A Napoleon Complex in the Middle East: My take on the flotilla incident

Bismillah Al-Rahman al-Raheem…

On that account: We ordained for the Children of Israel that if any one slew a person – unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people. Then although there came to them Our messengers with clear signs, yet, even after that, many of them continued to commit excesses in the land. (Quran 5:32)

It is my desire to comment on the matter that has been unfolding before the eyes of the world over the past 24-36 hours. I wish to speak on this matter in a manner that embodies rationality, understanding, and the highest form of intellect. Saying this much, I will not tolerate any forms of hatred, use of foul language, or name calling—regardless of the party. I wish to uphold the standard of Moses and to speak with those who oppose me (or you for that matter) with the kindest and most lenient of tongues.

To begin, I am have made it clear in the past that I am not a supporter of the actions of the state of Israel towards Gazans and Palestinians in general. It is quite unsettling that a state of such great power in a region that is extremely unstable would consistently pursue an avenue that is characterized by force.  As seen in recent events, a flotilla that was intended to bring humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza was dispatched on Saturday. That pathway was declined by the state of Israel, not by blockading but by simply attacking the ships and killing almost 10 civilians. Again we clear the claim of “self defense” on the part of Israel—however there are several points I would like to make clear before delving any deeper into the reprecussions of this action.

  1. The flotilla at the time of “self defense” was in international waters meaning that the civilians were not in direct conflict or in a defensive position.
  2. There were several Americans aboard that ship, including a former US ambassador.
  3. The flotilla has been advertised for a long time now and it’s only purpose was to bring aid to the people of Gaza who have been blockaded from the world for almost 4 years now.
  4. Gaza is considered to be the worst place to live in the world right now, the poverty level has surpassed that of many of the most poorest nations and a small radius encloses almost 1.5 million people.

The state of Israel must come to terms with the fact that using force against peaceful activism will only lead to its demise. It’s reputation is building slowly as a bully, an almost Napoleon complex.  It saddens me to see peaceful activism met with such brute force and the world’s silent displeasure. The state of Israel can only hurt itself when it comes to actions such as this, the excuse of self-defense can only last so long.

As a Muslim, it is my duty to condemn an act of violence that is clearly targeted and intentional. I am not okay with civilian deaths and I am not okay with the blockade that disables civilians on a regular basis from proper food and supplies to sustain even a remotely civil life. The people of Gaza, as so many people around the world, have been reduced to numbers, almost like a group of numbers. Here is some food for thought:

**How would you feel if you were stranded on an island surrounded by the whole world, but no one would let you leave or let anyone come into help you?

**Are you okay with collective punishment?

**As Americans we are guaranteed certain rights, should those rights not be extended to the population of the world?

**Since when did it become okay for the police or military to beat up on people trying to bring help? Imagine you were going to do some inner city work in any city but the police thought that you were a threat, so they beat you up and threw you in jail?

I pray that those who committed and ordered such heinous acts are brought to justice in an international court by their peers and I pray that the nations of the world realize the horrors that are occurring on a daily basis and act swiftly to defend the right of the weak, no matter the place. May God protect us all from oppression of man…

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