My speech at Sunday’s Gaza vigil:
Firstly on behalf of the Scottish Islamic Foundation I’d like to thank everyone for coming out here this evening at such short notice to show your support to the people of Gaza. I’d also like to say that I’m extremely grateful that I have been given this opportunity to speak on this platform and I would like to thank all those involved in organising this important vigil.
As we are all aware we are gathered here today to condemn Israel’s brutal acts of aggression, in which yesterday they slaughtered over 200 and wounded over 700 in the heaviest air raids on Gaza in decades.
Unfortunately the toll is expected to rise even further, with bodies still lying buried under the rubble of destroyed buildings. There are scenes of absolute desperation in Gaza Hospitals, already suffering from shortages due to the 18-month blockade on the Gaza Strip, as they filled up, bodies piled up in corridors and outside on the street. The injured also risked death as doctors said they were struggling to cope with the number of injured, which included women and children.
These attacks have resulted in a shocking loss of life among Palestinians and only add to the misery and suffering created by the prolonged Israel blockade of Gaza.
The timing of the assault came as no surprise. The raids began mid-morning rather than at night which meant many official buildings and schools were full. Some of the missiles struck densely populated areas as children were leaving school to cause maximum terror.
This latest blood bath, although far more ruthless than all its predecessors, is not Israel’s first. It culminates months of an Israeli siege of Gaza that should be widely condemned and prosecuted as an act of genocide against the 1.5 million Palestinians in the occupied coastal strip.
It is shocking to see the UK government’s muted response to this massacre. The situation however is even more alarming if we consider that while there is a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, UK based Palestinian charities such as Interpal whose work in these situations is absolutely essential are facing closure and the government has done absolutely nothing to stop this great injustice.
We are here to stand against the injustice faced by the Palestinians as our faith teaches us that we have a duty to stand up against any form of injustice no matter who it is projected at.
I strongly urge everyone to firstly and immediately boycott all Israeli products and secondly to write to your msps, mps, the government and the Israeli embassy to put pressure on them to take some action in this matter.
Once again I would like to thank everyone for coming this evening and the organisers of this vigil. Our thoughts are with our brothers and sisters who have lost their lives and the families who grieve behind them and we pray that may God alleviate their suffering and their pain and keep them safe.
Posted by Nazia Iqbal