mariahussain

March 20, 2009

Observations on the Palestine Solidarity Conference:

Filed under: Blogroll — mariahussain @ 7:45 pm

Observations on the Palestine Solidarity Conference:
The Necessity for the Movement
to Broaden its Base

Third North American Conference of the Palestine Solidarity Movement

http://www.divestmentconference.com/index2.html

Whatever the religion of Jesus was, that is my religion. I consider myself a Muslim, although I must admit, like most refugees to Islam from the West, I am unwanted and unloved by the Ummah. I came to this Path during college, where I had spent the first few years active with the Leftists and Anarchists protesting the Gulf War and Capitalism. Indeed my house was the Revolutionary Communist Youth Brigade House of Detroit, and many meetings of leftist intellectuals, old and young, took place there. I also knew well the editors of the Fifth Estate and the local anarchist community, with whom I also shared a home for a time.

I noticed after the Gulf War a demoralization of the movement, and its refocusing on sexual liberties. I started to realize that this secular worldview was internally self-defeating. I wanted to work for a world where it is safe for babies to be born, not to struggle for the right to perform abortion and sodomy. I also saw that while the Leftists claimed to speak for the Oppressed, the Muslims actually prayed with them. When I declared my faith in God openly, after keeping quiet about it all these years, the Anarchists cast me out of their circle, in fact one of them spit on me. The rejection of feminism was something they found as a total betrayal. The Communists did keep me as a comrade on topics of shared interest such as Iraq.

I joined the MSA [Muslim Student Association] and became part of the executive committee. In the ten years I have been Muslim I experienced some uplift, but suffered a lot of racism from the Muslim community which ultimately ended my marriage to another MSA executive from Wayne State University who I had met organizing a Walk For Iraqi Orphans. After growing up German in white liberal Zionist Ann Arbor, home of the second Palestine conference, I also have had the experience of living for seven years in an inner city black neighborhood, then two years living among the Arabs in Dearborn, then two years in New Jersey among the Hindus, and now in an orthodox Jewish enclave in New Jersey, in addition to having the intense anthropological experience of getting to know the Pakistani community and the Muslim community at large. Throughout all these years I have been the editor of an Islamic News Service (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/vwns/). I understand the immigrant experience because I too am an immigrants’ daughter (German/Swiss) who spent the majority of her life trying to understand American culture as an outsider trying to fit in.

I have watched my parents struggle and I try to learn from their mistakes while preserving the values they gave me. I tell you all of this only to explain that I am someone with diverse and deep connections to many different ethnic and political subcultures of America, all the while remaining an outsider in this country since the day I was born. Therefore I hope you will understand that my criticisms are a result of my experiences within my lifelong commitment to struggling to spread Light in the world through self-illumination, for every Believer is like a lamp unto himself and unto the world. I have been watching the Palestine conference development as I live in the area of the Rutgers campus. I was not involved in the dispute but I heard there was a break-up of the New Jersey Solidarity movement on the issue of whether or not to openly support the Palestinian right to self-direct their own struggle and choose for themselves which methods of warfare they deem appropriate and effective, versus those who want to promote a peaceful resolution to the conflict by appealing to the empathy of the world community. Since I believe that everyone has their own role to play in the struggle and in life’s comic tragedy, I am not offended by the split, although I believe the view most consistent with ‘American values’ is the view that Palestinians have the right to retaliation. My goal is freedom for Palestine and the entire Arab world, which includes the freedom to form an Islamic government that corresponds with the values of the indigenous population and guarantees protection to non-Muslims. I was very glad the Divestment Conference happened, and I also have very serious concerns and suggestions.

It occurred to me during the Rutgers Palestine conference that there is a danger in allowing Leftists to dominate Anti-Zionist discourse because in many ways their vision is a vision of Leftist Fascism, imposing secularism on the Islamic world. Because this is impossible, it is like making defeat inevitable. No leftist organization has ever won an election in America, so leaving the Anti-Zionist struggle to the Left is not the best plan of attack. It is very frustrating for a Muslim trying to communicate with Americans because of this censorship of the spirit. For example, for years I have tried to submit my writing to radical and not so radical leftist and anarchist political publications but am always rejected for being ‘too religious’.

The immigrant American Muslims are in a quandary because they have so few friends to help them stop the genocide of Muslims worldwide. The only groups that have stepped forward to embrace the Palestinian cause and tried to work with the immigrant communities are the Communists, the Socialists, and the Homosexuals.

Recently, I attended the Walk For Palestine organized by the Arabs who left the NJ Solidarity movement because they thought that inviting a speaker from Hamas was a bad idea. It was a small fragmented group of marchers, and morale was low because it was a conglomeration of fringe elements, not a mass movement. The largest groups of people who attended this walk, other than the Arabs, were secular Jews and Homosexuals. The Palestine Conference, organized by the more radical core of NJS, was attended by Leftists, Secular Jews, and Homosexuals. I worry for the Palestinians because this is clearly not a mainstream American movement. In both events there was a conspicuous absence of Christians.

The reason is probably not because no Christians care about Palestine but because no one who believes in God, unless they are a member of an Oppressed Race, is welcome among the Leftists. In fact, when someone stood up to suggest that they try to work with people from the Right instead of limiting our audience to the Left, he was ruthlessly dismissed and told that not only would the Left never network with the Right, but if any of them ever tried to show up at a Pro-Palestine rally, they would be forced to go home. The speaker cited the example of the ‘Arab-Americans’ support for George Bush and what a mistake that had been. He had actually been thinking about Pat Buchanan. But the Leftists could not stomach any Christian Republican even if he supports human rights for Arabs.

This is a little puzzling, unless one understands the intense Zionist brainwashing that is shoved into American minds beginning in elementary school. It is a deep fear and hatred of Christians and the enforced secularization of society by keeping religious faith out of public discourse. I can tell you why Republicans are viewed as being the Great Satan. It is because they they oppose sodomy and abortion. Our Muslim and Palestinian friends do not have a problem with ‘Christian values’. They should not allow themselves to be intimidated by the secular fascism of the Left. Please note the way the speaker referred to the Muslim community as ‘Arab-Americans’. It was the immigrant Muslim community, not just Arabs, that foolishly endorsed George Bush, Jr. Like the Zionists, the Leftists refuse to acknowledge Islam as a guiding force for humanity. Zionists too always refuse to say ‘Muslim’ and always say ‘Arabs’. In more ways than one, I note a lingering effect of secular Zionist programming within the Left. It has the result of creating a False Opposition. Not false in the sense of insincerity, because I’m sure everyone sincerely wants to help the Palestinians, but false in the sense that this is not the way that will lead to victory. A very big reason for this is that the Left needs oppression to exist. As long as there is a struggle, the Leftists will be there rooting for the oppressed. But they want to control the direction of the liberation movement. They don’t want Islam. If an Islamic government took over and granted stability to the region, the Leftists would do everything they can to undermine the success of the Muslims to succeed in creating a functioning theocracy.

Although I deeply appreciate the empathy of the Left and I strongly encourage Muslims to learn from all people, I must advise the Muslims not to limit their friends to those who are eager to use the Palestinian cause to promote their secular ideologies. Remember the words of a Jewish peace activist in Palestine who said on Indymedia, “As long as Zionists are oppressing Palestinians, I will protest them, but as soon as the Muslims try to form an Islamic State I’ll be here protesting against them”. Osama bin Laden made a similar observation, that while it was helpful to Muslims for the Leftists to take up our causes, we must never consider them as our protectors.

