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UPDATE: Let’s Talk (More) About the Flotilla | Sunday Open Thread 6/6/2010


Update: Picture updated to add “his father works for Hamas”.

It is obvious that many of the American pundits and politicians live in a different world from rest of us. A world where Israelis are angels who only act when they are threatened, and even then try their best to preserve the lives of their enemies.

Just like the little boy who deserved being crushed by the tank (if that so happens), those on board the flotilla deserved every bit of what happened to them. And so goes the hasbara and the official Israeli narrative. Hear pundits and politicians parrot it all the way to their graves.

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What we have to parrot is also simple:

  1. We demand an international, neutral investigation.
  2. Release ALL the videos (Israeli and those confiscated)

Greenwald, a voice of truth in the darkness of lies what is American media, captures the essence of the problem below. On the issue of Israel, even the progressives/liberals, who usually represent the dovish party, the party of truth and reconciliation, become the equivalents of neocons:

I can’t express how many emails I’ve received over the last week, from self-identified Jewish readers (almost exclusively), along the lines of:  I’m a true progressive, agree with you on virtually every issue, but hate your views on Israel. When it comes to Israel, we see the same mindset from otherwise admirable Jewish progressives such as Anthony Weiner, Jerry Nadler, Eliot Spitzer, Alan Grayson, and (after a brief stint of deviation) Barney Frank.  On this one issue, they magically abandon their opposition to military attacks on civilians, their defense of weaker groups being bullied and occupied by far stronger factions, their belief that unilateral military attacks are unjustified, and suddenly find common cause with Charles Krauthammer, The Weekly Standard, and the Bush administration in justifying even the most heinous Israeli crimes of aggression.

Read also:

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Abu Reem is one of the founders of MuslimMatters, Inc. His identity is shaped by his religion (Islam), place of birth (Pakistan), and nationality (American). By education, he is a ChemE, topped off with an MBA from Wharton. He has been involved with Texas Dawah, Clear Lake Islamic Center and MSA. His interests include politics, cricket, and media interactions. Career-wise, Abu Reem is in management in the oil & gas industry (but one who still appreciates the "green revolution").



  1. Amad

    June 6, 2010 at 1:37 AM

    From Haaretz:
    Israel has no opposition and no alternative

    While Zuabi was savagely attacked in the Knesset – Livni kept mum. When the blockade continued – Livni kept mum. After Israel brutally abducted the flotilla ship – Livni skipped from one television studio to another, justifying the operation with frightening alacrity.

    Gaza flotilla fiasco: A Rorschach test for American Jews

    American Jewry has become increasingly factionalized when it comes to Israel, viewing every situation through its various preconceptions on the left and right.

    Jewish Republicans and Democrats show rare sign of unity in support of Gaza flotilla raid

    Both Democrats and Republicans believe Israel had the right to defend itself and back blockade on Gaza.

    • abu Abdullah

      June 6, 2010 at 1:47 AM

      i commend your enthusiasm to support this assiduously, mashAllah. let me know if I can be of any help.

      I was wondering the aspect of ‘Kuffu aydiyakum’ applies to civil disobedience in Islaam?

      • Sagal

        June 6, 2010 at 8:23 AM

        “We shall certainly bear with patience all the hurt you may cause us. For those who put their trust should put their trust on Allah.” (Surat Ibrahim 14:12)

      • abu Abdullah

        June 6, 2010 at 3:06 PM

        it is positive that the recent flotilla attack has received international attention, I could not help but notice that a response of this scale only emerged when the citizens of another nation were attacked, injured and killed. It’s unbelievable that global condemnation only comes now, and to be honest, it is too little too late.

        Read, the Israeli attack of Gaza in December of 2008, which resulted in the deaths of over 1400 Palestinians in a mere 22 days, produced neither the breadth nor the scale of international response that the recent flotilla attack is currently receiving.

