Responsibilities of Islamic Governments and the Muslim Ummah with Respect to the Issue of Palestine
In all contemporary political history of Islam, we see that Muslim thinkers and reformers have always grappled with best ways and methods not only to remedy the ills of the Muslim world, but at the same time they have tried to wisely lead it toward spiritual and material prosperity, and ultimately, perfection.
The founders and followers of religious revivalist movement, in order to effectively convey their message and reach their holy religious aims, would always address two major groups in Islamic societies throughout the planet:
A - Governments of Islamic lands
B - The Muslim Ummah [the collective nation of Muslims]
There is not doubt, however, that in its long and tumultuous history, and in any epoch and particular place in the vast Islamic lands, various and specific problems always stood out. And our times are not an exception to this rule, and if we take a comprehensive look at the major problems in the Islamic world we see that virtually all great Muslim thinkers and intellectuals agree on one major ill. This very painful ill is the increasing distancing of Muslim governments from the model and structure of truly "religious government," and the "increasing gap between the needed requirements and abilities of an "Islamic ruler." These two major ills in turn sicken the society's very foundation and the Muslim ummah slides into a dark world bereft of logic, the right path, and reliable information.
And here we have one of the most tragic and stark cases of naked aggression, not to mention over half-a-century of brutal occupation, especially for the Islamic world [to witness in shame. Islamic governments and nations do indeed have specific religious duties and obligations. The founder of the Islamic Republic, our late Imam Khomeini, as well as Ayatollah Khamenei, have both touched this great issue in a solid and enlightening manner. The twin shaky pillars of self-interest, and over-ambition and greed, on which most Islamic governments have built their rule on, coupled with seemingly eternal conflicts within Arab governments " which are only aggravated and blown out of proportion by the Zionist regime " are the two major ills and the foundation of most governments’ shortcomings in Islamic countries. Some are simply lost, or compromised, or kept busy with trivia to comprehend the true needs and real problems of the world of Islam today.
"This immensely tragic situation which has befallen our brothers in Beit-ul-Moqaddas for such a very long time is the direct result of the carelessness and the nonchalance with which most Arab leaders treated this critical issue ... When Islamic governments must truly speak with one voice and seek each others' counsel ... instead, because of internal differences and conflicts and the treacherous acts of some Arab leaders, they have all helped the Zionist regime to somewhat stabilize itself." 59
Our esteemed Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, has offered long offered his considered advice on how to solve the issue of Palestine. His very practical solution involves Islamic governments' massive, comprehensive, and targeted shipping of all goods and arms needed for the heroic Palestinians to defend themselves. In his words, Ayatollah Khamenei is trying to impart the idea of a new kind of comprehensive, united, well-coordinated series of actions " led by scholars armed with results from very competent expert advice.
"Their duty [of Islamic countries regarding Palestine] comprises aid in every imaginable way; political aid, financial, international, and so on. This solution and proposition, we hope and pray is seriously considered by the high officials and the powerful of the world of Islam, and then decided on. In case the leaders put off a decision, then Muslim nations will understand that direct responsibility for this great endeavor rests on their courageous shoulders alone." 60
There is of course no doubt that no every Muslin is up to this heavy task and burden and a mass effort necessitates a higher state of spiritual growth and the feeling of shared responsibilities than we witness at present.
"Muslim governments must feel responsible for Palestinian resistance fighters, and the people of Palestine, and specially the average Palestinian man on his land who is valiantly living and fighting with unrelenting Zionist policies and pressures." 61
In an enlightening speech, our late Imam also found another occasion to address all Muslims:
"My dear sisters and brothers, regardless of which county of our planet you live in, defend your Islamic and national identity and honor. Have no fear as how daring you defense of innocent Muslims is in front of your enemies such as the United States and the forces of International Zionism, because your are armed with formidable facts ... O' Muslims of the world, rise and defend your Islamic and national rights and heritage." 62
And the Leader also addresses Palestinians on Muslims' stance:
"Today, the eyes of the world are focused on the great Palestinian nation and their everyday heroism. They should know that the hearts of all Muslims are with them and pray for them. And if obstacles were removed and aid would have been possible, massive aid by Muslim nations would be on its way this very day, whether governments would agree or not. World's community of Muslims (the Muslim ummah) will never, ever let go of Palestine and let down heroic Palestinians." 63
The Leader again touched on the issue while speaking to a gathering of the people of Torbate' Jaam:
"The people of every single Muslim nation on this planet, in their collective body and soul, are wholeheartedly looking for a way to save Palestine and Palestinians today. Also, most Muslims intellectuals, scholars, the elite of most academic disciplines, and many politicians, leaders, and officials of the Islamic world share these popular Muslim feelings and beliefs." 64
In assessing the effect of various world events on views held by the deprived and oppressed of the world " specially by Muslims and Palestinians " most agree that the victorious quest of the Iranian nation and their revolution for justice and Islamic rule left most stunned and pleased at the same time. This miraculous victory, led by a wise leader, Imam Khomeini, whose only weapon was his deep belief in high Islamic values and the Almighty God, sent shockwaves throughout the Muslim world. It also pleased and impressed many Palestinians. The reason was that the late Imam had shown how, a nation barehanded can stand up to a heavily armed dictatorship, overthrow it, and replace it with the modern times' first theocracy.
