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8 Reasons Why Israel is Under Rocket Attack

We always hear of Israel’s ‘right to defend itself’. What about Palestinian right to not be occupied and live under a brutal siege?

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The “peace-loving nation” of Israel is yet again at the brink of an existential annihilation due to homemade rocket attacks from Gaza — or so they would have you believe. As the Israel-Palestine conflict rages, we’ve heard the same boilerplate statements about “Israel’s right to defend itself” and “No country would tolerate rocket attacks, so why should Israel?”

But why are rockets being fired into Israel in the first place?  “Because the Palestinians are terrorists and anti-Semites.” Perhaps, or perhaps there are few more plausible explanations for Palestinian armed resistance; consider the following:

1. The Occupation

Israel, with U.S. support, has militarily occupied the Gaza Strip (along with the West Bank and East Jerusalem) since 1967. The belligerent occupation, now in its 47th year, is one of the longest, bloodiest and brutal in human history — over 2,500 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza alone in the last seven years.

Up until 2005, Israel maintained illegal Jewish colonies in the Gaza Strip as well. It has since disbanded these colonies and thus claims it’s no longer occupying the Gaza strip. Israel is alone in holding this deceptive view; the UN, US State Department, global NGO’s and legal scholars all consider Gaza a part of the Occupied Palestinian Territories because Israel exercises complete military control over it.

2. The Siege

Israel, with U.S. backing, has laid a brutal siege in the Gaza Strip since 2007. It has blocked off air, land and water access to the Strip — nothing goes in, nothing comes out. This tiny strip of land is home to some 1.7 million people; due to its cage-like setup, Gaza has aptly been described as the ‘world’s largest open air prison.’

The siege has stifled Gaza’s economy, destroyed its infrastructure and has cut off access to some of the most basic amenities needed to live a dignified life. Today, almost 80 per cent of Gazans are dependent on aid as a result of the blockade. The UN has warned Gaza will be inhospitable by 2020 if the siege continues.

3. The Water Crises

Israel’s discriminatory division of water means that Palestinians get 70 litres a day per person, far below the 100 liters per capita minimum, while the Israeli’s get four times this amount. Limiting the water supply results in Gazan households receiving water for only six-eight hours at a time about every other day. Israel severely damaged the sewage treatment infrastructure in Gaza during its 2009 assault; the blockade means the resources needed for repairs are unavailable.

sewageAs a result, only 25 per cent of Gaza’s waste water is treated; 90 million liters of untreated or partially treated sewage is dumped into the Mediterranean every day. Contamination of the territory’s ground water is serious concern; about 90 per cent of the water supply in the Strip is unfit for human consumption.  Due to over-pumping and sewage contamination Gaza’s only water source, its Coastal Aquifer, is damaged past the point of no return — it will expire in 2016.

4. Scarcity of Fuel and Electricity

Gaza is under a chronic power shortage due to the siege; Israel has severely limited the fuel supply needed to operate the only power plant in the territory. Only 46 per cent of Gaza’s electricity needs are being met currently; this has triggered rolling power outages of 12 hours everyday. Amongst other things, this lack of power means that hundreds of crucial medical devices at hospital are non-functional, including Gaza’s only MRI machine.

5. Leveling of Land and Destruction of Property

The Israeli army conducts weekly incursions into the Gaza Strip to destroy the land it has declared as ‘no-go zone.’ Its tanks, bulldozers and military jeeps, accompanied by helicopters and drones, systematically destroy fruit bearing trees and agricultural land in the Gaza strip. Civilian infrastructure in this area is also demolished; this includes hundreds of houses, wells and chicken farms — mosques and schools are demolished as well.

6. Travel Bans

Israel’s siege has meant that it is virtually impossible for Gazans to leave the occupied territory. They can’t even leave to visit their relatives in the West Bank, let alone in Israel. Gazans with spouses in Israel or the West Bank are forced to live in separation; simple matters such as raising a family are rendered impracticable. Permission to leave even for severe emergencies is rarely given.

By dividing Palestinians, Israel successfully employs the ‘divide and conquer’ strategy like colonial powers of the past. The people of Gaza can’t even seek asylum in other countries due to this restriction on movement. Even students are prohibited from going abroad, or even the West Bank, for higher education; visas of several winners of U.S. Fulbright Scholarships have been revoked in the past.

gaza7. Suppression of Agriculture 

The Israeli army created a ‘no-go zone’ along the Israel-Gaza border that Palestinians cannot enter. This ‘buffer region’ extends up to 1,500 meters at times into the Strip and includes some of its most fertile land. As a result, 35 per cent of the agricultural space in Gaza is off-limits to farmers. This has seriously damaged the food economy and harshly penalized innocent farmers. Palestinians are fired at arbitrarily if they try to enter this region; farmers suffer serious injuries, and at times death, as a result of this indiscriminate firing.

