#FreeAhedTamimi

There’s a 16-year-old Muslim girl, Ahed Tamimi, who has been audaciously confronting Israeli soldiers, since she was 10. Ahed, and her entire village of Nabi Saleh, have known only a life of checkpoints, detentions, house demolitions and violence.

On the 19th of December 2017, she was arrested after being filmed slapping an Israeli soldier and has been charged with assaulting security forces, incitement and throwing stones.

Ahed’s case has really got to me, it could be because I have a 16-year-old daughter and if she was in this situation I would be doing everything in my power to try to free her. However, it’s a little more complicated; I’m thinking why is she having to face spineless Israeli soldiers on her own? A stone’s throw away in neighbouring Egypt there are approximately 438,500 brave Muslim soldiers who would readily take the place of their young sister, but the spineless Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, will not give the order.

I’m wondering why has Ahed’s plight not being championed by fearless feminists in UK, US or Europe? Ahed has become an international focus of solidarity, and for many an icon of resistance, since 30 cowardly Israeli forces seized her from her home. Yet the solidarity has been selective. “There has been a curious lack of support for Ahed from Western feminist groups, human rights advocates and state officials who otherwise present themselves as the purveyors of human rights and champions of girls’ empowerment,” gender researcher Shenila Khoja-Moolji observes in a commentary for Al Jazeera.

The silence is all the more deafening since Ben Caspit, a prominent Israeli journalist, demanded that the army should “exact a price” from the Tamimi women “in the dark, without witnesses or cameras.” Caspit’s is advocating that the women should be sexually assaulted, though he adamantly denied this.

Ahed, like the Nobel Prize-winning Malala Yousafzai, is a young Muslim activist, but unlike Malala, who’s a poster girl for women’s rights, Ahed has yet to receive invitations to meet world leaders including Barack Obama or to address the United Nations. On the contrary, last year Ahed was blocked from traveling to the US to speak about the injustices faced by Palestinians. Maybe it’s because Malala is being used (by non-Muslim governments) to cleverly criticize Islam, as most people in UK and US think her Taliban attackers represented Islam.

It annoys me that the Muslim feminist and ‘guardian of children’s rights’, Her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan has not said a word about Ahed’s arrest. No call for her release, no statement regarding her human rights being violated. I guess she’s only following her husband’s cowardly example.

So, who is going to be brave and help Ahed Tamimi and all other Muslim youth who have been imprisoned in Israeli jails? I’ll tell you who is going to do something.We are, you, me and all her brothers and sisters.

On the authority of Abu Sa’eed al-Khudree (ra) who said:   I heard the Messenger of Allah (saw) say, “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]

Inshallah, we can all do one of the following:

1.Speak out – Silence is not an option. Use your Instagram, Twitter, Facebook accounts to expose what’s happening in Palestine (Al-Quds).

2.Demonstrate – Organise and attend demonstrations calling for the release of Ahed Tamimi and all the child prisoners held in Israeli jails.

3.And finally, don’t waste your time petitioning the UK government, we all know, a century ago, it was the British government, who were instrumental in the creation of the illegal state of Israel.

Farhat Amin

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