UPDATED: Muslims Need To Calm Down About Boycotts (Re: Israel)

One thing I love about writing on outlets like MuslimMatters is the amount of legit criticism one can get. Since I put the post up I’ve been reading the comments and you have no idea how much it helps to have feedback from all of you. Thanks to everyone for that.

I think I can say that some of my comments were, as I would say, “a bit of a stretch.” I’ve modified them accordingly.

boycott_starbucks_mcdonalds_cocacola.jpgA sister who works at an Islamic school once received a Starbucks gift card from one of her co-workers. Unaware of the issue of boycotting Starbucks, she unknowingly walked into the teachers lounge one morning with a small Mocha in hand. She was then met with an uproar from her fellow Muslim staff. Without kindly explaining anything to her, they yelled at her, told her she wasn’t allowed in the room, that her drink was killing Palestinian babies, and that she didn’t care about Muslims in Palestine.

The sister apologized repeatedly, trying to explain that she didn’t know about the boycott and that she purchased her drink using a gift card. When the angry Muslim staff refused to listen and one of them began to cry, she then threw her nearly full drink away.

We Muslims need to calm down a bit when it comes to this boycott issue. For years we’ve been blindly sending out Emails and messages with collections of links and information on possible connections between certain corporations and the Israeli government and military. However, in the middle of this attempt to support our Palestinian brothers and sisters, we’ve lost our heads over some key important issues.More...

I’ll Take a Tall Mocha, Light Whip, No Manners

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In an age where there is a wide array of information with little means of verification, this boycott issue has become complicated. Maybe the person didn’t know about the issue and was truly unaware, or they are just unsure about the facts.

If you see someone buying products and you feel they shouldn’t be, instead of chastising them, inform them politely and with respect. Losing your cool and having bad akhlāq (manners) will not get you anywhere in your position. The lack of akhlāq in the response of the Muslim teaching staff to the sister showed how we’ve allowed Shaytān to use this issue to his advantage.

The Self-Victimization Tendency of Muslims

Aside from bad manners, we Muslims also have a tendency to practice self-victimization. We’re way too quick to show that we’re being attacked and blame others for our problems, resulting in our tendency to overshoot things at times.

For example, many Muslims sent out and believed Email and text messages claiming that Starbucks and McDonald’s would be donating a week’s worth of revenue to the Israeli government. Not only is that far from impossible, it was embarrassing to know that Muslims believed such a ludicrous notion. Multi-million dollar corporations don’t give up days’ worth of sales revenue towards religious or political causes. They’d get owned by the SEC in a split second, let alone their stockholders. Are we Muslims so insecure about ourselves that we’ll believe anything we hear, or are we just that uneducated?

It seems as if we need a better understanding of the nature of public entities. In the midst of the heightened Israeli oppression in Gaza, corporations under the spotlight of have received increased pressure from boycotters. Here are some responses as recent as a few weeks ago.

starbucks_50.jpgFacts about Starbucks in the Middle East
January 16, 2009

Myths

Is it true that Starbucks provides financial support to Israel?

No. This is absolutely untrue. Rumors that Starbucks Coffee Company provides financial support to the Israeli government and/or the Israeli Army are unequivocally false. Starbucks is a publicly held company and as such, is required to disclose any corporate giving each year through a proxy statement. In addition, articles in the London Telegraph (U.K.), New Straits Times (Malaysia), and Spiked (online) provide an outside perspective on these false rumors.

Has Starbucks ever sent any of its profits to the Israeli government and/or Israeli army?

No. This is absolutely untrue.

Is it true that Starbucks is teaming with other American corporations to send their last several weeks of profits to the Israeli government and/or the Israeli Army?

No. This is absolutely untrue.

mcdonalds_48.gif

McDonald’s Dispels War Effort Internet Rumors

There are new rumors circulating on the internet regarding “McDonald’s donating profits to the war in Israel.” These rumors are absolutely false. McDonald’s never has and never will support war efforts in any area of the world through sales and profits in our restaurants.

coca-cola_50.jpgRumor: Coca-Cola contributes profits to Israel

In an effort to rally Arab boycotts against The Coca-Cola Company and other American companies, many variations of a rumor exist claiming that our company provides financial support to Israel. One widely circulated rumor claims NBC reported that Coca-Cola had announced it would donate four days’ profits to Israel.

Our Response: This information is not true, but has been circulated by ill-informed or ill-intentioned third parties. The Coca-Cola Company is not political, and does not support individual countries, governments or political or religious causes.

The Coca-Cola Company and its bottling partners operate worldwide in more than 200 countries. While The Coca-Cola Company is a global company, the Coca-Cola business in each country is a local business. Coca-Cola beverages are produced, sold and distributed by authorized local bottling partners, who own and operate bottling plants and sales/distribution centers, employing many local citizens.

While websites like Innovative Minds do the most extensive job of documenting a case for boycotting those companies, I feel they stretch the corporate responsibility a bit too much. Any business operation by a corporation in Israel is deemed as “promoting Israel.” The site also links the private activities like those of Starbucks CEO Howard Schulz way too closely with the corporation as a public entity.

A simple study of the nature of financial reporting, and how the SEC has extremely strict regulations in the name of corporate transparency, would raise one’s brow quite high as to this claim. This could be one reason why we believe exaggerated Emails and text messages.

Refocus Our Emotion

Based on how we’ve reacted to these boycotts and other secondary efforts to support our oppressed Palestinian brethren, it’s clear that we need to calm down and have more of a straight head about the issue altogether. I am not against the boycotts in any way, and am in fact for boycotting those companies and organizations that directly support the likes of Israel or Denmark. What I am saying, however, is we can do a better job of channeling our energy in supporting the Palestinian cause.

Gaza has been destroyed by the Israeli military machine. There are now hundreds of new needs to rebuild the strip, from building libraries, to purchasing and sending hospital and medical equipment, to all kinds of different needs for the area. We should channel our emotion over something as small as boycotting coffee, coke, and french fries to assembling a massive effort in working to rebuild Gaza for the future.

gaza_shuhada_students_jan_2009.jpg

Until we do, we need to calm down when it comes to the boycotts.

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110 responses to “UPDATED: Muslims Need To Calm Down About Boycotts (Re: Israel)”

  1. Avatar Omar says:

    This article has many good points, but i believe the author should have done a little more research before having written anything about the subject. The reason i say this is because the author commited to the same mistakes she/he claims other muslims are.

    Taken from the http://www.rawealth.blogspot.com, we can see that there is a solid case that can be built in Starbucks’ direct support in Israeli governmental entities.supporters:

    http://investing.businessweek.com/businessweek/research/stocks/people/person.asp?personId=194300&symbol=SBUX

    Starbucks supports the Jerusalem Fund of Aish HaTorah…

    look them up…their main cause is to support “pro-Zionist” causes targeting the Jewish youth around the world…

    ALSO (but with not as much substantial evidence) i found that the Jerusalem Fund of Aish HaTorah as reported by jewishtimes helped fund the Clarion fund which made a movie called “Obsession.” Obsession is a documentary thats chief aim is to convince people that Islam is IN WHOLE a backwards religion…

    With this said, I do believe we should be more careful about who we accuse of supporting the Israeli state, because it can get out of hand.

    Also, being an avid reader of the Muslimmatters blog, I advise that the people in charge of this site be more careful about the information posted on their site, as it could tarnish the credibility of the sites name.

    • Avatar maliurj says:

      I think the author is seeking to find ways to not let go of companies that fulfill her desires. All the companies that denied supporting Israel are liars. As an American I know this for a FACT!!! Do you really believe that they will admit that they do??? Come on…use common sense!

  2. Avatar iMuslim says:

    Bro Saqib, I completely agree with you, in that we need to keep our heads screwed on, and show good manners in this regard.

    However, I am not so sure about your criticism of InMinds work simply because they may be Shia.

    I think if we’re going to criticize the hard work of such groups, we need to come up with better alternatives, else it’ll leave people very lost.

    How is such research carried out, and how can we work together to improve it?

  3. Avatar Turkeyfan says:

    last i checked shias were muslim as well…

    • Avatar Judgement says:

      You are right. I am sick of us muslims fighting against each other. Shia, Sunni, Sufi, etc. so what? We are all the same. We believe in the 5 pillars and THAT’s what makes us muslims.

      The Shias chose a different Caliph to the Sunnis after our Prophet (pbuh) died. So the heck what? It’s history now.

      We need to unite as one, under one banner. United we stand. Divided, we fall. THAT is why we are falling today. Because we are always fighting each other.