8. Restrictions on Fishing

Israel has announced that access to the sea six nautical miles beyond Gaza’s shore is prohibited for fisherman. This means that 85 per cent of fishing waters granted to Palestinians under the Oslo Accords is now inaccessible; this has severely impacted Gaza’s coastal economy. Similar to the restricted areas on land, Palestinian fishermen are regularly exposed to warning fire by Israeli naval forces, their fishing boats are intercepted and they are detained — all for the harmless act of fishing.

This is a short list of the some of the unspeakable crimes Israel commits on a defenseless population; they are at the root of this conflict. Rocket attacks from Gaza are a desperate response to these injustices – how does our government manage to omit this when brazenly expressing support for Israel ?  In light of the above, let’s try to counter some of the nonsense coming out of the foreign affairs office: No people would ever tolerate an oppressive occupation and an unjust siege, so why should the Palestinians?

[Update: July 22, 8:20 pm – I’ve included a section to highlight the refugee crises as well]

9. The Refugee Crises

Of 1.5 million people living in Gaza, 1.2 million are registered refugees spread across eight camps. These refugees are made up of Palestinians, and now their decedents, who were expelled from present-day Israel in during the mass expulsion or Nakba in 1948. Since the newly created state of Israel denied the right of return to these refugees, they have been trapped in the refugee camps for the past 66 years. These refugee camps are overcrowded, cramped and under utter disrepair – unlivable by any standards.  Attempts to rebuild or renovate the camps have been restricted due to the siege. The humanitarian crisis in the camps is only magnified compared to the rest of Palestine; unemployment is high, food is scarce and fuel is scant.

An edited version of this piece first appeared at Rabble.ca

Waleed Ahmed writes on current affairs and politics for MuslimMatters. He focuses on Muslim minorities, human rights and the Middle-Eastern conflict. Based out of Montreal, he's currently pursuing a Ph.D. at McGill University in fundamental physics. Waleed also has a keen interest in studying Arabic and French. He spends his spare time reading, playing basketball and praying for Jon Stewart to run in the next presidential election.

44 Comments

44 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Mahmud

    July 19, 2014 at 9:34 PM

    Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

    This article needs to be copy pasted……everywhere.

    • Avatar

      ayah

      July 25, 2014 at 9:09 AM

      lol funny because in 2005 hamas started shooting rockets before the siege :) that’s why they received the siege

      i am a muslim and i live in israel and i am tired of muslims spreading lies!
      and in Ramadhan aoozobiALLAH may ALLAH guide the ummah

      • Avatar

        ARB

        July 26, 2014 at 7:07 PM

        What’s the truth then?

      • Avatar

        lholholho

        July 31, 2014 at 11:57 PM

        Muslim? Live in israel? Yeah right…

      • Avatar

        safia

        August 1, 2014 at 11:12 AM

        Spreading lies?! Then I suppose all the NON-MUSLIM historical accounts of Britain making deals with both Jews and Arabs, backstabbing the Palestinians, and giving Jews free reign in their occupation is a lie, too, right?

        I dunno about you… but if some psycho government gave a complete stranger full rights to kick me out of my house, I’d be firing rockets at them too.

        Authubillah, indeed.

        And YES, may Allah guide the Muslims who chose to do nothing about this situation!!

        And may Allah ESPECIALLY set the Muslims of Palestine free!!

      • Avatar

        Anonymous

        April 21, 2015 at 8:36 PM

        you are a muslim indeed, but not a sincere muslid

    • Avatar

      ahsan arshad

      July 25, 2014 at 9:27 PM

      copy and paste everywhere is the way to go.

  2. Avatar

    ZAI

    July 20, 2014 at 3:39 AM

    Reason #9 Gaza is under attack:

    Because Sisi, Saudis, Kuwaitis, UAE and others want Hamas destroyed.
    Israel is doing the visible dirty work, but let us not fool ourselves that plenty of regional actors
    aren’t happy with and are perhaps even encouraging what is going on. Hamas gambled on Morsi
    and lost big time…recent developments and attitudes in surrounding Arab nations have
    also sent message to Israel that it has a green light.It is an odd, odd day when the non-Arab
    Muslim countries and non-Muslim governments, excepting the anglo-sphere,
    are most supportive of the Palestinian cause. I’m no fan of Hamas, but Egypt, Jordan
    and the gulf countries, excluding Qatar, have totally betrayed the Palestinians.

