Palestinians as Avatar’s Na’vi

What: An eye-catching and creative response to Israel’s illegal occupation

Where: The village of Bil’in in West Bank, Palestine (Wikipedia link)

When: Friday, 12 February 2010

Oren Ziv/AFP/Getty Images

…[T]here are weekly demonstrations against the security barrier Israel is building near the West Bank village of Bilin. In part because they are so regular, these protests tend not to generate much news coverage.

Last Friday, as The Associated Press reported, some of the protesters tried to change things up by painting themselves blue and wearing loinclothes, pointy ears and tails to the demonstration to draw a parallel, they said, between the situation of the Palestinians and the oppressed characters in the film “Avatar.”


Bernat Armangue/AP

“When people around the world who have watched the film see our demonstration and the conditions that provoked it, they will realize that the situations are identical,” said Mohammed Khatib, one of the leading Palestinian protesters against the barrier.

Upon reaching the barrier they were met with Israeli forces who fired dozens of rounds of tear gas and sound grenades. “At first they were surprised,” Khatib said with a laugh. “But then they began shooting and we felt like it was a scene from the movie again, except it was real, and it was taking place in the village.”


Homemade teargas protection:

Darren Whiteside/Reuters

Darren Whiteside/Reuters

Choked by the teargas:

Bernat Armangue/AP

Bernat Armangue/AP

And here’s the video of the town of  Bil’in reenacting Avatar.



Insulting Hinduism, and Islam too

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Dozens of Malaysian Muslims paraded Friday with the head of a cow, a sacred animal in Hinduism, in a dramatic protest against the proposed construction of a Hindu temple in their neighborhood.

The unusual protest by some 50 people in Shah Alam, the capital of Selangor state, raises new fears of racial tensions in this multiethnic Muslim-majority country where Hindus comprise about 7 percent of the 27 million population.

The demonstrators who marched from a nearby mosque after Friday prayers dumped the cow head outside the gates of the state government headquarters. Selangor adjoins Kuala Lumpur.

(Source 1, 2, 3)

Keen to insult another religion, they are perhaps unaware that by going against clearly stated rules in the Qur’an, they are insulting their own religion too. The demonstrators (with claims of hijack or otherwise) are seemingly unaware of what the Qur’an teaches:

وَلا تَسُبُّوا الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ فَيَسُبُّوا اللَّهَ عَدْوًا بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ كَذَلِكَ زَيَّنَّا لِكُلِّ أُمَّةٍ عَمَلَهُمْ ثُمَّ إِلَى رَبِّهِمْ مَرْجِعُهُمْ فَيُنَبِّئُهُمْ بِمَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ

“And insult not those who worship besides Allâh, lest they insult Allâh wrongfully without knowledge. Thus we have made fair­seeming to each people its own doings; then to their Lord is their return and He shall then inform them of all that they used to do.”


Even since the time of Musa (Moses), the same command had been in place. In the face of the most stubborn and violent Fir’aun (pharoah), Allah had declared to the Prophets Musa and Harun:

اذْهَبَا إِلَى فِرْعَوْنَ إِنَّهُ طَغَى

فَقُولا لَهُ قَوْلا لَيِّنًا لَعَلَّهُ يَتَذَكَّرُ أَوْ يَخْشَى

“Go, both of you, to Fir’aun (Pharaoh). Verily, he has transgressed (all bounds In disbelief and disobedience and behaved as an arrogant and as a tyrant).

And speak to him mildly, perhaps he may accept admonition or fear Allâh.”


All these are based on the graciousness, softness, and kindness that encompass what a Muslim must embody and act with:

ادْعُ إِلَى سَبِيلِ رَبِّكَ بِالْحِكْمَةِ وَالْمَوْعِظَةِ الْحَسَنَةِ وَجَادِلْهُمْ بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَنْ ضَلَّ عَنْ سَبِيلِهِ وَهُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِالْمُهْتَدِينَ

“Invite (all) to the way of Your Lord with wisdom and preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best (and most gracious): for Your Lord knows best who has strayed from His path, and He is Best Aware who receive guidance.”



Additional reading:

سبب نزول قوله تعالى: ولا تسبوا الذين يدعون من دون الله