Friday, January 23, 2009


It never will cease to amaze me how oblivious and selfish some people can be. I recently read a blog post (which I won't link to) that complained that Gaza was getting too much attention and that the Ummah forgets other issues with Muslims. While I understand that there are many problems that face Muslims, how can one possibly gripe about trying to help and support our brothers and sisters in Gaza? The blogger commented that Gaza is not all we should focus on. That we should give our attention to national and local issues such as police brutality, health care, education, home ownership and economics.

In times like these, when we see a part of the Ummah getting destroyed unjustly, what is wrong with putting other things aside to focus on helping them? Why would anyone want to wave their own personal flag about saying 'what about meeeee???, what about my needs????'. The problems that we face in this country are real, and yes we have to deal with it, but how can you compare that to Gaza? While we are here, wondering about how unfair health care is, children are dying. They are being blown up by Israeli bombs. Yet some want us to focus our attention on some over hyped class war in the US. Get over yourself. Once we start putting other things before being Muslim (whether it be race, nationality or gender) we lose sight of what is really important.

The blogger went on to ask where all of the outrage was when Muslim immigrants started to sell haram things in oppressed African American and Latino neighborhoods? The post specified that many of these immigrants are Palestinian. So hold on, wait a minute... we should not be focusing on Gaza because some misguided Muslims who may or may not have been from Palestine did some bad things? huh? Isn't this the same logic that main stream media uses to say all Muslims are bad?

Unfortunately I've seen it in many other places online. Entire Islamic forums and blogs that say NOTHING about our brothers and sisters in Gaza, but yet continue to yammer about their own personal plight. May Allah guide us all and protect us from such fitnah.


Naimah Umm Khadijah said...

Assalamu 'alaykum

SubhanAllaah, I agree with what you said sis,and it's really shocking when you read things like that from another muslim.
Ameen to your du'a.

أم ترافيس said...

SubhanAllah-- really, some ppl will never fail to amaze me...

May Allah help and guide us all.

OhSoMuslim said...

Masha'allah, very well said.
The most powerful thing we can do is make Du'aa for such people and Gaza.

hannah said...

asalam alaikum

its a sad trend these days how many will focus so much on their own issues and are able to block out the suffering of brothers and sisters, how can they have no compassion?

rahma said...

Assalamu Alaikum,

I think the problem many of us see is that we've spent years trying to get muslims involved in other areas in the ummah that need help. Somalia, Ethiopia, Kashmir, Burma, there are dozens of hot spots where muslims need help. But, the community doesn't seem to care. We can't get people to attend fund raisers, write letters to the editor, or even come to an informational session.

And then, after a lot of work with very little results, a situation pops up in Palestine, and everyone is on fire. MashaAllah, it's wonderful that everyone cares for our brothers and sisters in Palestine.

But those of us who have been working hard for other muslims in trouble wonder where all these people were when we were trying to tell them about the horrors that are happening elsewhere. 47,000 people have been killed in the last 20 years in Kashmir, but most activities related to it are only patronized by Indian and Pakistani muslims.

The oromo population in east africa are fighting for a homeland too, but when there was a session held by Keith Ellison and another congressman here in the Twin Cities to get people's perspectives and input, my husband and I were two of a handful of non east africans present.

Looking back at the activism re: Palestine these last few weeks in the Twin Cities, I've seen muslims from every corner of our community come out and give their support. I just wish these people would do the same for other areas of the ummah as well.


Jamilah said...

Thank you for your comments Rhama. It does seem to me that people make this whole thing into a race issue. When as an Ummah we should not be concerned with that at all. We are all brothers and sisters. As for Gaza getting more attention perhaps blame that on the media as well. At my Masjid there are groups from every background and our Imam is African, so lets not assume that we all don't know and don't care. Its just not as publicized... and charity should not be anyway.

What upset me so much about this persons blog was that they wanted to say how we should focus on the issues here in the US first...

Anyway, rambling now.

Jamerican Muslimah said...

