The brutal assault on Palestinians is clear for all of us to see. There has been a real agenda over the years to shut down criticism of Israel by its supporters seeking to twist and conflate this criticism with anti-Semitism.
The ‘Objects’ of a charity describe and identify the purpose for which your charity has been set up. Most Muslim charities will have as part of their Objects the following, amongst others:
‘Advancement of the faith and its practices’;
‘Advancement of education for the public benefit concerning Islam’.
These make it perfectly acceptable, and in fact a duty to speak out. The issue of Palestine and Masjid Al-Aqsa is not a political matter, but rather an intrinsic part of our faith and Aqeedah. It is inextricably part of the religion. Therefore, speaking about it and against attacks on it is no different to speaking about any other aspect of our faith and practices. It amounts to the advancement of the faith and religious education. Speaking about it enables us to remind and educate Muslims, primarily, and non-Muslims regarding the centrality of Al-Aqsa to Islam given that Zionist, pro-Israeli propaganda relies heavily on miseducation of the historicity of the region. In addition, it provides a world stage for Muslims to advance, promote and reinforce universally recognised concepts of justice, accountability, oppression and injustice – all fundamental matters Islamic belief holds most urgent. To end the injustice in Palestine, it requires education and knowledge, and this further constitutes the advancement of religion. Education is required around:
- Its virtues and significance in Islam;
- The ethnic cleansing which has been taking place;
- The racist and discriminatory practices of the occupying apartheid state;
- The violations of international laws/regulations/war crimes.
It should also be noted that whilst Muslim charities provide a public benefit to all, their primary beneficiaries are the Muslim community. They must not forget therefore that it is the Muslim community that they serve first and foremost, and it is the Muslim community who are their primary benefactors. Failing to speak out could be considered a failure to represent the voice of the community and as such, Muslim charities should guard against “actions” or “inactions” that may be taken by the Muslim community as critically acting against its interests, and leading to reputational harm or worse.
This is too significant a matter to remain silent over. This is an Islamic issue. The defense of Muslims begins with us. If non-Muslim celebrities can speak out, for which they deserve every credit and admiration, then, what is stopping us?. If they can, we must!