Origins of Arab-Israeli conflict


Origins of Arab-Israeli conflict

By Asif Baron Raja

To cast Muslims as the ‘enemy’ of Jews is distortion of history. Judaism resembles Islam in theology, structure and rituals far more than with Christianity. Historically, the Muslims treated the Jews fairly and humanely. Unlike in Europe where the Jews were hounded and ruthlessly persecuted, the Muslim rulers didn’t consider the Jews as infidels and were not proselytized. The Jews lived manifestly better in Muslim societies when compared with their stay within the Christian world. This is evident from the munificence and humility shown by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) towards the Jews. They were treated justly and kindheartedly by Muslim rulers during their golden rule in Spain and during the rule of the mighty Ottomans. Anti-Semitics was practiced by the Christians only. Accusing them of crucifying the Christ, the Jews were not only made to live in ghettoes in Europe but they also had to endure periodic massacres by Europeans.

It must also not be forgotten that Pope Urban II instigated the Christians in the name of religion and launched a crusade in 1095 to reclaim Jerusalem. The crusaders captured Jerusalem mainly because of disunity among the Muslims. The Old City was soaked in ankle deep human blood of Muslims and Jews. The crusaders were roundly defeated by Salahuddin Ayubi in the third crusade (1187-92) in the epic battle of Hattin mainly because he succeeded in achieving unity among the Arabs. Out of five crusades spread over two centuries, four were lost to the Muslims and the Jews played no role in defending Jerusalem. Logically, the Jews should have sought Muslims help to fight against the Christians to seek revenge, but ironically the two erstwhile antagonists joined hands to repress the Muslims.

None can deny that for over 1400 years, Muslim Arabs have been predominant in Palestine and in Jerusalem. In the 19th century, Palestine was inhabited by multi-cultural population with 86% Muslims, 10% Christians and 4% Jews living in peace. Extremist Jews called Zionists decided to create a separate homeland for the Jews. Accordingly, from late 19th century, the Jews spread all over the world were motivated by the Zionists to relocate to Palestine under a calculated plan. Great Britain which was in control of Palestine granted them permission to emigrate. Their influx disturbed the local inhabitants and heightened tensions.

During the First World War, the British Empire convinced the Arab leaders in 1916 to revolt against the Ottoman Empire promising them an independent Arab State including Palestine. However, contrary to the given commitment, Balfour Declaration in 1917 envisaged establishment of a Jewish State in Palestine since the Europeans desperately wanted to get rid of troublesome Jews. In 1920, European colonial powers divided Ottoman Empire into series of separate States and shared the spoils of war in the Middle East. Once Hitler gained power in Germany, the Jews eating into the vitals of German economy came under the axe of Nazis. When they refused to depart despite repeated threats, about 6 million Jews were killed, although some doubt the Holocaust.

On November 29, 1947, the UN General Assembly under Zionist pressure recommended partition of Palestine into two States and internationalization of Jerusalem under UN administration. Minority Jews were to receive 57% and the majority Arabs 43% of land. After the plan was approved by the US, the State of Israel was proclaimed on May 14, 1948. Rejection of the partition plan and creation of Israel by the Arab States led to 1948 Arab-Israeli war. Greatly helped by over 4000 war veterans of 2nd World War residing in US, Canada and Europe, the augmented Israeli Army defeated the poorly trained armies of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Trans-Jordon, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Egypt and captured 78% of Palestine. 750,000 Palestinians were driven out into refugee camps. Their breakdown was 2 million in Jordon, 427057 in Lebanon, 47770 in Syria, 788108 in West Bank, 1.1 million in Gaza and a quarter million internally displaced within new Jewish State of Israel, living under squalid and humiliating conditions as second rated citizens. Systematic ethnic cleansing of Palestinians was undertaken by Zionists and over 500 villages/towns were depopulated and destroyed.

After the end of war in 1949, Jordan occupied East Jerusalem and West Bank while Egypt took control of Gaza Strip in Sinai. In 1956, armies of Britain, France and Israel invaded Sinai after Egypt under Jamal Nasser nationalized Suez Canal. After the ceasefire enforced by the UN and withdrawal of invaders under international pressure, Israeli forces moved into Palestinian garrison based in Khan Younis which had refused to surrender and carried out gruesome massacre of 124 Palestinians in Rafah refugee camp. In the six-day war in 1967, Israel annexed Golan Heights in Syria, Jordon’s West Bank and Gaza Strip from Egypt. Since then, Israel is in military occupation of these lands. In the 1973 war, few Pakistani pilots took part in the Syrian air battles and downed several Israeli jets and checkmated Israeli aerial onslaught. Israeli ground forces captured Sinai Peninsula but returned it to Egypt after signing Camp David Accord in 1978.

