BOYCOTT ISRAEL CAMPAIGN
On this page activists share their experiences on
the picket line.
Marks & Spencers Picket in Manchester
If you would like to share your picket diary then
please contact us.
The idea is that others will be encouraged in to action by reading
Views expressed in the diaries
do not necessarily
represent those of Innovative Minds.
Alaa's Picket Diary
Picket Location: Marks & Spencers, Central London
indeed are the believers
The Holy Quran 23:1
By now I think its safe to call
myself a professional picketer, if such a title exists. I
accidentally stumbled across the secret phrase that made more
people interested in what we had to say. That was not to mention
Israel, but to simply state the truth: Boycott
M&S, they support human rights abuse. This phrase
has been the most effective at igniting the publics
This week we had another handful
of strange cases. Firstly there was the woman who callously
told me to go back to my own country (to which I replied promptly
this is my country!), to those who accused us
of trying to take over the world. I also noticed that more
people were willing to come and discuss the issue of boycotting
with us, such one man who was interested in our aims and asked
for information about other companies to boycott, to which
I was gland to help.
To all those who want to picket,
it really isnt that hard, its approximately 2 hours
of your time, all you have to do is turn up at the location.
One thing that keeps me going is the people that you meet,
the things they say, and learning to answer in a constructive
manner. You dont need to shout or come dressed in a
Palestinian flag, just look at it as a way of educating people
who know nothing but what the media tells them. Once they
know the truth all we can hope for is that they have a conscious
and do the right thing.
let those fight in the way of Allah,
who sell their worlds life for the hereafter;
and whoever fights in the way of Allah,
then be he slain or be he victorious,
We shall grant him a mighty reward
The Holy Quran 4:74
An Egyptian lady said to me, during
last weeks picket, that she was afraid for us picketers, she
was afraid of what M&S or the Zionist might do. I think
what she really meant was that we werent aware of the
power the Zionists have. On the contrary, I think we all know
how much power they have; they have as much power as we choose
to give them. The plague of powerlessness that has gripped
the Muslim ummah, has plunged people into a state of complacency
and appeasement that goes against all our Islamic beliefs.
Its time for all of us to pull ourselves out of that
This weeks picket had the
usual low number of people turning up, but this time at least
three brothers came, and towards the end of the picket we
were also joint by two sisters and brothers. Armed with a
loudspeaker, one of the sisters, who had a natural gift of
public speaking made such a heart warming appeal to the public,
asking them not to shop at M&S and telling them why. This
courageous sister was verbally attacked by Zionist passers-by;
one lady was so ferocious that her voice nearly drowned out
the noise of the loudspeaker.
Why is it that these Zionists
can so wholly and confidently argue for their terrible cause,
while we Muslims who have truth on our side, who know what
justice is, are so afraid to speak out? Why is it that we
are passive when God tells that He is always with those who
act for His sake? It is our duty to make use of the freedom
we have now to help our Ummah achieve its freedom, and doing
little is far better than doing nothing.
The next pickets will be as usual
on Saturday from 12-2.00pm outside M&S in Edgware Rd,
Saturday 6th July
In comparison to the dismal turnout
at previous Selfridges pickets, this picket outside M&S
has a surprisingly high attendance (alhamdullilah) with 12
brothers and sisters (and may I add, as usual, more sisters
An hour into the picket a leaflet
shortage crisis occurred and so we had to photocopy a whole
lot more. Even with the poor quality of the photocopies we
still managed to hand out all of those too, so it was a very
successful day in terms of distribution, and successful because
of the encouragement we received from the majority of the
public (maybe this is not so surprising since this was Edgware
Having said this we did get a
few not nice comments such as one man telling us to stop
killing innocent people and others who gave back the
Anyone who pickets know the great
feeling you get afterwards when you feel that you really did
something to help your fellow muslims. I know people are generally
apprehensive about picketing and I used to be like this too,
but honestly the reward you get out of it far outweighs any
of the reasons you may have not to want to do it.
The next London picket will be
next Saturday the 13th of July, outside Edgware Rd, 12-2.00pm.
Inshallah well see more of you Londoners there.
