In surfing the web and reading boycotting blogs, I have encountered a common response regarding the issue of whether boycotting Israeli products is fruitful or not. Responses that can no better describe as either selfish or self-centered. On asked for responses of whether Muslims or Middle Easterners would boycott Israeli products the responses ranged from” “It is not helping?” “It is worthless. Don’t see any results!” to “No one is keeping up with it, so why should I?” Our boycotting attempts are much like acquiring a new membership to a health club on New Year’s Eve. We start off resolute to keep in shape but as the year progresses we tend to slack–only to realize that we are unfit simply because we did not follow through. Boycotting is a simple test and yet we fail miserably–so why expect to pass in bigger tests that I assure you will come in the future.
I can only call those responses that undermine the effects of boycotting as selfish and self-centered. We have dissolved into a culture that I call ‘Instant culture” quite like instant milk, rice, and cereal. We want instant results or else! It doesn’t stop there; we want to see the results with our very own eyes. We want to know if our sacrifices (I am being cynical yes!) of giving up our morning cup of Joe from Starbucks, grabbing a fast meal for our kids from McDonalds, or kicking off the caffeine habit of a Mountain Dew-are bearing fruit, provided we eat the fruit too. It is all about self-gratification. How selfish! I do not know if Starbucks, McDonalds, and products such as Mountain Dew have made themselves home in Yemen, it has been a while since I was home myself. But I am sure there are Israeli products in Yemen, so this article applies to us all—whether in Yemen or abroad.
We seem to have lost our patience as Muslims not to mention our persevering for delayed but long term results. It has become all about self-gratification. I urge you not to buy into this instant culture. As Muslims have a promise from Allah the Almighty that He is with those who are patient, but who persevere. A Muslim is never selfish–Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him advised us to plant a seed in our final days-although we may not harvest the fruit ourselves. Seeing results in our lifetime has never been the higher aim of Muslims. Although sometimes Allah the Almighty to keep us steadfast out of His infinite Generosity and limitless Mercy allowed us to see the results of the Danish products boycott, which by the way was a success. Consider for instance Arla’s sales report:
By the end of January 2006, Arla’s sales had come to a standstill in the firm’s key Middle East region as Muslim consumers in several countries boycotted Danish products, and the company was forced to shut down its factory in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. “Our sales in the Middle East have come to a complete stop – in all countries in the region, company spokeswoman Astrid Gade Niels told the BBC. She added: “We have taken 40 years to build up a very big business in the Middle East, and we’ve seen it come to a complete stop in five days. (BBC News, January 31, 2006).
And by the way, some of us are still boycotting Danish products because they still stoically and unwaveringly stand behind their infamous cartoons in the name of freedom of speech. So, if you are not following through with the Danish products boycott, ask yourself if you have good reason not to and inform us thereof. Fact is, that the result of the Danish products boycott was irrelevant, for we Muslims got the ultimate satisfaction of aligning ourselves with Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, against those who were slandering his reputation–the results were left for Allah Almighty to determine.
Now back to the Israeli products boycott. Some may rationalize that it was easy boycotting Danish products, but boycotting Israeli products is a much bigger challenge? Some may even say, the Danish product boycott was for the best of the best that is Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. My question is, aren’t our Palestinian brothers and sisters worthy of a similar sacrifice. This is not an invitation to contemplate on my question. Definitely they are! No doubt! I strongly hold on to Allah’s Almighty advice:
And slacken not in following the enemy: If ye are suffering hardships they are suffering similar hardships; but you hope from Allah, what they do not. And Allah is full of knowledge and wisdom.” (4:104)
The media only shows Palestinian suffering, but we know that if we truly believe in Allah’s Almighty words, the other side is suffering as well. They will never give us the satisfaction of knowing the fact, but I know for certainty they are. I am sure the rockets that they sarcastically calling “primitive” devices made of simple “home-made ingredients” are frightening them out of their wits–and they see in them a great potential. Why the hullabaloo then? Likewise, you might never know the results of your boycott of Israeli products, but trust me if we follow through and make sure others are as well, it will have a tremendous impact, despite the denial and arrogance on the part of Israel and its supporters which will prevent them from confessing to it.
We are 1.5 billion Muslims and we have millions of rapidly growing supporters all over the world right now–look up all the task forces in many European countries that have positioned themselves in front of grocery stores informing the public of what products to boycott. Are they more passionate about our Muslims brothers and sisters than we are? Know this Muslim numbers are insignificant if they do not choose to climb onto the Boycott Bandwagon. But then why do even need to look at the numbers, they are irrelevant right. Just know for sure that if we follow Allah’s orders of pursuing our enemy and not slacken therein –strangling them economically is one of them–according to Allah Lord of the Universe they will suffer and Allah’s promise suffices me. The question is does it suffice you?
Here is a link to all the brands to be boycotted, clicking on the brand tells you more on why they should be boycotted. Please visit the page and make up your own mind.