    God help the Palestinian people and deliver them from this misery.

    • Avatar

      Masmanz

      July 20, 2014 at 10:23 AM

      Just trying to distribute blame away from Israel? Israel IS the sole responsible party here.

      • Avatar

        ZAI

        July 20, 2014 at 7:05 PM

        Oh yeah, ofcourse…
        Egyptian, American & Saudi governments, et. al. are totally innocent:

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-hearst/attack-on-gaza-by-saudi-r_b_5603735.html
        Mutual anti-Iranian interests, mutual enmity against Muslim Brotherhood(which Hamas is seen as an off-shoot of), mutual preference of preserving the regional status-quo, mutual hostility
        to Turkey under Erdogan, mutual anti-pathy towards Qatar and on and on and on.

        https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/middle-east/12931-mofaz-proposes-role-for-saudi-arabia-and-uae-to-disarm-gaza
        Why so eager for Saudi and UAE to play the role of mediator? As opposed to Qatar, Turkey
        or European countries?

        http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/4401/egypt-israel-hamas
        From a right-wing crazy think-tank….however the QUOTES all have links and
        aren’t wrong.

        Sorry man….ain’t buying it.
        Israel is responsible for the actions themselves…I never said different in my previous comment.
        However there is a bigger picture and plenty of the neighboring rulers are happy with
        what Israel is doing or even cooperating behind the scenes. That’s just the reality
        of interests in the modern Middle East. I’m not drawing ANY blame away from Israel…but I’m
        not gonna pretend Israel doesn’t have the FULL support of the gas station kleptocrats and their
        dependents…just like it will if and when it attacks Iran…or confronts Turkey…or works against Qatar…

      • Avatar

        ARB

        July 26, 2014 at 7:10 PM

        With a little help from it’s friends – HAMAS, FATAH, Other Palestinian Sides, Saudis, Emiratis, Kuwaitis, Jordanians!

    • Avatar

      Juma Mohamed Mtema

      July 21, 2014 at 7:17 AM

      This is not acceptable for whatever reasons how can a human being civilized one attack children who are playing along the beach using Tanks and Warplanes F16 or Women who are running from the barbaric attacks with their children killing them in the same barbaric methods. Israels should read there History long back when the whole Word criticized NAZIs for killing them in Barbaric methods now we don’t know whether this methods they apply to Palestinians will be forever tolerated till the Day of Judgement Yaumal DINI or Allah will just make decision like during Firaun’s with his barbaric methods of killing innocent human beings let us have Subra after all we shall go back to Alah Inna Lilahi wa Inna Ilayh Rajoon

  3. Avatar

    kaleem

    July 20, 2014 at 6:58 AM

    This article starts with “Peace loving nation Israel”
    This is BS terminology.Choose your words carefully.How come Israel is a peace loving nation when it kills thousands of children,women and civilians.
    Israel did thousands of war crimes.
    Israel is actually a WAR-loving nation ,
    its a biggest threat to peace in arab world.

    *This comment was edited by the MM Comments Team in order to comply with our Comments Policy*

    • Avatar

      Iman

      July 21, 2014 at 2:13 PM

      I believe the article meant “peace loving nation Israel” as sarcasm.

    • Avatar

      dimitrit94

      July 21, 2014 at 5:18 PM

      The “peace-loving nation” of Israel…
      It’s in quotation marks for some reason.

    • Avatar

      ART

      July 21, 2014 at 6:14 PM

      You obviously never heard of a concept called sarcasm

    • Avatar

      ARB

      July 26, 2014 at 7:12 PM

      It was a mockery! Like Saudi Arabia is a “ISLAMIC” country!

    • Avatar

      O H

      August 27, 2014 at 7:19 AM

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      ……………………………….`=-,……………….,%`>–==“
      …………………………………._……….._,-%…….`

      When words cannot express the amount of failure…

  4. Avatar

    Hyde

    July 20, 2014 at 9:20 AM

    One must not forget that role of the Saudis in this conflict.

  5. Pingback: 8 reason why | lilysland123

  6. Avatar

    scorpius

    July 20, 2014 at 7:08 PM

    Sorry,

    But we, the free peoples of the Earth, do not need you Muslim-splaining in your patronizing way to us what this is about. It’s about racism, anti-semitism, Islamofascism, and the intolerance of Islam.