The reason that Leftists support Muslim causes is NOT because they support Muslims right to a God-centered ideology. It is because Leftists fear that if Muslims are not granted justice within a secular context, they will turn to religion and this must never be allowed to happen. In fact, I had a stack of brochures entitled “What Islam Stands For” and I was surprised at the discomfort people expressed in keeping this brochure on their table. As if Islam were irrelevant to Palestine. As if being open about one’s faith were divisive to the Pro-Palestine movement. It still smacks of the same kind of stunting of the Palestinian rights movement within the Peace movement that was condemned by the conference. For surely Palestinian rights must include freedom of religion.

But on the other hand, I must also comment on the cliquishness of the Muslim Students Association, because the entire time I was there, not one of them met my eye, even when I went to their table to buy a book they regarded me as a non-person, even though I wore a long dress. All I was to them was a faceless white person. So what I see is that this movement is handicapped by competing ideologies and intense bigotry on the part of both sides trying to work with each other, and even more intense conflicts with the groups they refuse to work with. Please understand my criticisms come from deep love of both the Leftist and Muslim communities, and the gratefulness I have for the basic foundation of political awareness that they have laid down for me. What I am trying to do now is digest what I have learned from both groups and go forward in a way that respects the sensitivities of Palestinian culture.

When it comes to the Muslims, they are every bit as opportunistic as the Leftists. The main focus of MSA and most Islamic organizations, in addition to sending relief to desperate Muslims around the world, is to win converts to Islam. Of course, how to absorb these new converts into the inner circles of the Muslims is a problem yet to be resolved. The main reason Muslims like to see Americans, especially white intellectuals, convert to Islam, is because this proves to the Muslims that they are the best, and their religion is so good that even Americans will convert to it. The American converts are then paraded around on stage and coerced into making speeches about why they accepted Islam in front of teary-eyed Muslims that afterwards refuse to speak to them unless it’s to ask them to give another speech somewhere else. Conspicuous also in their absence, except for a few exceptions, were the African Americans or Latinos, whether Muslim or Christian. The tendency of the Left to be a self-contained movement of white intellectuals and the tendency of Muslims to be a self-contained community of immigrants has resulted in a fragmented movement without a broad base.

When I was active in the MSA I tried to help the MSA connect with the Leftists because they do have a lot of shared causes and I’m glad that they have moved forward in this regard. But I also tried to get the MSA to work harder with the Unitarian Church across the street, which is known for social activism. The Muslims were very resistant to befriending Christians or any white Americans. From the nearly complete absence of believing Christians at either of the Palestine Solidarity movement groups I gather that this is probably where we need to start focusing our efforts if we want to gather momentum for Palestine activism. In truth, there are many Christians who care about Palestine. In my experience some of the most Muslim-friendly people in America are Irish-American Catholics, Unitarians, and Quakers.

Strongest among men in enmity to the Believers wilt thou find the Jews and Pagans; And nearest among them in love to the Believers wilt thou find those who say, “We are Christians”, Because amongst these are men devoted to learning and men who have renounced the world, and they are not arrogant. (5:82 Quran)

So what are Muslims doing following secularists and pagans into a sexually liberal Leftist atmosphere? I think the Leftists decision to take the Peace Movement away from the Zionists is a great plan, and they should be encouraged to keep things moving in that direction. We should support them.

Still, the Muslims must realize they cannot stop with the Peace activists. We are not seeking peace. We get peace from Allah. In Palestine, we will stop only at victory, which will be, inshaAllah, in the end, a just implementation of Islamic religion. We have to guard against the Palestine movement being represented primarily by homosexuals and feminists, like what happened with the Chicano movement, which does not represent the majority of Latinos and Mexicans who are religious Catholics and hold traditional family values. Even Sir Francis Boyle, who has struggled tirelessly on behalf of the Palestinian people, has strived to impose feminism upon the Muslim and Christian people of Palestine and they rejected it. Islam has women’s rights. Although we want to build as many bridges as possible, Muslims should represent themselves. Ultimately, we have to realize that this is a religious struggle and at core, it is a struggle between Faith and Disbelief.

Secularism is an outdated worldview that includes Zionism. The strict enforcement of secularism within the Palestine movement has resulted in not only Leftists controlling the discourse and limiting it to Arab nationalism, which, like the two-state solution, Palestinians have already grown beyond. This in turn leads to fragmenting of the movement. This is the result of the twisted internalization of the Christian value of martyrdom within the Communist dogma, strangely enough. The speaker, when explaining why the Right must be excluded from Pro-Palestine rallies, said something to the effect of, “It is better to be weak and correct, than strong and compromised”. This dogma of the Hopeless Despair of the Good Man is an internalization of self-defeat, related to the self-denial of the atheist who insists he has no soul and that nothing he does really matters. Ultimately, Belief must prevail if Palestine is to win the war. Belief is the idea that man is able to perfect himself. We struggle to convince Americans to reject Zionism because we believe that if they only knew better, they would stop doing what they are doing. It is a matter of Faith to believe in the inherent goodness of the human being: the Islamic belief that all people are at core, Muslim. We believe it is possible to be right and to be strong, because that is the example of Mohammad.

The antithesis of Belief is Disbelief, and the most striking example of it is in the Leftist Zionist who accepts injustice as some kind of inevitable force of nature because he believes in the inherent corruption of man. The Zionists insist on their right to kill and plunder because they argue, the Europeans did it, why can’t we? The Leftist Zionist Peacenik sheds crocodile tears for the fate of the Palestinian people, but he does nothing. He does not dare to question the right of Israel to exist; he has already submitted his heart to moral defeat. He knows it’s wrong, but he finds a way to justify. He comes up with some sanitized explanation of events so that he can convince himself he is a good person. He says, falsely mimicking Christianity again, “It is better to die refusing to kill than to be a terrorist”. Thus, he dehumanizes Palestinians as terrorists for refusing to die willingly, and so justifies their mass extinction.

When I was fourteen years old I joined a Peace March in DC (running away from home) and I truly believed that it was Republicans who were at fault for the world problems. If only the Democrats were in control we could have peace on earth. So I was told by the Zionist peaceniks. But then, when we had a Democrat in office, I saw the total betrayal of peace by the Democrats as they willingly starved 1.5 million Iraqis to death and told the US government to bomb the Taliban for the sake of women’s liberation. I watched as the very person who drove me to the peace march in 1985 grew up to become a Zionist. The attempt of Leftists to try to straddle both sides of the fence, to say they are for Muslims but they are against Islam, is an ominous warning of further betrayals by the Peace Movement. For this reason I find the Left’s rejection of Republicans completely absurd, because it uncovers an interesting fact: most Leftists are closet Democrats. Given that for Muslims, there is no difference between Democrats and Republicans, they are nearly all anti-Islam bigots; we should get out of this secular trap and start appealing to people’s souls.