After the debacle in 1967 war, Al-Fatah founded in 1959 joined PLO and Yasser Arafat became its chairman in 1969. That year, PLO carried out 2432 guerrilla attacks on Israel and became a force to reckon with. Arafat led the resistance movement against Israeli aggressive and expansionist policies resolutely and in short time internationalized the PLO movement. After battling with Israeli forces in Karameh in Jordon, PLO began to assert its authority and tended to mount a coup in Jordon. It impelled King Hussein to launch an all out offensive in September 1970. In this, Pakistani military advisor Brig Ziaul Haq guided Jordanian Army and helped it in expelling Fatah fighters.

They had to shift to Lebanon where they recouped and militarized 400,000 Palestinian refugees living in camps. PLO created a state-within-state in West Beirut and Southern Lebanon and then clashed with Maronite Christian Phalangists in 1975 which triggered civil war. The infighting propelled Syria to intervene in Lebanon in June 1976 with 30,000 troops. PLO fighters kept targeting Israeli targets as well, prompting Israel to invade Lebanon in March 1978 but it failed to dismantle PLO HQ. Another force which posed a challenge to Israel was Iran backed Hezbollah in Beirut in late 1970s. In the same timeframe intifada sparked in occupied Palestinian territories. Israeli troops killed thousands of teenagers armed with sling shots and stones. Israeli invasion of Lebanon in June 1982 which went up to Beirut was led by Gen Aerial Sharon. 2-3000 Palestinians in Sabra and Shatila camps were massacred by Phalangists under direct supervision of Sharon in September 1982. PLO had to pullout and shift to Tunisia and later to West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Suicide attack on US Embassy in Beirut on April 18, 1982 followed by another attack on October 23, 1983 on Marine HQ killing 241 Marines and attack on French paratroopers’ barracks killing 58 French soldiers forced the foreign forces to quit Lebanon. Civil war in Lebanon raged till 1990 claiming 120,000 fatalities.

Under intense pressure of the US and continued Israeli obduracy, Arafat made a huge compromise by foregoing PLO’s stance of not recognizing existence of Israel and agreeing to sign US brokered Oslo Peace Accords in 1993 whereby Israel recognized Palestinian Authority (PA) and gave it limited autonomy over West Bank and Gaza Strip in return for peace. The PA had however no control over borders, water and airspace. The Accord was in actuality a ruse to end Intifada which had brought a bad name to Israel. Instead of honoring the commitment and letting the PA to run an independent Palestinian State with Jerusalem as its capital, Israel continued with its forward settlement policy into West Bank at neck break speed to change the demographic structure. This illegal settlement is going on unabated to this day. It wanted the Palestinians to give right of existence to Israel but denied this right to the Palestinian State. Oslo Accords gave birth to Hamas, an offshoot of Ikhwanul Muslimeen/Muslim Brotherhood, which believed in continuation of resistance movement till the accomplishment of goals.

In 1994 Israel carried out partial withdrawal from Gaza Strip and later withdrew from Lebanon in 2000. However, it continued to persecute the Palestinians which triggered 2nd Intifada. Besides constructing a security fence in West Bank in 2002/03, Israel stepped up its campaign against Hamas as well as targeted assassination of prominent Palestinians. Multiple pressures affected the health of Arafat and after prolonged illness he died in November 2004 in Paris hospital under mysterious circumstances. It was widely speculated that he was slow-poisoned by Mossad. In 2012, the French authorities exhumed his body to investigate the allegations and it was confirmed that he was poisoned with polonium-210.

After his death, Mahmood Abbas became PLO’s Chairman and later President of PA but he couldn’t fit into the shoes of Arafat and soon the Fatah Party gave in to corruption and comforts of life and got factionalized and in turn strengthened Hamas. Izz al Din Qassam Brigade was formed by a small group of school kids in Central Gaza to confront Israeli aggression. By September 2005, Israeli troops completely withdrew from Gaza. In January 2006, Hamas won the elections and ousted Fatah government, which by then had become unpopular. It triggered infighting but in June 2007, much to the chagrin of Israel, Hamas fighters seized control over Gaza Strip and formed a government, restricting Abbas led Fatah government to Israeli controlled West Bank only. Tel Aviv refused to recognize democratically elected Hamas government and clamped down stringent controls over movement and flow of daily commodities into/out of Gaza enclave. The US and the West backed Israeli stance and jointly declared Hamas a terrorist outfit. Israel then widened rift between Fatah and Hamas to keep them on warpath.