We made our way to M&S with
some apprehension, thinking that it was just going to be three
girls with hardly any experience of picketing, and from earlier
MPAC picket accounts we expected to encounter a mob of Zionists.
Instead to our delight, as we made our way down Oxford St
we began to see members of the public with bright yellow leaflets
and we managed to spy out the words "Zionist", "boycott",
"Palestine" on them. As we got closer to the store
we heard someone shouting through loudspeakers, and to our
surprise there was a picket already taking place with a stall,
banners and people distributing leaflets and collecting petition
With new confidence we began to
distribute our material and after an hour we decided to move
down to the Edgware Rd M&S store as activity there was
non-existent. Knowing full well that our aim was to especially
target the Muslim shopper, Edgware Road was really the best
location for it. In Edgware Rd we distributed all of our material
in less than an hour and met with some very interesting if
somewhat incoherent members of the public. We received lots
of encouragement from the predominantly Arab public in Edgware
Rd. An Algerian Man advised us to target the Saudis with our
campaign; we had no idea they shopped at M&S more than
any other nationals?!
It was overall a good experience.
We met some very amusing characters! Including an Iraqi Jewish
lady who seemed determined to talk us down and spouted all
sorts of inaccurate and unsubstantiated statements. Recalling
the Muslim etiquette of dealing with such people we patiently
took what she said and tried to explain the facts to her though
in vain. At which point 3 students took interest in the conversation
- their intention it turned out was to advise and support
our cause. Alhamdillah.
Later in the day an amusing Egyptian
approached us with the words 'this is a waste of time and
money'! This was something we didn't understand but just shows
how much work we have to do to get the message across to the
We plan to be at Edgware Road
this Saturday too from 12-2pm.
Alhamdillah we can say the first
day was very successful and we all felt very motivated and
encouraged. Just the day before we were apprehensive but it
just shows you what you can do when you put your trust in
God and do your duty.
Zubeda's Picket Diary
Picket Location: Bolton
This weeks picket outside
M+S in Bolton was attended by a grand total of 7 people. That
figure includes 2 girls under 13, and an 82-year-old man.
Needless to say the 82-year-old was the only male, non-Muslim
who did attend. I figured the brothers must have been at home
doing the washing up or shopping in the sales to counter gender
On the whole, the picket did attract
a good number of responses from the passing public, and the
images of the poor Palestinian boy being persecuted by the
Army did make those coming out of M+S have a good chance to
look and think. Often we find that people are constantly asking
us questions about suicide bombers and how we can justify
supporting Yasser Arafat. For example, one woman asked me
whether signing the petition (condemning atrocities, supporting
the rights of Palestinians etc) meant she was supporting the suicide
bombers. After a good 10 minute discussion she signed the
petition. What does this show? People seem to be latching
on to the media vocabulary and one sided imagery of alleged
Palestinian brutality and bombings etc as justification that
deserve what is happening to them. It just shows how much
work needs to be done.
Yes, people may say that picketing
achieves nothing; signing petitions changes nothing;
BUT ITS BETTER THAN DOING NOTHING. After all, if we dont
speak out for others- when clear injustice is being done,
tomorrow when that injustice is done against us, who is going
to speak up for you? Just Think about it...
Saira's Picket Diary
Picket Location: Coventry
Br. Karim, a Libyan in Coventry,
I met brother Karim his wife & child out
side M & S store in Cove city centre. I was giving him
a leaflet on Boycott Israeli goods, when a council worker
approached me and asked me to stop leafleting. I said to him
"There is no law against giving some information to a
friend is there"?
The council worker said "He
is not your friend you were just giving him a leaflet as a
The brother had walked away a
few steps by then, i said to the council worker with so much
confidence " No you are wrong he is my freind, come with
me and ask him, if you don't believe me"
I walked upto brother Karim with him
and asked " Are you my friend or not" he was a bit
confused at first he had never seen me before. I repeated
my question " This man wants to know whether you are
my friend or not".
By then he got it and he said
to me looking at the council worker "Of course you are
my friend" The council worker was so superised and little
amazed at his response, deep down he was so sure that we had
never met before, but he appologised for not believing me.
Br Karim advised me to take care
in future and gave me his e-mail address to let him know if
there is anything he can do to help.