OPINION: Challenging the sheep who give donations to Gaza
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OPINION: Challenging the sheep who give donations to Gaza

Noor Dahri relays a conversation at his local mosque where he challegnd fundraising for Gaza

Cargo entering Gaza at Kerem Shalom crossing
Cargo entering Gaza at Kerem Shalom crossing

It was the night of 28th Ramadan. I was sitting on the floor of the Mosque (Masjid) after the night prayer and waiting for Taraweeh (Mid Night Prayer of the Ramadan).

At that point, a person from the Muslim Aid, a UK charity organisation, stood up and started asking for donations (charity) of £13,000 for the water plant in Gaza.
He asked a question from the people sitting in a Masjid: what is the one of the main causes of the death of the people of Gaza?

Three people replied, 1- The US. 2- Israel kills Gazans. 3- Hunger due to the blockade.

The Muslim aid worker replied, “CLEAN WATER, they have no clean water to drink, either they have seawater or sewerage water to drink. Gaza is an open-air prison and not even a fly can enter the Gaza strip without Israeli authority’s permission.”

Therefore, they immediately need to buy a clean water plant and transfer it into the Gaza. Surprisingly, in a few minutes, he raised £5,500.

Noor Dahri at the Kotel in 2017

Normally, I don’t talk about these issues in public or in Masjid but at that time I could not hold myself back and asked a very simple question but the whole team of the Muslim Aid couldn’t answer my question.

It was a discussion that lasted about 10 minutes between myself and these men in the Masjid.

It was the first time; I was discussing such a thing in public or in a Masjid about Israel as it was not easy for me to raise the issue due to my personal safety.

It was the month of Ramadan, where we should fear Allah alone while speaking the truth, therefore I held my breath, strengthened myself and thought many times whether I should intervene or not, but finally I ignored all fearful thoughts and raised my hand to ask a question.

Can I ask a question brother, if you do not mind? I said out loud.

I sought permission from a Muslim Aid representative who was busy collecting charity of thousands of pounds from the UK taxpayers by promising Jannah (paradise) to whoever paid them at least £1,000.

He granted me permission with a smiling face. I told him that if he answers my question, I would definitely contribute a huge amount in his cause. He was so happy to hear it and shouted TAKBIR and the rest of people in a mosque responded with ALLAH AKABR loudly.

My Question:

Noor at Independence Hall in Israel

Brother! You recently said, “Gaza is the only open-air prison in a world” and you also said “Not even a fly can enter Gaza without Israeli authority’s permission” so my question is HOW WOULD YOU TRANSFER SUCH A BIG WATER PLANT IN TO GAZA WITHOUT ISRAELI AUTHORITY’S HELP?

Everyone in the Mosque started looking at me as they were not expecting such an unpleasant question from a person who was seated on the Mosque floor, having a long beard and wearing long white Arab dress (Thobe) with matching round Muslim cap.

I wasn’t worried about what people were thinking, but I was just curious to know what a Muslim Aid worker would answer to that question. I knew that it was a simple and yet a very deep question. I also knew that he would answer my question in order to get a huge amount in donation which I promised him before asking the question.

I was just interested in his answer and nothing else, because if he answers my question, he will theoretically dig his own grave in a Masjid and will not be able to ask for donation for Gaza ever, but he was clever enough.

As I stared at his face looking for an answer, for a few seconds his face colour went pale to dark after hearing my question. He was not expecting any challenges in a mosque during his call for donation.
He simply replied to my question:

“Brother, it was a good question but unfortunately, I do not have any answer of your question as I do not know how to transfer this plant in Gaza without Israeli permission. However, I have a manager who is expert in Gaza donations and he would be happy to answer your question.”

He called his Muslim Aid manager who was busy taking donations from people via hand size bank card machine. He came to the front and held a mic to answer my question. He seemed to be unhappy towards his colleague for referring him to answer my question.

The manager replied to my question:

“Brother, we have people on the ground in Palestine and Gaza who will help us to transfer the plant into the Gaza strip. We have been working there for nearly 30 years.”

Of course, I was impatiently waiting for someone to actually answer my question and not simply reply “I do not know the answer”, so now I got a chance to counter his answer with some more cross-questioning.

Me: Jazak’Allah brother for answering my question. Please clarify your answer, do you have Muslim Aid workers working on the ground in Gaza or Muslim Aid is collaborating with charity organisations from the Gaza strip?

Muslim Aid Manager: Yes, we have our own people from Gaza on the ground working with the Muslim Aid and they will help us transfer the water plant in there.

Me: Thank you for the clarification brother but I am sorry to say, I still did not get my answer to my question, which I will repeat again, how would you transfer water plant in Gaza without ISRAELI AUTHORITY’S PERMISSION?

Muslim Aid Manager: There are three ways to transfer the plant and we would see which one suits us to transfer is safely.

Plant in full in a big lorry 2- Plant in small pieces 3- Plant via tunnels from Egypt.

Me: But, a brother from Muslim Aid just claimed that “not even a fly can enter into Gaza without Israel’s notice” so in this case, you cannot transfer plant in full or even in pieces without Israel’s permission.

Now the matter about tunnels in Egypt. I’m sure you know that Egypt has watered all tunnels from Egypt to Gaza and even if you transfer through any of the remaining tunnels, it is illegal and there’s no guarantee of transferring the full plant in Gaza safely. It’s a great risk even to the lives of the aid workers. So, which option would you use to transfer the plant as we are UK tax payers so we should know where we donate our money and how it would be 100% useful in Gaza?

Muslim Aid Manager: Sorry brother, I have never been there and I am new in this organisation so I cannot answer your question. It’s better you call our London head office and ask the question; they may answer your question.

After that, they did not ask for further donation and winded up their charity work and the Imam of the Mosque prepared everyone for the Taraweeh prayers.

After finishing the prayer, while I was leaving the mosques, the Muslim Aid manager stopped near me and said:

“Brother, no one ever asked a single question from us whenever we asked them for donations for Gaza. THEY ARE SHEEP, whatever we asked, they kept their head down and paid us. You are the only one who challenged us and asked a question which is your right and we will make sure that next time we fully prepare ourselves to answer any question.”

Me: I just asked a question that I, as a UK tax payer, must make sure that my money does not go into the hands of terrorists who kill innocent civilians and somehow those who paid like SHEEP are also responsible in innocent deaths and Allah will surely question them for their contributions.

He did not reply and I left a mosque afterwards.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I simply asked an easy question from the charity organisers and they could not answer my question. They did not have the guts to admit that every day, Israel allows hundreds of tons aid into the Gaza Strip on humanitarian grounds because if they admit it, how would they call it a genocide, or how would they single out Israel in order to run their charity shops.

If they cannot answer my simple question, how would they answer my hundreds of other questions that I not only asked but answered in my latest book: “Terra Nullius: The Rebirth of a Land without Peace”.

The Book “Terra Nullius” is my struggle between religions, cultures and ideologies. This book is written especially for the Muslim community of South Asia because their knowledge about the historical conflict of Israel Palestine, identity and land owning is very limited. The world media always broadcasts one sided story whenever the conflict arises between both nations.

Noor’s book cover
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