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Ramadan Meditations: Stop the assault on Yemen

  • Published at 12:44 pm June 14th, 2018
Heinous crimes REUTERS

It is never too late to stand up for justice

I have a photo of a little Yemeni boy speaking to a reporter: “Jets attack us, kill, and intimidate poor people.”

Every 10 minutes, a child under the age of five dies in Yemen as a result of the Saudi-led war. 40,000 people wounded. 10,000 civilians dead. 60% of the population do not have access to food and are locked in a Saudi-made famine. 

Some 15,000,000 don’t have access to water and sanitation. More than 1,000,000 affected by the world’s worst cholera epidemic. Most recently, the Saudis demolished a Doctors Without Borders Cholera Clinic, even after the clinic gave their coordinates to the Saudis to make sure they would not be bombed.

What is it exactly that Saudi Arabia wants the world to understand about Islam by engaging in this war (in addition to their anti-human rights policies)?

Have they forgotten that they are the custodians of the Kaaba? This is not a small responsibility. How can they indeed face the Muslim world after such heinous crimes against humanity? How can they face anyone with decency? 

In the United States, a bipartisan group in the House of Representatives led by Reps Ro Khanna (D-Calif), Reps Mark Pocan (D-Wis), Justin Amash (R-Mich), Thomas Massie (R-Ky), Barbara Lee (D-Calif), Walter Jones (R-NC), and Ted Lieu (D-Calif) are calling on Defense Secretary James Mattis to stop a “catastrophic” military operation in Yemen.

“We urge you to use all available means to avert a catastrophic military assault on Yemen’s major port city of Hodeida by the Saudi-led coalition, and to present Congress with immediate clarification regarding the full scope of US military involvement in that conflict,” said a draft of the letter obtained by The Hill.

An oppressive act of war on a country wanting to establish self-rule and take responsibility for its ports and waterways. In fact, Yemenis are the stewards of the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait, which connects to the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean (via the Gulf of Aden) -- an important and strategic shipping lane the world depends on. 

Nonetheless, Saudi Arabia can negotiate terms of use with payment instead of forcefully taking what does not fall under their jurisdiction.

Saudia Arabia is not only motivated by sheer greed, but they are committing an act of war against the ideals of Islam and the ideals of social democracy. 

This Ramadan, let us believe that it is never too late to stand up for social justice. If you have connections to the US, the UK, or the EU -- please urge your lawmakers to stop the assault on Yemen. 

If you don’t have any connections, then talk about the problem with your family and friends. You can go further and share your concerns of Saudi Arabia’s offensive on Yemen over social network sites. We can stop this together if we try. Remember the Greenpeace boat Rainbow Warrior? 

To hear Rep Ro Khanna speak about the assault on Yemen, please see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21qBo3IPq5Y 

WikiLeaks file on Yemen is also informative and can be universally accessed here: https://wikileaks.org/yemen-files.

Shireen Pasha is a contributor.