      We need to learn to love each other despite and for our differences. We are the same.

  4. Avatar Farhan says:

    Additionally, I think the idea of a large but disorganized boycott is not going to have much of an impact. Perhaps we should focus on 1 or 2 (maybe 3) products that are publically known and and accessible to the average person. We should be able to actually affect its profits so that it even goes as far as releasing a public statement in opposition to Israeli state terrorism, or divest entirely. Get that story going on CNN!

    Allahu ‘Alim, just an idea.

    • Avatar Tauheed says:

      Agree with you brother.
      For decades, we Muslim have been trying to use this boycott tool, without much impact. It can have some influence, only if some of the organisations feel the impact, if not all and that can be achieved only through directed and coordinated effort.

      • Avatar Judgement says:

        You’re right. We need to take them down, one by one. Focus 5-10 particular ones, well-researched and then boycott heavily until they fall, then move onto the next, and continue ad-infinitum until they feel it.

      • Avatar Mohammad says:

        Lots of talk and no Actions

    • Avatar Ss says:

      Also people we need alternatives, don’t use this n that yogurt, but that’s the only one halal?? Can anyone give me an alternative ? Same with makeup , everything’s on the list , why not instead tell us what is okay to buy in these cases.

  5. Avatar Dawud Israel says:

    I agree with the spirit of this article- but I don’t trust starbucks. They didn’t give a proper answer on their website and I remember the instant I read I felt like they thought me to be a fool. There is information out there, and they will say things like just cuz our CEO helps Israel, doesn’t mean Starbucks does…I mean gimme a break.

    I also wouldn’t criticize Shias, because it seems they are the only ones with balls lately- Iran, Hezbollah seem to be doing more than the stupid Saudis who just wanna see Iran fall.

    Also, there was something on the US Gov’t website about restricting boycotts on companies cuz of their support of Israel? Pretty explicit man.

    InMinds needs to be revamped, we need new resources. I have some pro-Palestinian products listed on my blog (on the sidebar). And above all, we need new ways to make a difference.

    If you guys have time, take a look at this idea: http://calltopeace.wordpress.com/

  6. Avatar Sunie says:

    JazakAllahukhair for bringing up the importance of understanding how public corporations function. We appear to be complete fools when trying to promote the idea that McDonalds, Starbucks etc are supporting Israel as if there is some expense item on their financial statements. That simply does not happen in the real world and we need to stop spewing such non-sense to save our own faces.

    I do feel it is more acceptable to point out that a company is heavily involved in Israel(setting up factories etc) or that their chief executives may be (personally) supporting Israel. We do need to define some limits however. If this is not done, than a HUGE group of companies can be labeled as Israel backers because of some “remote” connection.

    You know the whole “they are associated with a company that has a supplier that buys a component from a company that once sold a part to a factory in Israel”?

  7. Avatar Omar says:

    haytham- Brother, adab is something i have a lot of for other muslims, i am not sure why you would accuse me otherwise.

    Anyway brother your ad hominem argument which declares that all muslims should leave the United States because they dont support the idea of giving money to Israel is absurd. We can surly decent to the policies we see as “un-American” and unjustified.

    Beside, it is true that there is an insurmountable number of business that support Israel, but as history is our witness, boycotting an elect few yet popular supports of Israel and Zionist policy can make a world of difference. We shouldn’t use the power and influence held by pro israeli factors as an excuse to be apathetic.

    Farhan, while on this topic of boycotting i should just remind you that though i agree with what you said, we can not explicitly boycott Israel in the US since Federal Law has declared it illegal!!! (Go to my blog and you can attain the link, since i dont have it on had right now.)

    Anyway, if you read the link i posted closely you would have seen that yes it is a bio of the CEO of starbucks but it provides information on what the CEO does with starbucks revenues, what he does in the NAME of starbucks:

    “He received many prestigious awards in recognition of his numerous business contributions…integrity and social vision in business; the… innovative partnership between Starbucks and… the Jerusalem Fund of Aish HaTorah…” (Business Week)

    Now whether you heed the information given or not is your own making.

    Regards,

    Omar (rawealth.blogspot.com)

  8. Avatar haytham says:

    NO NO NO .. i wasnt saying that you have no adab… astaghfurAllah.. no wallahi… I was talking about those people who yell and shout at me for wearing a polo shirt or at the sister mentioned in the post…it was a general comment.. sorry if it appeared otherwise …

    As for me saying leave the country.. i am just tryin to show that in reality we wont be able to “stay away” from “supporting israel” because in this country.. (seems to be at least) that everybody is supporting israel..

    anyway… again.. i m sorry for misunderstanding me… please forgive me.

  9. Avatar Omar says:

    My bad brother, it was a mistake on my part…Jazak Allah khar

  10. Avatar Ahmed says:

    I agree with most of what was said. However, I do not agree with this statement, “In a nutshell, when news comes from non-Muslim sources, we have to exercise some professional skepticism regarding the information as to its validity.” I think others have addressed the Shia issue. My point, perhaps cynical, one should exercise skepticism with all news sources even from Muslims. There is a great deal of misinformation and little diligence or fact finding that takes place in Muslim circles. Half truths and rumors have found a fertile populace to spread in. We need to be more scrutinizing, thoughtful, and engaged with any campaign we embark on. I, for one, am tired of these reactionary temper tantrums. It gets us no where.

    The following may perhaps be a more authoritative source of companies that directly profit or support the occupation. It is run by an international group called Coalition of Women for Peace. http://whoprofits.org/index.php

    as-salam alikum,

    Ahmed

  11. I don’t think the post is a debate of whether or not Starbucks supports Israel.

    The post is about someone’s choice to boycott and be polite, compassionate and understanding when others may or may not agree with you or even know what is going on overseas

    VERSUS

    Someone’s choice to boycott and imposing it on everyone else to a point where they make the people feel guilty and sinful because they are “supporting the death of Muslim brothers and sisters.”

  12. Avatar MR says:

    Boycotts are only worth if entire countries blockade the import/export.

    • Avatar Rabiya says:

      I came across this blogpost through google. someone recently told me they don’t drink starbucks cuz of Israel and I was curious to find out why. And this is so out of topic, but i completely and beyond disagree with what you said, even if we put a drop in the ocean, the ocean would be less if it weren’t for that drop, just sayin’

  13. Avatar sister says:

    I agree that those who choose to boycott should be polite about it, have manners and not impose it on others. But I don’t think that people who are not pro-boycotting should look down upon or down size what boycotters are doing. No one is 100% sure that any company straight out gives money to Israel, but just there being a possiblity, personally, I would boycott the things I can avoid and things that have an alternative (i.e. coffebean instead of strarbucks). With the issue of starbucks, just knowing that the CEO is Zionist makes me disgusted to give his company any of my money, whether he really gives money to the state of Israel or not.

    I give props to those who are willing to give up something just having the idea that it might be supporting Israel.

    • Avatar Hanimuslim says:

      I agree with you, we boycott what we can… Like starbuck… There are loads of other coffee out there…

  14. Avatar Concerned Sunni says:

    Why so harsh toward the Shias?

  15. Avatar Faiez says:

    I don’t think the post is a debate of whether or not Starbucks supports Israel.

    The post is about someone’s choice to boycott and be polite, compassionate and understanding when others may or may not agree with you or even know what is going on overseas

    VERSUS

    Someone’s choice to boycott and imposing it on everyone else to a point where they make the people feel guilty and sinful because they are “supporting the death of Muslim brothers and sisters.”

    Yea, but this article is bringing forth an issue of questioning the validity of whether or not starbucks is supporting Israel by stating certain quotes from their website and discrediting the facts from other sites. Justice needs to be done to the issue if its going to be mentioned.

    Just because some poor sister had to throw away her overly priced coffee doesn’t mean that we discredit the whole issue of Starbucks (whether directly or indirectly) supporting Israel. One can say that though the people who told the sister to throw away her coffee acted emotionally to certain information, if the sister just discredits any information about starbucks supporting Israel because of this interaction then this is an emotional response as well and the truth gets lost somewhere.

    If the article is about Adab then it should focus on different ayaat/ahadith about ikhtilaaf and brotherhood and not about the issue of getting news from a faasiq. Since the majority of the article is focusing on news, then the author is obliged to provide further evidence to what he is possibly unintentionally discrediting.

