SHAFAQNA – While I might be preaching to the proverbial choir here I believe there are still a few stagnant misconceptions regarding Islam which needs clearing when it comes to the infamous Israeli-Palestinian conflict. To begin with Israel’s campaign of “return” to the Promised Land has always been frame within a theological narrative, implying therein that the nation of Israel was inherently within its right to demand due return of its land …. Few thousand years on.
I will not debate here whether or not such claim is in fact lawful – theologically speaking or otherwise. What I will however argue is that blood-letting and the systematic oppression of a people on account of their faith and/or ethnic markers is sickening, regardless whose preaching it.
A good friend of mine came across an article on Facebook which essentially rejects claims Israel’s violent occupation of Palestinian territories has played into the violence we are witnessing today: stabbing, sectarian hatred and so on….Here is the link: http://www.israelvideonetwork.com/brooke-goldstein-absolutely-destroys-every-person-blaming-israel-for-muslim-terror/
In true Hasbara fashion Brooke Goldstein flips blame back onto the oppressed – Palestinians, postulating they should not use act out against Israel aggression, and should be castigated for the violence they generate against their oppressors.
In short Goldstein makes the case that the mighty have a divine right over those deemed lesser – that the slave should toe the line and exert absolute restraint in the face of “its” masters’ oppressive rule. I used IT here to underscore Israel’s systematic dehumanization of Palestinians.
Here is my argument:
One – slavery is a repulsive system which should never be condoned, regardless, absolutely and with no caveat.
Two – The United Nations guarantees and asserts nations’ right to resist foreign oppression. I would argue that Palestinians fall within this category since it is their lands, their sovereignty and their rights which have been trampled over by Israel since 1947.
Israel has violated more international laws than any other nations under the face of Earth … all in the name of its Divine right to be. Even if it was so, I would imagine that with such rights would come even greater responsibilities. I remember once upon a time in the Scriptures Israel (Prophet Jacob, the founder and forefather of the nations of Israel) calling for his sons to care, guide and justly lead their people, all people according to God’s commandments. Being the chosen one does not imply throwing biblical tantrums!
The Kingdom of Israel was once a fair and proud kingdom, a light onto nations where the Word was practiced and guided men’s affairs … Israel today has come to rhyme with injustice, plunder, ethnocentrism and sectarian violence. A pity if you ask me …
Now one of Goldstein’s favourite arguments is that Palestinians, and with that all Muslims are inherently anti-Semites and wish to see all Jews dead!
I imagine she’s referring to the venom and vile Wahhabi Saudi Arabia has been spewing on the world to the tune of its billions of dollars.
News flash, Wahhabism is not Islam – Wahhabism stands against all, every and each Islamic tenets, principles, and laws. The fact that Wahhabis have declared an all-out war on Muslims this January 2016 via their media mouthpiece stands testimony to such reality.
Now in the clip prepared by Israel Video Network you will find that statements made from various Palestinian officials have been arranged to reinforce Goldstein’s argument that all Muslims hate Jews and wish to kill them. I will argue that context is a funny thing … and that propaganda is the art of taking things out of context.
One – Not all Palestinians are Muslims … THAT’s just ignorant.
TWO – Palestinians cannot semantically be anti-Semite as they ARE Semite … again, ignorant!
THREE – Islam does not teach hate but tolerance … going one step further Muslims are commanded to respect, and protect the people of the Book: Christians, Jews and all other religious communities hailing from the Scriptures. The Quran asserts: “To you be your religion, to me be mine.”
The Quran teaches that Islam is the continued faithful religion in the same line as the Prophets who were before Muhammad: “The same religion has He established for you as that which He enjoined on Noah … and that which We enjoined on Abraham, Moses, and Jesus (42:13).
The result of this view is that the scriptures given by these Prophets are considered to be genuine scriptures from God: “But say, “We (Muslims) believe in the Revelation which has come down to us and in that which came down to you (Jews & Christians); our Allah and your Allah is One” (29:46).
The best example of the tolerance shown by the Prophet Muhammad to other religions may be the constitution itself, called the ‘Saheefah’ by early historians. When the Prophet migrated to Medina, his role as a mere religious leader ended; he was now the political leader of a state, governed by the precepts of Islam, which demanded that clear laws of governance be laid out to ensure harmony and stability in a society which once had been distraught by decades of war, one which must ensure the peaceful coexistence of Muslims, Jews, Christians and polytheists. Due to this, the Prophet laid down a ‘constitution’ which detailed the responsibilities of all parties which resided in Medina, their obligations towards each other, and certain restrictions which were placed on each. All parties were to obey what was mentioned therein, and any breach of its articles was regarded as an act of treachery.
The first article of the constitution was that all the inhabitants of Medina, the Muslims as well as those who had entered the pact from the Jews, Christian, and idolaters, were “one nation to the exclusion of all others.” All were considered members and citizens of Medina society regardless of religion, race, or ancestry. People of other faiths were protected from harm as much as the Muslims, as is stated in another article, “To the Jews who follow us belong help and equity. He shall not be harmed nor his enemies be aided.” Previously, each tribe had their alliances and enemies within and without Medina. The Prophet gathered these different tribes under one system of governance which upheld pacts of alliances previously in existence between those individual tribes. All tribes had to act as a whole with disregard to individual alliances. Any attack on other religion or tribe was considered an attack on the state and upon the Muslims as well.
The lives of the practitioners of other religions in the Muslim society was also given protective status. The Prophet said:
“Whoever kills a person who has a truce with the Muslims will never smell the fragrance of Paradise.” (Saheeh Muslim)
Since the upper hand was with the Muslims, the Prophet strictly warned against any maltreatment of people of other faiths. He said:
“Beware! Whoever is cruel and hard on a non-Muslim minority, or curtails their rights, or burdens them with more than they can bear, or takes anything from them against their free will; I (Prophet Muhammad) will complain against the person on the Day of Judgment.” (Abu Dawud)
Now I will admit that Palestinians have committed acts of violence which are reprehensible. That being said a lot can be said on the underlying reasons which have led to such an explosion of violence. Palestinians are desperate: desperate for acknowledgement, desperate to reclaim their humanity, DESPERATE. Decades under brutal occupation will do that to you!
Do I personally condone violence? No of course not. But do I believe in self-defence and in just resistance against oppression? Yes, I do.
Palestinians do not have a Jewish problem with Israel, they have a Zionist problem with Imperial Israel.
Do Muslims hate Jews? Why would we hate our own prophets?
No, Wahhabis hate all religions except their own.
This myth Israel has entertained against Muslims to better justify and legitimize its stance against Palestinians need to end. We should be able to judge people on their actions and not see their faith first.
How can anyone claim religious superiority or even vindication through violence and war? Are we not all God’s Creation, are we not all Adam’s children … all shapes and colours included, the good and the ugly included?
Here is what I see when I look at people: God’s infinite mercy. I pray you see it too!
By Catherine Shakdam for Shafaqna