Saturday, June 28, 2008

Why oppression is worse than slaughter; Commentary on Qur'an, chapter 2, verse 217

God says in the Qur’an, in chapter 2, verse 217, the following:

“They ask thee concerning fighting in the prohibited month say: “Fighting therein is a grave offense. But graver it is in the sight of God to prevent access to the path of God, to deny Him (God) , to prevent access to the Sacred Mosque, and to drive out its members. Tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter.

Nor will they cease to fight you until they turn you back from your faith if they can. If any of you turn back from their faith and die in unbelief their works will bear no fruit in this life and in the hereafter they will be companions of the fire and will abide therein.

The recent cease fire negotiated between Hamas and Israel is perhaps the most potentially important signed agreement between Israel and any group of Palestinians since the beginning of the Palestine/Israel conflict 60 years ago. Those who know the history of Israel’s founding know that Israel is an idea that took shape in blood. The Nakba or great catastrophe, along with the Dier Yasin massacre are examples of the brutal tactics that were employed against the Palestinian people from almost the first day of Israel’s so called independence. Whereas history has been revised to make it appear as though Israel came into being innocently and due to international altruism towards the Jewish people, the truth is that Israel, by necessity had as its original and founding intent, to displace the indigenous Palestinian people from Palestine by any means. It is apparent now that it was always the intent of the Western powers to assist Israel in that task.

It is not secret, nor is it difficult to understand why Israel has sought to ethnically cleanse the Palestinian people from Palestine and to kill them. It was necessary to displace or to eliminate the Palestinian people because Israel was founded with dual objectives, both of which required ethnic cleansing in order to succeed. According to its ideological founder Theodore Hertzel, Israel was to be established as a safe haven for a Jewish people who for centuries had suffered from various types of humiliation and democide (murder by governments) in Europe. For the West, Israel’s founding represented another attempt at achieving Western hegemony over the Arab Muslim world, and control of its resources through colonization, a goal that was sought after long before the British mandate or the UN partition of historic Palestine. The occupation of South Africa by Dutch Boers was the template for occupation and displacement of Black and Arab peoples in Africa and the Middle East. The destruction of the Ottoman Caliphate and subsequent secularization and supposed democratization of Turkey, and some parts of the Arab Muslim world had already been accomplished before Israel’s founding, setting the stage for the implantation of European colonies in the Muslim world.

Of all of the attempts at establishing Western colonies in the Arab Muslim World and Africa, the South African project is eerily similar to project Israel, and more so than any other colonization of the Arab Muslim world, or other parts of Africa or Asia. Aside from the establishment of a Jewish state in the Muslim world, the aim of colonization generally seems to have been the secularization of the Arabs by removing Islam from power in the region through the destruction of the Ottoman Caliphate, and to seize control of the regions natural resources, all to be accomplished with the cooperation of the puppet Arab regimes and monarchies. This should put the Bush administration’s democratization project and New Middle East scheme into perspective for those not familiar with Europe’s century’s long history of migration and misadventures in the Arab Muslim world and Africa under the cover of democratization, secularization, and free markets. Theodore Hertzel who was a European Zionist, and a secular Jew, understood Europe’s appetite for the Middle East and Africa, and in his treatise on the Jewish State, he makes it clear that in exchange for Europe’s money and protection, the Jewish State would forever serve the West as a military outpost against the spread of Islam into Europe and the West. Hertzel said that Israel would accomplish through ethnic cleansing, what Europe had failed to accomplish in the Crusades. This should make it clear that Israel was created for the purpose of ethnic cleansing, and to symbolize Western Judeo/ Christian Zionist domination of the region, its people and natural resources, and ultimately the world.