  16. Avatar Hidaya says:

    Working in the Corporate world, the easiest access to coffee I have is Starbucks and I’ll admit that I never took boycotting seriously…never looked in to it, deleted the emails I received (honestly? ..I mean seriously!), I had coffee from Starbucks all the time, however I caught myself avoiding starbucks coffee during Al-Maghrib class, as I didn’t want to be embarrassed or get yelled at (SubhanAllah, shows you how emotional people are)…

    But since the recent Gaza attack, I haven’t entered inside Starbucks (in the beginning it was extremely difficult as there is hardly any DD around wall street) but alhamdulillah I’ve survived without it & not to mentioned saves me more then enough money =) I would just avoid it for the sake of $$ + health.

    I am not passionate about boycott, nor would I preach to someone else about, nor would I ever fwd any emails/sms regarding it, but then the whole culture of boycotting Starbucks has become sooo dominant that you just feel guilty stepping inside star..

  17. […] 6. Muslims need to calm down about boycotts […]

  18. Avatar Abd- Allah says:

    This has nothing to do with the article, but people please learn when to use THEN and when to use THAN. The two are NOT the same and it drives me crazy when people use them in the wrong place.

    Example:
    I ate THEN I slept. (“then” indicates the sequence of things)
    I like juice more THAN milk. (“than” is used in comparative statements)

    No I am not a grammar freak, but it is nice to see the words being used like they should be!

  19. Avatar Amad says:

    Saqib, not sure what the shia roots of the inminds site has really anything to do with this (sorry to dwell on this)… I mean the veracity of the information depends on how well it is documented and backed by evidence. To be honest, I wouldn’t care whether the site was run by shias, or for that matter even Jews or Hindus. Unless of course the site is directly benefiting a cause that we may not want to support (like promoting anti-Aisha rd material).

    Also, I am like Sr. Hidaya… I have avoided Starbucks for some innate, inexplicable reason.. it’s like “better safe, than sorry” kind of mentality.

    If we really want a “real” boycott, and want that boycott to work, it would have to be along Sh. Yaser Birjas’s line of thinking… choose one outfit, document support of Zionism/settler activity, and then go all out on it.

  20. Avatar FellowMuslim says:

    SaqibSaab,

    “This website is the most cited in the boycotts, but I don’t think many people know it is a Shia website.”

    Can you please alter/remove this line from your article? I want to send this article to my friends but I know it won’t be taken seriously with that line in it.

    That being said, jazak Allah khairun for saying what others have been thinking for a LONG time.

  21. Avatar FellowMuslim says:

    Just to be clear, I meant the props for saying what you said about the boycotting issue..not the ‘Shia website’.

  22. Avatar Abd- Allah says:

    If the website is shia then it is shia… where is the problem with calling it shia if it is shia? I mean if they have “khomeini” all over their website, I don’t think they have a problem with being called “shia”.
    http://www.inminds.co.uk/khomeini.html

    However, the information they have on their website about the companies that support Israel does need to be verified because most things these days need verification.

    Now if these companies do support Israel, then it still wouldn’t be haram to buy their products as long as the products are halal. As far as I know, you are allowed to even trade with your enemy, right? Or do the scholars say that trading with your enemy is haram?

    However, I wouldn’t put my money somewhere while knowing that some of it is going to Israel which is killing innocent people. But it is also inappropriate for me to prevent others and be harsh with them if they want to buy these products. Let every person make their own decision on this issue as long as it is not something haram.

    -Edited. Please use “bold” function sparingly and only when absolutely necessary for the point.

  23. Avatar mukmin says:

    I say… boycott Starbucks, McDonalds and Coke… for your health. Drink water (sky juice!) and eat healthy home cooked meals instead.
    :)

  24. Avatar ibneshaheen says:

    Assalamualaikum,

    May Allah reward you for taking time writing this article and give you all the hasanat as people start benefiting from it iA.

  25. Avatar Organica says:

    Finally!

    *While drinking her halal Starbucks Skinny Latte with 2 splendas”

  26. Avatar Amatullah says:

    Alhamdulillah, it’s nice not being a coffee drinker (or fast food/soda consumer) in all of this : ) I don’t think I’ve ever had a cup of coffee in my 21 yrs of life. Not my thing.

  27. Avatar Yasir Qadhi says:

    Salam Alaikum

    In my ‘Precious Provisions’ class I mentioned some issues pertaining to this. I feel that many Muslims feel that the most effective way to help their brothers is to give up their lattes. This give them a false sense of actually accomplishing something. And while I would very much agree that it is better for your health and wallet to give up such product, I would state that such boycotts on individual levels do not change the situation whatsoever – it is very likely that a higher percentage of the taxes that we pay on our earnings end up in their hands than from our Starbucks coffee. Also there is the added point that even if a percentage is given, that does not make the transaction itself haram, as the Muslims always traded with other groups even if there was animosity between them.

    Lastly, I do agree that the article seems to stress the Shiite links of that website too much; regardless of what their theology is, the issue regards verifying facts. Even if a Sunni or Christian had set up the website, in my eyes it would not have gained any more or less credibility, as this is an issue that transcends theology.

    Yasir

  28. Avatar Zahra says:

    Brief thoughts without even really getting into the issue:

    1) One of my biggest problems with this article is the blatant anti-Shiaism. I mean really? Do we need that much more divisiveness? It’s one thing to hold such beliefs, it’s another to spread them. I am not personally able to give weight to an argument that utilizes calling other people non-Muslim as a justification. Further, putting aside the inappropriateness of takfir by implication I didn’t realize the Palestinian cause was open only to Muslims.

    2) Quitting luxuries like Starbucks will help us channel our energy towards rebuilding Gaza. Think of it this way – that’s an extra $2-5 that can be donated. Additionally, purifying our bodies of pollutants like coffee and freeing ourselves from addictions makes us better able to work on important issues like Palestine.

    3) Did anybody really believe that Starbucks or any other corporations donated corporate funding to Apartheid Israel? We shouldn’t change strategies because certain individuals clearly misunderstod the facts.

  29. Avatar Abd- Allah says:

    Does the “bold” function use up more ink or what?

  30. Avatar tazo tea latte says:

    The only successful boycott I have seen is when entire countries got together and boycotted danish goods. that made a tangible impact. but these calls to boycott starbucks are just tricks of shaytaan making people do a little and think they are doing a lot.

    also as for the website being shia, it’s important to not assume everything on the website is correct. i agree though, it doesn’t matter if its shia or not, but that research and verification should take place no matter whose website it is – even if it is a muslim website.

  31. bismillah.

    commented on, because i hope someone at that school eventually apologized to the sister. i think the article could have been about one thing — no matter how much good we want to do, we have to have good akhlaque.

    subhanAllah, i have no idea what was happening in that room before the sister walked in — maybe someone had just shared some news that overwhelmed the staff. an inflammatory story about Starbucks, true or not. an story of Israeli/zionist brutality against Palestinians, which should make most people upset just imagining the story.

    so, maybe seeing that cup at that particular moment was just too much because of whatever else was going on that we do not know about. wAllaho’Alim, and only He and they know what was in their hearts then. i’d like to hope the people in that school do not normally yell at each other without any provocation, and as a Muslim, i always want to approach what i do not know about a situation in the light most favorable to the people involved.

    but you still hope that when they calmed down, and that that was hopefully soon after having been so cruel, that they apologized sincerely, recognizing that they had been transgressors.

    how many times do we hear the example of the bedouin who walked into the masjid and just started going to the bathroom. :) if you cannot smile at that story, you need to try. smile because the sahabas all wanted to rip that guy to shreds! and if that was not proper for them in that circumstance, then attacking this sister was definitely unjustified. rather the best way to treat her would have been with the mercy that RasoolAllah sull Allaho alayhi wa sallam showed the bedouin.

    what about the boycotts? when people treat each other with respect, with the best akhlaque, including the people for and against the boycotts, i’ll be more than happy to listen. i wonder if we could open a “non-profit” coffee chain where all the “profits” went to charitable relief in Palestine and other Muslim lands under occupation or the subjugation of brutal regimes? put that in your pots and brew it.

  32. Avatar Jahanzaib says:

    The author, may Allah (SWT) bless his intentions, should know that as a Muslim its our right to choose between right and wrong, why is it so hard to denounce these products? after all we have to know that if all the links and documents posted on the internet and sources listed out there are referring to boycott these companies/products then there might be a chance of little truth in it.

    Also another thing to keep in mind, is that these products can easily be substituted with other products, no one is asking anyone to give up coffee or fries or coke for that matter. If your heart has little doubt then please refrain from doing such acts. If you feel that there can be a little truth to all of this then please go ahead and boycott the products by all means and Allah (SWT) will at least reward you for your intentions.

