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Friday, January 02, 2009

Ways to make a difference to the people of Gaza‏

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Islam,
Assalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuhu,

Ahead of Jumuah tomorrow, the MCB is asking all affiliated mosques and Islamic associations to remember the plight of the Palestinians during Friday prayers. The opportunity could also be used to remind the community of effective campaigns that have been initiated to stop the barbarous assault of the Israeli government. This popular campaign involves all British people who care about humanity. We list possible action points for your community below. On Saturday, there will be a number of peaceful protests around the country, with a national demonstration in central London. Please see the list below and encourage your community to join.

In addition, the MCB, joined by a number of leading Ulama (scholars), calls upon mosques and imams to lead their congregations in the special supplication of Qunooot Al-Nazilah in the face of the destruction unleashed by Israel against the occupied people of Gaza. At this critical and challenging time we must turn to the Almighty and pray for help. Details are listed below.

It has almost been a week since the Israeli government unleashed its military machine to devastating and murderous effect. More than 300 Palestinians have lost their lives and despite popular outcry across faiths in this country, our government has stopped short of speaking out firmly and with clarity against what the Palestinian President has called a "barbaric and criminal aggression". Along with the United States, our government thwarted a UN draft resolution calling for an end to Israeli air assaults.

We hope our community comes together with other Britons to remind our government of its international obligations and of its commitment to justice and peace.

Wassalam

Dr Daud Abdullah
Deputy Secretary General, MCB

Ways to make a difference to the people of Gaza
Help make a difference, and do things yourself in your own community and call for change from the grassroots:

1. Donate Money - The Palestinian people are in urgent need for your donations for urgent medical aid and you can donate to:
MCB affiliate - Interpal, the specialist charity helping Palestinians:
Phone: Call the Interpal hotline: 02089619993
Online: Go to www.interpal.org and follow the online instructions
Interpal Account Details:
Account Name: Interpal
Bank: Islamic Bank of Britain
Sort Code: 30-00-83
Account Number: 01095401
BG52LOYD3096401024192
Other MCB charity affiliates specialising in the region are: Islamic Relief (www.islamic-relief.org.uk ), Muslim Aid (www.muslimaid.org ), Muslim Hands (www.muslimhands.org) and Ummah Welfare Trust www.uwt.org

2. Demonstrate: Join a Peaceful Protest and let your voice be heard
National Protest Saturday 3rd January 2009: 2pm onward (Trafalgar Square, starting at Embankment at 1230pm, London)
Details of other demonstrations across the country can be found here: http://www.mcb.org.uk/article_detail.php?article=announcement-763

3. Sign online petitions: http://www.petitiononline.com/gaza2812/petition.html. There is also a petition underway on the Downing Street website: http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/Israel-Sanctions/

4. Lobby your MP. Get your community to write, call and meet your Member of Parliament. Our MPs have been elected to serve us and we should make sure that we contact them and pressurise them to do something against this Israeli brutality. Lobby your MP to sign or initiate an Early Day Motion that calls on our government to condemn the Israeli government for massacre of Palestinians. Be polite, to the point and make your request specific. You can find out you your MP is here: www.theyworkforyou.com

5. Get yourself heard. Participate by writing letters to the editor and taking part in television, radio and online discussion forums. Remember to keep your points succinct and polite. You can find some letter-writing tips here: (www.arabmediawatch.com/amw/Resources/LetterWritingTips/tabid/134/Default.aspx).

6. Seek Coalitions. Change starts at home so you might also wish to seek local coalitions and work with people around you, of all faiths, to highlight the plight of the Palestinians. This is an issue of humanity and we should work to seek coalitions across faiths.

7. Lobby the Foreign & Commonwealth Office - Express your concern with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, please call 020 7008 1500.

8. Remember the power of prayer. MCB is initiating amongst its affiliates and the ulema Special prayers, Qunooot Al-Nazilah, this prayer of the Prophet is recited when Muslims face calamities. For further information, go to http://www.mcb.org.uk/article_detail.php?article=announcement-765

The MCB has joined others in writing to the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary, asking for tougher action against Israeli war crimes. We will be seeking a meeting with key influencers to make our points known. See the open letter (published in the press on Wednesday) here: http://www.mcb.org.uk/article_detail.php?article=announcement-764

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