So a 73 year old KKK member has just gone on a shooting spree in Kansas, killing three people.  He specifically targeted people of the Jewish faith.  For every Muslim who condemns the killings and extends their sympathies to the Jewish community, expect to be asked, “But what about Palestine?” Because now that the shooting has stopped, let the shame grenading begin.

This kind of thing happens pretty much any time a Muslim expresses sympathy or concern for death or oppression of anyone other than Muslims.

Ice cream vs Cake“You want us to pray for Boston? How can you condemn the Boston Bombers but not Obama? He's killed hundreds of thousands more than they have!”

“I should care if Buddhists are oppressed in Tibet? Yeah, look what they're doing in Burma! They're burning Muslims alive!”

“Why are you making all this fuss about animals  being raped in European brothels? Don't you care what they're doing to your Muslim sisters?  Are animal rights more important than women's rights?”

When Shaykh Omar Suleiman expressed condolences and support of the Jewish community, suggesting that Muslims in the US do the same- it took less than four hours for someone to pull the pin on a classic shame grenade and lob it in his general direction.

OmarSulaiman Tweet

The short answer is no, of course they don't.  But this isn't about Muslims or Jews or Palestine, this is about justice, and sympathy.  And pie.

Mmmm, pie

You know pie? Warm, flaky crust, sweet gooey center? Everyone loves pie.  Some people though, think there's not enough pie for everyone, and that's what we call a scarcity mindset.  People with scarcity mindsets spend unnecessary time and energy trying to defend their pie from others, because as far as they're concerned, there are 6.2 billion people in this world and only one tasty piece of Mom's Own Ole Fashioned Justice and Sympathy Pie.

In a world with never enough, they're trying to do their part to make sure Muslims get a fair share of Justice and Sympathy Pie.  Here's the thing though- everyone deserves a piece of pie, and Allah made enough to go around. In fact, He commanded us to share the Justice and Sympathy (pie) with everyone, regardless of their religion.  Islam is not a religion of scarcity, it is a message of abundance.

USA vs Syria

Too busy to pray for Syrian Muslims- because there's only one piece of Prayer Pie, and you're giving it US Muslims instead? Wow, Muslims even fight each other for pie!

An abundance mindset says that Allah made enough Justice and Sympathy pie to go around, and we can share it with people of all religions without insinuating that Muslims don't deserve any or taking away from anyone else's fair share.  But then, the people targeted in the Kansas shooting were Jewish, and if our interfaith relationship were on Facebook, we'd say it's complicated

Because Palestine

We all like a good story, but we only like the simple ones.  We like  good vs evil, light vs dark, hobbits vs trolls narratives that fit neatly into little boxes so we know who to root for and how it should end.  The media knows this, and so pro-Zionist media outlets have woven a fairytale of good people trying to go home and the freedom-hating Muslims who hate them.

It's a narrative that has served their interests well, and given how little exposure most Americans have to unbiased international media coverage, it's no surprise that many of them believe it.  That sad thing is, many Muslims believe it too, and we turn Us vs. Them into Them vs. Us, heaping all Jews- of all races, nationalities, and political inclinations- into one big pile of evil.  And then, we pour scorn on it.

The Red Pill or The Blue Pill?

Screen Shot 2014-04-14 at 11.11.33 PM

Annual Israeli flag burning for Purim. And you thought all they had was Hanukkah! http://www.nkusa.org/What if I told you that Judaism and Zionism are not the same thing- and that one is a religion, but the other is a nationalist identity?

What if I told you that not every Jew was Zionist, and that many very orthodox and very bearded Jewish men are flag-burningly angry about Israel's very existence?

What if I told you that not every Israeli was pro-occupation, and many face jail time and persecution for refusing to serve in the occupation?

What if I told you that hating all Jews for the evil actions of Zionists puts you in the same category of people who hate all Muslims for the evil actions of Muslim terrorists?

There are some people who would be shocked—shocked I say!—to find out that not every Muslim is a terrorist, and that Islam is a religion, but terrorism is a political tactic used by immoral people of all religions.

You could tell them that not every orthodox Muslim is an extremist, and that lots of very orthodox, very bearded Muslims are hopping mad about Muslim-led evils that have no basis in Islam.

