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The Tsunami That Swallowed Arabia
Muhammad Ali Hasan

I have always thought that the true soul of a being reveals itself during the most difficult of times. At this time, we find ourselves grieving for 140,000 souls and thousands of lost villages.

Despite the grieving, I remain optimistic. In times of challenge, I always look forward to the outpouring of good will; I look for those beings whose character is truly one of love.

I am heartened to see the number of countries and individuals who are vigorously donating to this cause; after all, what Islam and Muslims have been interpreted as, there are still so many countries out there, and so many individuals, who are ready to come to the aid of Muslims.

For many, though, this is the perfect time to exploit the people of Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, Bangladesh, Maldives, Malaysia, and Indonesia (home of the largest Muslim population), as people who are "deserved" of such devastation. It is wonderful that such voices have been suppressed.

As an American, I was proud to see the swift arrival of American troops, as they passed out antibiotics, food, and water. In the recent days, I have seen American Muslim groups like CAIR, ISNA, and MPAC, among many others, vigorously encourage their members to give to tsunami relief organizations. In Michigan right now, there are immigrant Arab Muslims, who while struggling to pay their own bills, are sending as much as they can to the tsunami relief. There are Muslim cab drivers in New York, who are giving their tips away for the greater good, as well.

I celebrate the contributions of Australia, Japan, Pakistan, and so many other countries, that are giving funding, aid workers, and their troops to this relief operation. Today, Pakistan sent over seventy engineers and doctors to the area, in addition to Australia’s $700 million and Japan’s $500 million.

However, what are the Arab governments doing? What is Osama Bin Laden doing? And what is Al-Jazeera doing?

The contributions coming from countries like Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are not representative of the kind of response that the Muslim World expected.

Osama Bin Laden is quick to blame America for anything and everything, but slow to ever help a Muslim in need. And Al-Jazeera’s coverage of this tragedy has been horrible, at best. As the leading media market of Arabia, Al-Jazeera ‘should’ do more. They have a responsibility to cover this disaster and encourage compassion from their viewers. Instead, they are settling for further coverage in Iraq.

Al-Jazeera is proving itself to be a vehicle for victimization of the Arabian region, as they always blame America; rarely do they empower Muslims, nor even celebrate Islam.
The Muslim World should, and will, come to the conclusion that many of these Arab governments are worthless, especially in their abilities to provide relief and love to the most grieving parts of the Muslim World.

Pakistan saw no problem giving. Iran saw no problem giving. Ethnic Pakistani and Indian television channels even sponsored telethons!

Osama Bin Laden gave no calls for contributions. No telethons were broadcasted on Al-Jazeera. Are South Asian Muslims of unimportance to these so-called "pillars" of Islamic representation? In turn, their lack of charity and focus has proven their racism towards South Asians, whose "Muslimness" still is not good enough for them.

In addition, the same Arabian politicians and governments stood silent during the plight of the Palestinians. They stood silent during Bosnia. They stood silent during Kashmir. They stood silent during Chechnya. And now they stand silent during the tsunami.

Although many good people of South Asia drowned on December 29th, the ones who really drowned were the Wahhabis in Arabia, the editorialists of Al-Jazeera, and the supporters behind Osama Bin Laden. Within the tsunami’s receding waters, their flesh of hypocrisy has been revealed.

And Muslims of the world have taken note of it.

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