Not surprisingly, neither Israel, nor South Africa represents the first destructive collaboration between the Zionist Church and the secular state resulting in another type of exploitation of African resources. The African slave trade which was a product of European religious dogma, racial supremacism and greed, was protected and facilitated by the same type of Zionist interpretation of the Old Testament of the Bible that is employed by people like John Hagee, Pat Robertson, Rod Parsley and other so called Evangelicals today. The literal and highly politicized ideas taught by the historic Zionist European Church included the idea that whites or Europeans were racially superior to non whites and that by virtue of Jesus’ shed blood, the European Christian had become the News Jews, chosen people and heirs to the throne of David, thereby the divinely decreed and rightful masters of the world. Africans were depicted as sub human, without souls, and cursed by God to forever serve the white master who had descended from Noah’s favored son, while Blacks were depicted as the descendants of Noah’s cursed son Cush. Cush was supposedly cursed to servitude, according to the Old Testament, because he had laughed at his drunken father’s nakedness. This is the very same type of false Biblical interpretation of non authenticate texts, namely the Old Testament, that provided moral cover for the apartheid regime established in South Africa by Dutch Boers who claimed to be Jews and heirs to a promised land, and the European Jews represented by Theodore Hertzel who made the same claim about Palestine, and who have established an apartheid regime in Palestine, and the historic American slave traders and owners of this country’s past.

The similarities between South Africa and Israel don’t end with this controversial claim of supremacism. The brutal ethnic cleansing, the apartheid system that aimed at separating the so called European Dutch Jews from the Africans, and the Bantustans that were created to form a new homeland for the displaced South Africans have been duplicated almost exactly by the Israeli’s in Palestine who also claim to be Jews. The Dutch Boer’s Promised Land was not surprisingly near the diamonds and minerals and other natural resources of Africa, while the promised land of the so called Israeli Jews is located in a region of the world that is rich in oil and natural gas.

These similarities and ironies might explain better than any historian could, that the Israel project had dual purposes and both required the ethnic cleansing of the coveted land. From the religious perspective Jewish Talmudic law prohibits the cohabitation of Jews and Gentiles, and prohibits equal rights or any type of equality between Jews and Gentiles since they consider themselves the chosen people of God, which is the basis of Jewish supremacism, which is what Jewish Zionism is. The Christian Zionist Church has adopted the Talmud as a legal authority over the Church, along with the Jewish Old Testament, since they believe that by virtue of the crucifixion, they are also Jews, or chosen people who are obliged to honor and obey the contemporary Pharisees of Judaism who preside over the 21st century synagogue with the laws of the Old Testament and also the guidance of the Talmud.

Western colonialism in the Arab Muslim world and Africa is a history of both oppression and slaughter, carried out for dual purposes that include the satisfaction of Judeo/Christian religious sensitivities, and the greed of the resource poor Western governments.

Hamas/Israeli cease fire as first step towards liberation of both Palestine and Israel

The Qur’an suggests to us in Chapter2, verse 217, that the oppression resulting from project Israel is worse than the slaughter. The present Israeli/Hamas cease fire addresses both the oppression, and the slaughter, yet has made the alleviation of the oppression a greater priority. This decade’s long oppression has reached its climax in the imposition of the siege on Gaza that has led to deaths from curable illness, starvation and also from Israeli military attacks. This oppression includes the psychological trauma, and mental illness that is being created in the populations of both peoples, through what is obviously collective punishment in Gaza, and worse, a form of mass torture being carried out against Palestinians with impunity right before the eyes of the UNSC, and also the international courts, and the supposedly civilized world, that has caused Israel to be among the most hated and distrusted places in the world, and its people most despised.

What is not so obvious is the fact that the occupation is also destroying Israel. Israel’s citizens, who include Arab Christians as well as Muslims, Africans, South Asians and others, separate from the militant European Jewish settler’s movement, are equally victims of the Judeo/Christian fanaticism and racism that is threatening the entire world. In a noted tradition that is accepted as authentic by many schools of Islamic jurisprudence, it is suggested that the Muslim believer must have as a goal, not only saving the innocent from wicked oppressors, but we must also seek to save the oppressor. The hadith explains this type of salvation as liberation from being an oppressor, saying we are to liberate oppressors from oppressing. The Qur’an seems to support this idea, saying in one verse that the believer must recognize, and oppose the serious danger of the oppression that inflicts suffering not only upon the innocent, but also on the oppressors and perpetrators of violence and crime.

What is at stake?

To understand this comparison between oppression and slaughter better we should examine closely God’s explanation in the Qur’an. The Qur’an says,” Graver” than slaughter is, “to prevent access to the path of God, to deny God, to prevent access to the Sacred Mosque, and to drive out the people of the Mosque.” In all of these instances the oppressive power is denying access, and driving the people out of a place where they have a right to be. Also, we know from the hadith that the entire world can be considered a place of worship (honor of God) or mosque, including our homes and our homelands, but only when they are free of idols, secure, stable and freed from all types of gross impurity.

The noted verse says that to prevent access to the path of God is graver in the sight of God than slaughter. Such prevention of access can perhaps be explained as creating an environment that is not conducive to the study of religion, or the practice of faith. This could be something as simple as making it impossible for a person to survive without committing sins like stealing, selling drugs, or prostitution, etc. And /or it could be as complex as creating such material, psychological and spiritual hardships that a previously believing people begin to question God’s existence, His love for His creation, and His power to save and sustain us, which could be explained as tests beyond what the people can bear.

The verse 217 also makes it clear that the intent of the oppressor, whether obvious to any of the parties to the conflict, is to cause believers to abandon their belief in One God, in His sovereign right to govern what He created, and His unique ability to protect us when we are obedient and disobedient, and to guide us to salvation and liberation, and what is best in this life and the afterlife.

Even at a distance from Palestine, it is hard to read that everyday Israel is violating the cease fire with more killing, while refusing to abide by the other terms of the agreement that call for opening the crossings thereby ending the brutal and illegal economic siege that is being inflicted on Gaza. It seems that Israel is persistent in its killing and its oppression. Still, in my humble opinion, it is incumbent upon the Palestinian Christian, and Muslim believers to stick to the terms of the cease fire. The Qur’an says in such circumstances that we must put our trust in God, and that He is our witness, who stands as surety for our oaths, and who protects us from the cunning and violence of our adversaries if we are sincere in our intent and purpose.

May God help, protect and guide.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The calm after storms in Palestine

“Though tears may fall throughout the night, joy comes in the morning”
The Book of Psalms

Congratulations to Hamas, Israel and Egypt on the announcement of a six month cease fire agreement. According to the Palestine Information Center, ( the ceasefire is to begin Thursday morning at 6:00 am. The Information Center is also reporting that along with an end to Israeli attacks on Gaza and also an end to Palestinian retaliation against Israel, the ceasefire agreement includes an Egyptian and Palestinian commitment to get the Rafah crossing opened, essentially ending the brutal and illegal Israeli economic siege on the Gaza Strip, allowing delivery of much needed humanitarian aide and access to health care. Delegations from Hamas, the EU and Fatah are to meet and to finalize the plans for opening the crossings.

If this cease fire succeeds, it will end the incessant bloodletting that has been taking place in Palestine since the beginning of the illegal occupation and initial attempts by Zionist terrorist organizations to ethically cleanse Palestine. It was Israel’s illegal attempts at ethnic cleansing that resulted in the formation of the PLO and other Palestinian liberation and resistance organizations. In spite of the propaganda being disseminated by the pro-Israel disinformation mills disguised as US media; the world knows that there is no question about which came first, the Israeli chicken or the resistance egg. Israel’s illegal occupation gave birth to Palestinian resistance, and it was Israeli violence and its repeated military attacks on mostly unarmed Palestinians that led to Palestinian rocket attacks on Southern Israel. The cease fire ends this cycle of violence that has resulted in too many deaths on both sides.

Palestine, and Egypt working cooperatively on the development of the Palestinian shoreline to create a Port and natural gas industry that can attract private investment to that region has a better chance of changing the future of the region’s people, than the failed “New Middle East” strategy that was the premise of former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Clean Break policy paper that served as the blueprint for the genocide in Gaza, US invasion and destruction of Iraq, and the planned attacks on Syria and Iran.

The cease fire creates a new hope, and opportunity, even for Israel. It is a hope that is based upon the possibility of a new reality that casts Israel, rather than as an enemy, and European colonial military outpost in the heart of the Muslim world, as an independent nation/ state, that is working in peace and cooperatively along with its neighbors to stabilize and develop the region for the benefit of Israel and its neighbors, who should be its natural trading partners. As the economies of the West stall and sputter, it is an excellent time for Israel to consider its true independence, and its future as part of a Middle East economic bonus that is possible if the oil rich countries now flush with cash can be convinced that the region is stable, that Israel is sincere and that it is capable of peace.