Since then, Gaza Strip which is only 41 km long and crammed with 1.7 million Palestinians have remained under Israeli military control and economic siege and even Egypt under pro-US/Israeli Hosni Mubarak became part of the siege. Tel Aviv refuses to honor the Oslo Accords it had signed in 1993, giving Palestinians the right to establish an independent State in Gaza Strip and West Bank with Jerusalem as its capital or Jerusalem becoming a common capital for both. Israel has refused to lift siege of Gaza as promised in 2012 agreement and continued the land and sea blockade. Two-State solution duly endorsed by the UN goes against the master plan of establishing ‘Greater Israel’. Over 10,000 Palestinian men, women and children are held in Israeli prisons. Physical abuse and torture are a routine. Refugees are prohibited to return to their homeland. The lands on which Israelis are being settled are prime lands. Water sources are under the control of Israel. Not a bird can fly into Gaza Strip without the permission of Israel. Any ship attempting to send relief goods is seized and cargo confiscated. According to Robert Fisk, ‘Future Palestinian State will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel’.

Besides the economic blockade, Gaza was subjected to frequent aerial and artillery assaults as well as ground offensives by Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) in order to fail the Hamas regime. Israeli forces launched brutal offensives in 2007, Operation Cast Lead in December 2008/January 2009, and Operation Pillar of Defence in November 2012 (8-day war). In each offensive, hundreds of Gazans including children died. Egypt added to the miseries of people of Gaza by blocking Rafah crossing and destroying secret tunnels opening into Sinai. Only time the two were on friendly terms was during the one year rule of Morsi from June 2012 to July 2, 2013, who helped in arranging truce in November 2012, but ouster of Morsi regime and replacement by pro-Israel military regime has once again put Hamas under huge disadvantage.

Alignment of Hezbollah and Hamas during Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 2006 put Israel on the back foot for the first time. IDF suffered maximum fatalities in this war and the myth of invincibility of IDF was broken for the first time by Hezbollah. Iran helped Hamas in improving its defensive capability by providing rockets. It must not be forgotten that Hamas is devoid of army, air force, air defence, navy and intelligence and pitched against US-West backed IDF which is laced with most advanced weapon systems. Owing to fearless resistance offered by al-Qassam fighters against all odds, all Israeli offensives proved inconclusive and Hamas earned moral victory.

In 2012, the UN General Assembly upgraded the Palestinian status at the UN from ‘observer entity’ to ‘Non-member State’, which by implication was a de facto recognition of an independent Palestinian State. Reconciliation pact was signed between Fatah Party and Islamist Hamas on April 23, 2014 which called for uniting the two feuding factions and forming a unity government. The two sides agreed to establish an interim government of independents that would organize elections, thus ending seven years old rivalry which suited Israel. On May 29, 2014, President Mahmoud Abbas ignoring threat of sanctions by Israel asked PM Rami Hamdullah to head a new national unity government and the long awaited unity government took oath on June 2, 2014 at Ramallah. Gaza’s Prime Minister Ismail Haniyah and his cabinet resigned and 17-member cabinet, all politically independent, was selected after mutual consultations of Fatah and Hamas. Although the reconciliation agreement has held, a lot of bad blood still remains between Hamas and West Bank leadership.

Israel, which is an artificial implant in the Muslim heartland, got highly perturbed over the unification of Fatah and Hamas and in reaction established 1500 new settlements in New Jerusalem and West Bank. Israel tried hard to break the unity and reactivate their enmity. In revenge of the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli youths on June 12, 2014, alleged to be the handiwork of Hamas activists, a 15-year old Palestinian Tariq Abu Khudair was arrested by Israeli Police in East Jerusalem on July 3, 2014 and beaten to pulp. His 16-year old cousin M. Abu Khudair was kidnapped, beaten to near-death and then burnt to death by the three Israeli teens in Jerusalem on July 4. Over 460 Palestinians in West Bank and East Jerusalem were arrested and jailed on suspicion and their homes demolished. Social media sprang into action and young Jewish boys and girls started posting flurry of messages seeking death to Palestinians. An individual act subjected 1.7 million Gazans to collective punishment.

These vicious acts prompted the armed wing of Hamas Izzel-Deen al-Qassam to fire rockets over Israeli southern towns including city of Ashdod in protest. Hamas fired 800 rockets during the conflict most of which were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system. In reaction, IDF launched an airstrike on July 1, 2014 striking 15 Hamas sites in Gaza Strip. From July 8 onwards, Israel broke the 2012 truce and unleashed Operation Protective Edge. Thousands of young volunteers from the western world streamed in to Israel to take part in the massacre of Gazans. This inflow caused no anxiety to the western world as in the case of western Jihadists taking part in Syrian and Iraqi conflicts. Hamas fighters killed 50 Israeli soldiers.

3250 aerial strikes and gunfire by Israel killed over 1050 Palestinians, mostly women and children including handicapped, injured 5500 including 950 children and 90 women and destroyed over 500 homes. Hamas homes were the preferential targets. Over 77% fatalities were of innocent civilians. On an average, seven children were killed daily. It was soul searing to watch the pictures of mutilated bodies of children. One such picture was that of four-year old lovely Sahar Salman Abu Namous before and after his decapitation by an Israeli shell.