    NOTHING can forgive or explain targeting civilians for no other reason than an imagined “occupation” and a million other mythical butt-hurts. And don’t bring up the Israeli targeting; the Palestinians were warned and they could have sought shelter outside the areas affected (even better, Hamas could have used all the billions in Aid the Palestinians receive to build shelters, homes and businesses instead of tunnels.). And finally, the Palestinians elected Hamas with their racist, anti-semitic and fascist charter. Even the German people were held responsible for the Nazis, a group they didn’t even elect. Why should Muslims be so different? Are you the “special people”?

    End this now. Tell Hamas to accept the gracious cease-fire Israel and Egypt have offered.

    • Avatar

      Ashy Larry

      July 21, 2014 at 12:13 AM

      Sorry son, but just about everything in your post is false. Time to open your eyes and turn off Fox news.

      – Israel DOES target civilians, according to the U.N (facts…sigh) This is evident by the high percentage of civilian casualties.
      – I understand the whole “occupation” thing isn’t convenient for your narrative. But according to our very own US state department and the U.N it does exist. (i know, i know more facts…sigh..)
      – Mighty gracious of Israeli army to provide warnings for imminent bombs. But where exactly are the kids supposed to get shelter? You do realize Gaza is one of the most densely populated areas on earth, right? There is nowhere to run.

      Seriously, open your eyes.

  7. Avatar

    AH

    July 21, 2014 at 12:10 PM

    The statement “Peace loving nation Israel” is meant for SARCASM. Reading the entire article should have made that very clear. However, if you were not able to pick up on the sarcasm then I assume some others were not able to either.

  8. Avatar

    Muslimthug

    July 21, 2014 at 1:01 PM

    God must have profound hatred for you Gaza folks as he allows you to live in suffering and makes you loose war after war while still fooling yourselves that victory is imminent. Allah makes you fast during the war so you can’t even fight the war!. So Muslims time to reconsider Jihad and other holy wars they are a prescription for Muslim death all over the world.

    And BTW while you are reconsidering that maybe just maybe you could join the 21’st century ??

  9. Avatar

    william aid

    July 21, 2014 at 1:38 PM

    http://www.buycott.com/ download this app and support the campaign
    http://www.buycott.com/campaign/all

  10. Avatar

    Muslimthug

    July 21, 2014 at 3:58 PM

    DId Israel kill anybody yet ? I didn’t see that yet did you ? did Hamas kill anyone ? I think it’s all made up.

  11. Avatar

    dimitrit94

    July 21, 2014 at 5:13 PM

    First of all, it was a very enjoyable and informative read, Waleed. Thank you for sharing. Nevertheless, I’d like to speak my mind. I certainly agree these reasons are more than enough for being at least angry and annoyed. Israel has no right to have caused all the suffering they’ve been giving many thousands of souls for the last 50 years — my question to you, so, is: are all the reasons in the world really reasons for answering back with violence? How does using violence make Palestinians any better than the Israelis?
    “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, because if you only love those who love you, what reward will you get?”

    With this being said, in no way do I support the Isreali dehumanization that is being and has been done. And surely will they be judged in this life or the next.
    Justice requires apprehending, punishing the guilty individuals — not going on a genocidal revenge against people of the same race. History aside. If you were a 10 year old in Gaza and your brother/mother/father were killed in your presence, how do you internalize all this violence? In a decade, these kids who saw their family die in front of them are going to turn around and do the same thing. By ‘defending’ themselves, Israel is just brewing the conditions for another future Hitler from the Islamic world. This conflict wont end with violence. Each time we see an escalation, it garantees a new generation to carry on the war and feed the cycle.

    My request here is, lets not fight for vengeance or hatred, but to build a peaceful coexistence.
    Sorry for the long text and many thanks again.

    • Avatar

      Mahmud

      July 22, 2014 at 7:40 PM

      Fighting back is the right thing to do. Hamas and Palestinians have a legitimate right to defend themselves from Israeli attacks. If someone was blockading your town what would you do?

  12. Avatar

    Joe

    July 21, 2014 at 7:53 PM

    It is a tragedy to see human lives taken on either side, I will pray for all involved.

  13. Avatar

    Azmath

    July 22, 2014 at 12:45 PM

    Truly to Allah we all belong and to him is our return.

  14. Avatar

    ARB

    July 26, 2014 at 7:06 PM

    These article should have been named “8 reasons Israel should have been faced a BORDER WAR in Gaza”! Rocket attacks are TERRORISM, not WAR! So is BOMBING!