        Let’s face it. The problem is that Palestine is alone (except those remember them in Dua’ and try to exhort people to help them with islamic relief etc.). Everyone else around…..all of us (Myself included), are just talking.

        InshaAllah, I think something positive will come of this. I read that the South African government has asked their ambassador in Israel to return. It is a powerful statement that a former apartheid state is now recognizing Israel as an apartheid state.

        when did resistance become a dirty word?

    • elham

      June 6, 2010 at 2:34 PM

      isn’t that supposed to be shot?

  2. abu Abdullah

    June 6, 2010 at 1:41 AM

    dear George Galloway outside israeli embassy in london making a new announcements, Zionist Grip of Israel Days Now Numbered , here…

    • Adel

      June 6, 2010 at 7:53 AM

      Not amazed that it got away with what it did. As long as it has the US supporting it, it can get away with almost anything.

      Just wondering. What happened to that boy? I’ve seen this picture all over the web, it makes me wonder.

      • Just another Sis

        June 8, 2010 at 8:22 AM

        Salam alaikum

        The boy in the picture above is Fares Odeh…a palestinian teenager from Gaza (where the pic was taken), who was killed shortly after the picture was taken, if memory serves me correctly.

        May Allah swt reward all those who strive and serve in His Cause, ameen.


  3. abu Abdullah

    June 6, 2010 at 1:44 AM

    link for : Mommas don’t let your babies grow up to be disobedient | Sunday Open Thread: 06/06/10 © All rights reserved…. PAGE NOT FOUND…

    • Amad

      June 6, 2010 at 1:47 AM

      We postponed that thread to another Sunday… the Gaza issue is the more pressing one.

  4. Ibrahim

    June 6, 2010 at 5:12 AM

    People should know what the writers on this site represent. Ify Okoye is part of the fitnah mongering group in the DC area, Pray-In. May Allah humiliate the hypocrites:

    No wonder I’ve an extreme dislike for her posts (women prayer area, Tariq Ramadan, too much Palestine, etc. etc.).

    • AsimG

      June 6, 2010 at 6:05 AM

      Fear Allah.

      You have misunderstood her posts completely and spoke ill of your fellow Muslimah with false assumptions.

      May Allah protect us from the backbiters, gossipers and those that wrong their brothers and sisters.


    • Amatullah

      June 6, 2010 at 8:11 AM

      dear brother Ibrahim,

      I ask you to have tawqa of Allah like AsimG said.

      This is not the method of giving advice or sharing criticism. I take great offense to your post not only because sister Ify is our sister in Islam, but because she is one of my closest friends of many years.

      I ask you to read and learn from the example of our Messenger sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, the one Allah ta’ala chose as our role model, in how he dealt with his Companions and fellow Muslims. Learn from the Companions and how they dealt with their differences amongst each other.

      How dare you call someone a hypocrite, or compare them to one, when the Prophet of Allah (alayhi salaatu wa salaam) did not even know what was in the hearts of the people? How dare you connect your own opinion of someone to their Emaan in Allah; as if your opinion of them is your ‘daleel’ for their hypocrisy?

      Please remember this hadeeth the next time you would like to declare someone a hypocrite:

      On the authority of Jundub (may Allah be pleased with him), who said that the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) related: A man said: By Allah, Allah will not forgive So-and-so. At this Allah the Almighty said: Who is he who swears by Me that I will not forgive So-and-so? Verily I have forgiven So-and-so and have nullified your [own good] deeds. [Saheeh Muslim]

      MM knows what their authors represent, and sister Ify has been an amazing asset to this team mashaAllah. If you happen to not like her articles, then akhi, don’t read them.

      May Allah forgive us.

    • Ify Okoye

      June 6, 2010 at 8:24 AM

      AsimG and Amatullah, Jazakum’Allahu khayran for your kind words and defense in my absence, indeed Allah knows the hearts.

