America, Middle East, News Watch, Side Feature

Who will stand for the oppressed? Where is the Muslim hero?

On 21st December 2022 in a private ceremony in the Chilean capital, Santiago, President Boric announced plans to open an embassy in the ‘occupied territories’ of Palestine. He stated that this would send a signal that “international law be respected”. The foreign ministry of the Palestinian Authority welcomed this plan.

This was further confirmed by Antonia Urrejola, Chile’s foreign minister, who said, “There was no timeline in place yet and that Chile continues to recognise both Palestine and Israel as legitimate states.”

Supporting an oppressed people and occupation of its land is correct but legitimising the existence of the oppressor since 1949 is wholly incorrect. But no one talks about this nor that this feeds into the two state solution which we the Ummah of Muhammad (saw) will never accept.

We should not be hasteful in patting the back of President Gabriel Boric as though he has liberated Palestine from the occupiers. He, Boric should take heed from the words of his South American compadre Che Guevara. Guevara told Palestinian refugees they must continue the struggle to liberate their land. There was no way but resistance to occupation, he said. He admitted that their case was “complex” because the new Jewish settlers occupied their homes. “The right must eventually be restored”, he affirmed.

Do we forget that several South American countries including Chile recalled their ambassadors from the jewish entity in 2014 in protest to the war. But then Chile and others reinstated their ambassadors shortly after. The only country in South America to this date not having recognised the jewish entity is Venezuela.

Boric earlier this year refused to accept the credentials of the Jewish entity ambassador over the killing of a Palestinian child as a protest but then two weeks later accepted the credentials.

These actions whether in protest or support do not show a dichotomy. What we do know is that despite the leftist ideals that Boric holds, he will compromise to fulfil his political ambitions. Chile is a heavily dependent economy on exports with its primary consumer being the US then China. Its main export of copper makes it the worlds largest producer of this metal. Prior to winning the Chilean elections, Boric was vocal for the BDS movement but now that seems to have been frozen in time i.e. politicians say one thing before elections but once in power do another. As the saying goes, actions speak louder than words.

Chile is home to 350,000 – 500,000 people of Palestinian origin, the former president of Chile himself was the grandchild of Palestinian immigrants. This number makes it the largest community outside of the Arab lands. Thus, we can see that the Palestinian vote matters in Chile and Boric is making use of it but will not rock the cradle too hard as he knows his longevity as president is dependent upon a strong economy. This is an attempt to concrete the narrative of the two state solution. Are we today going to accept a pragmatic solution to the occupation of our lands? This narrative contains no cement in its concrete only sand which will crumble under the minutest of pressure. It is a facade to think that the land of Palestine will be liberated in full under a two state solution.

Who are we fooling by accepting this narrative? You, who read this, are you willing to go against that which Islam your Deen revealed from the seventh heaven?

Is our Deen incomplete in that we look to pragmatic solutions thinking something is better than nothing? How did we come to think in this defeated way?

Is the international norms and how politics are conducted internationally correct even though it compromises Islam. On one hand we say our Deen is complete yet we look to other than our Deen. How did we come to be like this? To think in this way?

The rulers of the Muslim lands are no heroes of Islam. The support of the people in attendance of the Qatar World Cup this month of the oppressed people of Palestine weighs heavy despite the normalisation by the rulers. The players from the Moroccan team showed a clear divide between the people and the King of Morocco who accepted normalisation of the Jewish entity.

The world today needs activists who work to raise the al-liwa (banner) of Islam. The world today needs you to stand and affirm that your Deen can liberate the occupation of the blessed land of Palestine. So will you turn to that which gives you life?

(يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا۟ اسْتَجِيبُوا۟ لِلَّهِ وَلِلرَّسُولِ إِذَا دَعَاكُمْ لِمَا يُحْيِيكُمْ وَاعْلَمُوا۟ أَنَّ اللَّهَ يَحُولُ بَيْنَ الْمَرْءِ وَقَلْبِهِ وَأَنَّهُ إِلَيْهِ تُحْشَرُونَ)

“O you who have believed, respond to Allah and to the Messenger when he calls you to that which gives you life. And know that Allah intervenes between a man and his heart and that to Him you will be gathered.” [TMQ Al-‘Anfāl 8:24]

Abdul Nasir
Member of the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir