Every man for himself: What double standard is there to be offended by?

Against the backdrop of Israel’s terrorist attacks on Palestinian territories, which are not condemned and even supported by some Western countries, there has traditionally been a wave of complaints about the West’s double standards regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the one hand, and the conflict between Russia and Ukraine on the other.

We are those who support Palestine in its struggle for statehood and Al-Aqsa against the Zionist policy of annexation and occupation, as well as against encroachments on the Islamic holy site. At the same time, we are those who support Ukraine and its Muslims in their struggle for freedom from Russian imperialist aggression.

Being in such a position, we often observe the outrage of those we support regarding the double standards applied to them. This indignation is not only expressed by Palestinians who feel unsupported in their struggle while Ukraine is supported. It is also felt by Muslims in Ukraine, and more broadly in the post-Soviet space, who feel unsupported by the East and the Muslim world while Palestine receives support. They are particularly frustrated that many Eastern governments, including Palestinian ones, effectively support Russia and China despite the oppression of Muslim peoples under their control. Not to mention the lack of support from non-Muslim countries like Ukraine, where Muslims are only a minority community.

If we take a serious look at it, perhaps it is time to stop being outraged by the usual state of affairs, which consists of everyone putting their own agenda and interests first. Just as there is no point in being outraged that the West lets Israel get away with its terrorism, there is no point in being outraged that much of the Arab world, including Palestine, lets Russia off the hook for its terror, not only against Ukraine but also against Muslim peoples and groups in the post-Soviet space. And also that China gets away with its terror against the Uighurs.

A much more serious question that arises in this context is why the Muslim world does not behave towards Palestine the way the Western world behaves towards Ukraine, by offering support? After all, what is the point of demanding something from the West, which has never publicly declared its support for Palestine, when Muslim countries and organizations, whose leaders do declare it, do not go beyond mere words and symbolic support?

So, if there is a double standard to be outraged about, it should be the lack of effective solidarity among Muslim countries, even on issues that they claim to support as matters of concern to all Muslims. In this situation, it is not surprising that Muslim peoples and groups oppressed by China and Russia would rather seek support from the West than rely on Muslim countries and organizations that fail to provide support for a cause to which they pledge allegiance.

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