Saturday, July 15

Ashamed

With all honesty, I hope this post doesn't seem like others, where news is just a platform for me to talk about myself.

By now, hopefully you've heard, read, or seen the massacres being carried out by Israel on Palestinians and more recently on the people of Lebanon.

I often don't write addressing these events on blogs, nor do I discuss them with my friends. Some things hit so close to home that we lose the ability to bear knowing about them--watching gruesome photos of innocent people dead, videos of corpses being carried away, and hearing all the wrong politicians chime in in defense of murder. And yet, Muslims who feel as I do need to realize that our burden of knowing, of witnessing, will never compare to the suffering of those who have and continue to be victims of these unwarranted acts of violence.

Because of the fact that Muslim communities, particularly in the United States, are so terrorized and incapacitated by the government, there seems to be a lot of guilt within us, and it overwhelms at times like this.

We wonder, "What can I do?!" feeling helpless to save our brothers and sisters from being victims of injustices around the world. We search for ways we might be able to send them aid, to stop these murders, to help in some way...And suddenly, the black and white paradigm that has been painted by "the West" comes down before us: "You are either with us or with them."

The reason I find myself unable to discuss the atrocities that effect Muslims on a continuum is because as Americans, we are painted--not red, white and blue, but black or white. And this is the unfair truth of reality.

It is so easy to become sleuths on the quest to compile a list of who is to blame. We can read article after article, book after book, watch expert after expert--point, counter point... And what does this accomplish? It is undeniable that Israel and the U.S. terrorize more people around the world than anyone else--people, including "muslim" countries, just choose denial and to play dead. So what do young American Muslims do? I'd really like to know. I mean, is there like an "allowed / reciprocity" section somewhere that allows people like me to make a difference in this world as it is destroyed before our eyes? Because certainly change necessitates permission (called "sponsorships" or "endorsements") today--we all know this, too.

If you aren't Muslim and you're reading this, put yourself in the shoes of your Muslim neighbor--just for a moment. What should you do?

And thus, the curtain of the black and white paradigm falls before us again. Human beings are dying every moment, and we are wondering what we should do. I am ashamed of being a part of this.




"Palestinians carry a wounded civilian during a gunbattle in Beit Lahiya, Gaza Strip, July 6, 2006. Israeli forces sharply stepped up an offensive against Palestinian militants in Gaza on Thursday, fighting running battles with gunmen and killing four people in the worst violence since the cross-border operation began. "
(PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES)06 Jul 2006 REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

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