"Two rather important events occurred soon after the Islamic Revolution;
The first one was the transformation of the Palestinian liberation movement " which was mostly a non-religious one " into an Islamic movement, and soon after Islamic resistance forces took shape, and the movement took an Islamic hue and color to it.
"A new breed of resistance fighters entered the field motivated by high Islamic values and beliefs, which, as a rule, have proven to overrule every other motive in a believer. The other important occurrence was the "Intifada," or the Palestinian mass uprising, which defied the iron rule of Zionist occupiers, and suddenly, took a distinct shape in the long-tormented lands of the Palestinian homeland. They [the occupiers] fear this last uprising most." 65
The Zionists have reason for this fear. Ever since the Iranian revolution they have followed events there very carefully. As events unfolded the world witnessed the Muslim nation of Iran quench the thirst of its collective soul from the clear divine spring of high religious values and teachings, and led by the inspiring leadership of both the late Imam and the Leader, proceeded to remove any and every obstacle in its path to freedom and religious values ever since. The values which were fought for are very clear and sacred values and beliefs, and Iranians do not seem to anyhow be ready to give up any of their hard-won freedoms and rights.
And, as the Leader of Islamic Revolution, poignantly reasons this stance out as one who long fought for and can rightly claims to have good knowledge of the inherent characteristics of the Iranian Revolution:
"An Islamic system of governance is by definition Islamic [and divine], so it always inherently favors truth and justice, therefore, the system is also quite clear in its basic stances. Thus, it simply can not decline to include the concerns and defense of the entire world of Islam in its basic policies. It is based on such basics of Islam that we so staunchly defend Palestinian resistance." 66
There is no doubt that those who follow the path of true Islam " as delivered to us by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) " and become pioneers in defending truth and righteousness, will, as they always have, become subjects of the most complex and sinister schemes hatched up by the forces of oppression and imperialism who see their interests threatened. Besides individuals, entire Muslim societies are also put under tremendous pressure to capitulate. Yet, in spite of many powerful and devious adversaries, the decades-long history of our revolution is inundated with cases of people rising up for their rights and valiantly standing up against all the plots and pressures the enemy could hurl at them and a nation they were trying to defend.
These principle and courageous stands do no go unnoticed in the Muslim world and they quickly turn into powerful beacons of hope for other Muslims who, having found the correct model, stage their own uprisings and demands for rights. "If you help God the Almighty, He will also help you, and steady your steps."
"Most U.S. enmity towards the Islamic Republic emanates from two facts and reasons: First, holding fast to Islam; and the other is Iran's solid stance on the issue of occupied Palestine ... a very clear and principled stance, adopted very early in the revolution, and has stayed the same for as long as this republic has stood. It has only, through these years, become more clear and lucid to all." 67
59. Sahifeh-e Nour, Vol. 10, p. 5; Vol. 8, P. 95; Vol. 3, P. 119.
60. Ayatollah Khamenei, Speech on the day of Mab’ath, October 26, 1993.
61. Ayatollah Khamenei, Speech at a meeting with the people of Irak, November 15, 2000.
62. Sahifeh-e Nour, Vol. 9, P. 226; Vol. 10, P. 228.
63. Ayatollah Khamenei, Speech, October 21, 2003.
64. Ayatollah Khamenei, Speech, July 12, 1998.
65. Ayatollah Khamenei, Speech at a meeting with the people of Torbat Jam, August 31, 1999.
67. Ayatollah Khamenei, Speech on the birth anniversary of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), July 12, 1998.
Adopted from the book: "Palestine Throbbing Heart of the World of Islam"
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