Dr Musa Mohd Nordin
A few weeks ago at an “C.O.M.P.L.E.T.E – Save the Palestinians” information dissemination event in Kuala Lumpur, Dr Musa Mohd Nordin got things rolling. “FREE FREE PALESTINE” he bellowed somewhat unexpectedly into a microphone. The chant and intonation obviously was asking for reciprocation. The crowds responded. “FREE FREE PALESTINE” said once again into the mic, probably hoping and getting a bolstered response second time around. He did it once more and possibly for a fourth time.
Note: No disrespect to Dr Musa Mohd Nordin whatsoever. His efforts to help the Palestinians are mightily praiseworthy.
I joined in on the second time (getting old – brain not as sharp as it used to be), but honestly, I felt a bit awkward; not because of what was being declared, but due to the fact we were expected to do it and really, other than making people focus their attention that the event was underway, it was a fruitless exercise. Other than the few Palestinians who were in the hall with us, no-one else heard. Even if they could have heard us, Our aeriel rarefactions would always achieve a grand total of zero. It’s similar to street protests or demonstrations – activities of near zero accomplishment. I didn’t add my voice to the throng because others did so, rather because of an internal belief to show solidarity with the Palestinian cause – and there’s a little bit of hope that somehow in some ethereal kind of way, the solidarity will empower the Palestinians. But I would have appreciated being asked before hand to do it voluntarily.
And of course it’s not just that event. It’s other occasions too. As an ‘Ashamedly British’ person working abroad, I had to attend a ‘workcentric’ oath taking ceremony pledging allegiance to a Monarch. I had far less courage then and kind of went along with it, adding my own caveats in the process. But afterwards I resented having to go there and felt uncomfortable that I kind of partook in the ceremony. I did so as a foreigner who didn’t wish to show disrespect by just ‘bunking’ off. I am very certain others would have said it simply because others were doing it and that is bad.
Once more, just about two weeks ago, I was at an address of the upper management to the lets say ‘rank and file’ who were told attendance is compulsory. This occasion also saw the undertaking of an oath – with of course more people saying it because others were.
Although apathy is rife, and perhaps requiring attendance curtails that somewhat, I’m not keen on it. What I really don’t like is sheep-dogging the sheep kind of things as infact oath talking is and so is compuslrory attendance notices. The same goes for ’embarrassing’ people into doing things they don’t really want to do.
Getting back to the Free Free Palestine chant, I have much emotion towards the Palestinian people and their cause. Not just because humanity demands it, but other reasons also such as the associated attack on Islam, but does that that solidarity have to displayed to others? The actions I have done will (InshahAllah) help the Palestinians and oppose Zionism. And my thoughts + inner being are already highly in solidarity with them. Although it’s not really important, why should I be put in a situation whereby if I didn’t show solidarity by chanting to others, then they might look down on me as if I am cold-hearted towards the Palestinians?
After the repeated chants, I felt as though a vacuum opened up – ‘so we’ve just chanted… what now? – Nothing!” the near total futility of what we had just done was glaring.
Perhaps I’m ‘over analysing’ all this – which is something that strongly characterises me. But some of the subtleties sometimes annoy me and I cant help pondering on them.
What weird things humans are.