What is really needed is for someone who understands American mainstream thinking to make Zionism into a brand name for Racism and Anti-Americanism, if America is to kick out the Zionists from the takeover of the US government. I left the Leftists and became Muslim for a reason. That was the arrogant, anti-woman (anyone that advocates abortion instead of insisting that men take responsibility for their offspring through marriage is anti-woman), and anti-spirit attitudes that I felt made their idealistic vision self-defeating. The Left will always be at the fringe, and they will not allow Palestine to become a mainstream, religious issue.

The Leftists should do their thing, but the Palestine movement needs to broaden its base because the goal is victory. If we define the defense of Palestine as a radical, revolutionary movement, this lessens its appeal to the general public. Furthermore, I recognized a lingering effect of Jewish Zionism in the enforced secularism of the Pro-Palestine discourse. The Zionists who want America to suicide bomb itself to take care of the Middle East for Israel, after which Israel will dominate world politics (since America will be dead), are doing this deliberately. The Left shares this delight of seeing America humiliated. The condemnation of American leaders for being imperialistic by attacking several Muslim nations at once is overlooking the real problem. America knows it cannot win a world war against Islam. America is unknowingly but willingly martyring itself for Israel. That is why it’s important to take the Pro-Palestine rhetoric away from the Leftists. The Palestinian people are important, but for Americans, saving America from the Zionists is the key issue. Supporting Palestine should be made into the patriotic American thing to do. If we buy into the trap that supporting Palestine is anti-American, we will fail.

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How I Lost Two Jewish Friends in One Week

Filed under: Anti-Zionism, Blogroll, Interfaith — mariahussain @ 7:04 pm

Several months ago, within a few days of each other, I began email dialogues with two Jewish men, each 50 years of age. My intentions with these exchanges was to gain a clearer understanding of their thinking, and to present to them the case of Islam. With the first, an American, politics was strictly forbidden (by him) from the conversation. Admittedly, I was using him as my psychiatrist. With the second, a Russian Israeli, the conversation was strictly politics.

In the past, I discovered that Jewish friends I’d known since childhood had kept their Zionist membership secret from me all those years. I visited Dachau with one of my closest friends, completely unaware that to her, “Never again” meant “Never again, to us.” As with many Jewish friends before, questioning the legitimacy of the State of Israel led to the abrupt dissolution of the Muslim-Jewish dialogue. It happened to me repeatedly that merely asking a closet Zionist to explain to me why s/he supports Israel put them in such a hysterically defensive state that, no matter how deep the friendship or how far we go back, s/he preferred to break up with me rather than discuss politics! I am not the first person to be totally baffled, hurt, and bewildered at the Jewish hypersensitivity to discussing Israel, needing at all costs to avoid this subject of conversation.

It seems to me that if you truly believe something is true, you should be willing to state your belief openly and if necessary, support your argument. But silence is one of the protocols of Zion. Jews normally do not defend their beliefs, nor do they explain them to anyone else, individually or collectively. Lacking a Constitution, Israel is the only modern nation in the world that refuses to make a clear statement of what it stands for.

This seemed also to be the case with my American friend, the Jew who spoke only of peace and love, while he steadfastly refused to apply his abstract reasoning to any plan workable in real-life situations. He shared with me his philosophy that any time there are two people disputing, and each of them is sure that he is right, they are both wrong. He felt very strongly about the virtues of non-violence, and was proud of being a consciencious objector during Vietnam. He fancied himself a peacenik while viewing me as an opinionated extremist. He admitted that he found my words “frightening” but refused to explain what exactly he thought was frightening.

This was not the case, however, with the Israeli Jew, who was very clear in his opposition to the Zionist enterprise. He preached for the voluntary dismantling of the Jewish State’s apartheid structure of government and the granting of full democratic citizenship to all inhabitants of the Holy Land. He was deeply troubled by the ethnic cleansing of Palestine by Jews. He hated the defensiveness of the American Jews which serves to cover up the crimes of Israel. He condemned the liberal Jews’ insistence that they are pro-peace, while refusing to condemn in principle the colonization of Palestine to create an artificial Jewish state.

I learned a lot from these two very different Jewish perspectives. Although my mind had begun to stretch in order to include “the Jewish reality” in my analysis, it began to frustrated me how the “neutrality” of the American Jew caused him to delegitimize the Palestinian cause. By reducing the Israel-Palestine conflict to “versions of history” that are both false, he was absurdly disputing the obvious confiscation of Palestinian private property by Jews to create the State of Israel. He was equalizing the Israeli legitimizing myths with the Palestinian experience. He did not want to listen to me prove the Palestinian claims, even though these are clearly proveable through maps, photos, and extensive, meticulous documentation of evidence. His position of neutrality could only be based on refusal to acknowledge the forest for the trees. All he could see was the endless reciprocal revenge attacks reported by the media. He did not see genocide in progress.

With self-contradicting and ambiguous phrases, he insisted that he was not supporting either side. I wanted so much to believe that he was indeed thinking independently, but it became increasingly apparent that he was trapped in a fundamentalist paradigm. Although he could not see it, he was using all the typical Zionist cliches and methods of dispute; for example, when asked to clarify his ambiguous statement, he merely restated his original contradiction and refused to continue the conversation any further. “Think of me what you will,” he said, denying that he was a Zionist.

But far from being an independent or pro-peace stance, the “blame both sides for violence” position is a political manipulation by Zionist-financed media to get around their inability to cover up Israeli war crimes. This standard news analysis helps prevent potential Palestine sympathizers from linking with the opposition and keeps the discussion of whether Israel even has a right to exist safely under lock and key.

A similar method was employed by the news media in regards to the sanctions on Iraq, blamed for the deaths of 1.5 million civilians, primarily children under 5. For years, the major networks kept the public ignorant about the US/UN-inflicted genocide in Iraq. But due to the pressure caused by alternative media reports and the activism of American citizens, the news reporting was forced to change strategies. Since the US could no longer deny the mass death in Iraq, it shifted its position to denial of responsibility. Thus, the public opinion went from blaming Saddam Hussein exclusively for starving his own people to believing that the Iraqi president’s inadequacy somehow forced the US to deprive the entire population of clean drinking water.

But in case I truly wanted to cling to the hope that he was using “higher reasoning” that was incomprehensible to me due to his greater wisdom, his explanation of the Palestine Wall revealed that he truly had no idea. He wrote: “The leaders of each respective community decided to build a fence to protect the two friends (a Jew from New Jersey and a Palestinian) from each other. It separated their backyards.” I noted a painfully deep, deep need to shift the blame from Israel. There is no Palestinian leader who ever advocated building a wall to enclose the Palestinian population. Such a claim constitutes blaming the victims. Using the usual Zionist invocation of bad leadership and dual responsibility, the speaker actually believes himself to possess a fair and balanced view of the conflict. But this perception is deeply flawed, as it is based on false assumptions.

Rather than allow me to deconstruct his arguments, my American Jewish correspondent abruptly ended the conversation and revoked his friendship, but not before accusing me of stereotyping him, bursting into tears, and calling everything I had told him “lies from the pro-Palestinian propaganda machine.” He blamed me for causing a division between us by trying to discuss intimate political issues. In a breathtaking display of oxymoronic irony, his parting words to me were, “Together, there is peace. Apart, there is nothing.”

I knew then, figuratively speaking, what it was like to be a Palestinian, marginalized and silenced, blamed for disturbing the peace, and then cut off! The American Jew is all emotion and confusion. Rather than looking to the US-financed politicians on both sides to speak for them, I wish the Palestinians and the Israeli people would find a way to deal with each other directly.

