“President Donald Trump has announced that the US formally recognises Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and will begin the process of moving its embassy to the city, breaking with decades of US policy.” – Al Jazeera
He hasn’t actually broken with decades of US policy though, has he? First of all, this isn’t even a new idea. It was put forward in 1995 under the Jerusalem Embassy Act, which stated that the US embassy in Israel should be moved to Jerusalem ‘no later than May 31, 1999’. All every President has done since then is delay that from happening. Trump has just stopped delaying it. Apart from that, the US has been the primary supporter of the occupation of Palestine for decades – whether it’s supplying billions of dollars worth of arms to Israel; blocking any kind of UN investigation into the atrocities the Israeli occupational apparatus commits in the Gaza Strip; or the open promotion of the Israeli narrative throughout its media. Donald Trump hasn’t broken with American policy – he’s just openly declared it for the first time in a long time and in doing so, has forced each Muslim to take a long hard look at himself.
In reality, this whole fiasco isn’t even much to do with America at all. It’s merely a test from Allah (SWT) – a chance for introspection for Muslim governments, organisations and individuals worldwide and a moment that will show what category each Muslim will place himself in the hereafter. I’ll explain what I mean.
The Battle of Uhud was a military defeat for the Muslims but what did Allah reframe it as? It was framed as a moment where different people exposed themselves as to what camp they were in the eyes of God – the strong believers, the weak believers, the hypocrites, the unbelievers, etc. Each added to their record that will be read out to them on the Day of Judgement – some added good and others added evil. This isn’t much different.
First of all, let’s put this into perspective. Is this decision independent of the will of Allah (SWT)? No. Nothing happens without His divine permission. So how should we see this? Actually, this is another one of those moments where everyone who’s exposed to this story will prove what ‘camp’ they are going to fall under. Let’s take ‘Muslim’ governments’ – are they going to speak out against this? If they do, how far will their condemnation go? To what extent will their relationships with the US and/or Israel (military, economic, social and cultural) change? The burden mainly falls on these governments because they are best placed to challenge such decisions – the decision by Trump was made at the governmental level, so the response should primarily be from the governmental level too. Now let’s take the individuals that run those governments.
They are responsible for their decisions, which affect millions. They are answerable for those decisions – every statement, every policy, every media briefing – on the Day of Judgement; the Day of Accounting. How will they stand? The burden is far greater on them than it is on the average man on the street who doesn’t have the leverage or means to respond to global events. But let’s a closer look at the man on the street as well because I and most people will fall into this category.
This man on the street falls in to two camps himself – the one that does have some kind of power to at least speak out against this decision and the one that doesn’t have that power. The ones that can speak out (mostly those that reside in countries that profess to be democratic) should speak out and they will, no doubt, be answerable on that same Day of Accounting for whether they did. Can they not write a letter to their MP? Can they not put a post up on social media? Can they not condemn this in person? Are they not able to attend demonstrations? There is something they can do. Can they not text their friends on WhatsApp saying how bad this is?
What about the people who don’t live in democratic countries and may face reprisals for doing such things? Fine, they might not be able to influence their governments but they can still speak about the issue at the individual and social level. Maybe even a peaceful protest might land them in jail but a conversation with their families and coworkers where they highlight how wrong this is isn’t going to, is it? Again, for those that have a conscience, they will find a way.
So I come back to my original point: nothing Trump has done should be a shock and nothing he has done can exist independent of the plan of Allah (SWT). This is merely a test of how we, as Muslims, respond to these events and what camp we place ourselves in. What answer will we give on the Day of Reckoning?
Categories: Political Analysis