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Compassion, Conscience and Courage are the driving forces behind the Palestine Solidarity of Ansarullah

Compassion and kindness are the most sacred human feelings. They come naturally to humans. Yet in the world we inhabit today, where capitalism is dominant, compassion is seen as a sign of weakness. A person who is compassionate and sharing is frowned upon whereas a person who is aggressive and selfish is revered and respected. Yet human beings who are motivated by love, love for the earth, love for their planet, lover for nature, and love for human beings are driven by love in all that they do. Love is the most powerful energy force. As the greatest songwriter John Lennon said and sang “There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done, all you need is love. Love is all you need” This natural and primitive feeling of love and compassion in a human inspires a human conscience. A conscience that cannot bear to witness injustice and suffering. A conscience motivated by love to act against injustice. The Prophet Muhammad(p.b.u.h) is reported to have said that the most righteous of human beings are those who when they observe an injustice, use their hands and take action to stop the injustice, thereafter comes those who speak out against the injustice and lastly those who recognize the injustice in their hearts and minds. Thus according to the Prophetic standard, God Consciousness is advanced when a person is active in pursuit of social justice and in resisting injustice.

The mainstream media have described them as the Houthis, wild men from Yemen, crazy fellows who for no reason, wake up in the morning, have breakfast and head off to the ocean to attack commercial ships in the red sea which are heading to and from Israel. Not like Pirates to steal money and benefit financially but only because they are wild Arabs.  This is what Biden, Sunak and U.S and U.K. establishment would have us believe. They tell us that the actions of this Yemeni movement has got nothing to do with the genocide in Gaza.

The Yemeni resistance movement tell the world that all of their actions are done to stop the Genocide.         They describe themselves as AnsarAllah “The friends of God” and helpers of the oppressed people. They claim to be acting is solidarity with the people of Gaza. If Israel stops its Genocide, stops attacking Gaza, stops killing the women and children of Gaza and stops starving the people of Gaza, they in turn will stop attacking the ships in the red sea that are linked to the Israeli Occupation. True to their word, at the time of the truce and first hostage exchange, they did not attack any ships in the red sea. They have conducted themselves as principled revolutionaries who value human life. In all of their military actions, they have not killed human beings intentionally. They have gone to great lengths to save the lives of their enemies as was the case in the ship that was sunk, the Zaydi fighters ensured that all of the crew left the ship safely. In total with all of the military operations carried out, they killed a total of 3 people which they did not intend to kill. According to the U.S. Maritime Administration, the Houthis have launched more than 50 attacks, killed 3 sailors, sunk one ship and seized another ship. Uncle Sam has recently listed them as ‘terrorists”. This should not surprise us as Sam also listed Nelson Mandela and other freedom fighters as terrorists but did not list Verwoerd, Ben Gurion and Benjamin the Baby killer as terrorist even though Benjamin Milakowsky, the leader of Israel has butchered more than 15 000 Palestinian innocent kids.

Externally, their dress code may appear primitive but there is a sincerity and integrity to them, an almost primitive purity that is largely absent in the world today. They see the people of Palestine suffering under brutal military attacks and forced starvation and can’t idly watch. Unlike many people the world over who munch on MacDonald’s burgers and at the same time nonchalantly watch the genocide on their TV and smartphone screens. The Ansarallah cannot do that. Injustice and genocide makes them furious and restless. They need to act, they must act. If they don’t act, how will they face Muhammad,  Ali, Fatima and Abu Bakr on judgement day? They are an honourable folk and will not even contemplate appearing shamelessly before God and their revered leaders.  They belong to the Zaydi branch of Islam, followers of Imam Zayd who was a contemporary of Imam Abu Hanifa and Imam Jafar as Sadiq. In the Zaydi School, there is a convergence of both the Shi’i and Sunni traditions with a universal commitment to justice. Zaydis revere and respect both the caliphs Abu Bakr and Umar as well as the Imams Ali and Hussein.   They do not see the world through a sectarian lens. They stand alongside any oppressed person, immaterial of a person’s belief or background. The primary criterion for leadership among the Zaydi’s is to be fervently opposed to injustice and active in taking issue with oppressors. This is the primary qualifying criteria for leadership. Badruddin Al Houthi, the Ansarallah leader who was martyred and preceded the current leader Abdul Malik al Houthi was renowned for his slogan how can we sit in our houses, when outside there is oppression and injustice. A person who is foremost in resisting injustice, is the one who is most qualified for leadership according to the Zaydi’s. What’s the purpose of fasting, praying and going for pilgrimage if you can’t take a stand against injustice? Rather leave the prayer beads and hymns and go dance with the Devil.  You are nothing but a pious fraudster if you don’t stand in solidarity with the struggle of the Palestinians.

