Amongst the global melee surrounding COVID, the UAE signed a ‘peace accord’ with Israel.

A peace accord with a nation that they were not at war with, have no border disputes with and who doesn’t represent a direct threat to the UAE. A peace accord which formally recognises the occupation of Palestinian territory and legitimises it, under the guise of working towards that ever elusive peace. 

Not that it ought to come as a great shock to any Muslim, or observer of Middle East politicking. This reiterated the lack of loyalty, honour and principles within the Middle Eastern states and their rulers, colonial agents par excellence. 

Unfortunately this lack of surprise does not lessen my sadness or despair at the genocide of our Muslim brethren by Israel. It is evident that the so-called Muslim countries are allowing this to happen right under their noses, complicit due to political prudence and financial security. 

Surely it is obvious to us that wrong is wrong, regardless of the perpetrator, friend or foe, blood or stranger. A failure to call out the wrong and evil in the world makes us part of the problem, not the fix. To paraphrase, silence in the face of injustice is complicity. 

It is in this light that I want to appreciate Pakistan, for its principled stance on the matter, as well as other Muslim countries of the same ilk.

I do not intend for this to become a patriotic retelling of history. I have criticised Pakistan for its numerous failings and policy blunders over the years. Rightly so. 

But it heartens me to know that the average civilian in Pakistan, unlike the sell-out states of the Middle East, would cause uproar and vociferously oppose such an idea in Pakistan. The very mention of a deal would cause public unrest. 

The disgraced and deposed Musharraf had suggested that Pakistan was holding onto a nonsensical position which was against the interests of Pakistan, whilst the Middle Eastern nations all had contacts with Israel and secret liaisons. The very mention of this in the media caused huge public rallies and the dictator, who ruled with an iron fist, had to cower away and issue a retraction/denial.

Pakistanis would readily sacrifice their financial position and their next meal rather than kiss the hand of the oppressor which continues to force Palestinians to live in what is an 'apartheid state'.  This isn’t an anti-Semitic position. This is standing up for that which is right. Any critic of Israel should not be labelled an anti-Semite as this is not an anti-Jewish position that people hold. In the same way, criticism of Saudi Arabia and its brutal bombing of Yemen does not make you anti-Muslim or Islamophobic.

If this standard were to be applied en masse, what would be the one term for those supporting and defending Israeli terrorism? What term would fit the apologists of a genocidal apartheid regime? 

Maybe the principled peoples of the nations who continue to stand against Israel and its crimes should also be mindful of their behaviour towards those Middle Eastern regimes who are accomplices in Israel’s crimes. 

Next time you change your social media picture in support of these nations or act like some ‘wannabe’, be mindful of the crimes of these nations. 

Next time you want to parade around these countries who consider any non-Arab, non-white person to be a third class citizen, spending your money, be mindful of what you are endorsing.

I am a proud Muslim first and foremost. But I feel a certain pride that my motherland would have the backbone to not sell its principles over the blood of the Palestinians. We would gladly forego the economic upside that such a selling out may entail for us. 

Do not be so easily swayed by flowing white thobes and well kept beards, and peek into the character of those helping in the oppression of our brothers and sisters in Palestine.