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Op-Ed – We Will Prevail (inshaAllah) – Opinion

This morning, I woke up with a heavy heart recounting the loss of last night’s attempt to introduce a resolution in Santa Clara to call for a ceasefire. Ceasefire: to stop fighting. Stop the bloodshed. To stop the collective punishment. Stop the blockade medical aid, fuel, water, and other supplies to the people of Gaza. To stop holding people captive. To just stop being inhumane.

Yet with the largest mosque in the country located in Santa Clara, despite thousands of letters, calls, and public testimony, our city council prevented us from INTRODUCING a ceasefire resolution! They rejected our alternate drafts. They even rejected our neutral bland language to add to the United Against Hate resolution. They rejected hearing from nearly 100 waiting to speak in person/Zoom.  They rejected us.

On this depressing, rainy day as I drove my kids to school, I saw something I never thought I’d see on this miserable morning: two brave souls battling the elements to put up banner signs with messages to SAVE GAZA.  SUBHANALLAH! (Glory be to God). They did not let last night’s losses dissuade them from taking action. I believe it was a sign from God to never give up, despite the hurdles, despite every thing and everyone working against us, to NEVER GIVE UP.

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So while last night had a disappointing outcome, we were successful in mobilizing thousands of people from all backgrounds, all faiths, all ages to speak up. We showed up in the HUNDREDS to council meetings. We held dozens of meetings with elected officials/city staff.  We organized in person/virtual planning meetings and multiple chat groups.  We mailed over 24,519 letters to the council!!! We gathered at vigils outside City Hall to pray together. We showed humanity by feeding people regardless of position, with pizza, donuts, and snacks at the long meetings. We showed up and conducted ourselves with grace and dignity.

I am so proud of our community for taking action. We have a unique role here in America to speak up for those who can’t, to take action when others might be jailed for doing the same. We have the power to do this.

While the results are only with God, we must still put in the effort.  We must continue to mobilize and take action whether it be writing/calling electeds, attending related council meetings, using social media platforms, bannering over freeways, VOTING!, supporting supportive candidates like SC Councilmembers Kevin Park who championed the resolution and Raj Chahal who was the sole supporter of this. I thank them for their solidarity!  Their leadership encourages us to also run for office. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em,… and then lead them! We can do this inshaAllah (God willing)!!!

I want to thank everyone for showing up over the past few weeks, especially with our amazing partners with the South Bay Jewish Voice for Peace, DSA, and unions. And the THOUSANDS of people whose hearts were united calling for peace! InshaAllah we will make a change. We have already made a difference.

Thank you!

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18 Comments
  1. Tim Browski 2 months ago
    Reply

    I am feeling your pain as a Silicon Valley resident. It is a shame that elected officials bowed down to money and calls from their base fell on death ears.

  2. Nada S Sarhan 2 months ago
    Reply

    We will prevail, InshaAllah. Thank you for writing this, Sameena!

  3. Sam 2 months ago
    Reply

    Saving lives is and should be a global cause, it is not limited to Sacramento, Washington, or even the U.N. Every human being every organization, every town, every country led by people that believe in human value, human rights, and human life should call for a ceasefire. Your cause is my cause, and should be everyone’s cause. Thank you

  4. Mimi Ana 2 months ago
    Reply

    I agree Santa Clara mayor and other council members, but Kevin and Raj, are sold out, Lisa Gillmore showed her real vampire face, she cared for her doners and not for humanity and not for her constituents. Shame on her and the three members of her council who refused a ceasefire after over 30.000 civilians israel army killed in Gaza, over 10.000 of them were children.

  5. Tehmina 2 months ago
    Reply

    Thank you for expressing the feelings of many(regardless of faith, ethnicity, color) living in this area. Calling for ceasefire is calling for peace!

  6. Tehmina 2 months ago
    Reply

    Thank you for speaking for many of us who live in this area. Calling for ceasefire is asking for peace

  7. Sam I 2 months ago
    Reply

    We all felt your pain. Thank you for putting it wonderfully. And like you said – we keep trying, but only God decides on the outcome.

  8. Sarah 2 months ago
    Reply

    The highest crime against God and humanity that israel has been committing in Gaza must be one of the truest distinguishers between good and evil. The US government has made it clear for decades, what side it is on. Yet the people have made it clear who’s side they are on; the good side, praise and thanks be to God. We as people of faith should take this challenge relying only on God, the changer of hearts. And have the conviction that our efforts will give us peace and a clear conscience, while the other side will not.