      Br. Ibrahim, if I have offended you or wronged you, my apologies, if you simply don’t like my views, that’s okay, as one of our teachers mentioned, “Don’t worry, if you can’t or don’t understand something, if it’s not on your plate, don’t eat from it.” But my views are largely my own, not attributable to all of MM’s many diverse writers.

      I have a post responding to issues surrounding Pray In pending, insha’Allah, I hope it will be posted this coming week. Clearly, the issues or the way it is presented rankles some, but we should be careful not to allow this emotion to lead us to say unjust things about anyone. I’m reminded of the hadith, that on the Day of Judgment, when all matters are settled the one who abused this one or that one, by word or by deed, will forefeit their own good deeds, and if their deeds are not enough, will have the sins of the one they harmed heaped upon them and added to their own sins. I’m sure that none of wishes to find ourselves in that position on the final day and are most in need of maintaining whatever good we have accumulated in this life, so let’s all work together to make sure we do our best in this life to hold onto those precious good deeds.

      By the way, I just returned to the Ellison post today, I never got to read your final comment, which you say was deleted, if you’d like, join the conversation over at my personal blog MuslimApple, where the post is crossposted and you can have your say, I can dish it out but I can also take it.

      And Allah knows best.

      • Ibrahim

        June 6, 2010 at 11:33 AM

        The Pray-In people are acting like hypocrites, calling the media wherever they go, and their stupidity also forced some men to form lines behind the sisters! This is all I’m saying on this. Now, do a poll and find out how many people think these people are acting like hypocrites. The mosques around DC are afraid when and where these people will strike next.

        And, hypocrisy has degrees and I haven’t called these Pray-In people kuffar. Now, don’t tell me people don’t have nifaaq. If people think they don’t have nifaaq, they have a big problem.

        Ify, no thanks. I won’t take the bite. Problem with some people is that they like to debate and think everything has areas where we should let people have whatever ideas they want to believe in.

        Also, don’t worry about offending me or apologizing to me. Just worry about not introducing new ways and ideas in Islam, which you seem to do, like backing Tariq Ramadan’s ideas in that last post about him and joining this Pray-In group. I didn’t write my first post due to a personal tiff with you…I haven’t interacted much with you so I don’t have a personal tiff. But, I truly dislike your ideas and ideas of people like you. And, the more articles of yours I come across the more I dislike them. And, when I read that article about Pray-In, I believed people should know about who writes for MM because many people look at the names like Yasir Birjas and Qadhi and they think these points must have merit, which they don’t.

        So, yes, I’ve an extreme dislike for Pray-In people and you happen to be a part of it. And, I just pointed that out to other unassuming readers.

        As for other people who responded to my post, thanks for the advice. I could use a better tone, sure. But, I don’t think those with progressive ideas need to be talked in that matter because for one they very well know the arguments against them and where the truth lies.

        • Amad

          June 6, 2010 at 11:38 AM

          Tariq Ramadan is one of the most awesome minds in the Muslim world. He isn’t perfect, but I’d rather have a million Tariqs than to have one offensive and judgmental voice like you.

          These people work everyday to contribute to the Ummah, in whatever little way they can. Allah will reward them for their intentions and may Allah forgive them for their mistakes. But you know what, if we just start counting our own sins, we won’t have time to find them in others.

          And even though I know Ify doesn’t like censoring any comments, but instead tackling them, one of our house-rules is not to make direct personal comments. You have been warned.

          • Justin

            June 6, 2010 at 1:31 PM

            Tariq Ramadan is a very good Muslim scholar. He does not introduce new ideas into Islam but he boldly applies the Usul al-Fiqh to our situation living in Western countries.

            I do not know much about this pray-in. What I do know is that all acts of worship should be done according to the Sunnah of the Prophet. There is no room to change the Ibadat. Men and women are separated in prayer because prayer is a time for worship and so that no one will lust during the prayer. Changing the more than 1,000 year old rituals in Islam does nothing to advance women’s rights.

