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Marching for freedom

By: Ashraf Hendricks 2014-08-11 07:46

After seeing so many people (large percentage of whom were admittedly Muslim but also church leaders with their followers and Jewish people   participate in theses worldwide marches can u still say the marches were in support of religion and not for a common cause?  When so many people from 3 major religions and others from not so major, were able to walk as one in support of a common cause).  And you may say that the possible good which can come from such a display of unity is nullified by the fact that the march was to show solidarity for the people of Palestine but ignores other current conflicts. (A number of which are taking place to the north of Africa and in the Middle East)

While is there is a number of reasons primarily  amongst which are while Muslims (who for the most part were the organizers of these marches) are able to condemn groups like  AL Qaeda and more recently ISIS  (and their misguided actions  against forces who they perceive to be the enemies of Islam) they remain our Muslim brothers.  Islam does not allow for excommunication. If someone calls himself a Muslim then that is what he is. No one has the power to see what is really in a person’s heart  so while his actions can be questioned knowledge of motives lies only with Allah.

 We can make dua (pray) that they come to their senses because while Islam teaches us we have the right to defend ourselves when we are oppressed (which the people of Palestine are) it also warns against doing more than what is necessary. Things like forced conversions, suicide bombing (which often hurt innocents) no Islamic justification can be found for them and  somehow  these practices have become acceptable to groups who may have some half valid reasons for wanting to fight but lose lots of their credibility when they resort to tactics  which negatively affect the innocent. NOTHING that Islam teaches can be used to justify hurting innocents. In Islam the end no matter how just and noble can never be justified by the means.

“2:190 Fight in the way of Allah those who fight you but do not transgress. Indeed. Allah does not like transgressors. ”

”5:32 “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.”

” 60:8 Allah does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes - from being righteous toward them and acting justly toward them. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly.”

Another major reason why Muslims are able to unite over the cause of the Palestinians is the fact that their struggle has been going on for such a long uninterrupted period of time and it may not be the conflict where the most innocent lives have been lost but more than any other conflict going on where Muslims are involved, it has received more than its fair share of media coverage which is hardly surprising if you consider who the  2 major belligerents in this conflict are(and who their friends are) and considering the fact how such a long ongoing conflict it has been albeit with periods where fighting has stopped but the occupation continued.

I was first exposed to their struggle in the late 1990 via the writings of Ahmed Deedat a South African speaker and at that time Israeli occupation/blockade of the Palestinian settlements had been going on for more than 30 years already.   So yes theirs been other conflicts involving Muslims and there are possibly more on the way but the Palestinian story is one that if you’re a Muslim its extremely hard not to be aware of and as a result have an opinion on.

In ending, I believe the fact that so many people protested for a common cause (and now I’m referring specifically to the Cape Town march) without the accompanying scenes of violence which normally go hand in hand with such events in our country should be applauded as an awesome accomplishment and seen as huge indicator of the potential of our people (South Africans) irrespective of just how effective you believe it will be in the bigger scheme of things....

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