Dr Lubna Zaheer
It has been over a month since the start of the Israel-Palestine war, the Israeli bombardment is continuing on innocent Palestinians, martyring 9,500 people so far. Among the dead are 2,326 women and 3,760 children and about 1,000 children are reported to be missing. It is feared that these children are buried under the debris. Israeli planes are bombing hospitals, targeting ambulances full of injured, dropping bombs on residential areas and targeting migrants. At least 35 representatives of the United Nations have fallen victim to the Israeli bombardment while 36 journalists have lost their lives in the line of duty. It is said that the Palestinian settlements have become ruins due to the Israeli bombing.
The hell broke loose on Palestinians for the last four weeks, but the entire world has turned to be a silent spectator. It is a rights-sensitive world. There are international organizations like the United Nations to protect human rights. The UN and its subsidiaries closely monitor human rights violations. Apart from the UN, there are dozens of small and large organizations and institutions that are active to ensure human rights. If any human being is wronged or abused in any part of the world, these organizations start raising their voices. Even these organizations are also concerned about animal rights. These pioneers of rights have made animals equal to humans. In many countries, the rights of animals are no less than humans.
If any animal is abused in a region, these organizations go there. A few years ago, Kaavan, an elephant in a zoo in Pakistan, became famous. Kaavan was confined in Islamabad’s “Marghazar” zoo. After the death of his fellow elephant in 2012, Kaavan fell into isolation. Due to inadequate food and the harshness of the keepers, the elephant became ill and he used to hit his head against walls of the cage. When this news came out of Pakistan, the organizations working for the rights of animals became eager. All over the world voices began to be raised for his release. The famous American singer “Cher” conducted a regular campaign. The number of online petition signatories reached millions. “Cher” announced that she would transport the elephant to Cambodia and cover the travel expenses of $400,000. With the protocol, Kaavan was finally delivered to Cambodia.
The fate of the elephant turned out to be much better than the innocent Palestinian children who have been martyred in thousands. Those who are alive have lost their parents. The international organizations that are desperate for the rights of dogs, cats, elephants and other animals are least concerned about the loneliness of Palestinian children. They have no idea what loneliness and mental agony these children will suffer for the rest of their lives. We hear that children are being born in the midst of the war in the Gaza Strip. International organizations are not concerned about the future of these children in a pile of rubble in Gaza. These organizations promoting rights should hide in a corner and die.
As I am writing these lines, I am thinking of some well-known human rights organizations in Pakistan. Or the group that from time to time imposes itself on us under the name of “Civil Society”. Some people also call them the Candle Mafia. Whenever any cruelty, abuse on any woman or child occurs, a person issues a statement in support of veil, or if someone says something against obscenity or nudity, this mafia starts shouting. Even the resonance of their voice reaches the ears of international organizations. Letters are sent to international organizations. A media storm is raised, processions are taken out and statements are made. On the other hand, it has been a month since the doomsday situation in Palestine, but these organizations have become deaf and dumb. Their vocal representatives are seen missing from the public scene. No one is able to even hold a meeting or write a letter to an international organization about Gaza genocide. Pakistani organizations promoting human rights should also sweep before their own door and review their character.
Now take a look at a conglomerate of 57 Muslim countries having nearly two billion population. We proudly call them “Ummat-e-Muslimah”. More or less thirty days of Gaza tragedy have passed, but these countries are still not sitting together. There used to be an Arab League which has become a defunct organization. The Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) established for 54 years could also be considered a pile of ashes although its manifesto is very impressive. It is written in its manifesto that, “It is the collective voice of Muslim world and works to safeguard and protect the interests of Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony”.
Contrary to its manifesto, the OIC has never protected the interests of any Muslim country. For years, Israel has made the lives of Palestinians hell, but have you ever heard a powerful voice or any action taken by the OIC? I wrote in a previous column that the role of Saudi Arabia is very important regarding Palestine. Unfortunately, the kingdom has not done anything yet. Islamic countries are just issuing statements of condemnation. It appears they are praying for bugs in Israel’s cannons.
In fact, the Muslim Ummah needs unity and solidarity to confront the anti-Muslim atrocities. Generally in a war situation we look to the United Nations. But the global body is “submissive to the United States”. The United States, which has become the defender of of human rights, is itself committing atrocities in Iraq and Afghanistan. The US government has already assured unconditional support to Israel during ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine and is providing financial and military aid to Israel. In this whole scenario, Allah Almighty knows best how long this war will last and what direction it will take. We can pray to Allah for mercy on the Muslim Ummah. Ameen!
— The author is an academician and political analyst
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Lahore Mirror