            On the other hand, it is true some women are not provided with separate and equal facilities. Women should be provided an equal space in the mosque to pray and to get Islamic knowledge. This is their right under Islam.

          • Amad

            June 6, 2010 at 1:52 PM

            Astute observations Justin… you’ll have a chance to chime in more tomorrow inshallah :)

          • suhail

            June 7, 2010 at 5:36 PM

            Please Tariq Ramadan may be an awesome mind for you but the problems he has is just the same as with the Progressive minds. We have discussed this but you have just avoided answering it.

            He calls for moratorium on the Hudood punishment and i did not knew something but when i saw it on youtube when he was debating that Kafirah Ayman hirsi ali he said he was calling for moratorium because that is the first step to abolition of the hudood punishment. I mean how shameless can you be. That is nifaq right left and center. I am not sure what to call that.

            And on top of that no country in this world have Hudood punishment as it should be applied so for god sakes why call for its moratorium and that too in the guise of getting it abolished.

            I am sorry but he is no intellectual for me but rather a two faced mordernist.

  5. Gurabah

    June 6, 2010 at 6:07 AM

    Salamu Alaykum,

    Good post Amad!!!! Israel days are numbered just like George Galloway said. Maybe this will give the muslim world a little back bone to wake up!! And to those who stand for truth and humanity!!

    Ibrahim: who is Ify Okeye???

    • amad

      June 6, 2010 at 8:14 AM

      Ify is one of MM’s acclaimed writers, may Allah preserve her and keep her safe from hasad and evil wishes.

      • Ify Okoye

        June 6, 2010 at 8:28 AM

        Ameen. Jazak’Allah khayr, I hope it’s good acclaim and not infamy :) I appreciate the support from the MM family even if we don’t always agree, it’s amazing to see an organization encompass such a diversity of opinion and not try to stifle it but to welcome it and celebrate it. Truly, feel blessed to be part of such an amazing group, may Allah azza wa jal increase MM and its authors in all barakah and goodness.

  6. Justin

    June 6, 2010 at 7:52 AM

    I believe Muslims need to realize that non-violent civil disobedience is the best method to stand up to Israeli aggression. In this way, we can rob Israel of its false moral high ground and bolster international sympathy to the Palestinian cause. We should follow the Prophet’s example when he dealt with the Quraysh in the year of Hudaybiyah.

    “We shall certainly bear with patience all the hurt you may cause us. For those who put their trust should put their trust on Allah.” (Surat Ibrahim 14:12)

    “Each man took with him a sword… The Quraysh, they said, might well take the opportunity of attacking them, despite the sacred month. But the Prophet refused, saying ‘I will not carry arms. I have come forth for no end other than to make pilgrimage.’… Never had the Quraysh known a more serious dillema. If they, guardians of the sanctuary, were to hinder the approach of over a thousand Arab pilgrims, this would be a most flagarant violation of the laws on which all their greatness were founded. On the other hand, if they allowed their enemies to enter Mecca in peace and comfort, it would be an immense moral triumph for Muhammad.” [Muhammad, Martin Lings, page 255-256]

    • Yus from the Nati

      June 6, 2010 at 11:52 AM

      I agree (for the people who don’t live there).

      • Justin

        June 6, 2010 at 1:20 PM

        Suicide attacks against civilians are against Islam and are counter-productive. They are used by the Israelis to paint all the Palestinians as terrorists.

        Hamas has lost its moral high ground because it had endorsed suicide attacks against civilians and because Hamas relies on European anti-semitism in its war propaganda. Hitler read the Protocols and Hamas reads the Protocols. What are people supposed to think?

        I understand that patience isn’t a popular solution but it is the only solution.

  7. Sagal

    June 6, 2010 at 7:57 AM

    Good article! Thanks!