    I regularly intake coffee and i have easily substituted it by another franchise and if for some reason i find out tomorrow or have doubt abt this other franchise then i am ready to boycott it as well and isn’t that Jihad al nafs (refraining from your desires).

    We can do this, hit them hard where it hurts. Enough is Enough, they cannot take our money and do war on our Muslim brothers and sisters or on anyone else for that matter.

    • Avatar Hanimuslim says:

      I support your views 100%… If we cant give million of money to help the muslim… Dont add money to the fund that will be used against our muslim brother and sister… 1dollar from 1000 muslims to the fund against muslim can easily be used to buy many bullets… I am not going to give my money for the bullets to kill my dear muslim baby, children, brothers and sisters ;(

  33. Avatar Faiez says:

    I guess the main point of this article was really the whole issue of akhlaaq, dealing with people, and verifying news.

    Maybe we should take away those points from this article and not so much the facts as they need some checking.

  34. Avatar ibnabeeomar says:

    I think a lot of important issues are raised, but unfortunately the side issues are detracting from it.
    i started writing a longer response and then i realized sh. yasir already made the points i was going to :)

    verification should happen regardless of the source, and we also should not let our emotions get in the way of assessing the situation. i think framing it in terms of it being a shia website is not the best way to make the point, but the contention is true – we need to verify it before just running with it (which many people often do because of the emotion behind it).

    i also feel uncomfortable at the outrage other muslims express if they see me drinking starbucks (tea, not coffee). we overlook things such as muslims selling liquor, financing their lives on ribaa, and other issues – but we jump down people’s throats if they are drinking starbucks.

    also, for what its worth, i would contend this to be the case even if it is proven that starbucks is directly supporting israel, because as sh. yasir said, it doesn’t make the transaction haram. moreover, an individual boycott doesn’t do anything, all it does is deprive you of a nice warm chai latte with iced lemon pound cake.

    if there was a large scaled organized boycott, its a different story. hitting a donor like starbucks or mcdonalds – even if we are successful in this boycott, it won’t change anything in israel because its not as if starbucks is somehow financing the entire operation. its like if the rockets are beating you, and t-mac has dropped 50 on the night – you cant start throwing double teams at von wafer and expect to win the game. you’ll shut him out, but it won’t make any difference because t-mac is still killing you.

    ideally we need our muslim countries to come together and see where they can make a serious economic impact (much like the danish goods) and then people could follow suit in an organized manner.

  35. Avatar Algebra says:

    Aslamu-alaikum:
    IbneeOmar:
    “ideally we need our muslim countries to come together and see where they can make a serious economic impact (much like the danish goods) and then people could follow suit in an organized manner.”

    I concur with this statement.
    Plus i like the Seattle’s Best Coffee anyway.
    However, I will drink a Starbuck’s Latte if i can’t find a Seattles Best Coffee….
    but that’s not for boycotting reasons.
    who would drink a latte with Splenda. I didnt’ get that bit. anyway.

    MCDONALD”S UNHEALTHY in every way……………………plus there coffee doesn’t taste good anyway……………….no option of whip cream
    BOYCOTT MCDONALD”S JUST BECAUSE IT IS UNHEALTHY………………….
    .

    salam

  36. Avatar mulsimah says:

    i dont know i mean if they are supporting why drink it.. but we are respoinsible for our own actions and becareful before we judge others so i agree, chill! but do educated nicely.

    this reminds me of a case where a friend worked in islamic school (doesnt wear hijab but wore it for respect cause she worked there) basically put up w everything there. Then one day her uncle came who is pretty young and gave her a kiss while she was in class and it went around and the whole staff gathered and embarrased her accused her of having a bf.. she cleared herself but quit right there.

    alhumdulilah today she has opend up her own school

  37. Avatar Mubarak Khan(Al Hind) says:

    Dear all,

    We Indians believe what ever we read.Most of us have started boycotting products.Could you please give us a convincing answer instead of just writing “do you support isreal?? NO. etc etc………

    As per me Coke,starbucks and what ever company it is…..they employee local citizens for example i know some guys who are working in Saudi Pepsi and Coke company….. They get paid .. I am sure starbucks also employees muslims…… if we start boycotting products without any knowledge then dont you think the employeers will give a second thought to employee muslims….. so instead of benifitting by boycott we might end up spoiling someones job who is our muslim brother or sister.

    I have a Gaza friend in Sweden (Ziad bin Abdul Rehman) ” he once had told me “We muslims will win AQSA masjid only when people go to prayer in equal numbers to both Fajr Salah and Sal tul Juma”

    i think we neeed to concentrate on our prayers insha allah almighty allah will put us back to No1 position in this world… So be honest and lets ask almighty allah alone who is going to help us here and hereafter…..

  38. It’s really sad how the sister was treated subhanAllah, I think the above comments on akhlaaq pretty much summed up anything I would say.

    We’re really loosing sight of the bigger picture here, like br Omar said, forgetting that we’re immersed in ribaa and other types of blatantly haraam dealings…Yet we’re adamant about boycotting Starbucks. Allahul Musta’aan.

  39. Avatar Ameera says:

    Eye-opening, JazakAllah!

    Must share this with others now. :)

  40. Avatar Habayeb says:

    I agree with Bro Mubarak Khan about the prayer part. Even Shk Riad Ourzazi made that point once in a lecture of his that i attended in the UAE.

  41. Avatar Asad says:

    Ok so its one argument that starbucks or mcdonalds or whatever must be boycotted b/c they support israel but what about they being american? I dont live in the US and in my circle of acquaintances there is a tendency to shun everything that is from the US. the argument being some what the same that they are directly responsible in the US economy which is directly responsible in killing muslims. Is there any denying in that? People here have alternatives to starbucks, mcdonalds, pizza hut etc. so they tend to support that rather then spending their hard earned money on these corporations. The businesses they support are mainly muslim owned.
    One thing about the impact. Granted that on an individual level any sort of boycott wont do much harm but collectively it can. I think danish products did suffer after the cartoon thing. I think people who have alternatives should practice such boycotts. In my opinion this can even be a source of valuable economic activity which is quite lacking in the muslim world. I know there are a few complications in this thinking (coz the argument can be extended to extremities) but collectively it can be worked out.

  42. Avatar Amatullah says:

    Assalamu Alykum

    Sheikh Aby Khaliyl from USA did his research on this matter, his email can be accessed from the Yahoo group Quran wa Sunnah. JazakAllahu Khair.

  43. Avatar anon says:

    @ibnabeeomar
    I agree that people suddenly attacking you for having a starbucks coffee is an emotional, insensible and insensitive reaction. BUT:

    “Moreover, an individual boycott doesn’t do anything, all it does is deprive you of a nice warm chai latte with iced lemon pound cake.”

    Quite the contrary. Technically permissible or not, as someone else said somewhere – even if we can’t make a massive difference in the political status quo – can we not keep our own selves clear of supporting evil? Yes, we’re paying taxes anyway to the US that supports Israel – but unless we have the motivation and the will to move out, taxes can’t be helped. Drinking a cup of coffee is something directly in our control however, and can be helped. Depriving yourself of that warm chai latte with iced lemon pound cake will do a lot. It will spread consciousness about it to someone who notices you nearby, add to your good deeds for having done something small in your power to not finance oppression, please Allah for having made a tiny effort to demonstrate that your loyalties do not lie with murderers and genocide-supporters, spare a few dollars for something healthier, perhaps serve as a ticket for a cup of something in Heaven far better than any latte on earth, and train you a little more towards controlling the petty desires of the Nafs . Are we Muslims really so incapable of such tiny, tiny sacrifices? No wonder we’re in such a pathetic state in the world.

    “ideally we need our muslim countries to come together and see where they can make a serious economic impact (much like the danish goods) and then people could follow suit in an organized manner.”

    I wish us Muslims would stop blaming our “countries” and start doing something ourselves. If we have failed to push our governments to do anything, it’s not like our governments have cut off our limbs or closed our minds or forced starbucks down our throats by force. The sheer number of muslim citizens, or citizens of any country for that matter, far outweighs the power or number of people running our governments. If we did it together, even if our “countries” or our rulers couldn’t care less, it would work. Consumer is King. It’s time to stop asking what others are doing, what “countries” are doing, what “people” are doing, and start doing something ourselves. The “countries” and the “people” that we whine about not doing anything are made up of none other than ourselves.

    “if there was a large scaled organized boycott, its a different story.”
    Why can’t it be? The change starts at the individual level. We need to awaken each other individually, one by one.

