An issue that has tentatively made its rounds is the one of the Dakota Access Pipeline. While larger media outlets have not taken up the story, the voices of the Standing Rock Sioux refuse to be dismissed.
Thousands of protesters have gathered against the construction of the pipeline, environmentalists and tribe members alike, in North Dakota. While the matter was taken to court, the construction company in charge, Energy Transfer, lost no time in both continuing to construct the pipeline over sacred grave sites and using pepper spray and attack dogs against the protesters, six of whom were injured, one of them a child.
While by law, the government is supposed to discuss any possible construction over Native land with the tribes, this procedure was not followed, and the Standing Rock Sioux were not consulted.
Energy Transfer lost no time in both continuing to construct the pipeline over sacred grave sites and using pepper spray and attack dogs against the protesters, six of whom were injured, one of them a child.
We have to speak out against this pipeline on two fronts:
One is global awareness of climate change. Muslims, it is part of our deen, our practice of religion, to be stewards of the Earth and take care of it. Part of our remembrance of Allah involves appreciating the Earth and its many bounties.
Taking action against unhealthy greenhouse gases, therefore, comes naturally. The pipeline could potentially poison the Missouri River and endanger the environment through excessive burning of fossil fuels — and we cannot be silent against this assault.
Another tremendously important reason to oppose this onslaught is the situation of Native tribes in the United States. Native tribes have long suffered in this country. Enough is enough.
We must stand against injustice wherever it shows and help prevent further damage from being done.
Already, grave sites have been desecrated — a deliberate blow to the spiritual tradition and ancestors of the Sioux. Some of these were newly discovered archaeological sites, and there is no turning back.
This encroachment on land is eerily reminiscent to that of Israel over Palestine, edging its way into more and more Palestinian territory, bulldozing olive trees in Budrus, taking away land a chip at a time.
It comes as no surprise that the United States has held such a pro-Israel stance — The U.S. is no stranger to committing similar atrocities, dressed under various names: Manifest Destiny, Westward Expansion and other labels history has given to explain away and water down the blood we have on our hands.
Since there has been silence in the national media over this issue, we at Muslim Girl add to the voices that condemn the construction of this pipeline.
President Barack Obama and his administration overruled the district court’s verdict against the Standing Rock Sioux bid to protect their land. This puts a temporary standstill on the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Obama invites the Standing Rock Sioux to collaborate on a solution and to tighten federal laws against such desecration in the future. However, this does not mean the fight is over.
I support tightening the protests against the pipeline. Sign a petition, call your senator, call the construction company, do what you can to add your voice to stop further destruction of sacred native land.
We need to stand with our brothers and sisters in our fight toward intersectional, environmental and social justice.