Khutbah Points: Supporting the Free Palestine Movement |

Khutbah Points: Supporting the Free Palestine Movement

A historic moment in the lives of Muslim Americans has arrived.

Young Muslims, with their Jewish and other allies, are rising up in an unprecedented way across American campuses. They are striving for freedom and justice for Palestine. We must thank Allah and devote resources to support them. 

We must ask ourselves: How can we translate this unprecedented activism into sustained energy toward freedom and justice here and abroad? We urge parents to stand in complete support of your children who may be participating in this movement. There is a reason Allah chose them to be in college in America at this moment in time.

Justice is a prime value in Islam, and it should constitute a priority for all Muslims, our Masjids, and our institutions. 

Talking Points:

  • The struggle for freedom and justice is an honorable struggle. We are proud to be a part of it.
  • The occupation of Palestine is the main problem. Freedom is the only solution.
  • The movement is focused on freeing Palestine from occupation, not just ending Israel’s war on Gaza. 
  • This Free Palestine movement is not an exclusively Muslim movement. This week, more than 300 Jewish Americans were arrested in New York protesting at the home of Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer who is also Jewish. 
  • Any future solution should consider the American model where Christians, Jews, Muslims and others live in peace with equal laws as a replacement for Israel’s current occupation, apartheid, and genocide.
  • Use the word “genocide”. This is how Israel’s actions have been described by the International Court of Justice case brought forward by South Africa. 
  • It is important to emphasize the peaceful nature of the dissent and protest, which is in the tradition of the anti-apartheid and the civil rights movements in South Africa and the United States, respectively. 
  • Muslims are peaceful. No synagogues or Jewish people have been attacked by Muslims in the U.S., whereas many mosques and Muslims have been attacked, shot at, threatened, and one child has been murdered in America. 
  • We condemn the call to send the National Guard and militarized police to commit aggression on pro-Palestinian activists’ peaceful exercise of freedom of speech. 
    • The accusation of anti semitism on campus is more often than not a distraction from the genocide in Gaza. It should not muzzle debate about Israel’s war, occupation, and apartheid. 
    • Pushing universities to divest from profiting from Israel’s war on Gaza is the right of the students paying enormous fees to attend school at these institutions. 

Thinking Points

  • Young Muslims are our future, and we must invest in their future. We need to stand with them in full support and with our Dua. Here is the context which must be kept in mind:
    • After 9/11 when the community came under attack with the FBI interrogating over 500,000 Muslims,  many of us went into a "good Muslim” mode, condemning terrorism five times a day. We mostly stayed away from challenging the tyranny of our nation’s war on terror worldwide, which Brown University estimates killed four million-plus people. Muslim voices were mostly mute. Even victims at home were essentially abandoned, ignored, or silenced. 
    • A major break in this shield of silence came during the Black Lives Matter movement which emerged in 2020. Young Muslims, mostly students, became a part of the campaign against police brutality. However, their role in this moment was of participation, not that of leadership.
  • The current Free Palestine movement, however, has placed young Muslims at the center of a student uprising, along with their allies of other faiths. A generation that cherishes freedom and justice as a core human value has arrived. The Free Palestine movement is garnering some support from advocates of freedom of speech as well. Some journalists are already drawing parallels to the 1968 student uprisings against America’s war in Vietnam. Politicians and media personalities who are trying to use the canard of anti-Semitism to condemn this movement are not as successful in crushing it as they used to be. There is more questioning of this accusation, including from many Jewish Americans themselves. 
  • These young people are getting arrested, suspended, attacked, their organizations banned, intimidated, threatened about future employment prospects, and their freedom of speech is being denied. But they are using that as fuel to strengthen their movement instead of abandoning it. Their courage and confidence are a source of inspiration to all of us.
  • Zionists are using their full political power through Congress, corporations, and donors to crush the Free Palestine movement at campuses. They are scared that these young people will grow up to be tomorrow's leaders. That is why they are putting full pressure on the universities. 

Responding to this Struggle

  • The struggle for justice, fairness, and equity is central to Islam. God Almighty sent all Prophets to essentially establish justice (Quran 57:25) If there is one word that captures the essence of Islam, it is Qist, justice.

لَـقَدۡ اَرۡسَلۡنَا رُسُلَنَا بِالۡبَيِّنٰتِ وَاَنۡزَلۡنَا مَعَهُمُ الۡكِتٰبَ وَالۡمِيۡزَانَ لِيَقُوۡمَ النَّاسُ بِالۡقِسۡطِ​

Indeed We sent Our Messengers with Clear Signs, and sent down with them the Book and the Balance that people may uphold justice … (Quran 57:25).

  • The struggle for freedom and justice is an honorable struggle. It, however, is still a struggle. It requires Sabr (endurance, persistence, and patience). God has asked us to seek help with Sabr and Salat. 

يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ ٱسْتَعِينُوا۟ بِٱلصَّبْرِ وَٱلصَّلَوٰةِ ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ مَعَ ٱلصَّـٰبِرِينَ

O believers! Seek comfort in patience and prayer. Allah is truly with those who are patient. (Quran 2:153).

  • Don’t allow fear to limit your support for Muslim students and their Jewish allies. God Almighty has told us that those who take care of the Mosque of God … are not fearful of anyone except God. He is the Protector.

وَلَمْ يَخْشَ إِلَّا ٱللَّهَ ۖ

 …and fear none but Allah… (Quran 9:18).

  • It is our responsibility to challenge evil, abuse, and oppression in our capacity.

مَنْ رَأَى مِنْكُمْ مُنْكَرًا فَلْيُغَيِّرْهُ بِيَدِهِ، فَإِنْ لَمْ يَسْتَطِعْ فَبِلِسَانِهِ، فَإِنْ لَمْ يَسْتَطِعْ فَبِقَلْبِهِ، وَذَلِكَ أَضْعَفُ الْإِيمَانِ

Abu Said Al-Khudri reported that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said: "Whosoever of you sees an evil, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then [let him change it] with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart — and that is the weakest of faith.” (Muslim #49) 

Action Items

  • Make special Dua for young Muslims in our community who are leading the charge for justice and human rights. 
  • Thank the courageous Muslim youth and allies for their commitment to this movement of justice. They need to hear from their elders in the family and the community that we stand with them.
  • Are you in touch with Muslim students or their allies who are protesting? Ask them if they need any support from your community and Masjid. Encourage your Masjid leadership to assist the student movement.
  • If you know someone who need legal advice regarding protests contact Palestine Legal
  • Report, report, and report. Every incident of verbal and physical assault, as well as threats, must be reported. Report to both your local branch of CAIR and CAIR National. Also, report incidents to the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee or  ADC. Of course you must also report incidents to the police, the FBI, and your local Human Rights Commission, if there is one.

Concluding Dua

Add new comment