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Telling parallels between Palestine and the Ummah


For the last 18 months the Palestinian intifada has been a symbol of Muslim defiance against world powers determined to crush the spirit of Islam, and a source of pride for Muslims everywhere. For the last six of those 18 months its importance has been heightened by the West’s intense war on Islamic opposition to its global hegemony in response to the attacks in New York and Washington on September 11. This month Muslims have watched in anguish and anger as Israel has unleashed its military force against Palestinian towns, villages, camps and people, demonstrating the brutal, destructive power we always knew it had, with the permission and co-operation of the US and its Western allies, and the acquiescence of their Arab proxies.

The Israeli assault on the Palestinian areas, in which hundreds have undoubtedly died (no accurate count can be kept in the chaos there), follows close on the Hindu pogrom against Muslims in Gujarat and the ongoing US operations in Afghanistan, in which thousands have died by almost every kind of bomb and missile in the American arsenal. It also comes at a time when the US is expected to launch attacks on Iraq at any time; their object will be the toppling of Saddam Hussein, which no-one can object to, but in the process they will kill countless more Iraqis to add to the millions that have died as a result of the West’s policies in the last decade. At the same time, the US is also helping moves against Islamic movements almost everywhere else in the world: Somalia, Sudan, the Philippines, Central Asia, Turkey, the Caucasus... the list goes on. Meanwhile, Muslims in Western countries are being targeted to prevent them from speaking and acting in support of Islamic movements elsewhere, for fear of being branded ‘terrorists,’ the name that dictators and aggressors — from Hitler to Stalin and more recent examples such as the Latin American fascists — have always given to those who resist them.

It is not difficult to draw parallels between the situation in Palestine and that in the world generally. In both cases, local peoples are standing against an aggressive power determined to assert its control over all the territory and resources it can, regardless of the wishes, rights and interests of the local people. In both cases, the aggressors use a combination of politics and power to pursue their objectives, and in both cases they combine sweet talk with brute force. Seeing Israel as the United States in miniature is easy; it is equally natural to see the Palestinian movement and struggle as a microcosm of the struggle of the Ummah, indeed of all oppressed peoples in the world.

All the talk now about Palestine is about the need to renew and pursue a political peace process in order to impose an orderly resolution to the situation. The only peace settlement that the Israelis will accept is one that formalizes the Palestinians’ surrender; that is well known and taken for granted by all informed, open-eyed observers. But the idea created by the west is that the Palestinians reject peace because they have some irrational desire for war and ‘terrorism’, despite the fact that Israel is willing to make a reasonable deal. What nobody cares to remember is that for almost a decade in the 1990s, Palestinians — even those who were sceptical about its prospects — sat back to give Arafat and the peace process a chance. The peace process failed not because of anything the Palestinians did but because the Israelis were determined to abuse their strength at every opportunity, to tear up or reinterpret agreements, and to accelerate the expansion of settlements in Palestinian lands. This was precisely what sceptics, such as Crescent International, had predicted, and it destroyed any illusions the Palestinians may have had of trusting the Israelis. It is this that has convinced the Palestinians that their only option is to fight for their land and their freedom.

In the West there are also those who talk about the equivalent of a peace process at a global level. While Western armies and airforces are spread around the globe, Western corporations control the world’s resources to ensure the standard of living of a tiny minority of its people, and Western puppets administer the world for them, idealists in the West talk of democratization, human rights, tolerance, learning to live together, and of pursuing the common good of humanity by working with the West instead of against it. Only a misguided few in the Muslim world take them seriously. The reasons should be blatantly obvious to all.

Article from

Crescent International Vol. 31, No. 4

Safar 03, 14232002-04-16

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