On Wednesday the 6th of December 2017 Donald Trump made an announcement of al-Quds (‘Jerusalem’) being officially recognised as the capital of Israel which drew reactions from world leaders across the globe.
Here we present a few points regarding this development.
1. The US administration is intentionally provoking Muslims globally. That does not come as a surprise, particularly from Trump. But gratuitous provocation against the sanctities of people usually attracts uncontrollable reaction. If the new US embassy in Jerusalem, whenever it is built, or other US interests around the world, get attacked, the US administration has no one to blame but itself.
2. The reaction of world leaders is laughable. European leaders (France, Britain) and leaders of regimes in the Muslim leaders (Turkey, Gulf States, Saudi, Pakistan, Jordan) are feigning concern about the peace process and the now-allegedly-compromised neutrality of the US, as if the US were a neutral adjudicator in the first place and as if the peace process was going anywhere. What each of them is actually worried about is their own narrow political interests.
3. This latest transgression against al-Quds is symbolic. Al-Quds is already under effective Israeli occupation. Moving an embassy from Yaffa (‘Tel Aviv’) to al-Quds means little within the greater frame of a brutal occupation of the city and indeed of all Palestine. Even symbolic moves in politics, however, carry important meaning. It may be the equivalent of one move on the political chess board but it signifies the persisting domination of the opponent and his thorough control over not only the game but also its rules.
4. The protest of the Muslim street is laudable and also carries strong political meaning. It signifies the persistence of resistance, however small, however apparently impotent. That the flame still burns is of utmost value. Further, Muslims *should* protest when the sanctities of Allah are denigrated. Not being able to do more is not an excuse to not at the least express anger and condemnation. Our iman demands it.
5. Keeping the greater frame in mind is also critical in terms of conceiving the problem and solution. The problem is not where we draw the borders (’48, ‘67, etc.), the status of al-Quds (shared, international, Jewish, Muslim), or how much of Palestine we are given. These issues are distractions whereby the coloniser offers us crumbs. The problem is the occupation of Palestine, all of it, and what allowed it: the absence of the Khilafah.
The solution, in turn, is not in hoping for some (miraculous) beneficence from the US or UN. The solution is the military liberation of Palestine, all of it, from a military occupation. An occupation that is protected and maintained by the surrounding Arab states and ignored by other Muslim states like Turkey and Pakistan. They have all betrayed Palestine, among their greater betrayal of Islam and the Muslim Ummah. Hence, our rage should be first directed at them and our political work at changing them, at expelling western neo-colonial interference, and uniting the Muslim lands under a sincere Islamic leadership. This alone can pave the way for liberating Palestine the only way is can be liberated: the way of Salah al-Deen.
Uthman Badar is a student of Islamic sciences, philosophy and a member of Hizb ut-Tahrir Australia.
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