If Israel proves that it is able to stand up as an independent entity that is capable of acting in its own interest, working cooperatively and peacefully with its neighbors in the region, ending illegal settlement building, and withdrawing to its pre 67 borders, a new Middle East will come into being. If Israel does not want to withdraw to its 67 borders, it might consider a bi-national or one state arrangement instead. On the other hand, if Israel continues to invest its future in the likes of the warmongers John Hagee, Pat Robertson and the other racist Zionist Christians and Jews who have caused the wars that led to the deaths of too many innocent Palestinians, Israelis ad Americans in pursuit of a fantasy that has no basis in any Holy Scripture, there is no hope for peace, and even worse, there is every likelihood that there will be more war.

A tariff free trade zone in Gaza and a Port along with a natural gas industry spells “New” Middle East in words not spoken, nor understood by the likes of Netanyahu, Feith, Perle and the other Clean Break conspirators who invested Israel’s future in a demoralizing war of attrition and genocide in Gaza, and illegal invasions death and destruction in other Muslim countries at US expense. Israel should recognize that there is no greater or more meaningful type of recognition than inclusion, and peaceful cooperation towards shared goals. It can happen once its neighbors are sure that Israel is capable of being a good neighbor and it no longer poses a nuclear or military threat to its neighbors due to its pursuit of expansion through military conquest, while using the US military as its proxy, and the US taxpayer as its financiers.

The ceasefire, if it holds, will, God willing, be a win/win/win/win proposition that even benefits the US. The cease fire represents an opportunity for our own clean break from an infantile Israel that can grow up and take its place among the world’s nation/states as a free and independent entity, part of a region that will accept its presence, yet will never tolerate its return to violence, expansion, exclusivism and ethnic cleansing. Israel’s independence will allow us to lessen foreign and military aide to Israel which has its own weapons manufacturing industry, its own military, economy and its own government. If Israel is to be sovereign, it must be independent, and self sufficient. An independent Israel also lessens its appeal to religious fanatics who are willing to kill us all for the false hope of rapture that is presently threatening to push us into another world war. Our own independence will also be restored, which allows us to formulate a foreign policy that reflects, and is in the interest of the United States, and its sovereign people.

Congratulations world, there is a ceasefire between Hamas and` Israel that will, God willing begin Thursday morning at 6:00am, and that will last for six months, and perhaps more. It is an historic possibility and milestone whose potential should not be underestimated. The international Muslim and Arab community should send special thanks to former US President Jimmy Carter who broke the barriers of fear and hate that helped make this break through possible, and also to the North African Muslim countries, and their leaders who offered to break the siege and to provide Gaza with fuel, and scheduled brief openings of Rafah Crossing for health care and humanitarian purposes. The power of these gestures were themselves a breakthrough that without doubt, signaled the world that for all intent and purpose, the siege was at that moment, broken. We should also send our eternal love to Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah who stood steadfast on behalf of Gaza and all of Palestine, at great risk to their own interests, and security. Everyone knows that the desire for war with Iran, Syria and Hezbollah is directly related to their courageous stands for liberation, justice and peace for the Palestinian people.

To those who question whether Hamas acted out of weakness or strength as it pursued this period of calm and ceasefire, Hamas spokesman Abu Zuhri’s statement posted on the Palestine Information Center site says that Hamas sees the ceasefire as a fruit of resistance, and says that its strength played a part in attaining the calm, and will also play a part in preserving the calm. He said that Israel is expected to also live up to its obligations under the agreement.

May God help and guide His Ummat, forgive us all for our sins and grant us peace and prosperity in exchange for our constant prayers, our broken hearts, our many sacrifices and our tears. Ameen.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Washington cannot change without change in US policy towards Israel

Talks of US and or Israeli attacks on Iran, along with the Democrat’s presumptive nominee for the presidency, Barak Obama’s remarks at AIPAC, that Jerusalem will remain Israel’s undivided capitol, are signs that nothing much will change in Washington’s foreign policy, no matter who wins the presidency. That’s bad news for the United States. The rest of the world is already preparing for at least 4 more years of US self destruction for the benefit of Israel. It’s only the US taxpayer who will be shocked to learn that the US has lost its hard earned credibility and its prestige over the years to accommodate a ghoulish Israeli penchant for death and destruction as public policy. The American tax payer will also be shocked to learn that our country’s foreign policy is based upon the irreligious and heretical belief that we can force God’s symbolic hand and bring about Armageddon so that a certain click of religious fanatics who wrongly call themselves Christians, can be raptured while the rest of us go to hell. It’s no secret to anyone now, that the US has been taken captive by a Judeo/Christian movement that is pretty much dictating US foreign and domestic policies, and also our country’s march to international isolation, condemnation and Armageddon, which by the way, includes the complete annihilation of Israel, not by Iran, but rather by the Judeo/Christian god who ever that might be, excluding Jesus or Yahweh, a/k/a Allah, a/k/a Jehovah.