  9. Ceasefire NOW 2 months ago
    Reply

    While it truly was a disheartening experience to see the majority of the council members fail to be on the side of humanity, we are still thankful to see mayor Park and council member Chahal be on the right side of history. History will remember, and so will our votes!!

  10. Kiara 2 months ago
    Reply

    Thank you for writing this. People who aren’t being supportive will go down on the wrong side of history.

  11. sadaf 2 months ago
    Reply

    Thank you for writing this. In the words of Rev Munther, the Palestinians will prevail (God willing) but to those supporting this mass murder of Palestinians (through their actions or by staying silent), how will you ever recover your humanity?

  12. Jim 2 months ago
    Reply

    Did the “city” acknowledge that on October 7th, 2023, Hamas broke the existing “truce” and attacked Israel?

  13. Naomi 2 months ago
    Reply

    Thank you Sameena – we’ve run into similar obstacles at our city councils and with our reps; the United States seems determined to use Israel as a proxy to demonstrate its own power and scare other nations into submission. We won’t like that happen!! We’ll build some real power, people power, and confront this genocidal state from within.

  14. Mustafa 2 months ago
    Reply

    As long as we keep on fighting for what is right, we can meet our lord with a clear conscience come Judgment Day. Those who trade the lives of innocents for profit or any so-called reason are and always will be wrong, but just as wrong are those who reap the worldly benefits of those atrocities and say nothing. As history is unkind to brutal murderers like Hitler and his followers, history will be unkind to the Israel, Netanyahu, Biden, the U.S. and other world governments for the last 75+ years, and anyone who does not take a stand against genocide. All of them will be chewing their fingers to the knuckles on the Day of Judgment, they’ll be so nervous; I’m going to face my God with my fingers intact and peace in my heart. Bless you, Sameena, for taking to this platform to inspire us all. JazakAllah khair, assalaamu alaykum.

  15. Khadijah Shareef 2 months ago
    Reply

    Re: We Will Prevail
    Being human is a species, being humane is a verb. Having humanity is bestowed on those who are altruistic. What’s wrong with this picture? No humanity, (bombs kill Palestinian children every 10 minutes). Who are those who claim to be “human” yet won’t stop the bombing of Gaza? A ceasefire could return the status of “humanitarian” to those who claim to be human.

  16. Sara 2 months ago
    Reply

    Thank you for writing this Sameena. I support a Ceasefire NOW! It’s unfortunate that some don’t see that calling for a Ceasefire as a call for PEACE. I can’t understand how people can continue with their normal lives knowing that there is a genocide happening now. Even again means never again for everyone! Every ten minutes a Palestinian children is murdered by the israeli occupation forces. Palestinian children are shot at point blank executions. Civilians (women, men, and children) are the target of this illegal occupation force. Palestinians are semetic people. Murdering Palestinians is Antisemetic therefore zionists are anti-Semitic. Zionist are the new nazis carrying out nazis style criminal acts against the Palestinian people. This genocide must stop now. Ceasefire NOW.

  17. Motie Omari مطيع العمري 2 months ago
    Reply

    Thank you Sameena.
    Justice and peace shall prevail without a doubt. As for those against a ceasefire; we need to change the law to end all dark money that has led to the silence and complicity of recipient politicians that need to be all voted out.

    The crippling sanctions on Gaza’s concentration camp, military occupation of the West Bank and blocking of right of return of Palestinian refugees could’ve been solved decades ago by justice for the Palestinians.

    We shall prevail بي اذن الله.

  18. Sadiya 2 months ago
    Reply

    Thank you for putting into words how many of us feel. I’m utterly disappointed but not surprised by Mayor Gilmore’s and several other council members complete disregard for their Muslim constituents voices and the ongoing genocide in Palestine. When a new acronym WCNSF-Wounded Child No Surviving Family has to be created a few weeks into indiscriminate bombing and calling for a ceasefire is considered controversial the reasons behind it are blatant bigotry, hypocrisy, and racism.
    I appreciate Vice Mayor Park and Council member Chahal for listening to their constituents and siding with humanity. History will remember these decisions and it won’t look kindly upon Mayor Gilmore and the council members who refuse to call for peace or a ceasefire. I hope this is a wake up call for us to make sure we elect officials who will actually represent us, not their own agendas and we need to vote them out.

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