GUANTANAMO - We are not alone
One day while walking through the Loop of downtown Chicago, I saw something different from my everyday walk to school.
I noticed a No Parking sign that caught my eye, different from all the hundreds in the Loop. Something was clearly noticeable about it; a bright red sticker attached to its plain black painted pole. The sticker did its job of asking to be seen and drew me in for closer inspection.
In blunt bold black, it read “CLOSE GUANTANAMO” over a blood red background. As I walked away from the sticker on the sign, I slowly realized something important in regards to our desire to shut down Guantanamo Bay: we are not alone.
Just by looking at the sticker and its nature, it was clear that this is not the work of a Muslim organization. It’s too clean, too crisp, and too good for the usual Muslim activist group. A super simple red sticker with a clear and blunt message of what is wanted: to “CLOSE GUANTANAMO”.
Run a quick search on Google and you’ll find more anti-Gitmo groups than you can count on your hands. They exist, they’re very active, and they’re fighting for the same cause we are. We have to realize this when moving for our own efforts, as it will bring hope and support for this seemingly uphill struggle.
While some people may be surprised to find such support from non-Muslims, the idea is nothing new. During the time of the Prophet (SAW), the Quraysh were fed up of the Muslims in Makkah and placed a boycott on the entire tribe of Banu Hashim. For three years, Muslims and non-Muslims alike were inhumanely deprived of food, provisions, and any ounce of human compassion. In the end, it was a group of non-Muslims from Quraysh that made a pact to end the boycott once and for all.
This example from the Seerah exists today for us in the many human rights activist groups against things like Guantanamo Bay and the war in Iraq. We should work together with anyone that is on our side in these kinds of causes joining them in their events, bringing a much-needed strong Muslim presence in their line of work.
Or we can invite them to our own events, to help make our voices even louder. Imagine a national conference on Guantanamo Bay, inviting Muslim and non-Muslim speakers, educating and motivating the masses and making it loud and clear to the world that Muslims and non-Muslims alike want to see the end of Guantanamo forever.
Us Muslims need to step things up. Get out there and do something, anything for Guantanamo. Whether it’s playing Road to Guantanamo for MSA Weekly Night Event, or reading up on Gitmo updates on the news or on cageprisoners.com, doing a little can go a long way. We have every reason to be active for this cause, and the help and support of the non-Muslims only helps things even more.
No one is saying you’ll change the situation overnight, but it can help in one big weakness the Muslims have with Gitmo, their ignorance of it! At least then we’ll have more people to give it what it needs most, dua.
I ask Allah SWT to empower us in this cause and help end Guantanamo Bay and projects like it once and for all.