You could go blue in the face trying to tell them that you can't profile, hate, and discriminate against the entire Muslim community just because we've got loonies on our fringes too.  But they might not believe it, the same way you might read all of this and still believe that Jews in general deserve the type of spite that some Muslims feel is justified by the morally reprehensible occupation of Palestine.

Palestine is a prisoner of Zionism, not Judaism.  The rape, killing, torture, and starvation there is a function of politics more so than religion- and while religion is at the foundation of Zionism, it's haphazardly tacked on what is, essentially, a power grab.  While some  Jews are vehemently opposed to Israel's very existence, others carve up Palestinian homes to create the casinos, night clubs, and nude beaches that attract international tourists to the errrr.. Holy Land.  Both groups are Jewish; only one group is Zionist.

No one's calling the shooter a terrorist- because crazy people who kill people are only terrorists if they're Muslim—but just because other people have double standards doesn't mean it's OK for Muslims to have them too.  So let's be fair, because everyone deserves their piece of Sympathy and Justice pie.

Now click your heels three times

 

4_135

“'O ye who believe! Be ye staunch in justice, witnesses for Allah, even though it be against yourselves or (your) parents or (your) kindred, whether (the case be of) a rich man or a poor man, for Allah is nearer unto both (them ye are). So follow not passion lest ye lapse (from truth) and if ye lapse or fall away, then lo! Allah is ever Informed of what ye do. Surah An-Nisa (4:135)

Now, back to Kansas.  In case you're wondering what the connection between Justice and Jew-hating is here, think of this; a man shot and killed innocent people.  Justice dictates that he be tried and punished, and the victims consoled, compensated, and cared for.  If your opinion on what the victims are entitled to changes if they're not Muslim, then you're missing the plot.

21_107

“And We have not sent you except as a mercy to mankind”

When Allah revealed this verse in Surah Al-Anbiya, verse 107, he said mercy to mankind- not mercy to Muslims only.  The Message of the Prophet Muhammad—of compassion, of gentleness, of justice—is for everyone.

If yesterday in Kansas, Frazier Cross went hunting for Muslims, you'd be shouting for justice- but  justice isn't only for Muslims.  A Jewish victim deserves as much sympathy and compassion as a Muslim does, and showing the Jewish community support for their loss doesn't mean you're two-timing the Muslim community.  It means you are being a good global neighbor— just as Allah told you to be.

“Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him say what is righteous or keep silent. Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him be kind to his neighbor. And whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him be generous to his guest.”

- Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), narrated by Abu Hurayrah  [Sahih Muslim]

Is there tension between the Muslim and Jewish community because of what Zionists—both Jewish and Christian— are doing to Palestine? Absolutely.  But should that stop us from taking care of our Jewish neighbors?  Let's ask Allah!

60_8

“Allah does not forbid you respecting those who have not made war against you on account of (your) religion, and have not driven you forth from your homes, that you show them kindness and deal with them justly; surely Allah loves the doers of justice.”  The Qur'an, Surah 60, verse 8

If you're still not sure if you agree with me, or if you think that perhaps, you'd like a more… orthodox opinion on what a Muslim should do when a Jewish neighbor dies, here you go:

A funeral passed by the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, and he stood up. It was said to him, “It is a Jew.” So the Prophet said, “Was he not a soul?”  Source: Sahih Bukhari 1250, Sahih Muslim 961

If you think you know better than God, His Messenger, or common sense, then by all means- continue to believe that all Jews deserve the full scorn earned by Zionism.  If you think that Allah is somehow limited in His Mercy, Compassion, or Omnipotence in aiding those in pain or in need, then go ahead and pray for only one group of people, since you think Allah can't provide enough Justice and Sympathy pie to go around.  

If you realize though, that no soul should bear the burden of another, and that you can't hate all Jews any more than they should hate all Muslims, then please follow Omar Suleiman's very sage advice, and contact your local Jewish community center today.  Hate is a vicious cycle—from one Abrahamic faith to another—and only by breaking the cycle and extending a gesture of support to our Jewish neighbors can we begin to exemplify what being Muslim really means.

