Khamis, 31 Julai 2014

Attack on Gaza 2014 : Why this time is different

Gaza bombing 2014

As this article were wrote, the war in Gaza dubbed Operation Protective Edge 2014 is now entering its 24th day, with death toll reaching more than 1459 Palestinian lives, mostly non-combatant, civilians and children. Although the term 'war' is highly debated, with the majority of the world now seen the recent escalation as 'genocide' rather than war because of the unbalanced force between the two sides. While the Brazilian President, Dilma Rousseff called the Israeli aggression on Gaza a 'massacre'.

But this time, there is something changed. This brutal aggression and killing were not the same as the Operation Cast Lead in 2008 and Operation Pillar of Defense in 2012. The different is not on the body count, type of bombing or the strategy of war, but rather a mass shifting of worldwide view of the conflict. As if the common Israeli pretext to justify its aggression which is 'to defend itself' is no longer viewed as justified, and the strategy of attacking others who doesn't shared the Zionist idea as anti-Semitic is no longer effective. The opinion world wide today seems shifting toward more sympathy for Palestine, even in the US which is the Israeli strongest allies, this trend is emerging- albeit slowly. I believe that there will be major change around the corner, a positive political shift toward Palestine, and Israel will no longer enjoy committing war crime unnoticed and unpunished. The tide is changing.

The rise of alternative media, which can provide the world with live coverage and live images in real time is now challenging the mainstream media. The mainstream media such as Fox News which is known as bias and used by the Zionist as a propaganda machine are now viewed as unreliable and skewed. The role of social media now is seems to be more important than ever to shape public opinion on this matter, Israel may be winning on the ground as they managed to killed more than a thousand civilians, but on the social media Israel is losing. As noted by Paul Mason, 'Israel is losing the hearts and minds of the world'. The fact that Gaza has been blocked for almost 7 years, and become the largest open air prison, is now known all over the world. Although the death toll keep on rising as the escalation continues, the resilience shown by the people in Gaza which were led by Hamas actually gave them positive impact, which is more sympathy and support from the world to the Palestinian plight.

The rise of awareness about the Palestinian plight can be viewed with the emerging reactions from celebrities, sportsmen, footballer, politician, journalist, scientist and academician across the globe. The trend which is not seen on the previous escalations. Among the interesting reaction is Joey Barton's tweet against Israeli midfielder Yossi Benayoun. Solidarity with Gaza can also be seen at the third Investec Test when England batsman Moeen Ali wore 'Save Gaza' wristbands, although England cleared Moeen to wear the bands, the ICC banned the wristband citing that it was against the clothing regulations. While at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, our Malaysian cyclist Azizulhasni Awang shocked the world with his 'Save Gaza' gloves, he later won a bronze medal in the Keirin event.

Joey Barton's tweet

Celebrities also showing their support to the Palestinian cause. Selena Gomez on her Instagram post a picture that read "It's about humanity.Pray for Gaza". Although later been bombarded by her pro-Israeli fans, unlike Rihanna, she did not delete the post. Mark Ruffalo tweeted when Israel destroy El- Wafa hospital, again bombarded by pro-Israelis, he added "Sorry, I thought blowing up Hospitals was something that all human beings could agree was off limits". Recently One Direction's Zain Malik also become embroiled in a twitter debate after the singer post a tweet with a hashtag Free Palestine.

Among the brave politician who dare to speak up for the Palestinian was British member of parliament, David Ward from Bradford East. On his comment, he stated that if he is a Gazan, he will surely fire rockets to Israel. The Liberal Democrat Party later issued a statement urging Ward to apologize for his statement or face disciplinary action, Ward however refuse to apologize. The crisis in Gaza this time shown among other, a variety of heroes, which come in different shape and sizes. These heroes maybe will not be included in Hollywood films, but they will surely be remembered and embraced as a symbol for freedom and dignity. All the peoples in Gaza are heroes, the whole world became a witness that nearly everything is made from China, except for courage, it's made in Palestine!

One of the hero that struck my heart most is Dr. Mads Gilbert from University of North Norway that came to serve at Shifa Hospital in Gaza, he left all the luxury and gambled his live to serve the injured Palestinians. As a Muslim I feel very ashamed with the amount of effort done by him as part of the humanitarian work which me myself cannot do. I gave him my utmost respect. In his moving letter, he wrote to the world:

“My respect for the wounded is endless, in their contained determination in the midst of pain, agony and shock; my admiration for the staff and volunteers is endless; my closeness to the Palestinian sumud [steadfastness] gives me strength, although in [some of the] glimpses I just want to scream, hold someone tight, cry, smell the skin and hair of the warm child, covered in blood, protect ourselves in an endless embrace - but we cannot afford that: nor can they."

