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Shuffling and dancing by the side of ‘graveyard’

While hell breaks loose in Gaza, Kingdom of Silence’ indulges in pomp and show. However, Muslim community leaders in India and Urdu newspapers also appear to be in a deep slumber

By Ashraf Shaghil

Sometimes, words prove insufficient to describe a situation properly. Simply put, the Saudi government’s astounding insensitivity and the sufferings of the Palestinian people defy adequate description.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia shamelessly decided to proceed with its grandest entertainment and tourist event, Riyadh Season. Top stars from the entertainment industry, including renowned dancer Shakira, and Bollywood star Salman Khan among others enthral thousands of people.

It has appalled large sections of people all across the globe even though very few spoke on it. The situation is not different in India.

Hundreds of thousands of people around the world, including the US and European countries, are protesting against Israel’s brutal action in the Palestinian enclave; Iran, Turkey and several other nations are calling for an end to the conflict; UN bodies are demanding an urgent ceasefire to carry out humanitarian aid, but here the custodian of Islam’s holiest mosques went ahead with the fanfare in the holy land. UN’s children’s agency UNICEF said that Gaza became the “graveyard for children”.

However, there is severe criticism of the Kingdom on social media platforms, with many drawing similarities with the Meccans who used to organize gatherings with dancing and singing events as a means to oppose Prophet Muhammad’s teachings in the early years of his preaching. Strangely, a similar situation seems to be happening in present-day Saudi Arabia.

 Media, Muslim leaders silent on the ‘Kingdom of Silence’

Muslim leaders too have adopted criminal silence on the disgraceful event held in the holy land. In India, no Muslim organization spoke a word on it.  Muslim community leaders and organizations, often active in issuing press releases and posting social media tweets, have refrained from speaking out against this event.

Even the Urdu newspapers, known for their strong stance against Israel and the US, have remained surprisingly silent. The Urdu newspapers often condemn atrocities, and rightly so, committed against Muslims worldwide, but they have failed to criticise the insensitivity displayed by the Saudi government. Regular columnists, who typically use strong and heavily-loaded language on various issues, appear to be in a deep slumber.

While Riyadh Season may be intended to showcase the country’s progress and economic growth, the timing of this event raises concerns about misplaced priorities. Is it appropriate to prioritize entertainment and tourism during a time when calls for peace and an end to violence are being made worldwide?

While the international community advocates for an end to the violence and a focus on humanitarian efforts, Saudi Arabia’s decision to proceed with Riyadh Season sends a disturbing message, not only to peace-seekers but also to the oppressed Palestinians. Isn’t it time for Saudi Arabia to call for honest introspection?

Woh Lazzat-e-Ashob Nahin Beher-e-Arab Mein

Poshidah Jo Hai Mujh Mein, Woh Toofan Kidhar Jaye

 The Arabian Sea is quite bereft , Of stir, there rise no waves and crest;

The tempest that in me is hid, Has no place to spread and skid!

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