It was the worst flare-up and was for sure in reaction to reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah. Israeli leadership particularly defence minister Moshe Ya’alon wished to completely obliterate Hamas infrastructure once and for all to prevent future rocket attacks. Dani Dayon urged the government to cut off fuel and electricity to Gaza. Netanyahu asked 100,000 Gazans to vacate northern Gaza. Fearing ground assault, over 10,000 Gazans took shelter in installations of UN agency, but even the UN run school was not spared. Hospitals remained short of medicines and equipment. Repeated bombardments destroyed the vulnerable water system rendering hundreds of thousands without water. Israeli forces besides using chemicals also using flechette shells which sprayed thousands of tiny and lethal metal darts. Israel had turned Gaza Strip into an experimental laboratory for its high-tech weapons industry and chemicals. Israelis behaved worse than Nazis and were criminals in every law of the civilized world.

Amid worldwide protests condemning genocide of people of Gaza by IDFs, Egypt proposed a ceasefire on July 15 without consulting Hamas. It was silent on sea blockade and compensation for human/material losses incurred by Gazans. Those shortfalls shortened the life of ceasefire to six hours only. Continuation of rocket attacks by Hamas and other militant groups like Islamic Jihad, Popular Front/Democratic Front for Liberation of Palestine impelled Israel to resume aerial offensive followed by ground offensive on July 19 which took the lives of 42 Israeli soldiers and three civilians. One Israeli soldier was captured alive. Israel disregarded UN proposed humanitarian ceasefire on July 26 for 24 hours.

The Israeli forces laced with latest state-of-art weaponry ruthlessly bombed densely crowded refugee camps, schools, apartments, mosques and hospitals. They rained bombs unchecked since they knew the other side was devoid of an adequate response action. They were also confident that their excesses will not be questioned. Operation Protective Edge was aimed at punishing Gazans for bestowing confidence in the leadership of Hamas, forcibly obliterating Hamas network or bringing it to its knees.

Champions of democracy and human rights mired in hypocrisy, double-standards and Orwellian lies instead of bridling the monster projected Israel as the victim of aggression and patted it on the back that it has the right to defend itself and to go any length to safeguard its people. The US led west shed copious tears over the so-called piteous plight of the Israelis. The Israelis mourned that they had to run for cover each time a rocket was fired and that they couldn’t sleep peacefully because of the noise of rockets.

In the calculation of Israel and biased west, Palestinians are an expendable commodity while Israeli Jews are holy cows and have license to kill. For the US, security of Israel is top most priority. The western world remained silent over vicious bombing of IDFs massacring so many in open prison of Gaza and was not moved over the heart-wrenching sights of cruelly killed infants and wailing mothers. World powers including the biased UN insisted upon Hamas to stop rocket attacks that had caused death to one Israeli soldier and injury to two and politely requested Israel to show ‘maximum restraint’. For a single death of Israeli, hundreds of Palestinians were killed and their properties destroyed. Jewish controlled CNN, Fox News, CNBC, BBC uttered sheer lies to project racist Israel as victim of aggression and Palestinians as terrorists.

The American leadership bears the taunts and barbs of Israeli leaders smilingly and not only accept their blackmailing tactics submissively but also defends Israel’s black deeds resolutely and bend over backwards to keep it in good humor. Obama has doled out more aid to Israel than any president ever. This policy of appeasing Israel has been going on for decades and there are no signs of any change in this policy despite the fact that over a period of time the American public has got weary of Israel. While the Americans detest the repulsive arrogance and high-handedness of Israeli leaders and feel pity for the victims of Israeli unabated savagery, they abhor their leadership getting dictated by Israel and that too at the cost of American interests. They have seen the ugly face of Israel which is in illegal occupation of Palestinian lands since 1967 and is consistently gobbling up additional territory under the scheme of forward settlement of Jews and persecuting the subjugated Palestinians.

They are now questioning as to why their government remains subservient to the commands of Tel Aviv when it doles out largest share of aid ($3 billion) to it each year. They ask as to why Israel’s wanton crimes and injustices against Palestinians are being willfully ignored and its criminal acts backed. Such resentful sentiments are heard all over the world and voices of concern against Israeli Apartheid can be heard from all quarters. Support to Israel is diminishing in Europe as well and calls are being made to try Israeli leaders for war crimes in international court of justice. Even Jews in Israel are turning away from vindictive and violent policies pursued by their Zionist leaders.

Notwithstanding the barbarity of Israel and connivance of the US-western leadership, what is more painful is the abysmal role of the OIC and the Arab League in particular and the Muslim world in general. Their shameful silence and dreary approach is appalling. One is equally nonplussed over the indifference of dozens of Jihadi groups in Middle East towards the dilemma of marooned Gazans being mercilessly slaughtered by bestial Israelis. There is no Salahuddin Ayubi in the entire span of Muslim world to face up to the Israeli challenge. None has the ability to unite the Arab world since they direly lack Salahuddin’s piety, his mysticism, and his human and fighting abilities. The people of Gaza who in the past used to look towards Egypt are today cursing the ruling regime. Within the Muslim world only Pakistani, Turkish and Iranian armies backed by Pak air force are capable of roundly defeating US-NATO supported IDF in the battlefield.