Dr. Mads Gilbert in Shifa Hospital 

Journalist and presenter also showing some awesome solidarity this time. Jon Snow in his interview for Channel 4 News has given Israeli spoke person, Mark Regev a hard time. Among the question shot by Snow, which for me Regev failed to answer was the objective of the Israeli Occupation Force (IOF) bombing El-Wafa Hospital. Famous satirist, Jon Stewart also put forward the issue of Israeli blockade on Gaza in his Daily Show. He criticized the way Israeli warn civilian to evacuate, but the truth is, there is nowhere to go as Egypt and Israel closed all the borders. Stewart then asked "Are they supposed to swim for it?"

Political support also have been surging this time, it was an unprecedented trend that was never seen before. Much of the support came from Latin America. Bolivian representative to the UN Security Council, Sacha Sergio Llorenti Soliz was seen wearing Keffiyeh (Palestinian Scarf) during the session to show solidarity with people in Gaza. Bolivia's president, Evo Morales went on declaring Israel as a terrorist state, and renounced its visa agreement with Israel. While El Salvador recalled its ambassador from Tel Aviv to protest the military operation, making it the fifth Latin American country to do so after Brazil, Chile, Ecuador and Peru. Chile went further and suspend its free trade agreement with Israel to protest the military aggression. While other Muslim country may seen hesitate to put an economic pressure on Israel, Maldives canceled 3 of its previous economic agreement  that was signed by its former president, Mohamed Nasheed. At the same time Maldives will no longer accept any investment from the Israeli.

Bolivian representative, Sacha Sergio Llorenti Soliz wearing Keffiyeh in the UN
When the Israeli start bombing Gaza, the worldwide outcry is massive. The reaction is no longer regional or limited to the Islamic world. As the humanitarian crisis worsen, and Israel bombs no longer differentiate between military structure with schools, hospitals and homes, demonstrations and protest broke almost on every cities in the world. While in London the solidarity goes mainstream, after 100 000 peoples poured into the street in London calling for an end to the massacre and urging the public to support the BDS movement. Countries like Japan, Korea, Philippines also now have opened their eyes and becoming more reactive to the issue. With death toll rising everyday, and more images of dead children and babies emerging, the world now seeing an increasing level of disgust toward Israel from every part of the world. This trend will ultimately reach to a level where no sane government will support the Israeli war crime that been committed in the broad daylight. If you support Israel, then the blood is in your hand.

So what does all of this is telling us?

The shifting of worldwide support and solidarity toward Palestine is a signal, that the struggle is gaining more support. The world with its new generation can no longer tolerate the prolong injustice and occupation. For me, this trend will be a game changer. A new dawn is coming, it will bring along with it a new, fresh and positive development that is the lifting of the illegal blocked imposed on Gaza, and also Palestine liberation from the illegal Israeli occupation.

I believe that when the dust settle, a stronger Palestinian resistance force will be born. As Kelly Clarkson put it 'What doesn't kill you makes you stronger'.Unless Israel manage to kill all Palestinian walking on this earth, which is highly unlikely, this outcome is imminent.

Sabtu, 26 Julai 2014

Serangan ke atas Gaza 2014 : Mengapa kali ini berbeza

Ketika artikel ini ditulis Operation Protective Edge 2014 yang dilancarkan oleh negara haram Israel ke atas Gaza sudah memasuki hari ke 17. Angka kematian kini mencecah 803 orang, dimana kebanyakan mangsa korban merupakan non-combatant yang terdiri dari kanak-kanak.

Sepanjang mengikuti perkembangan kekejaman ini ada satu perkara yang menarik perhatian saya. Ada kelainan pada perkembangan kali ini, ia tidak sama dengan Operation Cast Lead 2008 dan Operation Pillar of Defense 2012. Kelainan yang saya maksudkan adalah dari segi kesedaran masyarakat dunia, seolah-olah tembok pertahanan Israel yang dibina menggunakan pretext anti-semitism  kini sudah hancur. Walaupun masyarakat dunia kini mula memberikan kesedaran positif, pemimpin dunia terutamanya negara Islam masih belum mampu melakukan perubahan konkrit, Namun positive shifting toward Palestine politically sebenar nya sedang berlaku, kita di era perubahan, the tide is changing.

Kemunculan media-media alternative, yang mampu menyediakan live image in real time juga mencabar media-media gergasi bias yang dikawal oleh zionis. Peranan social media yang sangat berkesan pada kali ini, sehingga Paul Mason menyatakan bahawa 'Israel is losing the hearts and minds of the world'. Gaza yang telah disekat haknya selama 7 tahun dan menjadi the largest open air prison kini merupakan fakta yang diketahui seluruh dunia. Walaupun angka kematian semakin hari semakin meningkat, kesabaran dan resistance yang ditunjukkan oleh penduduk Gaza yang dipimpin oleh Hamas sebenarnya memberi impak yang positif kepada perjuangan Palestin.