The Judeo/Christian lobby, which consists of AIPAC, and also John Hagee’s pro-Israel organization and most of the Jewish American organizations worked successfully to co-opt the US media, and our legislature, and have and continue to use them both to carry out a campaign of defamation and vilification of Islam, Muslims, and Palestinians that makes McCarthyism look like a stroll in the park. Their influence over the executive branch of our government is also well known, which explains how Elliot Abrams, Condoleezza Rice and others at the US Department of State, and NSA can get away with scripting policies that underwrite genocide in Gaza, and nothing is said or done to stop them. The media will not facilitate a debate on the Gaza siege or anything related to US Middle East policy except whether or not we should negotiate with Iran and Hamas, which makes little sense since as the debate is ongoing, so is the genocide in Palestine, and the very real threat that faces Iran. So what’s to talk about, when we will stop killing and threatening, or when they will stop letting us?

Al Ma’an News is reporting from Palestine that PA president Mahmoud Abbas has called for a dialogue with Hamas that should begin immediately and without pre-conditions. According to Al Ma’an, the dialogue is aimed at unifying Palestine, and ending the animosity between Fatah and Hamas. It’s a wonderful idea whose time nearly passed. On the other hand, Fatah negotiator Saed Erakat reportedly said that all pre-conditions for the Fatah/Hamas dialogue still exist and that Hamas has failed in its attempts to administrate affairs in Gaza.

While Abbas is signaling that the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians have reached their natural and predictable conclusion, which is probably more war, Erakat says that Palestinian negotiations with Israel must continue, which explains his conflicting remarks about the tentative Hamas/Fatah reconciliation, which if taken seriously, could hold the reconciliation off until Israeli violence escalates further, which will be too late. Erakat says the negotiations are the way to peace, and that peace and a two state solution are the goals. He obviously has not heard the credible and legitimate voices, East and West, Jewish and Gentile, who have stated, based upon historic evidence, that as far as the US and Israel are concerned, negotiations are the goal…period. Maybe Erakat is posturing to take the place of Abbas who will surely be pushed aside by the Quartet, and disqualified from negotiating with Israel by his desire to unite Palestine, and to end the divide and conquer policy that has only led to more talk, more illegal Israeli settlements, no cease fire and increased Israeli attacks in the West Bank and Gaza. Only a united Palestine can face the future that will be created for them by a Judeo/Christian controlled Washington DC, that will not be changed unless we can find a president who is willing and able to stand up to these forces and demand US independence, and who will reassert the first amendment of the US Constitution that prohibits our country from formulating public policies based upon religious laws or doctrines.

Bush’s willingness to adopt the brutally racist and fatalistic Judeo/Christian ideology that led us into an unnecessary war in Iraq that has bloodied US hands with the lives of over 1 million innocent Iraqis and more than 4000 of our own soldiers and Marines was achieved by isolating the executive branch, and surrounding Bush with Judeo/Christian pastors disguised as Middle East experts and family friends. These same people bribed and bought our Congress through Abramoff, and co-opted the media through suspect FCC regulations that allowed for media monopolies and the corporatization, and corruption of US media. It’s hard to imagine that any US presidential candidate or even a newly elected president will be able to dismantle, or purge this rouge government and its various estates in four years.

Barak Obama, who has opened a can of foreign policy worms with his AIPAC rhetoric, should be advised that he cannot change Washington without changing US policies. He must understand that ending the Iraq war is not merely a matter of withdrawing US troops, but includes US independence from Israel and its Judeo/Christian movement that is dragging the US towards Armageddon at the speed of light. Only international unity, and the cooperation and will to defeat this force will pull the world back from the brinks of World War III. So far, Obama has cried “change,” yet he increasingly sounds more like John McCain, and more of the same, and that does not bode well for the US or the Middle East, or the world for that matter.