LV Masajid’s response to Palestine Crisis
In the name of Almighty God, the Most Merciful, the Grantor of Mercy.
We, the Muslim religious leadership of the Lehigh Valley, are appalled by the gross misrepresentation of this conflict and its victims in the mainstream media. We awaited the reports of the staggering disparity in casualties, including over 60 children to date, on the Palestinian side to receive the lion’s share of the coverage. We awaited some level of criticism for the US government’s support of another world power in its brazen bulldozing of a nation.
But perhaps we were wrong to expect that. Perhaps we should have seen through the selective anger, the claims to value human equality, and the supposed representation of impartial journalism. Perhaps being a voice for the voiceless was but political maneuvering and hypocrisy. The deafening silence forces a person to wonder if Palestinians are equally human in some people’s eyes, as they don’t seem to qualify for the elaborate displays of empathy we’ve seen from these same news outlets in the past.
We understand the reality of echo chambers, and that people may want to confirm their biases, but we as Muslim leaders are obligated to speak in the name of God, who created in us all a conscience, for those willing to evoke it. We can excuse a person for having limited news sources, as we all do on some level – but excusing the misinformed is different than being silent about misinformation.
As we send up our prayers for peace, as a community and nation, let us be wary of blockading the ascent of those prayers by turning a blind eye to injustice.
We are calling upon all just leaders and just human beings to speak out or take active steps towards an immediate ceasefire, stop the evictions in Sheikh Jarrah, protect the sanctity of the Al Aqsa mosque, lift the siege on Gaza for good, and stop US financial aid that funds these atrocities.
Your brothers and sisters in humanity.
“In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.