  15. Avatar

    Anthony Lange

    July 27, 2014 at 9:21 AM

    1. “all consider Gaza a part of the Occupied Palestinian Territories because Israel exercises complete military control over it.” …… ABSOLUTE RUBBISH. How, if this were true did hamas manage to build such a rocket fortress

  16. Avatar

    Anthony Lange

    July 27, 2014 at 9:23 AM

    ” nothing goes in, nothing comes out” – Absolute RUBBISH. Israel allows electricity, food, medical supplies to freely pass into Gaza.

  17. Avatar

    Anthony Lange

    July 27, 2014 at 9:26 AM

    3. “The Water Crises” …… If Hamas cared about its people it could make a plan. Why should Israel supply Gaza with ANYTHING!

  18. Avatar

    Anthony Lange

    July 27, 2014 at 9:27 AM

    4. Scarcity of Fuel and Electricity……… DITTO ABOVE

  19. Avatar

    Anthony Lange

    July 27, 2014 at 9:29 AM

    5. Leveling of Land and Destruction of Property……………… supply proof

  20. Avatar

    Anthony Lange

    July 27, 2014 at 9:33 AM

    6. Travel Bans………….. “virtually impossible for Gazans to leave the occupied territory.” (well EVERYTHING could be “virtually”. The real truth is that gazans DO travel.

  21. Avatar

    Anthony Lange

    July 27, 2014 at 9:35 AM

    7. Suppression of Agriculture. WHAT RUBBISH IS THIS. What you are saying that because there is a “no go area” that you cannot farm? Id say that’s stretching it a bit, don’t you think? Honestly!

  22. Avatar

    Anthony Lange

    July 27, 2014 at 9:38 AM

    8. Restrictions on Fishing…………… all I can say is that if you cannot find fish in 6 kilometers…. I guess you will never find fish. Period! besides the rockets come in oversea and you cannot be trusted to just be “fishing”

  23. Avatar

    Aliza Salem

    July 28, 2014 at 11:24 PM

    I have one question? Is it true that if Hamas stops firing rockets Israel will stop? SO STOP FIRING ROCKETS!! If our own people dont care about our children how can we expect Israel to care?

    • Avatar

      O H

      August 27, 2014 at 7:54 AM

      There are numerous cases of Israelis initiating attacks on Palestinians even when rockets are not fired at them by Hamas.

      An example of this is when the Americans were celebrating the election victory of Obama during the end of 2008, Israel used this as an opportunity to enter the Gaza Strip and kill Palestinians, even though rockets weren’t fired then, Israel were the initiators in that case just like many other cases.

      It’s easy for us all, from the comfort of our homes, to blame Hamas but we don’t know the entire context & situation. This article definitely helps address this & it’s shocking to have anyone having any other view, more so if it’s a Muslim.

  24. Avatar

    lholholho

    August 1, 2014 at 12:12 AM

    Israel : we will drop bombs, so go away.
    Palestine : okay, we’re coming.
    Israel : actually, you cant go to israel.
    Palestine : but you control all of our borders, so where do we go?
    Israel: sounds like personal problems.
    Palestine : …
    (THE TRUTH)

  25. Pingback: 14 Top Articles of 2014 - MuslimMatters.org

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#Current Affairs

Malaysians Ask China To Free Uyghurs, Close The Camps

Hena Zuberi

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Free Uyghur Malaysia

By Gulnaz Uighur

Muslims are standing up for Uyghurs, protests held in Malaysia.

5th of July could be just like another day for people but for Uyghurs, it brings back dark memories of a bloody past. This day, in 2009, thousands of Uyghur students were massacred by Chinese police in Urumqi. These young students were demanding an investigation into the rising number of homicides in a toy factory. These people only wanted justice. They were also upset by the ongoing discrimination in the employment sector. Graduates were denied jobs because of their Uyghur ethnicity. After the protests, China started abducting the Uyghur youth and no one knows where the missing went. Its been 10 years since that horrifying incident and the condition of Muslims have devolved in a genocidal nightmare.

Communist Government in China Has over 2 Million Uyghurs in Concentration Camps

Beijing has now locked over 2 million Uyghurs in concentration camps. People in these places are forced to denounce Islam, forget the teachings of Quran, prohibited from praying, asked to learn Xi Jinping’s speech and tortured for not obeying these orders. Sadly, Islam is being treated as a disease in China and most of the Islamic nations are turning a blind eye to it.

