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Monday, January 12, 2009

Congressman Ellison booed by Palestinian supporters

Because of this did We ordain unto the children of Israel that if anyone slays a human being-unless it be [in punishment] for murder or for spreading corruption on earth-it shall be as though he had slain all mankind; whereas, if anyone saves a life, it shall be as though he had saved the lives of all mankind... (5:32 Holy Qur'an)
The story of Qabil (Cain) and Habil (Able) seems to shine bright in my mind as I try to wrap my mind around the idea of innocent women and children slaughtered at the hands their own brothers (neighbors). Aside from the Zionist history associated with this issue, how does one find it "RIGHT" in one's heart to sacrifice innocent lives at the expense of your desires?

Sahih Muslim Book 19 #4320 - It is narrated by Ibn Umar that a woman was found killed in one of these battles; so the Messenger of Allah forbade the killing of women and children.
"Set out for Jihad in the name of Allah and for the sake of Allah. Do not lay hands on the old verging on death, on women, children and babes. Do not steal anything from the booty and collect together all that falls to your lot in the battlefield and do good, for Allah loves the virtuous and the pious."
So, it must be noted that that does not make Hamas right either. But in the same breath, exponential "retaliation" is not defense. What the people must realize is where the major concern lies. It is not with the state of Israel. It is not with the state of Palestine. The major concern lies with the innocent lives affected by this fighting.
4:135 O ye who believe! stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin...

So, I am not one to "BOO" at or point fingers at those caught in between a stand for Justice like Congressman Keith Ellison. Congressman Ellison is booed by Palestinian supporters for his "Present" vote on House Resolution 34 (which is provided below). But, pay close attention to his words below the video. His reasons for his actions speak more than just "I'm Present".

Congressman Ellison’s Floor Statement on Gaza Conflict House Resolution

Washington, D.C. -- Congressman Keith Ellison (D-Minneapolis) made the following statement on the floor of the House of Representatives today regarding his vote on House Resolution 34, a bill expressing the sense of Congress about the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Congressman Ellison joined 22 of his colleagues and voted “Present” on the resolution.

Madame Speaker, I come to the floor today torn about this resolution.

Though I welcome resolutions by Congress to express support for the people of Israel and Gaza at this difficult time, this resolution does little to move toward a stable and durable peace in the Middle East.

I cannot vote against this resolution because I believe every country in the world has the right to defend itself.

I have been to Sderot and I have seen first-hand both the physical and emotional destruction caused by the rocket attacks launched by Hamas.

Israeli citizens living near the Gaza border have been repeatedly harassed and live daily in fear.

Hamas, a terrorist organization founded with the goal of destroying Israel, has launched more than 6,000 rockets and mortars into Israel since 2005.

Last fall I voted for a resolution specifically condemning these rocket attacks into Israel.

At the same time I cannot vote for this resolution because it barely mentions the human suffering of the Palestinians in Gaza.

Over 750 people have been killed, including 250 children and 50 women, with over 3,000 people injured.

And even before the recent Israeli military operation, life for the people of Gaza had become increasingly unliveable -- with shortages of food, fuel and basic medical supplies.

The 1.4 million inhabitants of the Gaza Strip existed in a state of dreadful isolation, cut off from the world, often including the world's media.

Earlier this year the people of Gaza broke through the walls separating Gaza and Egypt simply to purchase groceries.

We need to have compassion for the people of Gaza and the tremendous human suffering there.

That is why I will vote “present” on this resolution concerning the current conflict in Gaza.

History has shown that ground troops and air strikes have not resolved conflict in the Middle East.

If we try to resolve conflict with military might and nothing else, then we will be no safer than we were before.

Diplomacy is necessary to save lives and yield a lasting peace with security.

The United States government, together with international partners, must play an active role in pursuing real peace with security in the Middle East.

The text of the resolution is available at:

I don't think Congressman Ellison was "wrong" in his stance (Congressman Andre Carson voted “yes”). He obviously felt that the particular Resolution was NOT a "solution" to the problem. When you are in support of something like support every word. Although, it is not always the same meaning applied for a vote against a resolution, one is still held accountable for your actions. And with him expected to "side" with "the Muslims" all the time, it takes courage to stand for the innocent, wherever you may find them. I'm not saying I would have done the same in his case, but I understand his actions.

But, let me wrap up this post with a reminder that the face of this massacre, it is hard NOT to get angry and even furious at others for their actions. But we must remember Allah in these times. It takes a great level of discipline to have Taqwa (G-d Consciousness) when you want to react solely upon anger and emotion.

'Umar bin Al-Khattab said, "One who fears G-d does not give vent his rage. He also refrains from doing whatever his ego desires. Were it not for the Day of Resurrection, you would see things totally different than they are now."


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