While it was good to see the religious parties across the country observing this Friday as Al-Quds day as a show of support to the Palestinians, the Palestinians themselves were out on the streets in Gaza to mark the Land Day to protest Israel’s confiscation of Palestinian territory. In this point in time, Kashmir and Palestine in particular are two boiling cauldrons that fuel Muslim anger towards the West. There should be hardly any doubt that the unresolved nature of these two conflicts has put the Muslim world and the West at loggerheads.

Israel is an entity that has time and again proved that it would keep up with the persecution of Palestinians. It intends to take up the remaining territories which have already been turned into what seems like scattered concentration camps manned by Israeli commandoes. Blockade of food and medical supplies is almost a routine affair as manifested by previous attack on Gaza aid flotilla. Likewise, hardly a day goes by without unprovoked killings, torture and indiscriminate mortar fire on Palestinians. And each day with this intimidation, more and more of their territory in Gaza and West Bank is constricted to make way for Israeli settlements. While Israeli tanks and gunship helicopters first demolish Palestinian colonies, huge bulldozers continue constructing illegal settlements for Israelis. However part of the blame lies with major Muslim powers themselves since they have remained divided among themselves and consequently could not force Israel to give up the occupation. Where mutual squabbles and schisms within the Ummah have diverted attention from real challenges, it has already led to chaos in a number of Muslim countries ranging from Syria, Tunis, Yemen to Libya. A writing on the wall for other Muslim countries! The bottom line is that if today no one stands up for the rights of Palestinians, Kashmiris and others suppressed Muslims, the enemy would be further emboldened to victimise and create trouble in other now peaceful Muslim countries. Debates in OIC and Arab League have yielded no dividend. The Muslim world, as a whole, should pursue carefully worked out policies towards Israel and even threaten the use of force like Turkey did when it sent the second aid flotilla escorted by its armed forces. A similar policy would pay off with respect to countering Indian occupation of Kashmir.

Our tragedy has been not noticing that hostile elements have been succeeding so far because it has been able to pit brother against brother within the Ummah. It is only if brothers stand shoulder to shoulder that they can further their cause.