So Malaysia came as a breath of fresh air when Muslim NGOs organized an anti-China protest against Uyghur persecution.

On 5th July 2019, a coalition of 34 Malaysian NGOs gathered outside the Chinese Embassy in Kuala Lumpur to protest the persecution of Uyghurs. The organizations prepared a memo of protest to be submitted to Chinese officials. In the memo, they demanded Beijing to ‘Respect the human rights of the Uyghur people, in particular, their right to life and freedom of religion and belief.’ , ‘immediately stop the persecution and extreme repression of the Uyghur people.’ and close the camps. They also called upon the International community to increase the voices of protest and disfavour upon the Chinese government and to work together to improve the situation for the Uyghur people through concrete actions.

The protesters shouted slogans like ‘Me Too Uyghur’ and ‘Save Uyghur’. In a media interview, president of the Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia (Abim), Mohamad Raimi Abdul Rahim asked immediate freedom for all those who have been detained in concentration camps.

Malaysians Stand With Uyghurs

Abim secretary Muhammad Faisal Abdul Aziz accused the Chinese government of concealing the plight of the Uyghurs by offering NGOs and government agencies free trips and painting a rosy picture of the camps. Mohd Azmi Abdul Hamid, chairman of the Malaysian Consultative Council Of Islamic Organizations (Mapim), said the atrocities committed against the Uyghurs could not be denied or disguised. The Group of NGOs also included Ikram Association and the Malaysian Youth Council among others.

Though no Chinese official came out to accept the memo, the message was clear that now people won’t keep quiet about the Uyghur persecution. There is a dire need for Muslim countries to break their silence on this issue. There is enough evidence to prove that something unholy and inhumane is happening with Uyghurs. If these countries consider China their friend then ask it to stop being a Shaitan. The leaders must realize that their first duty is towards the Ummah and not towards China.

Now is the time to stand for Uyghurs before nothing is left to be saved.

This protest in  Malaysia has proved that people in Muslim countries do support Uyghurs even if their governments are silent and are upset with Beijing’s policies. This event proved that governments may fail to fight but people won’t.

Continue Reading

#Current Affairs

The Environmental Cost Of War With Iran

Abu Ryan Dardir

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war with Iran

Report after report shows how planet Earth may reach a point of no return. An analysis written by Ian Dunlop claims the planet cannot be saved by the mid-century if we continue on this path. And yet here we are marching towards a war with Iran.

When we think of climate change, we rarely think of war. On June 12th, 2019, Brown University released a report declaring the Department of Defence to be “the world’s largest institution to use petroleum and correspondingly, the single largest producer of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the world.” Burning jet fuel for transportation of troops and weapons make up 70 percent of the Pentagon’s emissions.  Ironically, earlier this year the Pentagon released a 22-page report to Congress stating the ⅔ of their mission-essential installation in the US are vulnerable to flooding, and ½ are susceptible to wildfires. To no surprise, Trump rejected those findings at the time. The Pentagon is now concerned with the impact climate change has on their “foreign missions.”

war, iran, America, Climate change, pentagonWith tensions high with Iran, and several thousand troops are expected to be deployed, if war with Iran is to happen, it may lead us to a more damaged planet that may not recover. This makes the Pentagon guilty of killing people and the earth. The Department of Defense has consistently used between 77-80% of the entire US energy consumption. We see spikes during times of massive war (since America is in a constant state of war), like in 1991, 2001, and so on.

Here is a list of the seven significant sources of greenhouse emissions done by the Department of Defense:

  1. Overall military emissions for installations and non-war operations.
  2. War-related emissions by the US military in overseas contingency operations.
  3. Emissions caused by US military industry   — for instance, for production of weapons and ammunition.
  4. Emissions caused by the direct targeting of petroleum,   namely the deliberate burning of oil wells and refineries by all parties.
  5. Sources of emissions by other belligerents.
  6. Energy consumed by reconstruction of damaged and destroyed infrastructure.
  7. Emissions from other sources, such as fire suppression and extinguishing chemicals, including   Halon, a greenhouse gas, and from explosions and fires due to the destruction of non-petroleum targets in warzones.

This impact on the climate is just the portion from America, in the Iraq war, 37 countries fought alongside America, and 60 are allied against ISIS. There is a way to calculate those emissions as well.