ASA, Since I know you are referring to my post. I thought it was only fair that I come here to clarify what I trying to say.
(I really wished you had emailed me or left a comment about your feelings instead of coming to your own blog and writing about it without giving me the opportunity to respond. I also feel like you took some of my words out of context).

At no time did I suggest that Muslims should not be concerned about or work to help the plight of the people in Gaza. At no time did I suggest that we shouldn't be concerned about the Palestianian people because *some of them* have been oppressing the poor in African-American and Latino neighborhoods. (Although, I am disappointed that few in the Muslim community want to address the issue).

What I WAS suggesting, as Rahma so eloquently pointed out, is that the Muslim community has been slow to react to other causes in the ummah such as Darfur, Chad, Somalia, Niger, Oromoia etc. I was also saying that American Muslims, for the most part, have not been involved at a high level with other causes right here, in their own backyard. I DID NOT say that we should take our focus off of Gaza. I said that we should be concerned about other issues in the ummah AS WELL. (Just as Rahma is saying). And I DON'T think the Muslim community should "put aside" other issues and focus solely on Palestine. (Especially since the Palestine-Israeli conflict doesn't look like it's going to end anytime soon). I think we can devote our time and attention to more than one issue. THAT is what I was saying.

Also, the finanical crisis in the United States is beyond "some over hyped class war." More and more people are becoming homeless, losing their jobs, families and children are suffering, people are critically ill without any health care assistance and are dying as a result etc. I am suggesting that these issues deserve as much attention as global issues.

I am not interested in playing "oppression Olympics" (basically arguing about who has it worse.) If someone is experiencing oppression in any form it's wrong and we should be concerned about that. I feel that is my duty as a Muslim and a striving servant of Allah (s.w.t.)

Umm Khadijah said...

Assalamu 'alaykum, You've been tagged!

OhSoMuslim said...

As-salaamu alaikum You've been tagged.

Jamilah said...

Wa Alaikumusalaam wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh
Sister Jamerican

I didn’t comment or write to you because I really didn’t want to engage in conversation about it with you. Like you, I use my blog to express my thoughts and feelings on many things that I see, read and learn. This was one of those things.

Your blog post bothered me mainly because of what you said about immigrant Muslims setting up shop in oppressed black and Latino neighborhoods. That to me was just a low blow, and grasping at straws. Once I read that the tone with which I read the rest of your post was not pleasant. Perhaps that is my mistake.

As for other regions of the world that need our attention… I can fully admit that they don’t get the same media coverage that Gaza is. As an Ummah we need to collectively help when things are going wrong. What I can suggest is that instead of whining about it, you do something. Get together with your local community and raise money and awareness to help. You be the change.. Don’t pout when the Ummah actually does do something to support others.

The financial crisis in the US is important, but as these people are losing jobs, houses, etc they are not being bombed, starved, deprived of clean water by an oppressive occupying Country. I was not referring to just the financial crisis when I talked about an over hyped class war, but its interesting that you pulled that out. The issues of the Muslim Ummah do come first for me. I put being Muslim before everything else. I’ve said this before, but I won’t put anything else before being Muslim… not nationality, not race not gender. I would never call myself an ‘American Muslim’. I’m a Muslim that happens to live in America. We are not some special breed of super Muslim that needs its own rules and allowances.

I’m glad to hear you are not interested in playing oppression Olympics. Neither am I. I also wanted to state that some of my disappointment was also with some of the comments that were made on your post, so it was not all directed at you. That is also why I didn’t link to it, because I was not trying to call you out, I was expressing my feelings on something I had read and something that had bothered me, not trying to start a back and fourth with you.

May Allah Subhanahu wa ta'ala guide us all.

NiDa said...

Very well said sister... I have received the very same response by my local IMAM... go figure how furious I was!

I was trying to start up a fund raiser for Gaza, and wanted to ask for help from my local masjid - and I never expected such a raw answer. Kher... I managed to raise just by myself in one week 600$ which I sent to islamic relief, Alahmdolillah - It was my first time doing such a fund raiser and I hope what ever I could raise went for a better good inshaAllah.

** you have a beutiful blog sister - keep the posts comming :)