July 10 2015 marks Al Quds Day – commemorated on the last Friday of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, declared by the late Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini as “an international day of struggle against Israel and for the liberation of Jerusalem."
On this day, as the MSA Union we reiterate our solidarity not only for the people of Palestine, but for all oppressed Muslims around the world.
May Allah ease their suffering, deliver them from oppression and grant relief to them.
We rounded up some info and stats about a few nations in which Muslims remain oppressed
- In 2014, Israel embarked on a 50-day full-on onslaught of attacks on the Gaza Strip called operation Protective Edge which resulted in the death of almost 2400 Palestinians – primarily civilians – and the destruction of more than 18 000 homes. The damage is beyond repair, and it will take years for Gaza to recover.
- The Rules of Israel’s military occupation in the West Bank state that the age of responsibility starts at 12. The injustice continues even for the children of Palestine.
- The European Union: “Israeli settlements are illegal under international law and with the non-recognition by the EU of Israel’s sovereignty over the occupied territories”
- June 2015 marks eight years since Israel’s tightening of blockades on Gaza. Crippling land, sea and air blockades have been in place since 2007 on the Gaza Strip, affecting more than 1.8 million indigenous Palestinian inhabitants. While Palestinians in Gaza face a 45% unemployment rate, Israeli companies profit from a monopoly on the supply of goods to Gaza, from which they made $375-million in 2012 alone.
- The Rohingya people are an ethnic minority in Myanmar and have been persecuted by the Buddhist majority government.
- They are labelled illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, and since 1978 military operations have been conducted against them
- The United Nations has described the Rohingya people as the most persecuted minority in the world.
- They are denied citizenship and classified as Stateless people – no state will recognise them.
- Because of their status as stateless, they are denied access to education, healthcare, require permission to marry, have their reproductive rights restricted and are subject to numerous abuses such as forced labour.
- Myanmar's President Thein Sein says refugee camps or deportation is the "solution". They are faced with threats of rape and mass killing on a daily basis.
- Countless Rohingya die drowning every year while trying to escape the persecution – in 2015 alone, more than 700 Rohingya have died at sea while trying to escape to neighbouring nations of Thailand and Indonesia
“This [Rohingya persecution] is truly systemic. It's part of Myanmar's legal and social system to discriminate against the Rohingya on the basis of their ethnicity … all the facets of life are affected by a system that codifies and makes lawful their persecution and discrimination." - Benjamin Zawacki, a Myanmar researcher for Amnesty International
A group of South African organisations are currently collecting humanitarian aid for the Rohingyan people. See our blog post for more: http://blog.msa.org.za/2015/05/urgent-appeal-for-humanitarian-aid-for.html
- In July 2012, the International Red Cross labelled the violence in Syria a civil war.
- Estimates of the death toll of the war are at 210 000, as of 2015, with half of the total casualties being children – in reality though, the figure is likely to be higher.
- The United Nations estimates that the conflict claims as many as 5,000 lives per month. Nearly 1 in 3 Syrians are refugees or displaced inside the country, and there are 6.8 million Syrians in need of urgent assistance.
Syria is part of that mubarak land (Shaam) for which Nabi SallAllahu 'Alayhi Wasallam made the Du'aa: Allahumma Baariklana fi Yamanina wa fi Shaamina (Oh Allah bless our Yemen and our Shaam).
Those wanting to support Gift of the Givers’ continuous attempts to assist Syria can do so by making a deposit into their account:
ACCOUNT NAME: Gift of the Givers Foundation
ACCOUNT NUMBER: 052278611
BANK: Standard Bank
BRANCH: Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
BRANCH CODE: 057525
- Population: estimated 10 Million people
- Rough statistics:
- Estimated Killing: 91 865
- Women raped: 9708
- Civilians missing: 10 000
- Since 1947, after the Indian Subcontinent gained independence from British Rule, both India and Pakistan have engaged in an ongoing and unresolved conflict over Kashmir – which has a majority Muslim population.
- Kashmir remains dominated by Indian control over police and Parliament
So, what can you do?
- Educate people around you on the situation
- Attend marches and protests
- Read up some more. Scour the internet, speak to experts – keep yourself updated about what’s going on
- Encourage your local MSA to have seminars, debates and more events to educate students on local affairs
- Volunteer at organisations in assisting them in making a difference! Get involved
For Palestine: Boycott Divestment and Sanction (BDS South Africa)
@BDSSouthAfrica on Twitter and BDS South Africa on Facebook
For Rohingya : Protect the Rohingya
@ProtectRohingya on Twitter
Move beyond principally acknowledging a crisis, and become actively involved in creating awareness!
Want to get involved with MSA Union’s Politics committee? Email firstname.lastname@example.org