53.2 F
Wednesday, July 24, 2024
HomeCommentaryI Stand with Peace

I Stand with Peace


Related stories

Can prayer be a powerful force for good?

Can prayer be a powerful force for good? Explore the role of prayer from a Christian Science perspective in promoting peace, progress and healing in the world.

Is there a spiritual dimension to beauty?

Is there a spiritual dimension to beauty? Explore the question of whether beauty can be seen as a pathway to the divine.

Library book ban laws threaten our First Amendment rights & intellectual freedom

Learn about the alarming increase in library bans and the threat they pose to intellectual freedom and democracy.

Take a deep dive into the Wilsons and Christ Church featured on NPR’s ‘Extremely American’

Discover the fascinating story behind Christ Church Moscow and its pastor, Doug Wilson, through the analysis of Nick Gier on FāVS News.

Bibles in schools secularize the sacred

Becky Tallent explores the controversy of bibles in schools. She writes about the balance between religious freedom and the potential implications of teaching the Bible in public schools.

Our Sponsors


I Stand with Peace

Commentary by Maimoona Harrington | FāVS News

“Request the welfare of Jerusalem; may those who love you enjoy tranquility. May there be peace in your wall tranquility in your palaces.” — Psalm 122:6-7

Engraved on the welcome sign at the Western Wall, Jerusalem.

The Middle East region has always fascinated me not only because of its connection with my faith, but also for its rich diverse history, religions, cultures and traditions. Especially the land of Palestine that is the bearer of many prophets, a birthplace of Prophet Isa A.S (Jesus Christ) and a land of many holy sites of the Abrahamic faith. All this just makes it more sacred and special.

On matters of conflicts or difference of opinions, my personal approach has always been to learn both sides of stories. It is imperative to do this because this is the only way to have a just opinion. One can only be fully or partially unbiased if conflicts are first understood in their historical and academic context. I am not saying I have mastered this approach on personal or global issues, but I am trying. It is not easy to be unbiased because of our beliefs, ideologies or any kind of political or tribal affiliations. 

The Arab-Israeli conflict is one of the longest lasting conflicts in the Middle East region and is a cause of many other issues within the region. These other related issues are the Palestinian refugees, their dispersal in other Arab states ‘right of return’, territorial issues with surrounding Arab states, wars fought in the past and a rise in terrorism.

Palestinian Refugees

With the recent Hamas attack on Israel and in retaliation the bombardment of Israel at Gaza, the neighboring Arab countries are reluctant to accept Palestinian refugees. It raises the question in people’s mind how come the neighboring Arab-Muslim countries are not agreeing to give protection to Palestinian refugees?

An Associated Press article reports, “Their refusal is rooted in fear that Israel wants to force a permanent expulsion of Palestinians into their countries and nullify Palestinian demands for statehood. El-Sissi also said a mass exodus would risk bringing militants into Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, from where they might launch attacks on Israel, endangering the two countries’ 40-year-old peace treaty.”

And not only this but, “The refugees and their descendants now number nearly 6 million, most living in camps and communities in the West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan. The diaspora has spread further, with many refugees building lives in Gulf Arab countries or the West.”

Violence and Bloodshed

The recent development on the matter has once again flared violence and bloodshed in the region. It’s the main topic of news and discussions. Because of my affiliation with Islam, all my social media posts are pro-Palestine and am sure same is the case for the Jewish communities. I am certain that there are also some of us who are partially siding with one side or other. Then there are some who are numb to the news and do not want to listen to anything anymore.

People are also finding quite a contrast in international reactions between the war in Ukraine and Palestine. They way Ukraine has been assisted and how its affected people are given refugee status and aid is quite contrary to the Palestinians in Gaza. The blockade of water and electricity to them was considered war crime in Ukraine, but it’s not the case for the people of Gaza.

Public Opinion

Historically from the beginning of this conflict, all U.S. administrations and their foreign policies treated this geopolitical conflict only as a humanitarian issue not a territorial one. Its strategy has been based on U.S interests in the region. It’s allies like Israel and Saudi Arabia are based on mutual interests.