The Muslim leaders must rise from their slumber and pick up courage to remind Israel that Muslims have historically greater claim over the holy city of Jerusalem and Israel is an illegitimate child of the west illegally occupying Palestinian land. As a minimum, they should take advantage of the change in the thinking of American and European public and collectively exert pressure on Israel to immediately stop the genocide of people of Gaza, end the inhuman blockade of Gaza, vacate the Palestinian lands under its illegal occupation and grant Palestinian refugees the right to return to their homeland. West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem are under illegal military occupation of Israel for the last 48 years. The UN and UNSC permanent members must play their role and let Palestinians establish their state as agreed to in Oslo Accord in 1993.

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Canadian Imams In Anti-ISIS Fatwa: ISIS Was Created By Western Interests To Remove Syrian Government; Joining It Is A Mortal Sin


Canadian Imams In Anti-ISIS Fatwa: ISIS Was Created By Western Interests To Remove Syrian Government; Joining It Is A Mortal Sin

The Middle East Media Research Institute reports: On March 11, 2015, the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada, a Calgary-based body headed by Imam Syed Soharwardy, issued a ‘historic fatwa’ against joining the Islamic State (ISIS). The fatwa states that ISIS is a ‘khawarij’ group,[1] and that whoever joins it or encourages others to do so in any way is committing a grave sin that excludes him from the fold of Islam.

The fatwa, signed by several dozen imams from across Canada, explains that ISIS is actually a group of ‘strangers’ that was ‘created by the funding of Western countries to overthrow the Syrian regime,’ and that it was ‘planted in Muslim countries to serve anti-Islam interests by deceiving Muslims in the name of Islam.’ It adds that ‘ISIS and other terrorists are using the policies of the United States and other Western countries in the Middle East as an excuse to control Muslim sentiments and then use them for their own political and personal gain.’  

The authors of the fatwa clarify that they strongly condemn those policies of the Western countries, including Canada itself, which are ‘completely unjust, based upon Islamophobia, bias and intolerance towards Muslims.’ They also ‘condemn the highly destructive and hateful role of the media in intentionally promoting intolerance towards Islam and Muslims.’ However, they say, Muslims cannot counter anti-Islamic efforts by choosing the path of ISIS, Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, Boko Haram, and other organizations of their ilk. This is because, even while countering anti-Islamic aggression, Muslims are utterly forbidden to commit many of the deeds that ISIS has committed, such as beheading enemies, Muslim or non-Muslim, or driving them from their homes; murdering Muslims, including religious scholars, who disagree with them; and destroying mosques and tombs. The fatwa also stresses that only governments are authorized to declare a war, and that the Islamic State does not have the status of an actual state or government.

Turning to the issue of Canada’s security, the authors emphasize that Canadian Muslims have a religious duty to protect this country against anyone who wishes to harm it. They note that Canada is home to over one million Muslims who enjoy complete freedom of worship, with over 1,000 mosques and over 700 Islamic schools across the country. Hence, any attack on Canada is an attack on the freedom of Canadian Muslims. The fatwa therefore states that ‘any person who inspires people to cause harm to Canada and Canadians must immediately be reported to the Police.’

The following are excerpts from the fatwa:[2]

“A Few Years Ago, ISIS/ISIL Was Created By The Funding Of Western Countries To Overthrow The Syrian Regime”

“[The] overwhelming majority of worldwide Islamic scholars have already individually declared ISIS/ISIL un-Islamic ‘outsiders’ (KHAWARIJ) group.  The attached Islamic edict (Fatwa) by the Canadian Muslim Imams and scholars is the first formal Fatwa in the world regarding ISIS/ISIL and its recruitment activities… This Fatwa has been issued in order to help Muslims especially youth to understand what Islamic laws and ethics stand for and how ISIS/ISIL is violating those laws and ethics. The consistent and constant misinterpretation and misuse of the verses of the Holy Qur’an and Hadith of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) by the ISIS/ISIL to control Muslim lands and people should be exposed and condemned.

“We hope this Fatwa will help Muslims and non-Muslims to understand what Islam requires from its followers. We also hope this Fatwa will help the Canadian government, Ministers and the Media not to link Islam, Muslims and Islamic terminologies e.g. Jihad with the violence and extremism caused by terrorists organizations like ISIS/ISIL.

