Thinking Palestine Through Islam: The Mirage of Secular Dissent as Epistemic Resistance Against Israel

The central tenet of Islamic belief – the proclamation of lā ilāha illallāh, or “there is no God but Allah” – forms the underlying consciousness that breathes meaning into the existence of every Muslim. This proclamation, or kalimah, is made up of two seemingly opposing statements – a negation followed by an affirmation. Ostensibly, this might seem contradictory, even irreconcilable. The reality, however, is far from it — a closer look revealing the logically consistent structure underpinning this attestation of faith. The affirmation of illallāh, literally, “but Allah,” comes after a negation, lā ilāha, meaning “there is no God,” or no “fossilized system” — with its own truth claims to a pluriversal metaphysical order, which, at its roots, questions the divine ontologically-grounded hierarchy of differentiation, or, in other words, doubts and disputes the absolute divinity of Allah. Continue reading Thinking Palestine Through Islam: The Mirage of Secular Dissent as Epistemic Resistance Against Israel

The Palestinian Conflict is an Islamic One

A version of this article was originally published here and has been republished with the author’s permission. Language is molded by perception and ideas, forming our worldview. It is not only how we communicate with others, but also how we construct our beliefs (something the media and the movie industry know all too well.) We have seen its importance reflected throughout history, for example, in … Continue reading The Palestinian Conflict is an Islamic One

Genocide in Palestine and Western Support

Raphael Lemkin (1900–59), a Polish-Jewish jurist, coined the term “genocide” and popularized it in a global context. International law clearly defines genocide in Article 2 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, 1948.

The stages of genocide do not necessarily have to occur step-by-step. If some of these elements systematically exist, it would be enough to consider it a genocide. Upon analyzing Israeli aggression in Gaza, it becomes clear that Israel is deliberately using the recent attack by Hamas as a scapegoat to indiscriminately kill innocent Palestinians including thousands of children. Many of the stages of genocide such as discrimination (cutting off electricity, water, and internet.), dehumanization (labeling Palestinians as human animals and children of darkness), preparation (ground invasion), persecution (bombardments and rocket firing), extermination (ethnic cleansing and genocide), and denial (lies, propaganda, and disinformation) are underway and a cause for grave concern. Continue reading Genocide in Palestine and Western Support

Did India Previously Support Palestine? What Happened?

In the same manner [Hindu] Indian Americans post-9/11 sought to gain power and respectability by allying themselves with what opposed Muslims, the narrative that portrays Hindus as victims of Muslim terrorism is furthered by drawing parallels with the distress of Jewish communities over terrorism in Israel. For India, Israel – and Zionism – is the manifestation of domestic fantasies, a vehicle through which people of the world can hold Islam and its seemingly endless list of crimes at bay with.

In perfect accordance to the BJP supporter playbook, despite previous attempts at centrist engagement with both Israel and Palestine, India now uses the Palestinian struggle to build on the anti-Muslim climate in the dregs of British colonial rule: Palestine’s struggles are due to perceived wrongdoing, the people are reaping what they sow like the Muslims in India, etc. What is humorously macabre is that Zionists insult and reject Indian support. Not only do Hindutva supporters tolerate this degradation, they continue drooling for their approval. Continue reading Did India Previously Support Palestine? What Happened?

International Law Aids and Abets Israeli Crimes

The go-to tool for determining which party is in the wrong is international law: turning off the water supply is a war crime (never mind that for years Palestinians were forced to be dependent on Israeli goodwill to have their water tanks filled), killing civilians is a war crime (never mind human rights’ subservience to global politics means little scrutiny over how and when Israel deems a Palestinian to be sufficiently harmless), etc. While the international community browbeats Palestinians into reacting the correct way, Israel continues to act in deplorable ways, bolstered by the legitimacy some aspects of international law, already derived from a colonial order, grants them. Demands that Israel “comply more” with international law as they raze Gaza  — the same law they use to their benefit — will not rattle principle into the morally bankrupt.

Noura Erakat, a prominent Palestinian-American legal scholar and human rights attorney, challenges the nature of international law as a paradigmatic moral guide in her book, “Justice for Some: Law and the Question of Palestine.” Born into a family deeply rooted in the struggle for Palestine, Erakat brings an incisive and reflective perspective that builds on her legal acumen. She argues that international law has facilitated Israel’s settler-colonial ambition. She describes how the interpretation of the law is often subject to manipulation and “legal work,” or the strategic efforts undertaken by legal actors to shape outcomes according to their preferences. Continue reading International Law Aids and Abets Israeli Crimes