January 28 Day of Action

Whoever among you witnesses injustice, let them change it with their hand. If they are not able, then let them change it with their words. If they are not able, then let them hate it in their heart but this is the weakest form of faith.

(Prophet Moḥammad, narrated by Abū Sa’id al-Khudrī, found in the collections of Muṣlim)

The above adīth is a call against idleness. Islamic faith demands of us to actively oppose that which is wrong, circumstances permitting. Therefore, as Muslims in solidarity with the IdleNoMore movement, we are implored to action.

This Monday, January 28 is a World Day of Action. There are a number of events happening around the world and a quick search of Google/Facebook should bring you to the one happening in your locality. If not, the IdleNoMore website has resources for anyone wishing to hold an event.

Let us put our hearts, words, and internet browsing to action this January 28, Insha Allah.

Quotation

“You cannot ignore a peoples who have been oppressed historically — Native Americans, African Americans, Hispanic Americans — and are still oppressed, filling up the prisons today – and do nothing and say nothing yet expect that God will give us the moral authority as a community to do something about the enslaved, the oppressed and the imprisoned halfway around the world?? It does not work like that!”

-Imam Zaid Shakir at the Reviving the Islamic Spirit Convention, Toronto, 2006. 

Purpose of this blog?

This blog is:

– a call to justice and solidarity, as fundamentally taught by Islamic tradition and ethos.

– a recognition that Muslims are often settlers living on indigenous territory. Though many of us [in Canada] came to be a settler through immigration and we (or the generations before us) immigrated to escape the harsh conditions and lack of opportunities of our ancestral homes wrought largely through colonialism and/or imperial wars, we too live on stolen land and must acknowledge our role in this accordingly.

– a recognition that majority of the world’s Muslims have been, in some way, affected by colonialism and many Muslims continue to be under its specter today. In this way, many Muslims stand against the ongoing colonization of lands and the lack of sovereignty and appropriate livelihood offered to many of these peoples.

– a recognition that the Muslim community’s focus has largely been on the the appalling conditions of peoples and lands overseas without much input into how these conditions and mentalities are replicated in the very country in which we reside.

– a recognition that oppressive forces that lend to the occupation and imperialism of Muslim lands, the villainization of Muslim identity, the propagation/existence of Islamophobia, etc are the same forces that lend to the dismissal and disregard of indigenous sovereignty, the oppression of indigenous peoples, the woeful standards indigenous peoples must endure, etc. In this regard, our struggles are bound together.

– a recognition that both indigenous tradition and Islamic tradition implore the sanctity of the earth and our responsibilities therein. The rights of the earth however are being eroded by the forces of profit and capitalism. As such, we are required as accountable peoples to challenge this, which the IdleNoMore movement seeks to do.

This blog is not:

– a comparison between the conditions in many Muslim-majority countries and the conditions of the indigenous peoples of Turtle Island.

– an attempt to prosthelytize and/or convert people.

updated on the regular. More to come.

Palestinians in Solidarity with IdleNoMore

Indigenous people have risen up across Canada in the Idle No More movement, a mass call for Indigenous sovereignty, self-determination and rights, against colonization, racism, injustice, and oppression. As Palestinians, who struggle against settler colonialism, occupation and apartheid in our homeland and for the right of Palestinian refugees – the majority of our people – to return to our homeland, we stand in solidarity with the Idle No More movement of Indigenous peoples and its call for justice, dignity, decolonization and protection of the land, waters and resources.

We recognize the deep connections and similarities between the experiences of our peoples – settler colonialism, destruction and exploitation of our land and resources, denial of our identity and rights, genocide and attempted genocide. As Palestinians, we stood with the national liberation movement against settler colonialism in South Africa, as we stand with all liberation movements challenging colonialism and imperialism around the world. The struggle of Indigenous and Native peoples in Canada, the United States, have long been known to the Palestinian people, reflecting our common history as peoples and nations subject to ethnic cleansing at the hands of the very same forces of European colonization.

The Indigenous resistance across Canada includes struggles against the ongoing theft of indigenous lands, massive resource extraction and environmental devastation (including tar sands and pipelines), the continuing movement of survivors of the genocidal residential school system, and movements to demand an end to the colonial and gendered violence against Indigenous women.

The Canadian government, reflecting its own settler colonial nature, was one of the earliest and strongest supporters of the establishment of Israel as a settler colony on Palestinian land and has since that time been a steadfast backer of Israeli wars, occupation, colonization, and oppression against our people. Canada has done so alongside the United States, which shares the same settler colonial nature, legacy of genocide, and massive support for Israeli occupation, colonization and apartheid.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government has pronounced itself “Israel’s best friend,” supporting its assaults on Lebanon and Gaza and consistently attacking Palestinian rights both on the international stage and within Canadian borders. At the same time, it has embarked on a program of refugee and migrant exclusion, cuts to refugee health care, attacks on workers’ rights, support for massive resource extraction and environmental devastation – and attacks on Indigenous rights and sovereignty on treaty and unceded land. Harper and his government’s expansive praise for Israeli settler colonialism and apartheid is simply the other side of the same coin that attacks Indigenous self determination and plans massive resource extraction on Indigenous land.

We salute the Idle No More movement and the unity of indigenous people around its calls for justice, as well as the courageous hunger strike of Chief Theresa Spence. We note that this movement belongs to all Indigenous people and was launched by youth and women. Our struggle as Palestinians is the same – rooted in all of our people and finding its greatest strength in youth and women’s leadership.

Now is the time – from Canada/Turtle Island to Palestine, we must all be “Idle No More” , and take a stand: against colonialism, against occupation, and for self-determination, sovereignty, rights and justice for Indigenous peoples.

SIGN ON: Email PalestiniansIdleNoMore@gmail.com or USE THE FORM: http://bit.ly/PalIdleNoMore

Source.

MORE:

Lessons of a Canadian Intifada (Haaretz)

Palestinians Endorse Idle No More (Indian Country Today Media Network)

South Asians in Solidarity with Idle No More

Indigenous communities across Turtle Island (North America) are leading struggles against ongoing colonialism, capitalism and environmental destruction to protect their communities and lands and assert Indigenous sovereignty. Idle No More is a call to all non-native communities to recognize our complicities in ongoing processes of settler colonialism in what we call Canada. Canada has a colonial present, not just a history, that is built on the ongoing occupation and destruction of Indigenous peoples and nations. It is us, non-native communities, who have been idle for way too long. As members of communities of colour, we need to position ourselves in solidarity with Indigenous struggles against colonialism to protect all our communities.

We hear the call from Indigenous peoples, reminding us that we too are responsible to act against Harper and Canada’s conservative agenda to further destroy our treaty relations and relationships with unceded territories. It is our time to say that we will no longer remain idle and complicit. As a group of self-identified South Asians, we call upon our families, friends, and communities to join us in resisting Bill C-45 and the colonial state of Canada, in solidarity with Indigenous peoples and nations. We, as South Asians, may have varied histories and experiences of coming to and settling on these lands, depending on our gender, caste, class, racial, sexual, ethnic, and national identities. But we have all been marked by centuries of colonialism, and must recognize that our place on Indigenous lands is also complicated and facilitated by colonialism, capitalism and gendered and racialized hierarchies. Knowing how fractured our communities are due to racism, sexism, and classism in colonial Canada, we must realize how our colonized histories, and presents, are deeply connected to ongoing Indigenous struggles. We also recognize the importance of understanding the links between centuries of resistance to colonialism on occupied Turtle Island and the ongoing anti-colonial struggles for self-determination in South Asia, which shape so many of our lives here as immigrants. There are connections to be made between Idle no More and the many movements for freedom in Kashmir, Baluchistan, North East India, Tamil Eelam, Tibet, and Punjab. In recognizing that decolonization is an active process and not simply a declaration, we commit to putting our allyship into practice with Indigenous peoples everywhere, from Turtle Island to Adivasis in India, Chakmas in Bangladesh, Janjatis in Nepal, Vedas in Sri Lanka and many other Indigenous communities across the subcontinent of South Asia.

This is a call to collectively commit to decolonizing ourselves, our communities and our relationships with Indigenous peoples and nations. To this end, it is not enough to just take part in protests, marches, flash mobs – although our presence is necessary. We also need to develop an ethic of cultivating relationships with Indigenous sovereignty movements by learning the colonial nature of the Canadian state, the treaties and status of land claims on the lands we occupy, the historical and ongoing struggles of Indigenous communities and understanding our complicities on these colonized lands. Decolonization of Turtle Islands is not just an Indigenous issue. Idle No More and Indigenous sovereignty is not just the responsibility of Indigenous peoples. It is part of broader of anti-racist or anti-capitalist struggles. We need to join Indigenous communities in imagining and working towards a stronger and sustainable future for all by recentering Indigenous struggles, knowledges and worldviews.

We, the signatories, want to reflect, learn, talk and act collectively with our families and friends, and you. Lets join Indigenous communities on Idle No More Global Day of Solidarity this January 11, 2013 in our towns and cities. Lets show them our support and solidarity. In Toronto, look for us with the banner “South Asians in Solidarity with Idle No More”.

If you would like to endorse our statement, know more about the group and join us, please email us at southasianscgroup@gmail.com