We encourage other Muslim Imams and scholars to endorse this Fatwa OR issue their own fatwa in order to help Muslims not to be misguided by ISIS/ISIL…

“O ye who believe! If a wicked person comes to you with any news, ascertain the truth, lest ye harm people unwittingly, and afterwards become full of repentance for what ye have done. (49:6) When the Hypocrites come to thee, they say, ‘We bear witness that thou art indeed the Messenger of Allah.’ Yea, Allah knoweth that thou art indeed His Messenger, and Allah beareth witness that the Hypocrites are indeed liars. (63:1). There are several other verses in the holy Qur’an and there are several Hadith of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) clearly warning Muslims that there are and will be people apparently claiming to be Muslims but who, in fact, will be imposters who deceive Muslims in order to destroy them. Muslims must not trust such individuals or groups…

“No Muslim ever heard the name of ‘Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)’ OR ‘Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL)’ OR ‘Da’esh’ (داعش) OR the names of its leaders until few years ago. The sudden appearance of hitherto completely unknown persons, trying to take over the Muslim lands and the leadership of the Muslims in the Middle East, is very doubtful and suspicious. A few years ago, ISIS/ISIL was created by the funding of Western countries to overthrow the Syrian regime. These strangers cannot be trusted. Their claim to establish a ‘Caliphate’ (Khilafah Al-Islamiyah) is very suspicious, and cannot be trusted. The reasons are discussed later in this Fatwa…”

Like The Khawarij, ISIS Is Destroying The Muslim Ummah; It Was “Planted In Muslim Countries To Serve Anti-Islam Interests”

“During the first century of Islam a similar group emerged in Syria and Iraq. They were extremely violent people who murdered many members of the family and the companions of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). The SAHABAH and AHLUL BAIT (the Companions and the Family of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) identified and isolated that group and called them ‘the outsiders’ (KHAWARIJ). They did not accept them as a part of the Muslim community.

“The strategy that the Khawarij used to destroy the Ummah is precisely the same as that being used by the ISIS/ISIL and other terrorist organizations in current times. The Khawarij wanted to establish a ‘Caliphate’ (Khilafah) based upon their own political agenda. Today, ISIS/ISIL is using the same word, ‘Caliphate (Khilafah)’, to misguide and manipulate Muslims. ISIS and other terrorists are using the policies of the United States and other Western countries in the Middle East as an excuse to control Muslim sentiments and then use them for their own political and personal gain. In our opinion, these aforementioned terrorist organizations are planted in Muslim countries to serve anti-Islam interests by deceiving Muslims in the name of Islam.

“We, the undersigned Imams, strongly disagree and condemn those policies of the United States, Canada and other Western countries in the Middle East which are completely unjust, based upon Islamophobia, bias and intolerance towards Muslims. We also understand and condemn the highly destructive and hateful role of the media in intentionally promoting intolerance towards Islam and Muslims. However, in order to counter the anti-Islam and anti-Muslim efforts, a Muslim cannot choose the path of ISIS or other terrorist organizations like Al Qaeda, Taliban, Boko Haram, Al-Shabab, Al-Nusrah, Lashkar Taiba, Lashkar Jhangwi, etc.”

ISIS’s Actions Are Absolutely Forbidden In Islam And Cannot Be Justified Under Any Circumstances

“There is very clear guidance in the holy Qur’an and in the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) clearly guiding Muslims on how to handle anti-Islam and anti-Muslim aggression on the part of groups and governments.  Under no circumstances Islam allows the following. The following actions are un-Islamic and completely forbidden.

  1. Capturing opponents; Muslim OR non-Muslim civilians and beheading them.

  2. Killing Muslims who disagree with beliefs and actions of ISIS/ISIL.

  3. Destroying mosques.

  4. Demolishing the graves of Prophets (peace upon them), Aulia Allah (Saints) and ordinary people.

  5. Forcing out Muslims OR non-Muslims from their houses and making them refugees. There are now more than eight million refugees because of the atrocities of ISIS/ISIL.

  6. Murdering Islamic scholars who oppose ISIS/ISIL.

  7. Encouraging Muslim girls and facilitating their travel secretly to Syria and Iraq to fight for an organization like ISIS/ISIL.

  8. Burning enemy soldiers alive.

  9. Mutilating a human body alive or dead.

  10. Throwing enemy combatants or civilians from a height to kill them.

“ISIS/ISIL have committed all of the above violations in the most horrific and inhumane way.  These actions are not allowed under any circumstances in Islam. Such actions are absolutely HARAAM (forbidden and major sin) in Islam and cannot be justified under any circumstances.

ISIS’s Struggle Cannot Be Considered Jihad

“Nor can the struggle of ISIS/ISIL be considered ‘JIHAD’. The clear guidance of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) regarding armed struggle (war) is as follows. During a war (Jihad), a Muslim army cannot do the following. These are the Jihad ethics of Islam that no one has the authority to change. These are also the Sharia laws about Jihad that no one can change.