These Zaydi Houthis have shaken and rattled the U.S Empire. They have got the empire wiggling and whining. They hurt the empire where they feel it the most, in the back pocket (finances) of the Imperial ass. They have exposed the Empire for all its contradictions and hypocrisy. It is estimated that millions of dollars have been lost in trade in the Red Sea. The Empire has reacted barbarically by bombing the poorest country on the planet. The Zaydi’s in turn have shown the empire the revolutionary middle finger and have persisted with their resistance in the Red Sea. In February, the U.S and U.K attacked the Yemenis in the poorest country on the planet and killed 17 Yemenis. Just recently on the 31st May, they again attacked and slaughtered 16 Yemenis because of Ansarallah’s solidarity with Gaza. After the brutal attacks, the Ansarallah proclaimed “The American British aggression will not prevent us from continuing the military operations in support of Palestine”.

If an infant Palestinian child is butchered every 15 minutes, the Houthi’s see this as abnormal and revolting. No, it cannot be business as usual.

The Houthi’s are inspired by Fatima, the daughter of the Messenger and the leader of Muslim women who advocated for the rights of women and social justice.  Fatima was vehemently opposed to capitalism and the material values that condemned the masses to a life of poverty and misery. She socialised her children to be foremost in the fight for justice. In Fatima’s household, her family was fasting for three days and each day, when it was time to break the fast, a poor person would arrive at the house begging for food, Fatima would then give all the food to the poor person and her family would go hungry. The sons and daughters of Fatima have been at the frontline of resisting injustice. Imam Zayd a direct descendant of Fatima, is the leader and founder of the Zaydi School who faced a similar struggle like that of Imam Hussein. The oppressor had overwhelming military might and there was no chance of a military victory. To choose to resist injustice meant choosing death and this is the path that the brave Imam Zayd had chosen which led to his martyrdom.  The AnsarAllah are the disciples of this Fatimid school of thought which advocates for a just, classless and equal world.

Gandhi was not a peace absolutist, and he specifically lauded revolutionary violence. A reluctance to kill but a willingness to die in the struggle for justice.  Gandhi described forceful resistance in the face of impossible odds such as standing up to an Imperial Power as “almost non-violence”. For Gandhi this forceful resistance meant “a refusal to bend before overwhelming might in the full knowledge that it means certain death”. This aptly describes the resistance of Imam Hussein and Imam Zayd and in general the axis of resistance. The actions of AnsarAllah fall within this category of Satyagraha.

The U.S has its military warships, helicopters and airplanes in the vicinity of Occupied Palestine. It could deliver humanitarian aid in Gaza, particularly at this stage when Palestinians are dying of hunger and famine abounds but it will not do so. They could stop the genocide at any moment if they want to but they don’t want to. When Iran launched its missile and drone attacks against Israel, the U.S used all of its military capability to intercept and protect Israeli lives so that not a single Israeli is hurt. On the other hand the U.S. has not done anything at all to save one Palestinian life as more than 37 000 Palestinian, mostly innocent civilians have been slaughtered by the Israelis.  These Houthis are taking action in the red sea with the primary purpose of stopping the Israeli genocide in Gaza. The Americans are attacking and killing the Houthis to stop them from stopping the genocide. This is the simple truth.

There is also a class solidarity between the Yemenis and the Gazans. Both of these peoples are among the poorest on the planet and are victims of Imperial aggression. The Houthis have captured the imagination of justice seekers the world over by standing up to the U.S and Israel. The words of Bob Marley come to mind “If you are a big tree, we are a small axe, ready to cut you down, sharpened to cut you down.

Iqbal Suleman