Women answer the call

// November 5th, 2006 // Blog

This might be old news, but i've wanted to discuss the Beit Hanoun incident since i heard about it on Friday.

I'm not going to discuss which party was in the “wrong” or “right”. Can I even tell anymore? Especially when media reports are not entirely objective, and that's all i have to judge with at present.

I just wanted to point out something i feel may have been overlooked in all the drama.

Muslim men, especially Arab muslim men are known to be protective of their women, whether it be their wives, their relatives, or even a stranger who is simply a “sister in Islam”. This can be loosely described as protective jealousy, but the word jealousy has all the wrong connotations. Muslim men are the protectors of their women, in matters of safety, security and also the preservation of their honour. This is a dodgy area. People who are not familiar with the islamic concept of “honour” may be conjuring up images of women locked in their homes, refused any liberties lest they “shame” themselves. As with everything in Islam there must be a balance. Women must be proactive in guarding themselves first and men are simply their partners and helpers in faith. The same is true vica versa.

For muslim men to be able to protect their women is considered not only a duty, but a right and a great privelege that Allāh has bestowed upon them. If they are denied this right, then for them it is truely oppression.

The world may look down with disdain at the Palestinian militants of Beit Hanoun for resorting to such tactics: Calling out your women to act as human shields? What kind of men are you? And that is my point exactly. What kind of muslim man would do this?

It is the kind whose sense of honour and self-respect has been eroded away through years and years of humiliating treatment. It may sound like i'm making excuses for “terrorists”, but that is not my intent. I am trying to say “Look, look at what these people have become! Is it not pathetic? Don't you feel disgusted? Don't you want to help them?”.

Oh, my poor brothers in Islam. How i pray that Allāh may raise you out of the depths of humiliation. Islam was sent to honour us; do not weaken your grip on the strongest of handholds that will never break!

And to my dear, brave sisters. How can the world look upon you this day and say we are weak-minded and docile because we choose to adorn ourselves with the garments of modesty? Truely their eyes are blind and their hearts sealed from the truth.

Finally, to those who make excuses for firing upon unarmed women… I have nothing to say to you. Your deeds speak for themselves.

Say: “O Allāh. Lord of Power (And Rule), You give power to whom You please, and You strip off power from whom You please: You endue with honour whom You please, and You bring low whom You please: In Your hand is all good. Verily, over all things You have power. [Qur'an 3:26]

May Allāh strengthen us, guide us, protect us from the evil of ourselves and of those who seek to lead us astray.

3 Responses to “Women answer the call”

  1. Lucyp says:

    I watched it on TV with disbelief. Shooting at unarmed women is beyond words. I cannot understand how Israel can start to justify it’s actions and not see how hard it is for anyone to do anything but feel anger towards them when they act like this.

  2. iain says:

    . Do you really think that such tactics are so noble? it may have worked this time but you can be sure that it will not work in the future. If you expect the IDF to respect women as non-combatants then this sort of action just destroys such status and they will rightly judge all such women as fair targets. This is not a Victory but a defeat for Palestinians dressed up with short term expediency.

  3. iMuslim says:

    If the women were armed with guns, shooting at the IDF then, yes, they would be combatants. If the women were unarmed then they were non-combatants and were thus relying on the mercy of their enemy to save their sons. The footage suggests the latter was true.

    Hence their mistake was not in answering the call for help, but it was in assuming that the enemy would do the right thing and not shoot at them.

    The strategy of Israel has always been to grind down the Palestinians through a tortuous process of degradation and subjugation: maybe they’ll get the idea and leave, or just crumble under the pressure and quietly fade into the night.

    That is the whole point of my entry. To highlight how the humiliation of a people leads to incidents such as these. This should not have happened. This was not sensible. It was an act born of desperation, it was not tactical warfare.

    In a sad twist of irony, the Palestian people are displaying the same behaviour as that of the children of Israel when they lived under the oppressive rule of Fir’own (the Egyptian Pharoah). This is illustrated by the story of when Moses (peace be upon him) accidently killed a man, in the time before he was a Prophet:

    15. And he [Moses] entered the city at a time when its people were not watching: and he found there two men fighting – one of his own religion [an Israelite], and the other, of his foes [an Egyptian]. Now the man of his own religion appealed to him against his foe, and Moses struck him with his fist and made an end of him. He [Moses] said: “This is a work of evil (Satan): for he is an enemy that manifestly misleads!”
    16. He prayed: “O my Lord! I have indeed wronged my soul! Do Thou then forgive me!” So [Allah] forgave him: for He is the Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
    17. He said: “O my Lord! For that Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace on me, never shall I be a help to those who sin!”
    18. So he saw the morning in the city, looking about, in a state of fear, when behold, the man who had, the day before, sought his help called aloud for his help (again) [i.e., the Israelite from the previous night was now fighting another Egyptian and once again called upon Moses for help]. Moses said to him: “Thou art truly, it is clear, a quarrelsome fellow!”
    19. Then, when he decided to lay hold of the man who was an enemy to both of them, that man said: “O Moses! Is it thy intention to slay me as thou slewest a man yesterday? Thy intention is none other than to become a powerful violent man in the land, and not to be one who sets things right!”

    [The Qur’an, 28: 15-19]

    After this the news quickly spread across the city that Moses was responsible for the death of the Egyptian. He received warning that the authorities were planning to seize him. In fear of his life, he immediately fled the city towards Midian.

    No-one but the “quarrelsome” Israelite and Moses knew who had killed the Egyptian. So why was the Israelite so quick to betray Moses, his brother in religion and tribe, especially after he had helped him? The explanation i have heard from a prominent scholar is that the Children of Israel had lived as slaves for so long, they had lost their sense of dignity, shame and self-respect. They had become selfish, impulsive and blind-sighted. Fir’own had succeeded in causing divisions amongst them in order to maintain his power which meant there was a great deal of in-fighting, and a poor show of unity against the common enemy.

    Any of that sound familiar? The scholar did not refer to the Palestinians, but as soon as he mentioned the in-fighting i immediately thought of the ridiculous enmity that exists between factions such as Fatah and Hamas. And it made my heart sink to think that such an awful history was repeating itself before our very eyes.

    This is why oppression is the worst. All those poor children whose minds are being twisted by this disgusting war. May Allah protect them from such evil.

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