    Allah, being Just, does not change the condition of a people unless they start the change themselves.

  44. Avatar anon says:

    Not that you were whining about people not doing anything… perhaps you were simply suggesting a solution.

    In any case, we need to Wake Up. Together. Individually.

  45. Avatar Hassan says:

    I have no opinion on boycott itself. Although I am always confused why people pay 4$ for crap.

    The other point, indeed starbucks is public traded company. But the majority shareholder guy (forgot his name) is 110% supporter of Israel and does everything to help them. So whoever makes profit gets to help their causes.

  46. Avatar SaqibSaab says:

    Assalaamu alaykum all,

    One thing I love about writing on outlets like MuslimMatters is the amount of legit criticism one can get. Since I put the post up I’ve been reading the comments and you have no idea how much it helps to have feedback from all of you. Thanks to everyone for that.

    I think I can say that my Shia comments were, as I would say, “a bit of a stretch.” I’ve modified them accordingly.

    As for the point of the article, it was the following:

    (1) We go overboard on this issue. (2) The information for the boycott tends to be exaggerated (I don’t buy it). (3) We get so hung up on these issues we forget our akhlaq. And (4) there are better ways to pull it off.

    On a side note, I don’t like Starbucks coffee by itself. It tastes… off. Panera, Caribou, and Dunkin are all superior. And cheaper.

  47. Avatar Ibn Masood says:

    McDonalds and Coke are bad for you anyway. Don’t touch the stuff.

    And Starbucks is just a ripoff. Come to Canada and get some Tim Hortons.

  48. Avatar ibnabeeomar says:

    @anon – i agree. let’s start with praying fajr and isha in the masaajid, in abstaining from haram rizq, and other major and minor sins. then let’s move forward in making stances against things which aren’t haram to begin with, but more symbolic in nature like starbucks. our emotions often force us to dismiss the “usual” stuff in favor of these.

    as another comment said, people often get fooled into doing a little and thinking it is a lot.

  49. Avatar hayat says:

    Starbucks, Coca Cola, Nestle and so on shouldn’t be boycotted just because they may or may not support Israel. But what about Starbucks exlpotation of Ethopian coffee farmers, Coca Cola’s contamination of the environment and fresh water in India? and the list goes on and on.
    Those things are facts and have been known for years, this was the reason why I stopped buying their products way before I even have heard of them supposedly supporting Israel

  50. Avatar anon says:

    @ibnabeeomar – i agree with you completely there. the “usual” stuff should never, ever be dismissed. well said.

    on the other hand, i see that as a long term goal that we should be constantly involved in for ourselves and our muslim brothers and sisters around us, because this change cannot happen any time soon, since entire lifestyles and frames of thought have to be changed for it to work.

    which is why i don’t think this continuous long-term effort dismisses the importance of another effort, ie of spreading the message during crisis situations about something that can have a large impact if done collectively. Boycotting a few products is a far smaller thing for an otherwise indifferent individual to do even if he/she is not religiously or spiritually inclined. and if done properly, collectively, it is beyond symbolic. it can have practical results.

  51. Avatar Shaam says:

    Brother Ahmed gave a very good link….. Thank you.

    I wish someone would do an extensive research and help us to make decision that will really impact and will be worth boycotting. I don’t go to MaCdonald or Burger King, don’t by Coke or Pepsi, don’t drink Starbukcs coffee… not necessarily for Boycotting, but really for my Health. Unless I know how boycotting will impact or fund Zionist State, how can I expect others to follow, let alone scold?

    We should take a look at these Idustries”

    Shamrock Holding:
    Roy E. Disney Family
    http://whoprofits.org/Company%20Info.php?id=575
    http://whoprofits.org/Company%20Info.php?id=648

    General Mills (Philsbury)
    http://whoprofits.org/Company%20Info.php?id=669
    (includes Green Giant forzen food, and Cheerios)

    Uniliver
    http://whoprofits.org/Company%20Info.php?id=579
    http://whoprofits.org/Company%20Info.php?id=578

    Pizzahut
    http://whoprofits.org/Company%20Info.php?id=491

    Amnon and Tamar (Pyramid Herbal Seasonings)
    Kroger; Whole Foods (in USA)
    http://whoprofits.org/Company%20Info.php?id=611

  52. Avatar Sarah says:

    *sigh* i think you people love your Starbucks and McDonalds too much….

    heres a letter written by Howard Schultz to his Starbucks customers

    http://syukran.wordpress.com/2007/09/07/a-thankyou-to-all-starbucks-customers/

    i think that says enough

    at any rate regardless of the letter… Howard Schultz himself has received many awards from Israel for his donations… even if they are personal donations… how did he make that money in the first place?

  53. Avatar Miako says:

    hayat!
    http://www.sweetmarias.com/
    Fair prices! Green coffee keeps for ages, you can roast and grind it yourself, and then just make the espresso in the morning! (or do the frenchpress or arabic way, whatever).
    Also, the Yemeni and Ethiopian Coffees Maria sells are ABSOLUTELY OUT OF THIS WORLD! I love the chocolately delicious yemeni, and I had a Misty Valley Ethiopian that tasted like I was drinking blueberry juice (that’s cause it’s so fresh, sometimes your tongue hallucinates because it isn’t quite sure what it’s drinking).

    It’s, maybe, $400 for the setup (roaster/grinder and espresso machine, about $250 for roaster/grinder/frenchpress). That’s 100 days worth of Starbucks. It is SO worth it, to be able to see who you are buying from. http://www.sweetmarias.com/Ethiopia_Dire_Dawa_Harar_2008/Ethiopia_Dire_Dawa_Harar_2008.html (nb: this contains pictures of people, the countryside, and the coffee manufacturing. if you choose not to look at people’s pictures taken with their permission, you probably don’t want to look)

  54. Avatar jannah says:

    While the author’s point is valid he should have done more research as well. There were very clear AP articles from a few years ago about the CEO of Starbucks donating to Zionist organizations. He even won an award from one of them as mentioned before. When you buy from starbucks you are supporting their profits and some of those profits do filter up to the CEOs salary. So I don’t know… in cases where it is clear and well known where your money is going we should probably refrain, but if someone has no issue about it or thinks it’s personal spending or too many levels up to monitor it’s up to them.

  55. Avatar msa says:

    i like my coffee with baby blood please…

  56. Salaam

    As much as Starbucks corporation is TRYING to distance themselves from their Israel connection, the facts concerning their CEO’s relationship to and support of Israel are well documented. And NOT just in Muslim media.

    So: I DO NOT BUY STARBUCKS PRODUCTS.

    Period.

  57. Avatar osman says:

    the facts of Starbucks CEO donating to Israel is clear. The CEO gets his money from Starbucks. Therefore, I think a boycott of Starbucks is legit.

  58. Glad I’m a canadian, can’t go wrong with good old Tim Horton’s

  59. Avatar jamal iladwan says:

    i think that however wrote this artical is pushed by someone who knows the certain amount of what these companies are loseing from this boycot and he feels that he must to let us focus on something else and not do damage to these well known names in bussiness i wonder what his gain is out of this???? we support the people of gaza with whatever we can from food to blood to medication that doesnt mean we should look the other side and go eat at mac then drink our coffee at starbucks if it wasnt us supporting and giving them bussiness for these companies i dont think they would have done what they have done in gaza but isreal knows that god bless america will help pay for the cost of this muslim blood shattered in gaza and the brand names that were mentioned all support isreal and if like this ….who wrote this articall is saying the truth why dont they even defend thereselves from these accuzations because simply they cant so they let a muslim and god knows if he is can be asked by himself and answer himself “absolutly not” this artical just made me proud that what me and my brothers in islam all over the world are doing to these companies is takeing affect and made a low life try to convince us that no need to do this that means there hurting to all muslim that have honor for islam and prophet mohammed keep the good work going i bet you next they will let ilazher give us a iftaa that we must not boycott these companies because they have muslim families living off there paychecks and then we will hear kewteb in friday prayers telling us what we are doing is haram and we will go to jehenm if we continue doing so my advise to all my brothers and sister keep the good work going and we are affecting them you can tell wallah

  60. Avatar Intelect1430 says:

    What would Muhammed SAS do, if he was alive, that’s the question we each individually have to ask ourselves, then seek protection only in Allah SWT and ask only Him SWT for guidance and help. Live life for yourself on the commandments of Allah SWT as shown by Muhammed SAS. Ultimately you, yes, you are accountable for your decisions and actions not someone else.

  61. > What would Muhammed SAS do, if he was alive
    >

    What he reportedly DID do was to cut down their date trees.