I fully condemn, in the harshest of words possible on a respectable public blog—the occupation of Palestine and the oppression, bombing and murder of Muslims around the world by people of ALL religions, or the lack thereof.  It's sad I have to write this, but I'm sure someone's going to skim through here, scroll to comments section  and start doing exactly what I am advocating against—which is to say that by having sympathy for anyone who is not Muslim, I do not have sympathy for Muslims; or that feeling sorry for a Jew after all they've done to Muslims is to invalidate the massive scale of evil in Palestine.  So I'm going to say it again, but this time in bullets points so you don't get to go TLDR on me.

  • Justice is for everyone, regardless of their religion.
  • Not all Jews are Zionists, some are  neighbors and  neighbors have rights upon you.
  • Zionism is morally reprehensible and evil and bad and bleepity bleep. But killing innocent people is wrong too.  Regardless of whether they're Muslim, even if they're Jewish.
  • Allah made enough pie to go around, so stop getting defensive when other people get a piece.
  • There are so many places in the world where Muslims are hurting that it's not possible for me to mention all of them here in one article.  If I did not mention your country, please do not assume I have given another country your piece of Sympathy pie.
  • No one can address the whole world  and its world of evils in one tweet, article, book or even lifetime, so please don't expect any writer, tweeter, or human to address every possible evil all in one go.  So please don't listen to a talk on drone strike deaths in Pakistan and get mad because they didn't talk about Yemen.
  • If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.
  • Whoever kills someone, it's as if he has slayed all of humanity.

 

16 Responses

  1. Atteya

    well said sister jazaki Allahu Khairan, we as ordinary muslims have to play a part in changing how everyone sees us by our actions and not by ranting that we are misunderstood. We have to follow the example of our beloved prophet (saw) and show compassion and mercy. keep up the good work Masha’ Allah

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  2. Mahmud

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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    • Mahmud

      I think I probably wasn’t clear enough. I can be pretty uneloquent at times.

      My point was this. Do you really think it was right and necessary to semi-expose some Muslims in this article? They made comments which were mistakes and are easily found on the internet, especially the Facebook one. Yes they made those comments, but it isn’t necessary for you to spread it around. You wouldn’t like it if you said something foolish to someone else in a conversation and another person started spreading what you said!

      It’s also not necessary. Why go all the way an screen shot actual examples of people? It would be better to simply quote a bunch of the common things people say and then say “the above are examples of people failing to understand that there is enough of the sympathy pie for everyone….”

      Some of the people who made foolish comments were probably young. Some of them probably didn’t intend malice and were just confused. I think it’s best to refrain from semi-exposing them since that isn’t right and the article will have a stronger impact without it.

      That is my naseeha.

      Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

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  3. Nurul Fairuz

    This is a beautiful piece and much needed in these times. Jazakallah khayr dearest sister…..Will keep you and your family in my duas..In shaa allah..

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  4. Mohammed

    Beautiful reminder. I am impressed and fortunate to read this article. Keep up the good work.

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  5. Kurt Miskimen

    Miss Reba Khan, I really enjoyed this article. As an unapologetic believer from a faith other than Islam, I admire, appreciate and love the way you get your point across, stay faithful to your own beliefs, and give respect and understanding to those who are of different faiths (myself included). I wish more people of ALL faiths could follow your example. There is enough hatred and ugliness in this world to last multiple lifetimes, and there is NO religion on this Earth with truly “clean hands”…it is going to take people with attitudes such as described in this piece to change the vicious, evil hatred and killings that infest the HUMAN race. I wish you and yours, happiness, health and love.

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  6. Mahmud B.

    Jazakallah khair Sister

    This was a really well written article

    Allah is Just and He Loves Justice!

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  7. Jumana

    Assalaamu ‘alaikum,

    I had no clue what the pie in this article would mean. Amazingly or conincidently, as I was reading and thinking to myself surely our hearts aren’t so lacking in depth that we can’t extend our sympathies to all the victims regardless of faith or no faith. Not just sympathies, but to actually hate the crime itself just as we would hate if the same were to happen to our brothers/sisters. These people have families and loved ones just like we do. But, with Islam as our guidance we should have the upper standard when it comes to showing mercy. When it comes to condemning murder or bringing crimes to justice, we should once again have the upper standard and be fair. Because guidance came from Allah (SWT) and who better understands us than our Creator. A non-Muslim killing a Muslim should not be treated anymore differently than when a Muslim kills another Muslim or a non-Muslim.