The U.S. could not pressurize Israel mainly for three reasons: one is American public opinion, the pro-Israel lobby and dislike of holocaust by the American leadership. However there is a slight shift within American public opinion now. Since Israel claimed their retaliation as a declaration of war, everything will be watched under the lens of war regulations and war crimes.

President Joe Biden’s full support to Israel should not come as a shock to anyone. As mentioned, all U.S. administrations have supported Israel. In his recent visit to Tel Aviv, President Biden once again assured Israel of his full support and $100 million in humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza. Meanwhile, on Oct. 18, a UN Security Council resolution to call for humanitarian pauses in the war to deliver lifesaving aid to millions in Gaza was vetoed by the U.S.

Increasing Support for Palestinians in the West

There is an increase in supporting the Palestinians across the western world. At home here in America, which has a large Middle Eastern diaspora, both Muslims and Christians are supporting the Palestinians on college campuses, with rallies in different states and protesting in front of the capitol. Although all this is gaining attention in American news media, it is with more of a negative connotation.

Emotions are running high, thanks to our over enthusiastic politicians and media anchors to instigate them. Both communities of Palestinians and Jews, are becoming targets of hate crimes. The recent stabbing of  a 6-year-old boy is a prime example of the hatred and rift raging between communities.

CNN reported, “Wadea Al Fayoume was stabbed 26 times Saturday by his family’s landlord in Plainfield Township, Illinois, the Will County Sheriff’s Office said. Prosecutors told the judge [Joseph M.] Czuba and his tenant, [Hanaan] Shahin, got into an argument Saturday over the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas. The argument became heated and Czuba turned violent toward Shahin, according to the prosecution.”

Messages are circulating in my social media groups in which Muslim women who wear hijab are being warned to be cautious. I am sure the same is happening in our Jewish communities where antisemitism might also be rising.

Being Pro-Peace

Caution is imperative by both communities. There is no need to be added to a list of victims of these hate crimes as these lists are mere numbers to the world. It does not matter if you are pro-Palestinian or pro-Israel. What matters most is humanity and being pro-peace.

Reporters, social media platforms, YouTube influencers and politicians’ commentaries have been detrimental, too. They must act in a manner that does not instigate people’s emotion. It’s their chance to be fair and honest in their reporting and hold the torch for peace.

“Peace is the only battle worth waging.”

Albert Camus

The views expressed in this opinion column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of FāVS News. FāVS News values diverse perspectives and thoughtful analysis on matters of faith and spirituality.

Maimoona Harrington
Maimoona Harrington
Maimoona Harrington was born and raised in Pakistan. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Middle Eastern Studies. As a practicing Muslim with extensive world travel and living in the West, she has devoted herself to spread awareness of Islam as a goodwill gesture. In an effort to do this, she started writing from her own personal experiences with religion, beliefs and life in a different culture. She also has special interest in all the religions and how and why they are all important to its followers. Her primary focus is on the co-existence and harmony between all human beings. Her message is to spread peace not division. She strongly believes that if you want to be closer to your creator then love His creation unconditionally and expect nothing in return for He loves us unconditionally and forgives us no matter how sinful we are!

Our Sponsors



0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Charles McGlocklin
Charles McGlocklin
8 months ago

Having a degree in photojournalism and later a BS in Applied Psychology, I am very aware of how easily biased reporting is passed on as news. If my view is different from yours (and both can be reasonable) one is labled as radical. Those labels are bias and bullying, but everyone expects them and do not see the harm they are playing.
Media makes no money on passive, middle of the road reporting. “We must electrify our base!” and both right and left, conservitive and liberal are extreme (my bias) to entice one side or the other to love them and hate the other.
Media is front and center on creating what divides us.

Maimoona Harrington
Maimoona Harrington
8 months ago

Thank you for taking time to read my column and I very much agree with you. As individuals we can pray our parts by listening all but not believing without verifying. And continue to work on what unites us than what divides us. Peace.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x