بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
MUSLIM SOLIDARITY FORUM SOKOTO, NIGERIA
Date:As Sabt, 1st Rajab, 1445 AH / Saturday, 13th January, 2024 CE
STOP GENOCIDE AND WAR IN GAZA: A PRESS STATEMENT
The Muslim Solidarity Forum Sokoto, as an umbrella body for Imams, scholars, preachers, Islamic organizations, Islamic centers and Sufi orders in the state has been following with great concern and grief the unfolding ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in Gaza by the Israeli occupation forces as well as attacks in other neighboring countries since October 7th, 2023, therefore finds it imperative to make the following submissions:
1.1 The 7th October, 2023 attack on Israel by Hamas was provoked by:
i. The Israeli expulsion or forced displacement of more than 750,000 Palestinians during the 1948 Nakba from about 77% of the Palestinian land which pushed most of the ancestors of the present day Gazans to a narrow Gaza strip;
ii. Institution of apartheid since 1948 with Palestinians unlike Israeli settlers subjected to harsh military court laws without any protection of their fundamental human rights.
iii. Aggressive occupation of Palestinian territories of Gaza and West bank that were not affected by Nakba since 1967
iv. Air, sea and land blockade of Gaza from the rest of the world since 2005 making access to food, water, electricity and telecommunications under the effective control of Israel. Furthermore, there is severe restriction of freedom of movement, making it an “open air prison” of the world.
v. Systematic killing and incarceration and torture of thousands of innocent Palestinians under inhumane conditions
vi. Destruction and deprivation of basic amenities and systematic dedevelopment and deindustrialization of Gaza.
All these factors contributed in making it the most overcrowded area on earth with a population of about 2.3 million people in 365 km2 of land and one of the most difficult areas to live in the world.
`1.2 The ongoing Israeli full scale war on Gaza starting from 7th October, 2023, has resulted in massive loss of lives and properties similar to what was observed in the most destructive wars of the last century amounting to genocide. The following points further elucidate this fact:
a. Israel indiscriminately bombards homes, Masajid, churches, hospitals, bakeries, universities, schools, farmlands, water treatment and sanitation facilities and any other place. So far, it has dropped more than 30,000 bombs in the world’s most densely populated area. This is more than all the bombs dropped in Germany during the World War II thereby making the whole Gaza unsafe.
b. Israeli military action is killing Palestinians at an average rate of 250 people per day the highest death total in any major conflict in the 21st century. So far Israel has killed an excess of 23,469 Palestinians, 70% of whom are thought to be women and children. In addition, more than 7,000 are missing possibly trapped under rubbles or decomposing on the streets where they were killed. These killings wiped out some extended families completely while many families were left with no survivors except wounded children.
c. About 1.9 million people or approximately 85% of Gaza are displaced, including aged, wounded and disabled people, living in rough-and-ready tents in deplorable conditions, lacking any or adequate sanitation and water.
d. Healthcare in Gaza has been severely weighed down with 61 hospitals and health care facilities been damaged or destroyed; many have been placed under blockade or have been subjected to forced mass evacuations, and only 13 hospitals are still partially functional, weighed under by mass congestion.
e. The health personnel are not spared as 311 health workers have been killed, mostly during provision of healthcare services, implying that many of the injured, including seriously wounded children, cannot gain access to healthcare.
f. Nearly 5,500 women are having to give birth in precarious conditions monthly. Babies are dying from preventable causes: in addition to disease and malnutrition, premature babies have died due to lack of fuel to supply hospital generators; others have been found putrefying in their hospital beds, medical staff having been forced to evacuate.
g. Over 80% of homes in Gaza have been damaged or destroyed. Similarly, vast areas of Gaza have been razed, including entire villages, refugee camps, towns and cities that have been or are deliberately being made inhabitable.
1.3 Back home in Nigeria and more specifically in the Northern parts of the country, insecurity challenges caused by armed kidnappers and bandits, insurgents, separatists and child traffickers who abduct, sell and change religious and ethnic identities of innocent Muslim children are causing systematic depopulation, mass displacement of many rural communities, continuous decimation of animal and crop production and other economic activities as well as the increasing number of internally displaced persons mainly women and children and the attendant consequences thereof despite the enormous resources invested by the government.
2.0 OUR POSITION
2.1 We condemn in strongest terms the ongoing genocide in Gaza, the increasing apartheid and hostilities in West bank as well as attacks on selected targets in Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.
2.2 We strongly and unequivocally condemn the unlimited support of the US and UK governments and their active participation in Gaza aggression against Palestinians as well as bombardments in Yemen.
2.3 We highly commend the courageous and bold step of South Africa’s government of petitioning the state of Israel at the International Court of Justice for committing genocide in Gaza during its ongoing war on Gaza. Likewise the countries that support this action such as Turkey and Malaysia.
2.4 We commend countries that cut-off diplomatic relations with the state of Israel due to its ethnic cleansing attacks in Gaza such as Bolivia.
2.5 The federal and state governments’ efforts as well the security agencies in curbing insecurity are commendable but are yet to be adequate.
3.0 OUR CALL
3.1 We call on the governments of nations, international institutions and all well-meaning individuals to see to the immediate and unconditional ceasefire in Gaza and also stop escalations of violence against Palestinians in West Bank as well as attacks on Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.
3.2 We call on the Federal government of Nigeria – the giant of Africa as well as the champion of anti-apartheid rule in the 70s and 80s to rise to this occasion by at least severing it’s diplomatic relations with the state of Israel due to its war crimes; solidly support the South Africa’s Petition of genocide in Gaza and mobilize other ECOWAS and AU countries to do so.
3.3 As the US, UK and some other western countries – the supposed bastions of democracy and champions of human rights and rule of law – did not impose economic sanctions on Israel despite its glaring war crimes for reasons best known to them. Therefore, ECOWAS nations under the able leadership of Nigeria are hereby requested to lift the sanctions on Niger republic imposed on it following the military overthrow of its democratically elected government. This is to avoid collective punishment of its citizens and worsening of livelihood conditions in a low-income country like Niger.
3.4 We call on the federal government of Nigeria and it’s security agencies along with all relevant stakeholders to immediately put a comprehensive and practical plan to end all forms of insecurity bedeviling the country and punish all those involved according to extant laws in order to avoid full scale humanitarian crises that at the end will spare nobody in the country.
3.5 We call on all Muslims to intensify in , assisting the poor and needy, seeking forgiveness from and supplication to Allah the Almighty to remove these problems in Nigeria, Gaza, and all other areas suffering from armed aggressions such as Sudan, Libya, Mali, Kashmir, Yemen, Myanmar and Uighur province of China among others.
3.6 Similarly, all Muslims are enjoined to boycott products of companies that support Israel and find alternatives from companies that are peace-loving so that they will not willingly contribute economically to the genocide of their brethren, as Allah the Most High is saying (the meaning of):
“Cooperate with one another in goodness and righteousness, and do not cooperate in sin and transgression. And fear Allah, for Allah is severe in punishment”. (Surah 5, Al Ma’idah: 2)
We pray Allah the Almighty to deal appropriately with all transgressors whether local or international, their collaborators and supporters; may He have mercy on the deceased Muslims; heal the wounded and support the oppressed, bring peace and prosperity to the troubled spots surely He is able to do so. Praise be to Allah Lord of the worlds. May the peace and salutations of Allah be upon His Noble Prophet Muhammad, his household, companions and all those who follow their footsteps in goodness till the last day.
Prof. Isa Muhammad Maishanu Mal. Muhammad Usman Ali