The Sounds of Silence
by IPT News • Aug 19, 2009 at 10:52 am
A Palestinian writer is calling out what he sees as a double standard among Arabs and Muslims. Little, if any, outrage or condemnation is expressed when Palestinians kill other Palestinians in political fighting, as has happened at least 700 times since Hamas took over Gaza in 2007.
But if Palestinians die from Israeli actions, even in response to a terrorist attack, the outrage can last years, writes Ahmad Abu Matar, who lives in Sweden. The Middle East Media Research Institute has posted a translation of most of Abu Matar's essay here.
The murder of a Muslim woman in Germany provides a contemporary example.
"What about the hundreds of murders perpetrated every month in the Arab countries under the false pretext of 'preserving [family] honor?' In most of these cases, a young woman is murdered by her brother or some other [male] relative. He declares it openly, and the women of the neighborhood, as well as the victim's family, greet him with sweets and cries of joy. Who writes or demonstrates against this [phenomenon]? Autopsies have revealed that over 95% of the girls murdered this way are virgins, which means that there was no 'violated honor' to cry over [in the first place]."
The identity of the murderer shouldn't matter, Abu Matar argues. Someone was killed.
He also cites a series of examples of Arab and Muslim states seizing and occupying the land of other countries, in some cases that continue today. Yet there's no outcry against those occupations. Many Arabs, including Palestinians, supported Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein when his army took over Kuwait in 1991. Even the Persian Gulf saw Iran occupy three islands of the United Arab Emirates in 1971, but "Nobody ever mentions them." In fact, some Arabs defend Iran as more cultured and advanced.
"Using the same skewed logic, someone could make the unpatriotic claim that Israel – advanced, cultured and democratic – has a greater claim to Palestine than the struggling Palestinian people, who cause themselves more casualties than the [Israeli] occupation causes them. This, despite the fact that, according to common sense and international law, occupation is occupation, regardless of the identity and [cultural] level of the people whose land has been occupied."
It's a provocative and bold article that should generate discussion.