The Rules of War

Before engaging in battle, the Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) instructed his soldiers:

  1. Do not kill any child, any woman, or any elder or sick person. (Sunan Abu Dawud)
  2. Do not practice treachery or mutilation. (Al-Muwatta)
  3. Do not uproot or burn palms or cut down fruitful trees. (Al-Muwatta)
  4. Do not slaughter a sheep or a cow or a camel, except for food. (Al-Muwatta)
  5. If one fights his brother, [he must] avoid striking the face, for God created him in the image of Adam. (Sahih Bukhari, Sahih Muslim)
  6. Do not kill the monks in monasteries, and do not kill those sitting in places of worship. (Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal)
  7. Do not destroy the villages and towns, do not spoil the cultivated fields and gardens, and do not slaughter the cattle. (Sahih Bukhari; Sunan Abu Dawud)
  8. Do not wish for an encounter with the enemy; pray to God to grant you security; but when you [are forced to] encounter them, exercise patience. (Sahih Muslim)
  9. No one may punish with fire except the Lord of Fire. (Sunan Abu Dawud).
  10. Accustom yourselves to do good if people do good, and not to do wrong even if they commit evil. (Al-Tirmidhi)

A verse in the Holy Qur’an

4:75 (Y. Ali) And why should ye not fight in the cause of Allah and of those who, being weak, are ill-treated (and oppressed)?- Men, women, and children, whose cry is: “Our Lord! Rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from thee one who will protect; and raise for us from thee one who will help!”

How does this potential war against Iran play into all this?

Our first call to action is to organize an anti-war rally. This type of work is weak in America, and virtually non-existent within the Muslim community.

فَقَالَ أَبُو سَعِيدٍ أَمَّا هَذَا فَقَدْ قَضَى مَا عَلَيْهِ سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ ‏ “‏ مَنْ رَأَى مُنْكَرًا فَلْيُنْكِرْهُ بِيَدِهِ وَمَنْ لَمْ يَسْتَطِعْ فَبِلِسَانِهِ وَمَنْ لَمْ يَسْتَطِعْ فَبِقَلْبِهِ وَذَلِكَ أَضْعَفُ الإِيمَانِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو عِيسَى هَذَا حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ صَحِيحٌ ‏.‏

Abu Sa’eed said: ‘As for this, he has fulfilled what is upon him. I heard the Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) saying: ‘Whoever among you sees an evil, then let him stop it with his hand. Whoever is not able, then with his tongue, and whoever is not able, then with his heart. That is the weakest of faith.”‘

War with Iran will be a Greater Mistake than War with Iraq

Historically, anti-war sentiment in America has grown over the years. When the Iraq war first started only 23% thought it was a mistake, today it is close to 60% that believe the war is a mistake. Yes, this is in hindsight, but that it is also growth. The reason the anti-war movement is feeble in America is that there is no platform for the campaign to grow. Both parties are guilty of starting wars or taking over the wars from the past administration. Whether we do it alone as an individual or as a group, we should do everything we can as privileged members of this planet to save and protect those that can’t defend themselves.

There is a famous quote of the famed boxer Muhammad Ali when explaining why he wasn’t fighting in the war. He said, “…I am not going ten thousand miles from home to help murder and burn another poor nation simply to continue the domination of white slave masters of the darker people the world over. This is the day when such evils must come to an end. I have been warned that to take such a stand would put my prestige in jeopardy and could cause me to lose millions of dollars which should accrue to me as the champion.”

Fighting Earth

With that said, there is a significant interest in the region for more than just fuel and resources. It is truly a problem, our operations in the Gulf is to address our dependency on Persian oil, and the fuel that is used to address our dependence is to protect those resources and access to them. One estimate is that America spends $81 billion annually defending the global oil supply. They do this because the DOD feels its dependency will make it vulnerable on a larger scale.

In 1975 America decided to take away the fear of losing the resources and developed the “Strategic Petroleum Reserve,” and in 1978, they created the Rapid Deployment Force (RDF). Their only purpose was to defend US interest in the Middle East. This, in turn, leads to extractivism of resources and supplies. (Which will be explained in a future article).

This war can be the end of all wars as it can accelerate us to the point of no return in regards to climate change.

A war with Iran is a war with Earth and all who live on it.

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5 Quick Things Americans Can Do For Uyghurs Today

Abu Ryan Dardir

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“I may die, but let it be known that my nation will continue their struggle so long the world continues to exist.” Kazakh leader Uthman Batur. He said these words as Chinese authorities executed him for resisting the communist occupation. Currently, China has, one million Uyghurs (Uighurs), Kazakhs, and other Muslim minorities held in concentration camps in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) (East Turkistan) in northwestern China.

