We must thank Gilad Sharon, who unequivocally and unashamedly voiced what seems to be what many others may be thinking: All Gazans are terrorists since they elected Hamas.
Even if we assume that voting for Hamas is a terrible thing, can we omit the fact that Hamas did not get 100 percent of the vote and the majority of Gazans are children who did not vote? Never mind.
If we have not lost our humanity, it will not be difficult to see that targeting civilians on a regular basis and killing innocent babies are terrorist acts. The fact that they have been done by a state neither makes them non-terrorist acts nor renders them inevitable results of self-defense.
Everyone of a sound mind and a conscience that is not rotten knows very well that Israel disrespects all sorts of agreements, norms and rules that have been developed by humanity and international society.
It is also crystal clear that the big powers of today, Western or Eastern, which have the means of stopping these acts of brutality either turn a blind eye or halfheartedly pretend to be criticizing or even worse, simply defend it. There are all sorts of reasons, ranging from almost a common Western feeling of guilt that resulted in the terrible Holocaust, during which humanity came under the influence of lobbies, to Islamophobia and national interests. Nothing is new in what I have said so far. Yet, it is obvious that Muslims have to say new things on these issues if they really want to help not only their Palestinian brothers who are suffering but also all humans in similar conditions all over the world.
Blaming others is the easiest thing to do, and Muslims have excelled at that.
One can find very few Muslim scholars and leaders such as the grand scholar Badi al Zaman Said Nursi, who put the blame primarily on the secular and spiritual sins of Muslims. This does not justify the terrorists, imperialists, hegemonic powers, colonizers, occupiers and all sorts of monsters who are hidden behind human masks, but while trying to deal with these brutal challenges, a Muslim must simultaneously be engaged with jihad-i akbar, the greatest jihad, which is fighting against the evil side of one’s self.
Unfortunately, I do not see many people who do that or encourage people to do it. Needless to say, this criticism firstly targets me who finds it adequate to pen a few sentences about these issues and go to his comfortable king-size bed.
What I see in the Middle East are weak Muslims, weak societies, weak people and authoritarian rulers that intentionally or not, benefit from Israel’s monstrous acts against Palestinian children, babies, pregnant women and civilians. We have seen it many times, and it seems that we will continue to see it. It does not matter if they are sincere or not. Whenever Israel attacks innocent civilians, Middle Eastern rulers start shouting, and suddenly their citizens forget about their own injustices, the rulers’ fat cat relatives and friends who keep unnaturally getting richer, their pressure on the press, the democratic deficit, the lack of human rights in their own countries and so on. What is worse, they are either applauded or wait to be applauded as heroes that help the Palestinians while in reality the condition of Palestinians does not get any better.
(This article was published in Today's Zaman online on Nov. 23, 2012)