For the one thing that kept me from total devastation was the reassurance from my Israeli friend. I found it ironic that the only Jew with whom I could openly discuss Israel with was an Israeli. He had no sympathy whatsoever for my American friend’s complexities. He said there is no controversy about whether or not the Israelis have committed genocide against the Palestinians. I questioned him extensively about the psychology of Jewish denial. He advised me, “Maria, Jews are like that. He does not wish to discuss his politics with a non-Jew. There is not much one can do about it! Try and accept this reality.” So I did, and felt much better about it.

A few days later, I received another message from the person I thought was my one remaining Jewish friend. “I am now a Palestinian Christian!” he proclaimed with elation. After years of feeling deeply disturbed by the cruelty and hypocrisy of Jews in regards to Israel, my friend had finally gone over to the Orthodox Christian Mother Church in Jerusalem and gotten himself baptized. Despite his family’s lifelong attempt to indoctrinate him into Zionism, he rejected his “Chosen” ethnic status and did the one thing that Jews find more offensive than anything else on earth: he accepted Jesus as his savior. Now, he believed, through Christ, the barriers to legitimate citizenship of the Holy Land had been removed.

I have to admit that I was deeply disappointed by his choice of Christianity over Islam, despite my previous attempts to call him to the way of the Last Prophet. But perhaps he was not interested in being a world citizen. He longed for a connection to this holy soil – he wanted to be Palestinian. And so he had joined the oldest institution of the Palestinian folk culture. I think it must be much easier for a Russian Israeli to be integrated into the Palestinian Orthodox Christian community than into the Palestinian Muslim community, for cultural reasons. And of course, a man has the right to believe what he wants to believe. I sincerely celebrated his joy.

Still, I cried more for the loss of my Israeli friend’s Judaism than I did for the loss of my Jewish American friend. It was deeply moving to see how far a Jew would be willing to go to admit the wrongness of the Zionist ideology, and to join the Palestinian community. But the sense of loss I felt, while irrational, was also very real. I had clung to him as the only Jew I could discuss politics with. Now I had lost a Jewish ally – although, praise be to God, I gained a Christian one.

The loss of two Jewish friends in one week due to the Israel-Palestine conflict was an eye-opener for me. It seems that, despite the peace activist’s traditional habit of separating Zionism from Jewishness, the vast majority of Jews make no such distinction. They are offended by the idea that a Jew would not love Israel. Their identification with their “homeland,” even when tempered by humanist sympathies, puts them in the troubling position of moral ambiguity. Therefore, while every one of them will insist, “I’m not a racist” and not uncommonly, “I am not a Zionist,” upon further inquiry one finds that they accept, or at least tolerate, the idea of Jewish domination over the Holy Land. They accept, but do not discuss the Zionist mythology of manifest destiny. The overwhelming majority of Jews have been indoctrinated to believe that Israel is the land of the Jews. Therefore, they cannot even accept the good will of those who wish to love them as Jews, while condemning their Israeli nationalism. For most Jews, it is useless to make the politically correct distinction between “Jew” and “Zionist.” If they are not directly supporting and benefitting from the Zionist colonization of Palestine, they are justifying it in their minds and silencing criticism of Israel.

That puts the peace-loving Jew in a precarious predicament. To truly stand for peace, one has to acknowledge that the war is the direct result of Israeli occupation and systematic destruction of Palestinian civilization. But to acknowledge this is to question the legitimacy of the Jewish state. My friend clearly felt that the only way to escape from Zionism was to reject Judaism.

Is there any form of Judaism left today which exists apart from the romantic longing for a nation-state? Due to the Zionist desecration of pre-Zionist Judaism and obliteration of European Jewish history, anti-Zionist Jews have very little ground to stand on, quite literally, in Israel – for they too are imprisoned and persecuted along with the Palestinians by the Zionist “authorities.” The most staunch anti-Zionist view comes from the ultra-orthodox sects of Judaism, with their emphasis on Jewish self-imposed exile and repentence. But the secularization of Judaism makes it nearly impossible for mainstream Jews, even if they support Palestine, to feel comfortable with the ultra-orthodox Jewish lifestyle.

The average Jew is then left with two possible choices. Either he has to be defensive about the indefensible, or else he has to defect from Judaism. For to follow the anti-Israel argument through is to conclude that, “since I do not wish to be a racist, therefore I do not wish to be a Jew.” The moral contradictions within modern Jewish thought represent a catastrophe for Jews: It reveals the replacement of Judaism as a legitimate religion with the hollow shell of Israeli chauvenist nationalism. Looking at the big picture, we should grieve more for the Jews than for the Palestinians because the Jews have lost their faith, whereas the Palestinians have only lost their homes in this world.

PSYCHOANALYZING PHARAOH

Filed under: Blogroll, Zionism — mariahussain @ 7:03 pm

This paper attempts to address the question: Have the Jews gone mad? Or have they always been this way and I am just now realizing it? I decided that, instead of vainly disputing, that I would really try and understand the Jewish point of view in American politics. This is no easy task to undertake, considering the resistance one faces when asking a Jew about his Zionism. But the more I learn the less I comprehend. I have been forced to conclude that today’s Zionist, with his ethical and reasonable outward persona, is covering up a serious case of paranoid schizophrenia, denial, delusions of grandeur, and projection. Many of these people actually believe they are the direct descendants of King David.

An American of German ancestry whose father grew up in Nazi Germany in a little town 30 miles from the Czech border, I feel an intense need to help the Jews avoid the pit that the Germans fell into before. Today we commonly ask, “How could the Good Germans remain silent during the Holocaust? How could they live in denial? Although a few did risk their lives to reach out to those against whom the Nazi violence was directed, the vast majority of German citizens were patriotic citizens.

Technically, wiping out a civilization is called “genocide.” So, what is the difference between a Jewish supporter of Israel and a German supporter of the Aryan Nation? The difference is that unlike in the 1930s and 40s, today there is no barrier to receiving accurate news reports from the siege on Occupied Palestine. One is not forced to rely on censored corporate media. There is no Jew or Gentile who could honestly say they had no way of knowing what the Jewish homeland was doing to the West Bank. If he does not know, it is because he does not care to know.

The Germans, by contrast, had very little access to public information except via government-controlled radio. A memorial in Munich, Germany remembers a professor and a few college students who were executed by the Nazi regime for throwing fliers out of the classroom window publicizing the war crimes of their government.

Today I see the Jews, at far less risk of peril for speaking out than what would have faced an outspoken Nazi opponent, remaining in denial about the erasing of Palestine from the map. It is something they simply never wish to discuss. We are all supposed to then simply believe that the land “came to be known as Israel.” (Quote from a children’s textbook)

In Zionist discourse, Israeli soldiers only shoot civilians inadvertently, while Palestinian terrorists aim for any and all civilians. Israel maintains its stance not to harm Arab civilians, and they do not budge from this standpoint. It does not matter that Israeli soldiers not only fire randomly into people’s living quarters but also engage in sharp-shooting, while suicide bombers actually prefer to target buses laden with soldiers.

Even seemingly objective news reports like the following show that in order for Israel to feel at peace, one must never, ever state the obvious: “Palestinian Authority textbooks still present Israel as a usurper of Arab lands and fail to convey a message of reconciliation with Israel.” As if Israel had ever stopped invading and usurping Arab lands!

