Palestinian Cause Should Be ‘Marketed’ as ‘Humanitarian’ Issue to Non-Muslims, NJ Imam Says
The Palestinian cause is an Islamic struggle that should be “marketed” as a humanitarian concern to non-Muslims, a prominent imam told a recent “Workshop for Palestine” held at the Islamic Center of Union County, NJ.
“Although our cause is Islamic, when we market and present it to people, I believe that it should be presented as a ‘humanitarian cause,'” Imam Said Elkasaby told the audience at the November 17 meeting.
In comments that were exposed on Wednesday in a special dispatch by the Washington, DC-based Middle East Media and Research Institute (MEMRI), Elkasaby explained: “If I talk to Jews and tell them that my cause is Islamic, they’re out. It’s over. They won’t support me because they’re Jews and I’m a Muslim. The same is true when I tell a Christian that my cause is Islamic. When I tell him that my cause is humanitarian, it means that every human being must acknowledge that truth.”
Elkasaby elaborated: “If we keep telling the Americans that our cause is Islamic, only the Muslims will support us. The non-Muslims will not support us. So I want to generalize the cause so everybody will sympathize with us.”
Organized by Americans Muslims for Palestine — a pro-Hamas advocacy group — the panel discussion was an opportunity for speakers and audience members to debate the relative merits of both an armed struggle against Israel and a boycott of the Jewish state.
“Israel, at the way it’s going right now, will cease to exist, I would say, maybe within the next 50 years,” panel member Muhammad Habba opined.
“Right now, Palestine advocacy in America is at an all-time high,” Habba claimed. “The majority of Democrats support boycotts and sanctions on Israel because of their treatment of Palestine.”
Speaking only three weeks after the murder of 11 Jews at a Pittsburgh by a neo-Nazi gunman, Robert Bowers — whose social media feed was filled with accusations of a global Jewish conspiracy against the “white race” — Habba remarked that “through the election of Trump, many people are beginning to see the problems with Israel.” Another panelist then chimed in with the words “the connections.”
One audience member strongly criticized Elkasaby’s suggestion that the Palestinian cause should always be presented as a humanitarian concern.
“If I’m saying that [Palestine] is a humanitarian cause rather than an Islamic cause, I am losing my rights,” the audience member complained. “It makes me look like a human being who is begging. We are not begging. This is our right. This issue is 100 percent Islamic and 0 percent humanitarian.”