Kesedaran tentang isu Palestin dapat dilihat dengan munculnya reaksi-reaksi dari selebriti, pemain bola sepak, politician, wartawan, scientist, ahli akedemik dari seluruh dunia. Perkara yang tidak kita lihat sebelum ini. Antara yang menarik adalah tweet dari Joey Barton yang membidas pemain bola Israel, Yossi Benayoun.

Ahli-ahli politik terutamanya dari Eropah juga kini lebih terbuka dalam menyokong perjuangan rakyat Palestin. Antaranya adalah David Ward yang merupakan Member of Parliament (MP) dari Bradford East yang menyatakan sekiranya dia merupakan penduduk Gaza, dia juga pasti akan melancarkan roket kepada Israel. Parti Liberal Democrat kemudian mengeluarkan kenyataan supaya Ward meminta maaf atau dikenakan tindakan disiplin, namun Ward tetap dengan pendiriannya. 

Krisis Gaza kali ini melahirkan banyak hero, hero yang mungkin ceritanya tidak akan di tayangkan di layar perak Hollywood. Semua penduduk Gaza adalah hero, mereka merupakan contoh kepada dunia dalam mempertahankan maruah dan hak kebebasan. Today, nearly everything is made from China, except for courage, it's made in Palestine!

Antara hero lain yang amat saya kagumi adalah Dr. Mads Gilbert dari University of North Norway yang datang berkhidmat di Hospital Shifa di Gaza, meninggalkan keselesaan dan mempertaruhkan nyawanya sendiri di lapangan. Saya merasa begitu malu sebagai Muslim, melihat kesungguhan doktor ini membantu mangsa pengeboman atas dasar kemanusiaan. Dalam suratnya kepada dunia yang sangat menyentuh hati, berkenaan dengan situasi di Gaza Dr. Gilbert menulis:

“My respect for the wounded is endless, in their contained determination in the midst of pain, agony and shock; my admiration for the staff and volunteers is endless; my closeness to the Palestinian sumud [steadfastness] gives me strength, although in [some of the] glimpses I just want to scream, hold someone tight, cry, smell the skin and hair of the warm child, covered in blood, protect ourselves in an endless embrace - but we cannot afford that: nor can they."

Sementara itu wartawan dan juga pengacara TV turut menunjukkan solidariti yang mengkagumkan. Antaranya wawancara Jon Snow dan Mark Regev dalam Channel 4 News. Snow dalam wawancaranya dengan tegas menyatakan kepada Regev, apakah tujuan Israel mengebom Hospital Al-Wafa, Regev dalam jawapannya cuba mengelak namun terus diasak Snow. Satiris terkenal, Jon Stewart turut mengetengahkan ketidakadilan dalam krisis Palestin Israel dalam Daily Show beliau, dengan menyindir tindakan Israel memberi amaran agar penduduk melarikan diri dari kawasan pengeboman, dalam masa yang sama Israel dan Mesir menutup pintu keluar dari Gaza.

Sokongan dari medan politik antarabangsa juga meningkat mendadak pada krisis kali ini, satu trend yang tidak dilihat sebelum ini. Antaranya adalah wakil Bolivia ke UN Security Council, Sacha Sergio Llorenti Soliz yang memakai Keffiyeh (Palestinian scarf) semasa ucapannya tanda solidariti terhadap Gaza.

Ketika negara lain teragak-agak untuk memberikan tekanan kepada Israel, Maldives membatalkan 3 perjanjian ekonominya dengan Israel yang ditanda tangani bekas presiden Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed. Dalam masa yang sama, Maldives tidak lagi akan menerima pelaburan dari Israel pada masa hadapan. Sementara itu kerajaan Chile menggantung perjanjian free trade dengan Israel sebagai protes kepada tindakan kejam Israel ke atas penduduk Gaza.

Terdapat banyak lagi reaksi-reaksi masyarakat dunia terhadap krisis ini terutamanya protes dan demonstrasi yang berlaku hampir di setiap bandar utama dunia mengecam tindakan Israel. Negara-negara seperti Jepun, Korea, Filipina juga kini telah membuka mata dan semakin reaktif terhadap isu ini. Semakin hari, semakin banyak penduduk dan kanak-kanakyang terkorban, semakin besar kebencian dunia kepada tindakan jijik Israel. Perkara ini akan sampai ke tahap dimana kerajaan mana-mana negara tidak mampu lagi menyokong tindakan Israel kerana jenayah yang begitu jelas. If you support Israel, then the blood is in your hand.

