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Habib Ali Al-Jifri Eyeless in Gaza - QandA

Habib Ali Al-Jifri Eyeless in Gaza - QandA

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Published by: Radical Middle Way on Apr 21, 2011
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04/21/2011

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Habib Ali Al-Jifri on:
Eyeless in Gaza: Question and Answer Session
1st February 2009, Woughton Leisure Centre, Milton KeynesThis presentation is brought to you by
The Radical Middle Way 
[Audience Question 1]Everybody who talks about the problems in Gaza or Palestine talks about the solution which has beenimposed by the world, i.e. the 1967 borders. Suppose somebody comes into your land or into yourhouse, would you accept a peace process that still says that 50% of it belongs to somebody else?[Habib Ali Al-Jifri responds]
 First point that I want everyone to be clear of and remember is that regardless of the 1967 proposal –and I want the young people to remember this so that even if we get to a point where the solution is topartition it according to the 67 partition - every inch of Palestine that was taken from the people of Palestine, was an act of injustice. That’s something I want to make clear. Any part of the country thatwas taken away from them is an act of injustice, in itself. That’s one.Secondly, if someone’s house is taken and then someone says to that person ‘we will return half thehouse’ and the person says, ‘Okay, I will take half the house back in the hope that me taking back half the house will mean that you will stop destroying the other houses near me’. If they want to agree to it,who are we to say no?Since 1948, when the Palestinian issue arose, there were proposals set forth and people did not acceptthem. Then we went on and we moved through a process and we came to a point where anotherproposal was set. But what the new proposal included was less than the first proposal and people wouldstart saying ‘hang on there, let us go back to the first proposal’ and the other side would say ‘No, wecan’t go back there. Are you going to accept this?’ Each proposal would be less than the one before.So one should be thinking that take the proposal that is set before you for what it can give you and thenrequest more afterwards. Just take what is given and see through the rightful means what you can askfor afterwards and what you can take afterwards instead of just saying ‘No, no, no – all or nothing’ andthen you end up taking less and less every time because you are not even allowed to go back to the firstproposal.But the one thing that even the Palestinians should refuse to compromise upon is the mosque inJerusalem, Masjid Al-Aqs
ā
. This is the one thing that no one on the face of the earth should think theycan say that this precinct can go into some kind of political wrangling and some kind of agreement. It isnot for anyone to do that.
 
 
[Audience Question 2]Do you think that what has already been done by Muslims and by Scholars is enough? And do youthink that they have acted in a manner that is pleasing to God?[Habib Ali Al-Jifri responds]
 No, I don’t think any of us have done enough. I am not talking on behalf of Muslim scholars or anyoneelse, but I myself, personally, don’t think I have done enough and what I am trying to do is catch up withwhat I think I have fallen short in and do the best I can. I advise the person who asked this question toalso think in the same way.If each of us just sits on our laurels and thinks that the leaders will do it or the politicians, theeconomists or anyone else are going to do it, then nothing is going to happen.It is going to be like the account given in the Qur
’ā
n of the people who turned to Moses and said to himwhen they were about to enter a place where there was an army waiting for them, they said to theProphet
‘Go with your Lord and fight them. We will stay here and wait’ 
.I have been saying from the beginning that each one of us should take his role and do his role properly.And that not doing so is falling short in oneself and not carrying your responsibility, as too, is going toexcess and doing something wrong. That doesn’t serve anything.
[Audience Question 3]Is a British Muslim allowed to defend this country i.e. Britain if it is attacked from outside?[Habib Ali Al-Jifri responds]
 The question isn’t whether it is allowed; it is incumbent upon you and you have to defend this countryagainst someone who aggresses against it. And my answer is also to both a Muslim and a non-Muslim, if it is your country that did the aggression then you shouldn’t help it in its aggression, you shouldn’tpartake in any act of aggression. Fuad is saying that is what you call
conscientious objection
.
[Audience Question 4]Is it right to boycott certain Israeli products?
 
 [Habib Ali Al-Jifri responds]
Yes. If buying those things is going help the oppressor in their oppression then one should boycott them.And this is not something that the Muslims do alone; I have seen people in Europe and America whoboycott those Israeli products on principle, based on the fact that that money is going aid oppressiondone against those people.I know of people who boycott things from companies who are not environmentally sound because theydo not want to contribute to the damage done to the Earth upon which they live. This is a question of principle. It is to do with one’s principles.I spoke to some of the community leaders before coming here and they were telling me that they aretrying to get money together and work together towards building a centre, and my advice is for you allto try and help each other and contribute towards this in whichever way you can because it is a meansin drawing nearer to god. Just help each other and work together.I just like to make one concluding remark and I ask to stand up and make it. It’s about something I havenoticed from the kind of questions that were being asked.I could give you a speech that would rouse your emotions and get you to turn against this person or thatperson, just because I know how to give a public speech; I can give you a talk and make you think thatthis man does not fear anyone and I could flex my muscles and you will start screaming and shouting. Ican give a speech right now and make you all go out there and make you start screaming and screechingand saying that you want to kill.That’s easy. It’s easy to arouse people’s emotions.But there’s one problem here. The word you say is a divine trust. The Prophet (saw) said
‘The personwho is asked to give advice is placed in a position of trust’.
 I know there are people sitting here who are angry and want to do something. Who isn’t angry for thetruth? But to be angry without having insight will end in destruction. And some of the people whostopped the Palestinian cause for justice, who have brought it to a halt are the very same people whowanted to do something for it and ended up doing the wrong thing.I say to you, the word you
say 
is a trust. I also say to you that what you
do
is also a trust, and to
givevictory 
is a trust and to have a divine trust is a heavy burden to carry. In the Qur’
ā
n, God reveals
‘And we put out the trust, we gave the choice to carry the divine trust to the Heavens and the Earth and theHeavens and the Earth said we cannot carry it’ 
because they knew of the weight of this trust and Godsaid
‘…and man carried it. Truly man is unjust and truly man is ignorant’ 
.

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