  8. Hassan

    June 6, 2010 at 11:02 AM

  9. Hebah Ahmed

    June 6, 2010 at 11:33 AM

    Every time I hear or read anything about this particular conflict (or Iraq, or Afghanistan, or…) I just keep remembering the following verse:

    Or do you think that you will enter Paradise while such [trial] has not yet come to you as came to those who passed on before you? They were touched by poverty and hardship and were shaken until [even their] messenger and those who believed with him said,”When is the help of Allah ?” Unquestionably, the help of Allah is near. (Surat Al Baqara, Verse 214)

    Read, educate, and discuss, but remember never give up hope. Just wait for Allah’s help, for surely it is near. I know we all know this, but I for one need the reminder constantly.

  10. Kwame Madden

    June 6, 2010 at 11:42 AM

    Israel once again shows that it will not adhere to any international law standards and will tell the world go to hell if you don’t like it. This is facist state hell bent on killing as many Palestine people as possible.May Allah bring the muslims together in that region of the world to deal with nefarious enemy of the muslim ummah!

  11. Abu Noor Al-Irlandee

    June 6, 2010 at 12:30 PM

    Thousands of Israelis protest occupation, Gaza blockade.

    Thousands of demonstrators from across the left-wing of Israeli politics held a rally in Tel Aviv Saturday afternoon to protest 43 years of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, and a government that organizers said is “drowning Israel”.

    The protestors began their demonstration with a march from Rabin Square to the Tel Aviv museum, where speeches were held. The demonstration, which was held under the slogan “The Government is Drowning Us All”, was originally planned solely to protest the occupation, but following last Monday’s deadly raid on a Turkish boat attempting to break the Gaza blockade, the rally also addressed those upset about the government’s policies in regard to the Gaza Strip and the raid that left 9 foreign citizens dead and several IDF soldiers wounded.

    • Amad

      June 6, 2010 at 1:11 PM

      I really believe that these people who stand up for peace in the face of so much hatred, are the REAL men and women… not the IDF girls.

      • abu Abdullah

        June 6, 2010 at 7:48 PM

        Since the leftist parties are lost elections there, the relations between Palestinian authority and any future right wing government only deteriorated.

        does this show practical application of ‘minhumul mu’mineen wa aksaruhumul fasiqeen‘?

  12. Ali

    June 6, 2010 at 6:14 PM

    Why did hamas refuse the Flotilla aid? can someone here explain

    • abu Abdullah

      June 6, 2010 at 6:55 PM

      Why do you expect here anyone in this forum to actually know in person, what is real the situation around the region is? nobody represents the % based most educated & democratically electedgovernment in the world here. yours is an innocent looking, loaded ‘find mole’ question which I politely refuse to answer directly.

      Nevertheless it seems following might be the case. As an analogy, will you accept presents from your guests, if they are killed, jailed and deported while the culprit in their lunatic state of mind take away the meat of the original gift and give you peanuts? obviously you would want to hear that they (your guests) are safe and free first.

  13. Shafkat

    June 7, 2010 at 6:44 AM

    As salam alykum,

    I urge everyone to read this :

    Report: Autopsy shows Gaza activists were shot 30 times. Nine Turkish activistskilled in an Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound ship, including one with U.S. citizenship, were shot a total of 30 times and five died of gunshot wounds to the head, Britain’s Guardian newspaper says (Read Original Haaretz Article from Israel)


    An American teenager was murdered by Israel commandos, pirates really, this week. He was shot in the abdomen and, instead of being given medical aid, he was held down on the deck of a ship, probably by multiple pairs of combat boots and shot four times in the back of the head at close range. Reports from the Israeli Knesset have Israeli boats approaching the unarmed flotilla, machine guns pouring lead across the decks. These facts won’ t be in any American or British newspaper or on the television news, not the corporate networks anyway. Israel dictates what is reported, even by the BBC, an organization they control entirely.

    This isn’t the first time this has happened, an Israeli military force has gone after a ship in the Mediterranean. The most glaring case is the attack on the USS Liberty in 1967. With President Lyndon Johnson agreeing to support the Israeli invasion of Egypt and Syria, a quick land grab started by a Pearl Harbor type sneak attack, it wasn’t certain that the American military would support this kind of cowardly aggression. Thus, the American monitoring ship, the USS Liberty, had to be sunk and its entire crew wiped out to a man. President Johnson approved, Admiral Sidney McCain agreed to cover it up and Israel sent wave after wave of bombers, torpedo boats and fighter aircraft out but the USS Liberty never went down. 34 Americans were murdered by Israel that day.

    The USS Liberty incident should have taken down the Johnson presidency, ended the “special relationship” with Israel and opened the 6 Day War to real scrutiny for what it was, Israeli expansionism. If the United States had reacted then, there would have been no 1974 oil embargo, no Ayatollah in Iran, no “war on terror,” no 9/11 and no world economic collapse. A single act of treason 43 years ago changed the world for the worse, erasing our triumphs in World War 2 and erasing the economic boon the collapse of the Soviet Union should have brought the world.


    The current attack against the Freedom Flotilla deeply parallels the USS Liberty attack. The attack on the Liberty was an act of war against the United States. This required retaliation. There was none. What it wasn’t was an “accident.” Israel now calls the murder of an American teenager “

    Read more……

  14. Amad

    June 7, 2010 at 2:15 PM

    As I expected… a resolution in the Congress coming up, NOT to demand an international investigation, but to support Israel’s attack that killed 9 civilians.

    Lobby powers at display! And people say that Israel Lobby doesn’t control the Israeli narrative!

    • Middle Ground

      June 7, 2010 at 2:46 PM


      Pretty sick, but not unexpected. Peter King seems to be very anti muslim, he went crazy with WhyIslam last year for wanting to put up their ads on the NY Subway, and has done other anti muslim activity.

      I wonder if regular American know (or even care) how much Israel affects America’s policies?

  15. Manas Shaikh

    June 8, 2010 at 8:11 AM

    Wikipedia, as you know, has been attacked by a group of Israeli propagandists.

    They have put significant weight behind this article:

    They are trying to whitewash the Israeli aggression as much as they could. They will not allow the autopsy report that they were shot in close range in the intro. At the moment I need some support on the talk page to turn the consensus. They have rallied some of their supporters to do this. Even an account is not needed to do that, although it is better if there was one.

    It is the least we could do in honour of the martyrs.

    As wikipedia is becoming a source of quick info, I think more Muslims should get involved and keep a perspective. At first it may be a bit frustrating- all the rules are difficult to follow. But once familiar, it can be great help to the Ummah. Especially in times of crises like this. During last week that page was being visited about 50 thousand times every day. I assume many of them were neutral and looking for information.

  16. Amad

    June 9, 2010 at 3:00 AM

    Disappointing poll results from America… seems the hasbara is working again. I do wonder how the opinions are changing over time (or not changing). The silver lining is that a majority prefer an international investigation.:

    According to a Rasmussen Reports survey released Monday and circulated Tuesday to reporters by the Prime Minister’s Office, 49% of respondents said that “pro-Palestinian activists” were “primarily to blame for the deadly outcome of the raid on the aidcarrying ships.” Only 19% blamed Israel, and another 32% said they were not sure.

    Regarding whether Israel should allow an international investigation of the incident, however, 51% of the respondents answered in the affirmative, with 25% saying “no,” and the rest unsure.

  17. abu Abdullah

    June 10, 2010 at 3:28 PM

    Latest video smuggled out from flotilla, clearly shows how , so called, most ethical army in the world, was on a killing spree on the Mavi Marmara boat.

    • abu Abdullah

      June 10, 2010 at 6:07 PM

      Another Video Israel would not want you to see ( graphic violence scenes.)

      Allahul Musta’an.

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