Saturday, January 17, 2009

How We Should Help Palestine

Mudpie is quite upset at the media coverage of the Gaza battle. 
He was listening to IKIM.FM, an Islamic radio station from Malaysia, in his car this morning. 
It was full of propoganda - self-serving half-truths which are as good as false. 
Not very Islamic. 
He is unprogramming it from his list of saved statiions. 
Half-truths such as "the Palestinian people voted for Hamas in a fair and democratic election. What we find difficult to accept is, why is it not accepted by US and Isreal? After all, they are always talking about democracy". 

This is an example of a half-truth that is as good as a lie. 
Let's turn the scenario a little bit. 
If Singaporeans elect a government that has, as its main agenda, the conquest of Malaysia and the extermination of Malays from that country, how would Malaysians react? 
Does it matter that the party was democratically elected?

Another example from the radio - "imagine if we live in our country that is walled off, and we have difficulties reaching necessities, school, hospitals, and kill old people, the sick and children. Imagine how we would feel? 
Would not we want to fight back and send rockets against the enemy?".

This is another example of a half-truth. 
The station is trying to say that because they are under seige, the Gazans are entitled to launch rockets into Israel. 
But the truth is, the issue with the common Israeli in the street is the same as that with the common Gazan in the street - that these rockets hit hospitals, schools and kill old people, the sick and children. 
Dont they also want to fight back?

I am so disappointed by the Muslim media in its treatment of this crisis. 
All it seems to do is feed on the anger and hatred of people. 
The implicit message to Muslims is the same - because the Israelis (or the Jews) are kiiling our innocents, we must fight back. 
No-one says fight back and kill their innocents - no, no, God forbid - but no-one wants to also say to Hamas to renounce terrorism and destruction of Israel as their vowed aims. 
For does not the destruction of Israel necessaily entail the destruction of its people?

The answer must lie in peace - and peace for everybody. 
We cannot stoop to the way of the Devil every time and call for revenge. 
If you want peace, you must be ready to give peace. 
None of this "we'll stop attacking Israel if they stop attacking Gaza" business. 
And to get peace, you must fight with peace, and make sacrifices, with lives if need be, for peace. 

People will shout back at Mudpie and say, "how can we stop fighting when the enemy is killing our people, our women and children?".
Mudpie's answer is that nowhere does Islam teach us to fight sin with sin. 
If the enemy rapes Muslim women, does it mean that we should rape theirs as well?
Since when does God and the Prophet teach us to follow the ways of our enemies in their evils?

It is time to try non-violence. It was that method of jihad that brought down the British Empire.
Most people are not aware that Gandhi would not have succeeded in his non-violence movement if it was not for the contribution of the Muslims. 

Mudpie recommends that readers check out this book -

Nonviolent Soldier of Islam: Badshah Khan: A Man to Match His Mountains (Paperback)by Eknath Easwaran (Author) 

Mudpie thinks that it is time we, the people of Peace (Islam) stop yelling to the Palestinians to keep fighting harder. 
We are like ticket-buying spectators around a boxing ring, grotesquely gratiating ourselves in the suffering and violence of the gladiators, all the time tutting our tongues at the hideousness of the spectacle, but doing nothing to end it.

Mudpie will not tolerate any more talk of fighting in the Middle East. 
No more talk of retaliation, sanction, boycott, etc. 
All these just serve to add fuel to the fire. 
And then we watch and wring our wrists at the bloodhsed that we had just encouraged and enflamed ourselves.

Mudpie, for one, will now want to help the Palestinians build their nation. 
This is not done by sending donations - any person who had worked in government will know that donations are the worst form of financial source due to its unpredictability - it should be by way of trading with the Palestinian people. 
Not the government, because they have all the aid they need to set up institutions, but the people need money, which becomes the economy's money. 
Unfortunately, many policies taken by Muslim countries have worked in every possible way to counteract the Palestinians setting up their own viable state - such as the boycott to visit Jerusalem as an extension of the boycott against Israeli occupation. 
Ironically, this means that the local Palestinians have no source of income of their own, and are forced to depend on work and trade with Israel to survive.

This year, as part of this plan, Mudpie is seriously planning a vacation to Jerusalem. 
Why should Mudpie throw a few thousand dollars at Bangkok, or Korea, etc, when he could do better by spending it in Jerusalem, the city of al-Aqsa? 
If a million Muslim tourists visit Jerusalem every year, the Palestinian economy will be self-sustaining, and that is the first step towards self-strengthening.

Beyond that, Mudpie will try his best to take many of the pointless things that people say we should do against Israel - by doing the opposite to the Palesitinians instead. Such as - instead of boycotting Israel (yeah, right, like they really need our money) we should try to buy Palestinian instead. 
Now this is where you realise that there is nothing from Palestine that you can buy, right? 
That shows how weak and tiny their economy is. 
But we should as many of us try to do this as we can, and hopefully the Palestinians will be encouraged that there is a market out there for their products, and start producing things for export, etc. 
Of course, if you have any suggestions on Palestinian products, please share here.

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