    Today their “trees” are corporations… Like Starbucks.

    Masalaam

  62. Avatar ibnabeeomar says:

    Gregory, not to nitpick (but i guess that means i am nitpicking) – the incident you refer to happened once – during the incident with the siege with the tribe of banu nadeer, and referenced in surah hashr-

    What you (O Muslims) cut down of the palm-trees (of the enemy), or you left them standing on their stems, it was by Leave of Allah, and in order that He might disgrace the Fasiqun (59:5)

    it was a specific tactic done in that particular situation, and some scholars even went to lengths indicating why this tactic was done since generally it was assumed one shouldn’t do things like cut down trees.

    in any case, even if you wish to still apply that analogy here, i would still like to see how this would make a dent. lets be realistic, even if 1 million muslims gave up starbucks, would it really cause a noticeable blip on their radar? and even then, how would they know?

  63. Avatar Abd- Allah says:

    “i would still like to see how this would make a dent. lets be realistic, even if 1 million muslims gave up starbucks, would it really cause a noticeable blip on their radar? and even then, how would they know?”

    Brother Ibnabeeomar, IF we did infact identify that starbucks was giving some percentage of its profits to Israel, and we wanted to do something about that, the goal would not be to make a “dent” in starbucks or make the company go bankrupt and close or even let them know that we are upset at them because they support Israel (ultimately, yes that would be our goal to close down the company so that no more aid goes to Israel, but we are talking realistically here for practical purposes), but rather our goal would be to minimize the amount of aid that starbucks is giving to Israel, which is a percentage of its profits.

    So if starbucks hypothetically gives Israel 10% of its profits and we knew that for a fact, then those 1 million muslims by boycotting starbucks can reduce its revenue and profit, and therefore reduces the amount of money that starbucks gives to Israel. It doesn’t have to be a big reduction in their profit and what they give to Israel, nor do they (starbucks) need to notice it or know that this reduction in revenue was caused by muslims boycotting them, but if it only sevred to reduce the aid going to Israel then that should be good enough for us, because everyone will agree that if starbucks hypothetically gives Israel 10 million dollars a year (which is a fixed percentage) from its profits, then if starbucks’ revenue decreases and it ends up giving Israel that same fixed percentage from its profits which now equals 5 million dollars only because their revenue went down, then everyone would agree that even if starbucks was still giving Israel 5 million dollars, but that is still much better than the 10 million dollars that they used to give them when their revenue was higher, even if that is not what we would want optimally.

    The whole point is that less revenue for starbucks means less money goes to Israel from them which means less Israeli opression (even if the opression is not completely stopped. Now this is assuming that we were able to verify without doubt that starbucks are indeed giving Israel money from their profits).

    Two issues remain at hand, 1) verifying for sure that a specific company like starbucks or the others does for a fact give Israel money and supports it, and this verification process is not that easy as we all have seen, because some sources say starbucks does support Israel while other sources say no, so who do we trust and what is the truth… and 2) not all muslims would want to boycott, even if it was verified that starbucks supports Israel, not all muslims would want to give up their coffee for that fact, and this is something that we can’t force people to do, because making these transactions with starbucks, even if they are supportng Israel, would not be haram. So this would remain a personal choice for every person to make individually if they want to boycott or not.

    But the whole point is that the goal of boycotting (the way those who do call for a boycott see it) would be to reduce the amount of aid that goes to Israel from starbucks, if indeed it is proven that it does support it.

    I do not support either side of the debate strongly, because for one, it is not really clear which companies really support Israel and give them money for real or if these are just rumors. First we would have to find out for a fact if these companies support Israel before we can really take a side and decide if we want to boycott or not.

    Allah knows best.

  64. Avatar AbuMisbah says:

    Assalam alaikum,

    The topic of this article ‘Muslims need to calm down…’ looks to be misleading, or leading towards complacency regarding boycotts.

    Muslims are not allowed to indulge in any form of dealings with the militant Jews who tend to wage war against Islam and Muslims with every tooth and nail. What do we expect from those who occupied our lands, violated the sanctity of the Sanctuaries, and continue their brutal profaning against all that which is Islamic in broad daylight?!

    Referring to this, Allah Almighty says: “Allah forbiddeth you only those who warred against you on account of religion and have driven you out from your homes and helped to drive you out, that ye make friends of them. Whosoever maketh friends of them (All) such are wrong doers.” (Al-Mumtahanah: 9)

    The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, is reported to have said: “Fight the Kuffar with your hands, with your money and with your tongues as well (i.e. denouncing their aggressions against Muslims)

    The choice of peace is no longer practicable for us Muslims, regarding this issue, especially with many obstacles hindering its course. Hence, we have no any effective weapon but to boycott the Israeli products. That is why it is obligatory upon Muslims to boycott the Jews economically, culturally and politically.

    In addition, boycott should be extended to encompass those warring factions from among the People of the Book such as the Serbs, Americans who attack Muslims, Hindus as well as those who relentlessly wage war against Islam or even support those who wage war against Muslims.

    Also please read these two fatwas:

    http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?cid=1119503545220&pagename=IslamOnline-English-Ask_Scholar/FatwaE/FatwaEAskTheScholar

    http://www.islamweb.net/ver2/Fatwa/ShowFatwa.php?lang=e&Id=88622&Option=FatwaId

  65. Avatar ilmsummitee says:

    Asalamu Alaykum-

    With all due respect, I know that I am insignificant in terms of scholarly understanding or status yet I would like to state my humble & simple opinion inshallah. (Please note that I am in no way trying to offend or hurt or even stir up any probs, if I do please be generous in forgiving me. )

    Bismillah

    First, I dont think we need to over-do generalizations. I dont think everyone (or most) who supports the methodology of boycotts is a “crazy” insensitive person who disregards other important matters and fails to grasp the true understanding of their deen. I say this, b/c this stereotype has been emphasized over and over again. I think this is a dangerous route to come near to, and I speak to myself first and foremost. May Allah help all those who may fall in this category nonetheless, but also help those who are wrongly labeled.

    Second, Why cant we do both? Why do we always have to focus on one thing or the other? For instance, I can choose not to purchase a selected amount of brands, 2 or 3 that I believe are strong supporters & providers of illegal & immoral stands (whether its Palestine or Fair Trade cocoa, etc). At the same time, I can take action in helping rebuild Gaza by donations, volunteering with non-profit organizations, etc.

    Third, I agree with you in terms of “channeling our emotion” but again you trivialize “boycott issue” in a non-intending but seemingly offensive way. I remind you also that NOTHING is ever small when done for the sake of Allah (swt) (obviously when not violating conformity of the sunnah & quran). Even if something may seem insignificant, in the eyes of Allah it can be grander than anything we have imagined b/c its true values lies in the scale of sincerety. Many examples of this are found in the seerah.

    Fourth, the result is to please Allah (swt), and trust that with our work and tawakul in Him he can change anything. Even if what we are doing may not seem effective; we just have to push ourselves to cross that line inshallah…And the change in hearts may follow with Allah (swt) allowing a change in the situation. And realize that we are all held accountable of what we do; if these companies did in fact support Israel and the money was used to kill our own brothers and sisters……then lets just say I personally would not want to take the risk of facing Allah (swt) on the day of judgment trying to explain it rather I’d be happy to recount how I did not participate even when ppl mocked or dissuaded me from doing so …..all I’d say is that I did it solely for His sake (swt), walhamdulilah.

    Fifth, the root problem we seem to easily glance over is our selves. Its not a matter of boycotts or writing letters or protesting or fundraising or anything that holds power of change. It is ourselves as many shuyookh and MM writers have already spoken about. We all need to change to get closer to our deen; it may be reading & memorizing more quran to praying in the night more often. It can even be trying to perfect our manners, being more patient or compassionate. Whatever it is, things are not going to get better unless we make the BIGGEST effort which is to work on ourselves……and as many of us know that in itself is possibly one of the greatest challenges to face. May Allah help us and return our ummah to His deen, to the quran, to the masajid, to the sunnah…to return it a beautiful return inshallah. Ameen thuma Ameen.

    Walhamdulilah Raby Al-A’lameen.

  66. Avatar Greg Kavalec says:

    > i would still like to see how this would make a dent. lets be realistic,
    > even if 1 million muslims gave up starbucks, would it really cause a
    > noticeable blip on their radar? and even then, how would they know?

    Ibnabeeomar, PLEASE do a little reality check.

