Friday, September 18, 2009

Eid-ul-Fitri message from PACE

Eid-ul-Fitri message from PACE

Assalamualaikum wrt bth and greetings.

God willing, come next Sunday, over 1.6 billion muslims will celebrate the Eid, which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadhan. It is a day of feast and merriment, as an expression of gratitude to the Creator, All-Mighty Allah. The prophet says, words to the effect 'For whosoever fast (during the month of Ramadhan), he will have two joyous occasion, one when he breaks his fast (Eid) and second when he meet his Lord'.

PACE on this joyous occasion, wish every muslims 'Taqabalallahu minna wa minkum' (May Allah accept our good deeds). This joyous occasion also brings to our conscience the sufferings of mankind the world over, in particular the Palestinian people that has been subjected to all forms of persecution and oppression for decades. This Islamic calender year, the Palestinians in the refugee camps accross the Middle East would be celebrating their 62nd Eid away from home. While Malaysians now are taking to the road and heading for home (balik kampung), the Palestinians can only dream of doing so. The third generation Palestinian could not even dream for they have never set foot on their homeland eversince birth.

The Palestinian in Gaza on the other hand has been living under siege and complete economic blockade. They lack food, clean water, medicine and fuel and and has endure such horrendous situation for the third year in a row. Within these three years, the Gazans have been subjected to two full scale attack by Israel, unleashing her military arsenal on an utterly defenseless population. The last of the two attacks came last December 2008 and lasted for 23 days, killing no less than 1,500 people and injured and maimed thousands others. There is no telling when Israel will launch its next attack, but one thing certain is there will be completely at the mercy of the zionist military might. There will be no United Nation intervention and no peacekeeping force will be deployed to protect the lives of Gazans. The best they can hope for from the international community is just condemnation and street protests.

For those Palestinians in the West Bank, situations are no better. Their land were expropriated, they were evicted from their homes, their houses were demolished to make way for more Jewish only housing complexes and apartments. This continues unabated despite of scores of peace initiatives concluded between Israel and the Palestinian authority/Fatah in which Israel has agreed to cease settlement activities. Apart frpm having to face daily harrassment by soldiers manning security posts and military checkpoints that impede daily movements, they now have to deal with the separation wall that snakes its way throughout the whole length of West Bank from North to South. Israel claimed that the wall was built for security reason, but actually it is part of the land grab policy for Israel territorial expansion. Now, Palestinians do not have access to their farms, water wells and their children simply have to quit schools as the wall blocked their way to school. Their lives are always in constant danger by the wanton killings of trigger happy soldiers and armed settlers. They can be detained for any length of time without being charged in the court of law. To date close to 13,000 Palestinians including 300 women were incarcerated in israel's notorious prisons and detention centres. Some have been serving sentence for years and were denied of any rights of visits by family members.

The Palestinians in Jerusalem were subjected to the same gross human rights violation. They were not allowed to perform the prayers in the al Aqsa Mosque. All sort of restrictions were imposed including a minimum age of 45 years old to have access to the mosque. Even in the month of Ramadhan those restrictions were imposed without regard for the holiness of the month to muslims.

This is the scenario in Palestine, while we celebrate the Eid festivity with food aplenty, let us be reminded of our fellow brothers and sisters in Palestine. PACE on this Eid occasion call upon all of humanity regardless of race, nationality and creed to strengthen our solidarity with the Palestinian people and to renew our commitment with greater vigour to deliver our fellow brothers and sisters from the clutches of the zionist. Together we end the occupation and save the Palestinians.

Assoc Prof Dr Hafidzi Mohd Noor
PACE (Palestine Centre of Excellence)
27th Ramadhan 1430H/ 17th September 2009



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