Egypt's Siege of Gaza
Written by Kamal Nuruddeen,
Gazans are living in the ruins of their homes following the bloody Israeli war against them one year ago, unable to rebuild because of the blockade against them.
However, there is a fact far more shocking than Israel's characteristic terror against innocent civilians. It is the fact that the blockade is only possible because of Egypt's participation, sharing as it does one length of Gaza's borders.
This is as much an Egyptian siege of Gaza, as highlighted by Seamus Milne's excellent article in the Guardian, and what truly shocks is that we live in times when a Muslim government allies itself with the desecrators of Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa in order to starve and tyrannise their own brothers and sisters in Islam.
In comparison with this act of bitter cruelty from Muslim despots who seem devoid of any iota of mercy in their hearts, we have the courageous and selfless actions of those non-Muslims from the west who have embarked on an aid mission to Gaza led by the British MP George Galloway. These are activists who have no ties of faith or kinship to the Gazans - they have been spurred on simply by a sense of justice and compassion.
Not to be outdone by it Zionist neighbours, Egypt is now looking to cut off the remaining lifeline left to the people of Gaza - the underground tunnels used to smuggle the necessities of life across the border. With the help of American army engineers, Egypt is constructing an immense reinforced steel wall under the border to block these tunnels.
Unfortunately, in an indication of Hosni Mubarak's Western-backed totalitarian grip on his country and its institutions, Shaikh Tantawi from Cairo's Al-Azhar University has defended the construction of the underground wall and furthermore stated that to oppose it is to violate the commands of Islamic law. This comes in stark contrast to the position of Islamic scholars around the world. For example the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) has issued a strong statement condemning the wall as illegal in Islam. The statement explained:
"Egypt is free and has the right of sovereignty over its lands, but surely it does not have the right to support the killing of its brothers and neighbors in Palestine. This is clearly unacceptable, neither under the notion of Arabism, nor under the notion of Islamic brotherhood or even human brotherhood.
"In the Glorious Qur'an, Almighty Allah says, (The believers are but brethren) (Al-Hujurat 49:10). Also, Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said, 'The Muslim is the brother of another Muslim; he does not wrong him, let him down, or desert him.' He (peace and blessings be upon him) also said, 'Support your brother, whether he is the oppressor [by preventing him from being so] or he is the oppressed.' The Prophet did not say, 'Besiege him, starve him, or put him under pressure in service of your enemy.'
"It is decisively obligatory upon Egypt to open the Rafah Crossing before the inhabitants of Gaza, because it is their sole way out. This obligation is enjoined both by the Islamic Shari'ah and by law. It is in no way allowable to tighten the grip over the people of Gaza and to participate in killing them.
"The Gazans have resorted to digging tunnels in hopes of finding an alternative to the mostly-closed crossing, which is closed even in the face of human relief convoys. Blocking the tunnels by Egypt is tantamount to saying to them, 'Die, and let Israel live.'"
May Allah help the oppressed people of Gaza and put compassion in our hearts for the plight of our brothers and sisters, uncles and aunts, nephews and nieces in their ongoing nightmare. Every nightmare has an end, and for those who awake from it in the gardens of Jannah surrounded by the fruits of their sabr, their horrors will seem fleeting and the terror inflicted upon them but a bittersweet memory. May Allah grant them what He has promised to the weak and the oppressed. Ameen.