    1. They ARE noticing. Starbucks has been spending PR dollars to distance themselves from any Israel connection.

    2. Alhamdullah, the boycott is NOT just Muslims. Others are waking up to nature of zionazism.

    3. Starbucks is closing 616 stores by the end of March. I can assure you, with NO hesitation, that “1 million muslims” could easily have kept them open.

  67. Avatar ilmsummitee says:

    I would encourage everyone to read this—– written about BOYCOTTS, and why they WORK!!!! (and will work bithnillah)

    Enough. It’s time for a boycott
    The Guardian, Saturday 10 January 2009
    Naomi Klein

    The best way to end the bloody occupation is to target Israel with the kind of movement that ended apartheid in South Africa

    It’s time. Long past time. The best strategy to end the increasingly bloody occupation is for Israel to become the target of the kind of global movement that put an end to apartheid in South Africa. In July 2005 a huge coalition of Palestinian groups laid out plans to do just that. They called on “people of conscience all over the world to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era”. The campaign Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions was born.


    It was this kind of cold business calculation that led many companies to pull out of South Africa two decades ago. And it’s precisely the kind of calculation that is our most realistic hope of bringing justice, so long denied, to Palestine.

    Read the full article here:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/jan/10/naomi-klein-boycott-israel

    -Edited. Pls do not add full articles, just a short excerpt.

  68. Avatar Asad says:

    Here’s a boycott of a different kind. if this kind of collective stance is taken on it, the world particularly israel will surely feel it.

    http://www.ijtema.net/2009/02/07/us-academic-boycott-call/

  69. Avatar ilmsummitee says:

    JazakAllahu khairan bro Asad for that link!

    I was actually thinking of sending it to my current and previous professors and ask them to participate in it, inshallah. Maybe we can all do that inshallah! In any case, spread the word everyone………………………

  70. Avatar Algebra says:

    Aslamu=alaikum:
    @ilmsummitee
    THANKS for the LINK.

    that brings me to the idea of How NELSON MANDELA stayed in Jail for many many years and it did make a difference.
    even though today many people would disagree to that attitude or stand of his.
    anyway
    salam

  71. Avatar anon says:

    “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead

    The Starbucks and McDonalds of today were started by a few focused businessmen.

    The light of Islam spread to the entire world starting from a few quiet, persecuted people huddled around candles.

    Why are we so willing to give up on making a change before we even start???

  72. Does anybody see the hilarity in the fact that we’re all so concerned with coffee? wow. This is too much for me.

    Its just coffee!

    Like someone else said, a Muslim family can be living under RIBA…RIBA…reminds yourselves a bout the severity of Riba, the hadith about the punishment of Riba, may Allah save us All from that!! and you will be scared to even say the word, much less allow your Muslim brother or sister to live like that! Love for your brother what you love for yourself, whether they be Palestinian or Algerian or Venezuelan.

    Allahu Akbar. may Allah guide us all to the priorities in life that will make this Ummah strong.

  73. anyways, I should post about the article. I think the second to last paragraph(especially the last sentence of that paragraph) sums it up quite nicely. this was very much needed. JazakomAllah kheir, may Allah reward the author and all the staff of MM.

    “Based on how we’ve reacted to these boycotts and other secondary efforts to support our oppressed Palestinian brethren, it’s clear that we need to calm down and have more of a straight head about the issue altogether. I am not against the boycotts in any way, and am in fact for boycotting those companies and organizations that directly support the likes of Israel or Denmark. What I am saying, however, is we can do a better job of channeling our energy in supporting the Palestinian cause.”

  74. Avatar Intelect1430 says:

    Starbucks Coffee is ubiquitous on the high streets of most towns all over the world. They are also extremely active within most middle eastern and asian countries, including Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Qatar, Indonesia, Malaysia and many other muslim majority countries.

    This presence makes it all the more confusing when we receive emails and messages to support a boycott of Starbucks stores in the west, when the “muslim” countries are seemingly opening these stores at speed when others in the west are being forced to close through lack of business. I can only assume that, like myself, they were perhaps previously unaware of the extent of Starbucks coffees’ involvement in the “War on Terror”. Though the text messages we have received indicate a support of Zionism, which may have some truth in it, the verifiable facts are in fact a lot more concerning for any muslim.

    I first heard about Starbucks briefly last year, when I read a book called “Bad Men” by Clive Stafford Smith, a human rights lawyer working to provide legal representation to those in Guantanamo Bay.( I urge anyone who has not done so already to read this book by the way, in order to understand the full horrors of the Bush legacy ). In it, he describes a visit to Guantanamo Bay that he undertook, and one item that caught my eye is a Starbucks being present on the Naval Base / Internment camp. This made me think, but in my own shallowness and desire for Frapucinnos, I ignored these early warning signs.

    Then Gaza happened. Many emails came to my attention, saying such things as “Starbucks is giving Saturdays profits to Israel”, “Every coffee sold Starbucks is donating 10p” or “Drinking Starbucks is like drinking the blood of a palestinian child”. I decided to investigate these allegations for myself over the weekend, and so I can share my investigations with you.

    Starbucks deny that they support Israel in terms of donations. You can see this on their website. However, they do not deny that their CEO, Howard Schultz, is an active Zionist. Inminds has a copy of an award (that has since been taken from their site ) which presented him with a “Israel 50th Anniversary Tribute Award” by Aish Hatora (fire of the Torah). This group financed an anti-islamic documentary that was posted out for free in key “swing states” in the United States in the recent US election ( but that’s another story). They are a pro-zionist organisation, encouraging the apartheid policy actively in Palestine at the moment.

    Now, Starbucks could well argue ( as they have said on their site ), that the actions of its CEO does not reflect the organisation. We can then ask them why they sponsored a “Bowl4Israel” event (twice) in which monies raised went towards the Israeli Defence Forces benevolence fund. This organisation in a twisted irony produced posters stating that Palestinians are baby-killers.

    What disturbs me most of all is their unquestioning support for the US Army and armed forces, who are at present occupying at least two countries (compared to Israels one ) and has killed over 100,000 muslim civilians in the past 5 years alone ( compared to Israels 3,000). In their support of the US armed forces, particularly the “war on terror”, Starbucks have made no contrasting statements and no attempts to hide their involvement ( unlike their Zionist-related activities). They are PROUD of their involvement, as their own statements say :-

    “Starbucks has the deepest respect and admiration for U.S. military personnel. We are extremely grateful to the men and women who serve stateside or overseas. We sincerely appreciate that they are willing to risk their lives to protect Americans and our values of freedom and democracy… our partners in our Atascadero, California store sent their weekly mark out coffee to troops in Afghanistan so they are able to enjoy a little piece of home. Our customer relations department in Seattle donated hundreds of pounds of coffee to the sailors in the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier group.”

    It is also disturbing to read that Starbucks Coffee is being used in Military Interrogations as an incentive ( replacing the stereotypical “fancy a smoke?” ) in Guantanamo Bay, as a break from waterboarding, stress positions and torture.

    Now, one has to ask : If I, a humble part-time activist, is able to uncover these things, then why are the muslim countries presumably unaware of these activities? Why would Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Malaysia and others grant licences to this company, knowing it is indirectly involved all the atrocities and torture of the US Military, through providing them free and subsidised coffee in between their daily activities of torture, rape and murder?

    I don’t think there can be any doubt in Starbucks support for anti-muslim activities, and I am now committed to an “anti-frappucino” rule! If we all commit to these boycott, and in particular advise the inhabitants of the muslim countries ( which in some cases are nearly 100% muslim) to do the same, I am sure we will see either Starbucks alter its policy or else disinvest from the Middle east and muslim world.

    I intend to write a letter to Starbucks advising them why I am ceasing to drink their coffee, and I will also write to their trading partners making them aware that I am disappointed with their association with Starbucks. These trading partners are :-

    Apple, Borders, Hilton Group, Hyatt Hotels, Marriott Hotels, PepsiCo, Radisson SAS, Safeways, Starwood Hotel Group and T-Mobile, etc….

    Told ya, strive to go back the Sunnah Way( if you understand what it means)………..Insha’Allah.

    Wa Billahi Taufeeq.

  75. Avatar miss says:

    Assalamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
    i like your point about akhlaaq ALOT, I think that should have been the focus of your article akhi, since as you yourself mentioned, you are uncertain about the effects of the boycott.

    I think my brother, we should be careful before saying that we “dont buy it” [the boycott] or think its “exaggerated” . Why? Because if indeed every purchase being made toward these companies is sending funds to kill and murder those in Palestine, we may unintentionally cause people to stop boycotting with our comments. Perhaps even hundreds of people may read our comments taking the boycott lightly, and they may decide to stop boycotting, and the weight may be on us. It is always better to be silent about issues that one is not entirely certain about, especially if being vocal holds a chance of causing greater harm through mention of opinions.