Perubahan pandangan dunia terhadap krisis ini, merupakan satu lagi batu loncatan positif terhadap perjuangan rakyat Palestin. Ia merupakan perubahan yang baru, yang bakal membawa kepada perubahan yang lebih besar iaitu berakhirnya sekatan ke atas Gaza, dan pembebasan Palestin dari penjajahan zionis Israel.

Khamis, 3 Julai 2014

Mengenang Murobbiku Ustaz Dahlan Mohd Zain

Penulis: Hilal Asyraf
Tajuk: Mengenang Murobbiku Ustaz Dahlan Mohd Zain

Sudah hampir 7 tahun rasanya keluar dari kepompong tarbiyah di MATRI, begitu pantas masa berlalu, lawatanku ke sana kali terakhir semasa reunion sedikit sebanyak mengubat rindu, namun kini MATRI bukan lagi seperti dulu, kini banyak bangunan baru, mungkin beberapa tahun lagi ia akan berubah 100 peratus. Cuma bangunan musolla masih kekal seperti dulu, binaan kayu, sentimental. Blog ini pun sudah berubah, hampir menjadi book review site, mungkin penulisnya lebih minat membaca dari menulis.

Apa pun Alhamdulillah, saya sempat menghabiskan pembacaan hasil tangan Hilal Asyraf ini baru-baru ini, mungkin ini kali pertama saya membaca hasil karya beliau. Belum berkesempatan membaca karya lain hasil penulisan penulis muda sensasi, kontroversi dan sensasi ini. Membelek gambar-gambar lama didalamnya membuatkan daku terkenang saat-saat lama, saat masih bujang, berjiwa rebel, saat MATRI belum pesat pembangunan infrastukturnya, masih serdehana.

Saya sendiri tiada pengalaman peribadi bersama Al-Fadhil Mudir, cuma di tingkatan satu ada bersama dalam kelas tulisan khat, namun tidak banyak yang saya ingati. Mungkin yang paling saya ingat pun semasa tingkatan 3, waktu itu saya baru menerima hukuman rotan di khalayak umum, jadi saya perlukan sedikit masa untuk balik bercuti, tenangkan fikiran dan muhasabah diri. Jadi saya bertemu Ustaz bersama kakak untuk minta kebenaran, namun tidak di izinkan.

Ya, selepas saya keluar dari sekolah baru saya sedar, ada sesuatu yang lebih dari sekadar sekolah yang diasaskan oleh Ustaz, satu generasi baru, generasi yang jiwanya adalah jiwa Islam, emosinya adalah emosi Islam, generasi yang keluar dan melakukan kebaikan dan pembaikan dalam masyarakat.

Tulisan Hilal ini yang memberi fokus kepada pengalaman bersama Ustaz di hujung usianya sememangnya merupakan satu coretan yang berharga, buat ingatan dan semangat buat generasi mendatang, bukan untuk memuja berlebihan. Kerana ramai orang yang boleh menjadi ustaz atau agamawan, tapi bukan semua orang mampu menjadi murobbi yang membina generasi. Cuma komen saya untuk penambahbaikan, mungkin perlu ada pengalaman dari orang-orang yang berada bersama Ustaz dimasa-masa mudanya, pengalaman bersama-sama membina dan membangun sekolah, berprogram dan berjaulah. 

Tahniah saya ucapkan buat penulisan yang berharga ini, semoga ia menjadi saham akhirat!

Rabu, 2 Julai 2014

The world is flat

Title : The World is Flat: Further Updated and Expanded (Release 3.0)
Author: Thomas L. Friedman
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
 It was during my research methodology class I was introduced with Friedman's thesis on how this past century have been developing. My professor keep mentioning on how fascinating things have change and it made me wonder. The world still spinning, the only thing is, it spin with a much more sophisticated and complicated innovation happening inside it.

I admire how Friedman presented his argument in a very logical and understandable way, the flattening of the world as put by Friedman bring the opportunity to everyone, everyone with the ability and knowledge on how to thrive using the newly available platform, the time when distance is no longer a problem and communication become cheaper if not free. The notion of advocating free trade and open market also one of my favorite part in the book. Indeed open economy bring us much more closer, it promotes collaboration between parties from different part of the world, we understand each other better when we work together, it creates mutual trust that eventually give birth to partnership and greater works for common good.

Yes, we must teach future generation for that they will live in different environment and face different challenges, the challenges that not yet happen in our times. We must provoke imagination and innovation, facilitate research and science and at the same time support the growing and evolving art.

But the development and improvement that are happening right now does not include all part of the world community, there are peoples that are not yet equip with  the knowledge and ability to contest in the flat playground. For this, it is our duty to look back and spread our hand helping these peoples, for we not know where the next Einstein will come from. The talent maybe somewhere in the poorest part of Asia or Africa, and if we're unable to tap them, we might just miss the next great breakthrough.

I must admit, the book is very informative yet enjoyable to read.