  1. Do not kill children, even if they belong to the enemy.

  2. Do not kill noncombatant men or women, even if they are from the ranks of the enemy.

  3. Do not kill elderly, sick or weak people, even if they are from the ranks of the enemy.

  4. Do not cut trees.

  5. Do not contaminate water.

  6. Do not destroy the places of worship of any religion.

  7. Do not force people against their will to convert to Islam.

 “War (Jihad) cannot be declared by individuals or groups of people. Only an Islamic government with its authority on a state can declare war (Jihad) if the state is being attacked. (Note: ISIS/ISIL was not a government of any state. They were created by western interests in the region to benefit western interests by removing the Syrian government.).

“ISIS/ISIL has violated all of the above prohibitions of Islam. They have disobeyed the Qur’an and the guidance of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) therefore, their struggle cannot be an Islamic struggle and their war cannot be called ‘Jihad’. Rather, it is pure terrorism and HARAAM.  The behavior and the actions of ISIS/ISIL has consistently proven that they are NOT Muslims and they cannot be trusted by the Muslims…

“We, the undersigned Imams inform all Muslim youth, girls, boys and general public that:

  • Joining ISIS/ISIL and groups like ISIS/ISIL is HARAAM (forbidden) in Islam.

  • Any Muslim who joins these KHAWARIJ (ISIS/ISIL) groups actually disconnects and disassociates himself/herself from the Ummah of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

  • Any Muslim who joins ISIS/ISIL OR similar groups disobeys Allah and His Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

“And whosoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him), and transgresses His limits, He will cast him into the Fire, to abide therein; and he shall have a disgraceful torment. (4:14)

  • Any Muslim who helps, facilitates travel, provides funds or encourages a Muslim to join ISIS/ISIL and groups like ISIS/ISIL commits HARAAM. Such a person will not only be punished by Allah for misguiding Muslims but will also be responsible for the crimes committed by the people he/she has motivated.

  • Any Muslim who helps, directly or indirectly, any organization, agency, group, individual or government which supports facilitates or motivates Muslim girls or boys to travel secretly OR without the consent of parents to join ISIS/ISIL or any other terrorist organization commits Haraam and will face the wrath of Allah in this world and in the next world. (No Muslim parents will ever give consent to join ISIS/ISIL knowing the un-Islamic nature of ISIS)

“Ye are the best of peoples, evolved for mankind, enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong, and believing in Allah. (3:110)

“Any Person Who Inspires People To Cause Harm To Canada And Canadians Must Immediately Be Reported To The Police”

“We strongly urge every Muslim, especially the youth, not to be influenced by the speeches, songs and the literature available on the Internet or on social media produced by the imposters pretending to be Muslims. This is a trap for young Muslims. They must visit their local mosques and discuss any questions or points of confusion with the Imam publicly. Any person who inspires people to cause harm to Canada and Canadians must immediately be reported to the Police. This is our Islamic duty, as Canada is a country where more than 1.1 million Muslims live, more than 1000 mosques have been built in every part of the country, more than 700 Islamic schools (madrasah) are educating Muslim children and adults, where large gatherings on Islam, Qur’an and Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) are freely and publicly held, and where every day several non-Muslim ‘Canadians embrace Islam.  Muslims have complete freedom to practice Islam in Canada.

Therefore, any attack on Canada will be an attack on the freedom of Canadian Muslims. It is the duty of every Canadian Muslim to safeguard Canada. May Allah save Canada and the entire world from the evil ISIS/ISIL and other of wrong doers…”

 

Endnotes:

 

[1] The Khawarij were an infamous early Muslim school that rebelled against the central authority and was quick to declare other Muslims apostates.

[2] Islamicsupremecouncil.com, March 11, 2015.

Kuwaiti Researcher Abdulazziz Al-Qattan: ISIS Is The Product Of Islamic Heritage


Kuwaiti Researcher Abdulazziz Al-Qattan: ISIS Is The Product Of Islamic Heritage

The following report is from MEMRI’s Counter-Radicalization Initiative.

In a recent TV show, Kuwaiti researcher Abdulazziz Al-Qattan said that the ISIS ideology existed long before the emergence of ISIS and Al-Qaeda, and that it was a product of Islamic heritage. “All the books of Islamic heritage, without exception… have enough ISIS ideology to turn your hair white,” said Al-Qattan, speaking on Al-Mayadeen TV on March 3, 2015.

Following are excerpts:

Click here to view this clip on MEMRI TV

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Abdulaziz Al-Qattan: “ISIS did not come out of nowhere. It’s not an aberration. By no means. ISIS adopts the Salafi-Wahhabi ideology of Al-Qaeda. If you look at Durur Al-Saniyah by Muhammad Ibn Abd Al-Wahhab, you will see that ISIS is implementing the ideas of that book to the letter. They are doing it step by step, word by word.