    Islam came as a mercy to all and it is for the whole of mankind and not for a selective group of people. We should learn to extend that mercy (by preaching or just by being examples of how Muslims should be according to the Qur’an and the Prophet’s (SAW) example). More often than not, we become arrogant and think ourselves to be above everyone else. Perhaps, in terms of piety we have ranks, but other than that we will also be accountable for how we treat others.

    I congratulate the author on this brilliant piece of article. MashaAllah.

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  8. Umm M

    Asalamualaykum wrwb,

    You’re right that there is enough pie to go around. Yum!

    A little bit on the perspective of those who comment about Muslim tragedies when called upon to express sympathy for non-Muslim ones (I have never commented either way, but these are some thoughts that these people have) :

    There is so much going on in Muslim countries right now – including Syria, Pakistan, Yemen, Burma, and other places – that eclipse the death of three people due to sheer enormity and staggeringly horrifying daily, no hourly, events.

    While it makes sense that an American Muslim is going to be more affected by the tragedies nearer to him/her, the other Muslims – especially those who are in said countries or have stronger roots (more family, etc) to those countries, they may really feel a disconnect.

    Imagine that you were between two horrible things – on your left, your neighbor was getting killed, and on your right, your brother, sister-in-law, two nieces, five cousins, and an uncle were getting killed and raped. Then the local imam does a speech calling on you and the community to support the bereaving family of the neighbor. Simplified, yes, but I hope you understand the frame of reference I am trying to convey.

    Yes, it is horrible that these people died like that. Yes, we’re not supposed to hate all the Jews – although we’re certainly not supposed to love them either – rather, have mercy for them and call them to the truth. But those who respond to calls to support tragedy in their communities by showing everyone their own big, gaping wounds instead of providing band-aids to others – this is something of the type of thinking that goes on in their minds.

    I grew up in the States but I’ve been living abroad for a while, near some of the conflict, and it is much more horrible than you imagine. No, you probably do actually understand the intensity, but you don’t wake up and sleep with it as these people do. There’s a big context there. Just sayin’.

    Love your articles, and your son Khalid. May Allah make him a knight for His deen, and your other sweet children! I have three kids too. :)

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  9. Farah

    A beautiful piece, alhamdulillah. May many benefit from this article, insya Allah.

    No misleading facts, thank you very much. I found many activists, Judaism and Christianity websites against the occupations, feel free to read them too. (www.ifamericansknew.org)

    Islam is indeed a religion of tolerance and love, because Allah is ar-Rahman, ar-Rahim, Al-Waddud, and al-Ghaffar.

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  10. ali

    i would probably be on the side of those who are against this kind of thing but

    i loved this article

    if every muslim could do something for the local community it would change the perception of islam from the bottom up

    to heck with MSM no body watches television anymore

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  11. Moses

    Thank you for this piece, which is really just an injection of rationalism into a totally irrational discourse. I must admit I’m totally at a loss as to the mentality behind the reaction, “What about Palestine?” Wha…? I’m a (orthodox) Jew. I’m not a Zionist. I’m not a flag-burning anti-Zionist either. I believe in safety and human rights for all people in the Holy Land (including the rights of Jewish civilians not to have rockets land on their homes, and yes, there are Jewish civilians – contra Quradawi). The fact that a Palestinian Muslim blows himself up along with innocent civilians (may G-d have mercy) will not prevent me from expressing my indignation and condemnation of the murder or unjust oppression of a Muslim somewhere else. What are they, the same people? Are we monoliths? If you think all Jews have the same opinions about things, here’s a Jewish aphorism for you: “Two Jews, three opinions.”
    As a case in point, when Muhammad Abu Khdeir was gruesomely murdered, the (ultra-)Orthodox Agudath Israel of America strongly condemned it (http://www.cross-currents.com/archives/2014/07/06/agudath-israel-statement-on-arrests-in-murder-of-arab-boy/) as well as the Orthodox Union (http://www.ou.org/news/statement-orthodox-union-rca-arrest-israel-jewish-suspects-killing-palestinian-teen/), as did, I’m sure, all rational Jewish organizations. No sane Jews said “What about Eyal, Gilad and Naftali?” Only the wackos who perpetrated this crime.

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