Their struggle surpasses the 10 or so years since we have become aware of it. Just like the Rohingya genocide, we waited till the last minute. We are always late and say, “Never Again.” It happens again and again.

In my lifetime, there have been horrendous genocides that could have been prevented to stopped. As a child, I remember Rwanda in the headlines, then a year later Bosnian genocide. Then we hear these demonic stories after the fact. I remember stories from survivors from Bosnia, and thinking to myself, “How are you here and functioning?”

Let us not be fooled to why this is happening now. It is related to economic advantages. The Chinese government’s present signature foreign policy initiative is the “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI) that seeks to connect the PRC economically to the rest of the Eurasian continent through massive infrastructure projects that will stimulate international trade. The western and south-western components of the BRI require the XUAR to serve as a transportation and commercial hub to trade routes and pipelines that will join China with Central and South Asia, the Middle East, and the entirety of Europe. As a result, the XUAR has become an important strategic region for the Chinese, and the state views its indigenous populations as an obstacle to developing its vision for this future critical center of international commercial networks.1

The expansion of their trade route also ties in Iran hence the sanctions placed, but that’s a different report for a different time. China, of course, has defended their actions by claiming its an anti-terrorism plan. Getting reliable information is hard. China has made it a point to make things difficult for reporters. Yanan Wang, a China-based journalist from the Associated Press, has reported extensively on and from Xinjiang.

In a ceremony at Asia Society on Tuesday commemorating AP’s 2019 Osborn Elliott Award for Excellence in Journalism on Asia, Wang described the subtle ways government minders worked to thwart her reporting: “(Both of the times we went there we arrived at the airport, we had a welcoming committee from the local authorities. They’re always very polite and professional. They say that “you’ve arrived in Xinjiang and we’re here to assist you in your reporting. Tell us what you’re working on so we can help you.” They offer us drives in their car and plenty of hospitality.

Basically, from the moment we arrive, we’re followed by at least one car. There are a bunch of interesting scenarios that we came across. You can see that the local handlers are trying hard to be professional. They are members of the propaganda department, so they’re PR professionals. They don’t want to make it appear like it’s so stifling. At one point, we were taking photos, and someone suddenly appeared on the scene to say he was a “concerned citizen.” He said he’d seen us taking photos and that it was an infringement of his privacy rights. He had this long monologue about privacy rights and about how it wasn’t right for us to take photos of him without his knowledge. We asked him, “Well, where are you in these photos?” and he’d go through all of them. He said we had to delete all of them. He’d say, “This is my brother,” or “This is my place of work, you have to delete it.”

They had all of these interesting tactics to work around the idea that they were trying to obstruct our reporting and make it appear that someone who claims to be a concerned citizen.)”2

On top of that, locals that talk to journalist are punished, sometimes go missing.

I decided to do something this time around; I got in touch with an Uyghur community near my residence to see how an individual could help. It started at a Turkic restaurant, and from there, I have been involved in whatever capacity I am able. Through this effort, I got in touch with a Turkic professor in Turkey who has students stranded as they are cut off from contacting family back in Xinjiang. He helps them out financially; my family and friends help with what they can.

As Muslims in the West, there is no doubt we should act. Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, said “Whosoever of you sees an evil, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then [let him change it] with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart, and that is the weakest of faith” (Muslim).

How Can You Help Uyghurs

Here are a few things you can do to help:

1. Ask Congress to pass To pass S.178 & H.R.649 Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2019. Urge your senator and representative to support this cause. It has been introduced. This bill can help the Uyghur community to be treated like Tibetans (another region oppressed by China).

2. Stay informed. The mainstream media is not the place to get accurate information on the situation. Be skeptical of where the data is coming from, stick to reliable sources that are verified. As mentioned above, journalists find it difficult to report.

3. Donate to Uyghur Human Rights Organizations to end concentration camps: UHRP, Uyghur American Association  Donate to Awareness Campaigns: Save Uigur Campaign 

4. Boycott or reduce buying Made in China products

5. Follow these links for updated information: facebook.com/Uyghur-Human-Rights-Project-227634297289994/ and facebook.com/ChinaMuslims

This crisis is an ethnic cleansing for profit. These are dark days as we value profit over people.

1.Statement by Concerned Scholars on mass detentions | MCLC …. https://u.osu.edu/mclc/2018/11/27/statement-by-concerned-scholars-on-mass-detention s/

2.Why It’s So Difficult for Journalists To Report From …. https://asiasociety.org/blog/asia/why-its-so-difficult-journalists-report-xinjiang

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