across Africa, Asia, across the world. When the news stops reporting, the pain doesn't just go away. Number two, Structural Violence. This is the violence that's embedded in the structures, the policies, the laws of a country that prevents certain people or a group of people from accessing basic rights, from surviving, from basic needs. The fact that in Palestine, in Azusa, for example, most of the water, the overwhelming majority of the water is not water, you can just drink it's not clean. So they need

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what donations from all around the world to build these wells and the pipes, the water tanks, so they can access clean water. And there are many other examples like this. In this country, we have many examples we can all reference and think of if you're not sure what I mean, structural violence sometimes is embedded in the laws. So there's economic inequality, so that there is a disadvantage to certain parts of society, certain groups of society, they cannot access something as simple as health care. This is a structural violence. Another example is racism that's embedded in the laws of certain countries. That makes it easy for people to attack, especially when it comes to police

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brutality, to attack the black community and others and to get away with it in terms of the repercussions in terms of the consequences and oftentimes you look at the prison industrial complex. There are many examples like that. The riba based banks interest based banks is a form of oppression and violence. You are taking advantage of someone who needed money, they're vulnerable

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And you force them to pay you back more look at the student loan debt in the United States of America $1 trillion. What kind of violence and oppression is that? People are graduating and 3040 years later, education is so important. They're still paying back on top of the interest, everything else that they owe. You look at the environment, and the laws that are supported by funded by certain corporations, certain billionaires, people who are certain industries of fossil fuels and others, harming the environment for their own profits and their own gains. You look at the example of Palestine, you're at a disadvantage automatically. If you're a Palestinian, we knew some people

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who used to wear a cross to act like they were Christians, so that they would not be stopped at checkpoints every mile or two. Why? Because if you were visibly Muslim in any way whatsoever,

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automatically, there's a disadvantage for you in society, you can access certain things, you can do certain things you're likely to be held back. And the leugers as well.

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When a lot of people started talking about East Turkistan, I don't know the first time you heard about it. And I hope tonight is not the first time you heard about it, but it's never too late.

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Many people asked, Is this really happening? What if this is propaganda,

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the government was refusing to admit anything was happening. And as more and more leaks took place, and awareness increased around the world, and the momentum is there and Hamdulillah. They start saying, Oh, we do have camps. But we're not ethnically cleansing the Muslims, the people that we have, we're re educating them. They're terrorists. Why are they terrorists, they believe in the Quran. They wear hijab, they say that you don't Allah.

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That's their justification. Oh, these are terrorists. These are extremists and their children. We don't want them to be terrorists, too. So we put them in internment camps, automatically at a disadvantage for being Muslim.

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And brothers and sisters, please remember the following point, this type of violence that structural is known as invisible violence. And the reason it's invisible is because most people don't pay attention to it. And it takes so much work. So much effort, from the collective from every voice that counts every single person who's here and around the world, to address the matter to work towards it in a very strategic way. It's not going to disappear overnight. And if you've ever looked at him out of an obstacle, and said, Well, that's the Chinese government. That's the Israeli government. You can't even criticize them. Oh, yes, you can. In fact, it will require you to

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criticize them. But it's going to take time, the climbing of a mountain is not done with one step.

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You don't achieve every goal with one step. It's going to take effort from everyone who cares, and everyone who's sincere for Allah subhanaw taala sake, not giving up finding different avenues, finding different ways to keep moving forward. And the news is not reporting it, why it's structural, it's embedded in the fabric of a society of the policies of the laws. It's not going to change overnight. It's not visually captivating to report in the news. So it's going to require the patient people, the people who don't give up behind the scenes, may Allah Subhana Allah accept from all of us Allama Amin, a number three and the last point here is cultural violence. Cultural

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violence is embedded in the norms of a country, the norms of a people. And this is why, for example, with the transatlantic African slave trade in the United States, the reason it lasted as long as it did is there were people who culturally accepted it. Of course, there were people who oppose it, but there were people who justified it. Once you see a society or when you see a society justifying an act of violence, and in fact, normalizing it, and making it seem cool, enticing and appealing. You know, there is going to be a lot of corruption, a lot of violence that follows from violence breeds more violence. The consumption of alcohol sometimes is something that, unfortunately, is not just

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normalized, but for many people it's made to be attractive, even though it is destructive, medically, psychologically, spiritually. May Allah Subhana Allah protect us this is one example. The damage that's done to people's mental health. May Allah Subhana Allah protect us and grant us hifi Aloma Amin, cultural norms change, when people who have the right ideas of morality in the right beliefs or raising awareness, or commanding good, forbidding evil with everything that they have, what can we do moving forward action items number one, make sure at a personal level, let's start with ourselves. reassess the violence or the harm that may be around you meaning in your family, in

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your community, starting with yourself, your parents or your spouse or your children, your neighbors or your roommate. Make sure you are not afraid

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facilitator of violence and harm to others, we must start with ourselves. Number two, work hard to relieve those who are facing direct and structural violence to your greatest capacity. Number three, at the very least, is the dua that we should all be making. Unlike some groups, brothers and sisters, we don't say thoughts and prayers as an excuse not to do something about harm in society. No, we make dua, and then we take action. That is the concept of Tawakoni in Islam, and number four, and the last point here, advocate, and work hard through all the proper channels that we have in the means that will eliminate harm in society. And know that there are many people who are wishing to be

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in your shoes, just so they can speak on behalf of those who are oppressed. We have here at the convention in the bazaar Alhamdulillah you have at least a booth for save lawyer.org Please, please do not allow yourself to leave this convention this weekend. Until you visit the booth and you take the different forms and pamphlets, the things that you can actually do beyond just making dua. There are many campaigns that are running and every one of us is needed for that. It is run by the umbrella organization justice for all May Allah reward them. May Allah subhanaw taala alleviate the affairs of her brothers sisters are all around the world and every other cause you see here in which

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your voice is needed, Your participation is needed. Take advantage, life is short, Allah subhanaw taala will hold you accountable based on what you could do within your capacity. May Allah Subhana Allah grant us righteousness and guidance and make us a source of guidance for others. And may Allah subhana make us a source of relief and justice for all of those who are oppressed all around the world. Allahumma Amin wa salam ala Nabina Muhammad wa an early he was so happy Marian was Salam Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh