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Ahlulbayt Directory Online
Ithna Asheri
MUST READ: Karbala & Gaza: Resistance

Posted Date: Saturday 10 January 2009 - 16:04:34
Event Date: Friday 16 January 2009 - 00:00:00
Language: Arabic
What is going on in the world today? What was going on in this world one thousand four hundred years ago? Is the media stretching it, or is there really a region in which innocent civilians are being tormented every day? Was history fabricated when it makes known the massacre that occurred in Karbala?

The first news headline on all television channels now is about the increasing number of casualties in Gaza. What do people do? Change the channel! Some, however, will sigh and pray for their safety. Very few actually care or even feel that this issue is related to them. "We have so many problems ourselves, why should we worry about other nations' issues?" is what I have heard more than once. Or "Let the Arabs take care of the Arabs!"

The cries of the Palestinian people today evidently are not loud enough for most to hear. Officials around the world gather to solve the problems of the area through a cease-fire. Meanwhile, the United States has managed to block a United Nations Security Council statement concerning this carnage. The American government believes there is no indication that Hamas would abide by any agreement and therefore the suffering shall go on.

In a land nearby, many years ago, cries for help also went out. In a battle of thousands against less than a hundred in Karbala, where a chain of events took place that have been changed history forever. Each year, Muslims commemorate the massacre of Ashura -- the tenth day of the events in Karbala. The people of that land engaged in battle with the family of the prophet they followed.

Did they not know who they were fighting? Yes, they knew Hussein was the son of Imam Ali and Fatemeh, the daughter of Prophet Mohammad (peach be upon them all). They despised the Imam for he was their to bring justice and weaken the power of the unjust. Many of them fought for this reason. Whatever the impetus, the attacks were far disproportionate, according to historians on both sides.

The grandson of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) called out: "Is there no one to help me?" Of course, he could have whooshed away all those who were fighting against him in a nanosecond. But he tried to awaken the conscience of the people who were full of hatred and disgust toward the family of the prophet. For their own good, he tried to stop them from making the biggest mistake of history.

The massacre in Karbala had to happen. The six-month old infant of Imam Hussein had no energy to coo. Ali Asghar's mother had no water to nurse him. Imam Hussein lifted his precious darling up before the enemy so they might at least show mercy upon the parched women and children. Mercy was not shown, however. A triple-bladed arrow was aimed at the delicate throat of the infant Ali Asghar. Blood everywhere; mercy and humanity nowhere to be seen.

Even the cruelest of cruel go into shock at the thought of such atrocities. The events in Karbala had to take place and such brutal events will ever repeat themselves in history. On a much smaller scale however, we have a humanitarian crisis on our hands now: Gaza!

The New York Times tells of Masouda Al-Samouni, 20, who had been preparing food for her 10-month-old son when a missile struck. "He died hungry", she said in an interview. This is an echo of Ali Asghar and Karbala, their thirst and hunger. Innocent women and children are being killed every day in Gaza. Every place is Karbala and every day is Ashura.

Condemn the attacks on the people of Gaza. People all around the world are expressing their rage in demonstrations. Is it enough? Is there nothing else we can do? What about Karbala? Is it all just in the past?

We shed tears for the oppression and pain afflicted upon Imam Hussein and his family and companions. We can do more than that. We can reflect upon the occurrences of Karbala.

It is about standing up for what is right.
Karbala is about helping others.
Ashura is about obeying the leader.
It means sacrificing your loved ones for a greater cause.
Karbala is about keeping Islam alive.
Imam Hossein is in Gaza today.

Karbala and the events leading to and following the martyrdom of Imam Hussein teach us resistance. Trees in the desert receive very little water and must withstand extreme winds. They become resistant; storms make them even stronger.

Just because governments and people close their eyes and refuse to acknowledge what is happening in Gaza, it does not mean it is not true. It is happening. No, by changing the channel it will not go away. The butchery will go on. The Palestinians only have one channel that they can tune in to: RESISTANCE!

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