    If there is even a chance of being wrong, better to be silent….especially on public forums…just my 2 cents….sometimes it can be dangerous to blog opinions, because one does not know the exact impact of them….which is scary if you think about it!!

    Jazakallahu khairan for your time…May Allah swt reward your sincere intentions and grant you Jennah. Ameen!

  76. Yes “it is just coffee”.

    Salaam Saysthepalestinian.

    But I like coffee. I am going to buy and drink coffee.

    And if I knowingly buy coffee – or any products – where the profits go to suppress my brother Muslims then I can be sure of a punishment drinking another boiling liquid.

    “Anyone of you who sees wrong, let him undo it with his hand;
    and if he cannot, then let him speak against it with his tongue,
    and if he cannot do this either, then (let him abhor it) with his heart,
    and this is the least of faith.”

    Are you satisfied with the least of faith? I am not.

  77. Avatar ilmsummitee says:

    BarakAllahu feekum @ Intelect1430 …..thanks for sharing, mashallah very well-written.
    And @ Algebra— wa eyakum!

  78. Avatar Suhail says:

    Even kuffar who care for Palestinians are boycotting the Israeli products and here we have muslims who are brothers in faith with Palestinians are arguing that Starbucks coffee is halal or haram. I mean when you cannot leave a coffee just to show your walaa with your brothers and sisters in palestine than what else can be said. You cannot fight there war with them but atleast we can show our walaa with them by boycotting the products and showing our baraa from people who support Israel. Surely Israel wont go bankrupt with muslims boycotting Starbucks but that is the least we could do. Kuffar have more self respect and honor than we muslims do in this age.

    Once we used to have honor and self respect but Allah have taken it away from us because we have lost it within ourself. Bickering our drinking coffee is what we have gotten too.

  79. Avatar reader says:

    Salaam Aalikum..
    Just a brief point.. b4 I write an essay and decide to delete it and go to sleep…

    – $4 is not going to make much of an impact anywhere… but every dollar makes an much impact as the next.
    – regardless of how much, when the children of the shuhada hear that people make even a symbolic gesture, their hearts may lighten .. may Allah SWT find us in the path of such a people’s good duas

    – JUST put yourself through the exercise of putting your child in that picture and then talk … this is not a haram halal issue.. it’s a dignity / respect issue .. these zionist lovers are posturing and posing and we are writing articles about why we shouldn’t boycott them.. comon.. you’re not giving up breathing here.. just drink the crud at work instead and make dua for our extended families.. these gestures may be light in some people’s eyes .. but not necessarily all people’s eyes

    For Allah’s sake, stop with this talk of ‘Muslims loose their heads and get sensitive’ etc… FEAR Allah.. we have full stomachs and nice cars and police/fire/ambulance at our fingertips. …not in my name…

    OK… this is getting long..I’m out!
    WS…

  80. Avatar AbuMisbah says:

    Gregory Waleed Kavalec, Intelect1430, Suhail, & reader and others who share the same thinking. Jazak Allah Khair. Yes, true indeed, this may not be a Halal / Haraam issue, but when we know from more than one source that a particular company is helping the Israel cause…..OMG… we got to be careful…… as br. Gregory Waleed said ‘And if I knowingly buy coffee – or any products – where the profits go to suppress my brother Muslims then I can be sure of a punishment drinking another boiling liquid.’…

    And yes, it is a shame on our part that we are discussing ‘Muslims Need To Calm Down About Boycotts’…. what are we talking about??!!! Do we have any other weapon / strategy to oppose these killers of innocent kids, women, old & young people of Palestine….

    Common guys, use a cool head and pray to Allah Subhanahuwata’ala that he gives us ‘Islami Hamiyyat’, an urdu terminology which i am unable to translate into english…

    Wa Salaam alaikum!

  81. Avatar miss says:

    Also, for a believer, no deed is too small, as “reader” pointed out:

    – $4 is not going to make much of an impact anywhere… but every dollar makes an much impact as the next.

    And Allah swt reminds us in the Quran, in Surah Zalzala:

    “Fa maiyn ya’mal mithqaala zarratin khairaiyn yara,”
    #7 Then whosoever has done good of an weight of an atom shall see it.

    “Wa maiyn ya’mal mithqaala zarratin sharraiyn yara,”
    #8 And whosoever has done evil of an weight of an atom shall see it.

    For a beleiver, even the smallest deed is not trivialized!

  82. Avatar Wallaa says:

    we have non muslims here in south africa who are boycotting israeli goods…. we have Cosatu (biggest trade union in south africa) which has heeded the boycott in the biggest
    Economy in Africa.

    they do not know what is walaa and baraa but they know the meaning of massacre, murder and apartheid…. so next time you think about perspective…. put the lives of the palestinians in perspective with a cup of coffee or a Big mac….

    dont waste our time writing crap such as this.. we find enough of this via the Propaganda machines of the west!

    ws

    • Avatar JOE says:

      This is true. coming from south africa we know the power and effect that boycotts and sanctions can have to eradicate an apartheid regime.

      the fact is coca-cola has a plant in a rogue state that murders innocent people… that is enough for me

  83. Jazakallah khair Wallaa !

    Masalaam

  84. Avatar Osman Azam says:

    Finally!!!

    Thank you for writing this email Saqib Saab. I was about to pull my hair out from all the stupid chain mails I’ve been getting. It’s mind boggling how illogical Muslims are becoming and how quick they are to click the forward button.

    • Avatar Abd- Allah says:

      You haven’t seen anything yet brother. Chances are that most of the ahadiths and stories that you get through email forwards are probably not true or fabricated. People should not read forwards anymore, just delete them and you will save yourself a lot of problems.

      Allah knows best.

      • Avatar Osman Azam says:

        I know. It’s getting to the point where I am just getting disgusted. It sometimes feels like the Ummah has lost its brain. I’m glad websites like this one exist to help keep people on the right track.

        Allah knows best.

  85. […] I got an old post at Muslim Matters, Muslims Need To Calm Down About Boycotts, tweeted to me while I was out in town, and I resolved to write a blog post about the subject […]

  86. Avatar E.S. says:

    I agree with brother Omar…

  87. Facts:

    1. Buying Starbucks puts money in the CEO’s pocket

    2. The CEO of Starbucks supports Israel

    3. Whoever rallies to a good cause shall have a share in its blessings; and whoever rallies to an evil cause shall be answerable for his part in it: for, indeed, God watches over everything.
    http://www.islamawakened.com/quran/4/85/

  88. […] campaign which was awfully poplar in the Muslim community; though based on complete falsehood. Just to be clear, boycotting StarBucks had nothing to do with the BDS campaign. In fact, […]

  89. Avatar JOE says:

    The CIA or NSA is definitely paying this ignoramus author… how much they paying you boy???????????

  90. Avatar Kari says:

    Everyone should be boycotting Starbucks,McDonald and coca cola for health reasons. These places make a fortune and don’t even pay their employees a living wage.
    Second of all we should all be informing each other. Don’t you go to Juma prayer to learn, read the Quran constantly to learn?! I’d rather send my $5 to the people that need it in Palestine.

  91. Avatar Saf says:

    Ok, so how many muslims are boycotting chinese goods, chinese restaurants? After all, China’s massacre and take over of Tibet was in 1956,and there is no sign of them allowing Tibetians to get their country back.The chinese have banned headscarves,beards and burkas in public transport with jail terms for donning any islamic symbols.China is probably the only athesitic govt in the world today,not even Russia is atheistic anylonger. All these anger and fury at Israel alone is such a one sided act. As much as I care about Gaza, the sheer indifference in the Ummah for any other issues, is jaw dropping, is it arrogance or ignorance of the Ummah,I dunno.

  92. Avatar Jeff says:

    I’m going to reply as a Christian. Christians are taught not to chastise one another for their beliefs concerning certain “Laws”, but instead respecting one’s beliefs on certain “Laws” . Does this apply to Muslims as well?

  93. Avatar Anonymous says:

    Hey author, What do you mean by overreaction? As a Muslim, if you don’t start to voice your concerns and complaints over minor or doubtful issues then the enemies might take advantage of that and harm the Muslims more. Have you ever met Chinese students in the U.S.? That is how atheist Chinese behave and their cowardice does not do them much favor in the west when they get bullied. Don’t be like that.

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