A letter to the editor of The Jewish State, a local New Jersey newspaper, states: “Unless and until the Palestinians stop teaching their children the virtues of jihad, martyrdom, and the destruction of Israel, the Palestinian children, cute as they are, remain my virulent enemy and I will not spend much time lamenting their demise if and when they are taken out as collateral damage.”

By what sad standards of debate today’s Zionists use to justify the assassinations, mass arrests, blockades, and deprivation of the Palestinian people! Helplessly, the world watches as some of the best and brightest of our generation are simply ‘knocked off,’ not by a random act of terror but by the painstaking deliberations of the state military apparatus. Yet even though Israeli bulldozers mow down village after village, while the people are shot if they go outside, the forces of destruction proclaim pure innocence!

How can it be that this monster who seethes with hate and feels no remorse, can perceive himself as reasonable, ethical and moral? The Zionist has declared himself to have “natural and historical rights” to take over a certain piece of land whether anyone likes it or not. Yet he continually feels that he is the one who has been wronged, that his violence is always and only provoked by the other. But what is at the heart of it all? How do we psychoanalyze this monster?

I came upon an essay written by a fourth grader in a New Jersey Hebrew School that revealed to me the innocence within the monster. “Why do people treat Israel as if she is less important than other countries?…I cannot answer why people would treat any country as if it counts as less than another…We need to stretch out our hands to pull the Israelis from the pit into which the terrorists have thrown them. We must also show the terrorists that we will not allow them to take over our country.”

What becomes clear is that when they say “peace” it does not mean friendship and harmony. Their peace equals our defeat. Their prayer for peace is a prayer for the Palestinians to give up hope of going home. We are supposed to forgive without receiving an apology and just accept, as one Jewish activist explained to me, “It’s not that Israel is trying to destroy Palestinian lives. It is just trying to exist, and to defend itself against suicide bombers.” Well, throwing aside the “suicide bombers” clich?, the absurdity of the “merely trying to exist” argument is worth contemplating.

The Israeli Declaration of Independence refers to “the sovereign Jewish people settled in its own land.” I found it curious that the founders of the Jewish state proclaimed as sovereign over the land not the Lord God but themselves. The land belongs not to God, but to the colonists with their proclaimed “natural and historical right” to take possession of it. The entire argument for rebuilding the Temple also seems to revolve around the idea that this will show the world that the Jews are really something. There is seldom any mention that the Temple would be a place for the glorification of God’s name.

But is this a struggle for Jewish supremacy or a struggle to be as good as other nations? Here the internal confusion of the Jewish psyche becomes clear. The document states: “This right is the natural right of the Jewish people to be masters of their own fate, like all other nations, in their own sovereign State.” But what country, or person, is a master of his own destiny? Surely a Believing Jew understands that nations are subject to the vicissitudes of time and that God alone is the master of destiny. On one hand, Jews declare their absolute uniqueness, and then they declare that they want to be like everyone else. It is grotesque self-delusion. Seeking high-class status by lawlessly taking over people’s property is not a worthy expression of self-respect. It is rather a psychotic display of deep self-disrespect.

In his delusions of grandeur, the Zionist, like the Pharaoh before him, has proclaimed himself as a god above reproach. Jabotinsky wrote: “To the hackneyed reproach that this point of view is unethical, I answer, ‘absolutely untrue.’ This is our ethic. There is no other ethic.” (1923) Muslims never get tired of reminding Jews about the Pharaoh, because he was a sign from God that the arrogant will be brought low. For Pharaoh is described as one who “transgressed beyond bounds in the lands, and heaped therein mischief (on mischief). Therefore did thy Lord pour on them a scourge of diverse chastisements” (89:11) The Quranic Pharaoh is symbolic for any civilization that God destroys for rejecting the Truth and living in habitual sin. Muslims consider the discovery of Pharaoh’s mummy in 1898 at Thebes to be a warning specifically to the Jews from God.This Sign is the fulfilment of a Quranic prophecy where Allah says to the Pharaoh: “This day We (have decided to) preserve your body (from destruction) so that you may become a sign to (a people) who will come after you, for most people are heedless of Our signs” (10:92-93).

Historical Palestine is negated by the mere existence of Israel. Genocide is however, not a crime if it is not done intentionally. It is merely an unintentional side-effect of protecting Israel’s sovereignty. It is something that must be done without delay in order to implement the Zionist utopia. Jewish people around the world are praying and waiting for their inheritance of Biblical lands to finally be claimed in its entirety. Then, they believe, there can be peace on earth.

The Zionist patterns of speech are fossilized phrases empty of content, revealing a society that is in denial to the point of being psychotic. Is the only way for Jews to get beyond their imagined second-class status is by declaring themselves God, making others into second-class citizens and founding a nation over their graves? This is what is considered the “redemption” of Israel? It is clear that the world should take note of the delusional and irrational behaviour of Israel’s rulers.

No country based on a racist ideology, which imposes a tyranny of one ethnic group over the others, has any need to exist as a nation among other nations. There is no reasonable justification for open dual citizenship for all Jews anywhere. The Jews can and should rather be loyal to their normal country of residence. We cannot wait for Israel to realize or admit that it needs help because it is out of control, endangering itself and others. Israel must be stopped.

Bearing Witness

Filed under: Anti-Zionism, Blogroll, Interfaith, Islam, Zionism — mariahussain @ 7:01 pm

Purity of intention is the key to martyrdom.

The core of Islam is Shahada: to bear witness unto the Oneness of Allah and the prophethood of Mohammed, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him. To bear witness is what it means to be a Muslim. According to the Islamic religion, all individuals who have faith have been Chosen by God. To validate the Islamic world view is to reject the Jews’ concept of Chosen status based on race. Allah, the Lord, promises Paradise to all those who died bearing witness to this concept of human equality, recognizing the universality of the Creator. To live and die in a state of faith, or Iman, is the goal of every Believer who strives to submit his will in peace to Allah. A person who is at peace with himself and at peace with God, who practices Islam, declares Shahada every day in prayer. A person in a state of faith does not view death as something horrifying.

Martyrdom is the ultimate Shahada because it proves you would rather die than to bow before anything other than Allah. You are a free human being who refused to accept oppression. In Palestine, the State of Israel has imposed a false doctrine declaring Jews as the Master Race. This false religion is an idol that the Palestinians refuse to honor, in keeping with the true prophetic tradition. In Palestine, just going to work or going to school is a defiant declaration of independence. For a Palestinian, life itself is an act of refusing to submit to other than Allah. A child killed by a stray bullet while walking to school is called a “Shahid,” as is a suicide bomber. If a woman’s baby dies after she gives birth at a checkpoint, that baby is called a Shahid. All Palestinians killed by Israel, or who die fighting against Israel, are considered martyrs. The reason that fighting against Israel is so important for Muslims worldwide is not because Israelis are the meanest killers in human history, but because they have lied against God.

