MV: In heart of the recent events in Palestine, many of our Muslim leaders and activists have choose to boycott their attendance to the White House Iftar. Some have publicly called for a collective boycott of the Iftar.
Others, however, chose to attend the iftar to heighten the chances of speaking to the President personally regarding the horrific events in Palestine. Here’s an example of a Muslim Women activist who spent the two minutes of her talk with Obama in discussing the situation in Gaza. Although I see value in both sides, I personally would like to appreciate her courage and efforts. Here is her story:
By Manal Omar:
So here I am – weighing in on the call to boycott the White House Iftar. Clearly I do not agree. I will repeat what I have been saying. There are two separate issues which is engagement as American Muslims, and our position on US foreign policy especially in the wake of humanitarian crisis. I don’t think the two have to be mutually inclusive on our stances. I believe in engagement, spent my entire life as an American Muslims calling for engagement and am proud to have been at the White House in 1996 when Clinton first made this initiative, and proud to attend with Obama this year.
But I am also not a cheap date. An Iftar does not buy our silence. I took my 2 mins with the President to emphasize the ppl of Gaza (especially the women and children) should not be forgotten.I asked the President to stop talking about this as if it was a war between equal powers, and to remember that there is a crucial issue of the disproportionate use of force and collective punishment, which violates international law. Not only did the President listen, but also he engaged in a discussion.
So I do not apologize for engaging in the event, just as I do not apologize for being an American of Palestinian origin who is horrified about our stance on Gaza!#noneed2apologize
MV: Additionally, according to her discussion, this was Obama’s response:
He stood firm on Israel’s right to protect itself & pointed out that Hamas is behaving irresponsibly. I did not negate those points, but instead used my time to focus on disproportionate use of force, and kept repeating – Mr. President, at least admit there the two sides are not equal and there is a disproportionate use of force. He finally turned to me and said, there is a question of proportionality.