Indeed this line is precisely right.
Take the occupation of Palestine for instance, many people blog and voice their support for Palestinians’ rights, but their very support stems from different reasons. Some defend Palestine for they see it as an Arab country, and since they define themselves as Arabs they feel that their duty is to support an Arab country against a foreign one. Those are not my friends.
Some defend Palestine for the sake of Islam, for the majority of Palestinians are Muslims and Muslims around the world feel that they should support their brothers and sisters in faith against another faith.Those are not my friends either.
Some see occupation per se, injustice, apartheid and crimes against humanity. Those do not defend nobody they relate to, those rely on no ideology or faith system to formulate their “political” stances, those oppose injustice whatever it might be on whomever it might be. Those are my family.
Hence we find the latest group blog opposing any form of injustice, be it by Zionist occupation, by capitalism, imperialism, be it by patriarchy, by homophobics, by racism against immigrants and foreign workers, you name it.
They do not “defend” certain people or oppose others, they oppose flawed thoughts that paved the way for the emergence of racists, sexists and criminals we see today and we do see tsome of them among the first two pro-Palestinian groups I presented above.
It’s not a virtue by itself to blog for Palestine really, and I do not relate to every pro-Palestinian blogger, not to every pro-LGTBQ rights blogger either, for while one might be blogging for the liberation of a certain people she might be blogging also for the marginalizing of others, and for that, its not the object one’s fighting for that interests me, but the process she’s following to reach that object. This very process, is what makes of you and me.
Justice is the only virtue I believe in. What you protect is indeed what you are.
6 thoughts on “we are what we protect”
this is a very interesting post, razan. i have trouble reconciling the various movements related to queer activism and palestinian liberation activism, having been involved with both for decades now. in the u.s. i find that queer activism is almost always dominated by white men who are very privileged and who refuse to see their oppression as tied to other people’s oppression even within the u.s. (in terms of prison, poverty, racism, u.s. foreign policy, etc.). as a result those who wish to oppress queers often resort to the same divide & rule tactics we see with colonialism: usually pitting queers against various ethnic groups depending upon the location. there is very little solidarity in much of the u.s. in this respect, in this movement.
we can see similar problems in people active with respect to working towards liberating palestine. people who, for instance, do not see this struggle as a part of a larger anti-neo-colonial and anti-colonial struggle in general. in this case, too, we have people inside and outside of palestine who refuse to give up their privilege in order to fight for what is morally and politically right and just. one example is aswat, which because it is located in 1948 palestine, has various challenges with respect to normalization with israeli colonists. but also we have far too many examples of people who cannot connect justice for palestinians with justice for queers.
you bring up so many interesting issues here, habibti. i think you are on to something very interesting–something which would make an amazing dissertation in your future doctoral work…
the other problem is that many of the above people see palestine as the be-all and end all of causes and do not link it to the many other struggles against oppression going on in the world, many of which have been inspired by palestine and many of which have inspired the palestinians themselves.
المشكلة أن الكثيرين لايعرفون لماذا هم في صف فلسطين وعن ماذا يدافعون وما أهدافهم وماهي مبادئ نضالهم أو حتى أسس فكرهم
للأسف هناك أمور كثيرة مرسخة في العقول دون أن نحاول التفكير فيها وكأن التفكير فيها من المحرمات
رزان تدوينتك جعلتني أفكر فعلا لماذا أقف للدفاع عن فلسطين وأنا معك الدفاع عنها هو دفع للظلم ومحاربة للتمييز
رزان أنت شجاعة جدا ونحن بحاجة لأمثالك محبتي لك ولقلمك وفكرك
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