To steer one’s path in accordance with the Divine Purpose, one has to constantly pray for purity of intention so that all one’s actions are for the sake of Allah alone. Even lawful actions become “haram” or sinful if they are done without the proper intention. If a person eats a meal forgetting to say “Bismillah” (in the name of Allah), prophetic tradition teaches us that the nourishment then takes on a satanic quality. It is the consciousness of Allah (Taqwah) in one’s actions that makes an action righteous or commendable. A commendable action requires knowledge. The Islamic belief is that there is something called faith which is the knowledge of Allah. You have to live in this state of knowledge, or at least aspire to that knowledge. Otherwise, you will die in a state of ignorance and failure.

Jahiliya, or ignorance, the Islamic understanding of Paganism, is identified by a mythological or pseudo-scientific belief that the worlds are created by continuous struggle between various gods or natural forces, whereas Islam upholds a faith in a Unity or Oneness beyond the balance and interplay of opposing forces. One who lives in a state of Oneness is spiritually satisfied and at peace. This sense of transcendence is not a “spiritual philosophy” but a personal experience of reality. Not only is Allah real, but Allah is the only Reality. A person who is martyred in a state of higher consciousness gets the best rewards of Allah’s Paradise. Paradise is a state of unending bliss that is always new, always different, and always beautiful, like making love to 72 willing virgins. The willingness to die for the sake of defeating an army that has declared itself an enemy to Allah and His Prophets is akin to the story of David and Goliath. Palestinians identify with this story deeply, as it is contained in both the Bible and the Quran.

The Palestinian boy, Faras Ouda, left home with nothing but a slingshot, determined to be a hero. He decorated his own wreath in preparation. This brave kid was shot down by a coward in an armored truck. Children who die before reaching puberty are reserved a special garden in Paradise. The Prophet Mohammed, when he ascended into the seven heavens from the rock in Jerusalem, saw the Prophet Abraham surrounded by children. The Angel Gabriel told Mohammed that all the innocent children who had died now live under the guardianship of the Prophet Abraham. The death of a child is an honor and a mercy to the mother. It elevates the entire family spiritually. The child waits for his mother at the gate of Paradise, begging Allah to forgive her sins so that they could someday be reunited. It is said that Allah cannot break the heart of an innocent child, so He will allow even undeserving parents, and the baby’s wetnurse as well, to come to Paradise for the sake of the child’s happiness. This is as true when the child died of leukemia as when the child was killed by Israel. The Quran reminds us that the life of this world is but a trial and that our true home is in the hereafter.

While Zionists think of the Jewish Holocaust as a burnt sacrifice offered to Yahweh to justify the State of Israel, Islam does not teach that death in itself grants expiation for sins and automatic rewards. The most dramatic act of sacrifice – death in battle against an oppressive regime – does not necessarily guarantee Paradise. That is why Palestinian suicide bombers pray for the acceptance of their sacrifice. The Prophet Mohammed once told a story of a man who died in battle, after having killed several enemy soldiers. The prophet explained that although this man appeared to others as a war hero, the man was going to hell because he was not fighting for the sake of Allah alone. His intentions were mixed with the desire for glory. Other traditions tell of the great warrior saint, Ali, who, while dueling with an opponent, reached a point where the enemy soldier was on the ground. Ali was about to kill him when he spat in Ali’s face. At that point, Ali immediately released the enemy soldier unharmed. He asked the great Muslim why his life had been spared. Ali answered that if he had killed the man out of anger, it would be a grave sin. Passions can nullify the reward for Jihad, or the struggle against oppression. The person who by the command of Allah commits an act of war, not out of hate, but for the ultimate goal of establishing justice, and who dies in the process, whether he or she is killed by an Israeli bullet or on a suicide mission, is a Shahid. However, someone who kills or is killed in an act of desperation or ethnic nationalism, has served Satan.

The whole idea behind Islamic warfare is that it is not allowed to be motivated by revenge. However, there is such a thing as retaliation in war. Allah’s law says a life for a life is just, though it is better to forgive. So far, the Palestinians have not even come close to that, so there is not much sense in being outraged at suicide bombers, as it just feeds into the false doctrine of unconditional Jewish innocence.

While terrorism does claim lives, it is more symbolic and theatrical than efficient, and in the end, may reduce civilian casualities. For every ten Israelis killed in a pizzaria, there might be 10,000 Israelis that decided to move to Sweden, and 10,000 Romanians who decided to stay in Romania. The more “civilized” approach would be to carpet bomb Tel Aviv from an airplane. However, mass loss of life would be guaranteed as collatoral damage. Islam says to establish justice for all people including non-Muslims. Allah commanded the Palestinians to win this war. They are not fighting for greed, they are fighting because they have no other option since they are under attack. As such, they have to use successful strategies to win the war for the sake of Allah.

Perhaps the main difference between Zionist killers and Islamic killers is attitude. Israelis do their bulldozing and indiscriminate shooting of civilians in a state of hate, often while drunk. Their ultimate goal is erasing Palestine. Islamic soldiers go to battle with a sense of the sacred, with solemn purpose and clear mind. At worst, they seek a life-for-life retaliation. Their ultimate goal is to bear witness to the Oneness of Allah. Until the recent past, I had no opinion one way or another about Palestinian suicide bombers, considering them irrelevant to the question of whether Israel should continue to exist. I left it to Allah to send them to heaven or hell. To be ready to die for a cause is the proof of one’s sincerity. But as with all acts of worship, we can never be totally sure of Allah’s approval. All we can do is ask for Signs. The story of the mother who prayed for ten Israelis to be killed by her daughter’s martyrdom, and the exact answer to her prayer seemed to me to be a sign that Allah blessed the sacrifice, at least in this particular instance. I don’t see any contradiction between viewing suicide bombing as a successful strategy of war, and as a service to Allah that goes beyond the desire for attaining a specific worldly goal.

It is hard for some of us to accept that God may have commanded good people to fight against the Jews, even knowing that the Jews are committing genocide in Palestine. As for me, there was a time when I felt sorry for the Jews, but those days are over. Israel supporters are not stupid. They are satanic. What kind of person moves onto property when he knows the previous owners were forced off by gunpoint and made homeless? As long as Zionists continue to buy and sell stolen property in Israel like some kind of criminal mafia, I don’t think it is reasonable to expect that Jews should feel free to live in Israel and think they should not be killed. My biggest issue with suicide bombings is that so many Palestinians have to die in the process.

No American or Israeli has the moral authority to judge the Palestinians, most of whom have no passports and are not allowed to live legally anyplace on earth. It actually appears that the Jewish community demonizes Arabs out of a neurotic need to perceive themselves as victims, even when this defies logic. Apparently, they want Palestinians to kill them. Jews only feel comfortable when they are surrounded by people who want them dead. It may be that they need us to force them to give up the concept of the Jewish State to help them save face. They will leave Israel, but they can’t do it by agreeing to it in a rational way. They can’t just admit they were wrong and give back the stolen property. They can’t just admit that non-Jews are their human equals. They need to preserve the sense that the world wants to mass murder them, without which they lose their sense of identity. They need us to help them leave with their victimhood intact.

I would personally recommend for some civilized country to send their Air Force to bomb the Jewish settlements, dismantle the racist State of Israel, and return the Palestinian refugees to their homes in Palestine with financial compensation and full citizenship rights. While Zionist criminals should face Guantanamo, the most Islamic way to deal with the Israeli public would be a general amnesty. Either Jews should apply for Palestinian citizenship, or they should leave. Palestinians and their well-wishers should stop begging for a “state.” All of historical Palestine belongs to the Palestinians. The Israeli Wall is proof that compromising with racists is not an option. For all those who strive with their lives and with their possessions in the cause of Allah, bearing witness to the Truth that Allah is One, who are not fighting for a nationalist cause but for a future free of artificial national borders and false racial identities, I pray Allah help them.

