Global Muslim Brotherhood organizations continue to weigh in with statements on the ongoing Israeli military operations in Gaza. As discussed in a previous post on such reactions, the statements almost all refer to the Israeli actions in harsh, provocative language usually labeling the situation a “massacre.” In one of the harshest statements to date, the head of the European Assembly of Imams and Spiritual Guides, a part of the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE) called the Israeli military strikes a “modern Holocaust” and and called upon its members of pressure European governments to end “these massacres:
At a time when the world expected that the hardships of the Palestinian people would be lessened somewhat due to the calls of world leaders, international organizations, Imams and religious leaders such as the Pope of the Vatican Church, we are faced with the outrageous news of the horrendous attacks on innocent Palestinian civilians, many of which were children, women and elderly, by the Israeli air force. We at the European Assembly of Imams and Spiritual Guides look at this modern holocaust with the utmost disdain and horror. Civilian life is being shed by terrorists who do not sanctify human life and who only further disable the means of peace whereby nations can hope to live together. We call upon all the nations and civil organizations and every free man or woman to expend their utmost effort to end this injustice and horror facing the Palestinian nation and to help them in their plight. We also call upon every member of the European Assembly of Imams and Spiritual Guides in Europe to explain the stance of our moderate religion and the other religions when it comes to violence and treachery and to lead the way for Muslims to uphold a resolved humanitarian stance to end this plight befalling the Palestinian people and to lend monetary, political and moral support to them. We also remind them to humble themselves in prayer to Allah Almighty, such that He removes this suffering and to take proactive measures to lobby and pressure our European governments to take action to end these massacres and not to continue to lend the Israeli government the funds necessary to equip them with their military might. Asking our Lord to accept those martyred men, women and children and to remove the plight of all that suffer injustice, so that all corners of the globe may know justice and peace.
The Islamische Liga Der Kultur, the Austrian FIOE member organizations, was one of a number of Austrian signatories to a statementthat referred to “the actions of the Israeli army against the defenseless people of Gaza” and accused the Israelis of bombarding civilians (translated source):
The undersigned organizations and associations condemn in the strongest terms the murderous actions of the Israeli army against the defenseless people of Gaza. Before the eyes of the world are bombarded civilians in cold blood – civilians, who have since 18 months been formally starved by the closure of Gaza and their catastrophic humanitarian situation would have needed actually a public outcry in the world. Already after the first few hours of the attacks is a victim balance sheet of more than 195 deaths to mourn. Behind each of these deaths is a human destiny and grieving desperate survivors. Many women and children are among those killed. The injured are uncounted, in particular, because as a result of the Israeli blockade affected hospitals can hardly provide necessary medical assistance.. Even the killing of officials and policemen is a war crime, even if they are uniformed. These are not armed fighters, but members of the administrative apparatus.
In a letter to the U.K Foreign Secretary and the Scottish First Minister, the Scottish Islamic Foundation (SIF) a relatively new Brotherhood organization, uniquely acknowledged Israel’s right to defend itself and its civilians from rocket attacks” but condemned what it called “collective punishment.” However, at a Glasgow candlelight vigilfor Gaza, the SIF Public Affairs Director called for the Israelis to end “their medieval siege of Gaza”:
The Israelis are saying that the Palestinians broke the ceasefire, but the reality is that the terms of the agreement dictated that Israel was to end their medieval siege of Gaza within ten days. Six months later and innocent Gazans were still starving. Now instead of them dying in silence, they are dying amongst screams and terror. The international community must stop wringing their hands and take long overdue action.
Also participating in the event were various other Brotherhood, Palestinian, and far-left groups as well as Scottish Jews for a Just Peace.
In the U.S., a statement from the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) also spoke of “the massacre of Palestinians”:
MPAC strongly condemns the disproportionate and brutal Israeli military airstrikes which have killed more than 350 people and injured more than 1,500 people in the past three days, and has called upon the Bush administration to immediately apply its diplomatic pressure to negotiate a ceasefire. The first day of the air strikes was the bloodiest in the region in over 40 years. “How many more must die before our elected officials act to uphold international human rights law?” said Executive Director Salam Al-Marayati. “Our elected officials have a responsibility to stop the massacre of Palestinians, which is taking place using weapons supplied by American taxpayer dollars.”
MPAC; together with the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), Islamic Relief Worldwide, and the Muslim American Society, all part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood; plan a joint news conference today to announce a humanitarian campaign for Gaza. All the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood organizations were strong supporters of the now defunct Holy Land Foundation, recently convicted for financing Hamas terrorism.
The Islamic Society of North America, another U.S. Brotherhood group, issued one of the less inflammatory statements on the crisis yet still referred to “disproportionate retribution”:
We pray for the restoration of calm which will open the way for finding a political solution to the problems existing within the context of the Palestinian-Israeli settlement. There is no military solution for this conflict. “Like other Muslim, Jewish and Christian organizations, we call for an immediate cease-fire on all sides of this tragic conflict. In addition to condemning the disproportionate retribution on the people of Gaza Strip, we condemn any and all attacks on any civilian populations from rocket attacks in the region as well. We hope that the United States and United Nations will take an active role in addressing the serious humanitarian and economic needs in Gaza and to take necessary measures, including re-opening of border crossings, to ensure that the 1.5 million Palestinians living there can get the food, fuel, medicine and other critical supplies that they so desperately need.”
As previous posts have discussed, ISNA has been engaged in building a relationship with the Union for Reform Judaism.