Allah’s Word Against The Jews

Filed under: Anti-Zionism, Blogroll, Interfaith, Islam — mariahussain @ 6:46 pm

Zionist Judaism does not have a moral code. The Jews think that the Covenant of God is a real estate deal. An “eternal” real estate deed given to them unconditionally by God. Their claim to the “Land of Israel” is based on one or two verses in the Bible cited out of context. Although throughout the many centuries of pre-Zionist history, Jewish scholars never understood those verses to call for a nation state “For Jews Only” in Palestine, the Zionists are sure of their interpretation. Fortunately, the Zionists are mistaken. They are as wrong as the American white slaveowners who justified slavery using the Bible. The Covenant of God is not a real estate deed. It is a contract made between people and God, wherein God says, “I created you, therefore follow My Laws,” and the people reply in fear, “We hear and we obey.” God does not care where you live. He cares how you live.

When making the moral argument for Palestine, one quickly reaches a dead end: The Jews have already justified total genocide in their minds. Fellow Americans, these people live amongst us like Nazis in our midst. Do we have any obligation to tolerate this? If you don’t believe me, just go to your local rabbi and ask him what Judaism says concerning the human rights of Palestinians. He will most likely not even answer you. The Jews’ usual response is “I have no opinion about the Palestinian people. All I know is, the Land of Israel belongs to the Jews.” If they are compassionate, they will say that perhaps a scholar far greater than themselves could answer the question of the proper way of dealing with the natives. But there is no conceptual framework in Judaism that provides any moral guidance on how to run a nation state.

The Jews by and large understand that Israel was created by ethnic cleansing. They understand that Israel’s existence is dependent on past and future displacement and disenfranchisement of Palestinians. They call this “Redeeming the Land of Israel.” According to the Covenant as they understand it, the property of Palestinians belongs to them, and God commanded them to kill the Palestinians. The Jews tacitly and explicitly endorse the massacre of Palestinians as morally justified by somehow failing to remember that the Palestinians did not start this war, and by imagining themselves as Joshua’s army. Joshua, in the Bible, was an Israelite prophet that commanded a mass execution of all the Canaanites at the behest of God. According to the Bible, the reason was because the Canaanites were idolaters who practiced child sacrifice. Hence, the frequent references by Jewish pseudo-intellectuals to the Palestinian religion as a death cult of child sacrifice…overlooking the obvious fact that it is Israel who has shot thousands of Palestinian youngsters. Palestinians are not murdering their own children. Furthermore, it is simply intellectually dishonest racism to suggest that Muslim and Christian Palestinians are pagans.

The Muslims have always been very clear as to what child sacrifice was and they do not approve of it. When the Muslims under Caliph Umar came to Egypt, they learned that the Egyptians used to throw a virgin girl into the Nile every year to appease the goddess of the Nile. They thought this would prevent it from flooding. The Muslim government applied some pressure and convinced the king of Egypt that next year they should try writing a prayer to Allah on a piece of paper and put that in the Nile instead of a virgin girl. They actually did it, and it worked. Notice how the Caliph did not use a moral argument, which would have been as ineffective against the pagans as with Zionists, who are themselves idolaters worshipping a death cult called Blood and Soil Nationalism. And that is the story of how the Egyptians, after so many centuries of paganism, finally gave up idol worship and accepted the religion of Moses! It is most commendable that the traditional Islamic approach to a real, existing culture of idolatrous child murderers was not “Kill them all!” but a process of gradual deprogramming through the use of intellectual reasoning.

Zionist reasoning is that since the ancient Israelites were ordered by God to kill every last one of the Canaanites, it must therefore be morally righteous for some other Jews at some later date in history to mass murder Palestinians. The justification for killing them is simply that they deserve to die. Zionism is just one of many European genocidal racist movements that arose in the last century. But Jewish ethnic nationalism was never part of traditional Judaism. In all of the history of Judaism before it was rewritten by Zionists, the Jews were always taught that God had put them out of Palestine on account of their sins, and therefore they ought to repent and wait for the Messiah in a state of humility. All mainstream Jews nowadays, whether the new orthodox, conservative, or liberal, quickly dismiss the rabbis of old as archaic, fossilized remains of the past. The long-standing historical tradition of Jewish theology is simply thrown out of the window as if it were irrelevant to Jewish understanding. Zionism is championed as the true spirit of Judaism. And perhaps the Zionists are right in this regard. Throughout the centuries, Jewish thought evolved from an immature tribal conception of “my God is better than your god” to a spiritual maturity based on universal moral ethics. Much of the moral content in rabbinical Judaism, which arose after the Muslims conquered Jerusalem, is borrowed or learned from Islam. Now, the Zionists, the “true Jews” are rejecting this injection of foreign intellectualism and going back to the true Judaic spirit of tribalism and war. Indeed, Zionists say that that their God is a deity other than Allah.

Zionists find it frustrating that Muslims reject the Bible as a final authority and use it more as a cross-reference to the Quran. Even if we were to accept the Bible verses they quote as true, Muslims don’t accept the Zionist interpretation of the Covenant. We rely on moral reasoning to analyze the Bible, and come up with a universal ethical principle using the Children of Israel as an example for all nations. For example, when Zionists read the story of Moses they get something out of it like this: Israelites = Good. Egyptians = Bad. In the Islamist reading of the same story we get a warning from Allah to all human beings to remember that Humble Servants of Allah = Good. Haughty Rejecters of Truth = Bad.

The Zionists say, “Show us your scripture where it says Israel does not belong to the Jews.” The only way to answer that is to explain the entire moral code of Islam. The religion of Abraham is not something to be bought and sold for a price. The Quran is the Book of Allah bearing witness against the Jews. He calls the Jews to give up their ethnic superiority complex and commands them to bow down with those who bow down. God is telling the Jews to pray side by side with their Arab brothers and sisters in worship of the One God. Allah invites the self-proclaimed Chosen Ones to join the Community of Islam. No one who has opened the Quran can argue that Mohammed was not a prophet for the Jews. In the Quran, God addresses the Children of Israel directly, confronts them about their Jewish racist tribalism, and employs references from the Torah and Bible to support His arguments. “Then woe to those who write The Book with their own hands, and then say, “This is from Allah,” to traffic with it for a miserable price!” God admonishes the Jews, accusing them of lying about the Covenant by claiming it applies only to themselves. “Woe to them for what their hands do write, and for the gain they make thereby… Say: “Have ye taken a promise from Allah for He never breaks His promise? Or is it that ye say of Allah what ye do not know?” (2:79-80).

All people who call themselves Jews have a theological basis for their social identity even if they are not Zionists. Zionist Jews view their successful perpetration of mass murder and grand theft as evidence of God’s favor upon them. The only thing that can convince theologically-based Zionists that they are wrong is if they are forcibly removed from Palestine, as that would be an indication that God is not on their side. Only when militarily defeated will they submit to our philosophical position of moral reasoning.

Clearly, there are no moral guidelines in Jewish Law, other than genocide and enslavement, for the treatment of conquered peoples, as one would find in Islamic Law. While Islam views humans as stewards of the earth, and Muslims consider themselves God’s appointed defenders of religious freedom for people of all religions, Judaism neither proclaims respect for other people’s prophets nor guarantees any respect of other people, nor even of the environment, except in so far as they are useful to the Jewish community. This fact alone makes it clear that if the principles of individual liberty, majority rule, and world peace are to prevail, then it would make far more sense for the Jews to agree to live as minorities in an Islamic state where they would have legal protection backed up by threats and warnings from God, rather than forcing the Arab majority to live as if they were minorities within a Jewish state which has no legal protection nor any moral qualms regarding the lives and property of non-Jews.

March 12, 2009

Wearing Hijab in America

Filed under: Blogroll — mariahussain @ 6:27 pm

I cannot even begin to talk about the hijab (Islamic dress, translated as “covering”) without first looking at the big picture and raising the question of what exactly we are trying to accomplish with our endeavors in this life in this land. Foremost, let’s look at the sordid state of affairs that we are contending with; think of all the things happening in this world:

The earth is being ravaged by industrial toxic technology. Rainforests are being burned and destroyed. The atmosphere is being shredded, wildlife and marine life are becoming extinct. The world lies in wait of nuclear holocaust at the touch of a button, while the slow leak of poisons spreads insidiously into our drinking water and dust particles. Topsoil erosion from overuse of pesticides has laid much of the earth’s surface to waste. Thousands of homes lie vacant while thousands of men, women and children are homeless. 20 to 30% of Americans now have herpes, which is an incurable disease. Cancers and auto immune dysfunction are becoming increasingly common. Allergies are rampant. This is because our physical bodies are part of this earth, and cannot be separated from the environment. We are suffering because our mother earth is being devastated and abused. And I have hardly even touched upon social injustice and political oppression.

Confronted with such a bleak portrait of reality, we must ask, how do we deal with those in power who are responsible for all this? In fact, Allah talks about the people of Moses in the Quran who were asking similar questions. Al hamdulillah, Allah already knew that the Pharoah would meet a sorry end, just as we know that capitalism is on its last legs today, even though it gives the appearance of being very powerful. Moses did not tell the Israelites to go and kill the Pharoah. Instead, he told his followers to concentrate their energy on their homes and their communities and to establish their connection with Allah. This is an example of how we can go about quietly struggling against evil.

And, hijab is precisely one of the symbols of this struggle. It is a sign that says, “I believe in Allah and I believe in forbidding what is evil and encouraging what is good.” It is an outward acknowledgement of an inner faith for which we are willing to sacrifice our egos and work hard for, in order to bring about positive social change.

In itself, hijab will not free the oppressed, feed the hungry, or create a moral society. It is a statement to the world that you KNOW you are a person of great value, worthy of being treated with decency and dignity, simply because Allah created you.

Keeping this empowering concept of hijab in mind, lets examine how women are treated in westernized society. You will see a striking parallel between the way the capitalist world system thinks of the earth and how they view women. If one word were to describe both, it would be EXPLOITATION.

In America, a lot of girls grow up not having any idea that they are worth anything. They see how everything is used for its commercial value and they feel insecure about their spiritual worth as human beings. This is because we see people having to think constantly in terms of consumer products. For example, the breakfast cereal in the prettiest box will be the most expensive, and this will bear no relation to the nutritional value of the cereal. And when it comes to women, we see on TV beautiful girls being used to sell everything from laundry detergent to cars, and the society puts such an emphasis on physical attractiveness that young girls will try so hard to look like these fashion models. When I was 12 years old I started taking diet pills, and I was on a diet for the next ten years until I became Muslim, al hamdulillah.

The truth about American society is that women are expected to sell themselves in order to be successful. That is, they have to make their bodies into a pretty package in order to be accepted socially or in order to get a job. Among the lower income, women will find that if they get a job as a waitress they will have to work very hard to act cute and pleasing and even flirtatious, in order to get good tips. But even professional women have to think in this way in order to get ahead. My mother, who has a PhD and works as a university administrator, was actually told that it is a department rule that all female employees must wear pantyhose. This is so sick. This is saying that no matter how hard you work or how educated you are, first and foremost, you must show your legs.

So, I believe that the hijab is a very firm way to say no to using your body for the sake of gaining commercial advantage. It is a way of saying that you refuse to participate in the exploitation of living beings for whatever profit. It says that you know you are worth something beyond being an object of pleasure for any and all. So in a small yet large way, to wear hijab is to fight against capitalism and greed. We are evidence that you have a choice. You can say no to capitalist, exploitation and destruction.

CONFRONTING THE CHALLENGES

It is true that there are many difficulties involved with wearing the hijab in American society. And we have to be prepared for this and understand where it comes from. First of all, we have to realize that some people are going to react to you in a hostile manner. However, it is important to realize that it is not a personal but a political issue. If someone curses at you for wearing hijab it is because they hate Islam, and it shows that they are racist, sexist, and oblivious to their Creator. Also, some people’s behavior may change towards you once you start wearing hijab, from being pleasant to extremely or subtly rude. Why is that? It is because you have rejected the idea that a woman’s role is to be cute and act stupid in order to make men’s egos feel good. You are showing them that you respect yourself and that you know who you are and you don’t feel it necessary to sell yourself by showing off your beauty just like a box of Sugar Pops.

Also, look at where you are living — there are plenty of places where Muslims are treated with respect. So if your family is having a really hard time as Muslims it could be that you are living in the wrong neighborhood. When I lived in a certain suburb, people used to yell at me out of their car windows. But when I lived in downtown, every time I went out of my house, someone would say to me, “Asalaam alaikum!” That felt really good, to be recognized as a Muslim.

Another problem you may face is finding a job. After all, it cannot be denied that when you give up that “cute” look, a lot of employment opportunities are going to be denied to you. But then again, broaden your horizon. If jobs like waitressing are denied to you, others like working in an office or school may still be available. Hijab can stimulate us to get creative and find new ways of making money, or of meeting your needs without using as much money. This is a way that forces each family to struggle against greed on an individual level as well.

Thirdly, you must always remember that no matter how educated you are, you still have the right to be supported by your husband and if it is too stressful for you to go out and fight the power every day, you can work in the home without guilt. The brothers also need to realize that the best treasure you can have is a believing wife.

Lastly, I want to address the fear that a lot of sisters may have that wearing hijab will alienate them from American society. I have been wearing hijab now for 6 years and I can assure you that actually the opposite is true. In America, the hijab does not mean seclusion. In fact, you will be compelled to talk to people constantly because every day you will be asked questions about Islam. Wearing hijab is like holding up a sign that says, “If you want to know about Islam, just ask me.” Remember that when you put on the hijab you are reaching out to help others. You are not rejecting them. Rather, you could really help a lot of women and men too, by creating a positive image of true beauty. If you could encourage just one girl to save herself from being used, because of the example you have set, think of how much pain and agony you will have helped her to avoid. And if you could teach just one person the beauty of Islam, isn’t that worth so much?

On that note, I conclude by saying, we are proud to be Muslim, so why hide it?

So, verily, with every difficulty, there is ease. Verily, with every difficulty, there is ease. Therefore, when you are free from your immediate task, still labor hard, And to your Lord turn all your attention. (94:5-8)

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