[…]

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“The problem of us Arabs is that we are not being honest with ourselves. We do not acknowledge our mistakes. We refuse to break away from that heritage. Our Islamic heritage is a minefield of these deviant ideas. Unfortunately, even some contemporary muftis, sheiks, and Islamic scholars subscribe to this reactionary ideology and to this backwardness. To this day, some of them consider photography to be prohibited polytheism, and view statuses as idols that are worshiped instead of Allah.

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Even in the days of the Islamic conquests, ‘Amr Ibn Al-‘As did not destroy the Sphinx and did not shatter statues in Egypt. I cannot imagine Islam, or any civilization, without art. I cannot imagine the beauty of Islam without art. Art is sublime. Art means progress. Art means civilization. Can you possibly imagine humanity without art? Inconceivable! Inconceivable!

[…]

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“The ISIS [ideology] existed even before ISIS and Al-Qaeda emerged, but we turned a blind eye, and some Arab governments still prefer not to face the plain truth. All the books of Islamic heritage, without exception – from all Islamic sects and denominations – have enough ISIS ideology to turn your hair white. Therefore, what we need to do is sift through Islamic heritage. We must go back to the book of Allah, for it gives guidance to humanity. Islam does not, under any circumstances, run counter to human nature. Allah created Man free and gave him freedom of thought, but the problem is that the Muslims have begun to worship people. We have begun to worship our heritage. We have begun to worship books.

[…]

“I say “Islamic heritage,” but that is not what it is. It is the heritage of the jurisprudents, not of the Prophet Muhammad. The books of Islamic heritage – Al-Bukhari and Muslim hadith collections, and the other canonical hadith books, as well as the Kitab Al-Kafi and all the other books of the Shiites… All these books need to be sifted through by real institutions. “These stories should be sifted through in order to filter out all their blemishes. Politics played a role in the evolvement of this heritage. The Islamic scholars of the Sultan’s court played a role in this. The hadith narrators were not infallible. Some of them were liars, cheats, and so on.”

[…]

View The Clip

A Joint Appeal to Sunnis and Shias


A Joint Appeal to Sunnis and Shias

IR,- We, the undersigned, are greatly saddened by the violence and bloodshed which have characterized Sunni-Shia relations over time. Thousands have been killed in feuds between the two, mostly in certain Muslim countries. It is tragic that many innocent women and children have been among the victims.

Sunni-Shia animosity and antagonism have clearly weakened the Muslim ummah. It has made us more vulnerable to the manipulations and machinations of outside elements determined to subvert the unity and integrity of the ummah. It has allowed those who seek to establish their hegemonic power over us to succeed in their objectives.

It is indisputable that Sunni-Shia antagonism and conflicts which have resulted in massacres have tarnished the image and dignity of the ummah in the eyes of the world. Few other occurences in recent times have had such a negative impact.

We appeal to all Sunnis and Shias, bound as we are by the same faith in Allah, guided by the same Noble Quran, honouring the same last Messenger of Allah, and facing the same Kiblah, to desist from massacring and the killing one another immediately.

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NO MORE VIOLENCE NO MORE BLOODSHED NO MORE KILLINGS

The two of us – a former Prime Minister from a Sunni majority state, and a former President from  an  overwhelmingly Shia  nation  – also  address this  appeal  to  the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) which represents all Muslims of whatever sect or doctrine. The OIC could perhaps set up a task force that will examine the Sunni­ Shia divide in depth and submit concrete proposals for the political and religious leaders of the ummah to act upon.

We also appeal to sincere, concerned individuals and civil society groups from all over the world to join in this endeavour to stop the violence and bloodshed and to promote peace and understanding between Sunnis and Shias.

This joint appeal will be widely circulated mainly through the online media. We shall follow-up on this appeal with other activities and programmes.

May Allah Subhanahuwataala Guide us in all our humble efforts to serve Him.

S. Muhammad Khatami President of the Islamic Republic Of Iran (1997-2005)

Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad Prime Minister of Malaysia (1998-2003)

Via Iran Review

 

Top Ten Ways Islamic Law Forbids Terrorism


Top Ten Ways Islamic Law Forbids Terrorism

Islam’s holy book forbids coercing people into adopting any religion. They have to willingly choose it.

April 19, 2013

Erik Rush and others who hastened to scapegoat Muslims for the Boston Marathon bombing are ignorant of the religion. I can’t understand why people who have never so much as read a book about a subject appoint themselves experts on it. (Try  this book, e.g.). We don’t yet know who carried out the attack, but we know they either aren’t Muslims at all or they aren’t real Muslims, in the nature of the case.

Here are the top ten ways that Islamic law and tradition forbid terrorism (some of these points are reworked from previous postings):

1. Terrorism is above all murder. Murder is strictly forbidden in the Qur’an. Qur’an 6:151 says, “and do not kill a soul that God has made sacrosanct, save lawfully.” (i.e. murder is forbidden but the death penalty imposed by the state for a crime is permitted). 5:53 says, “… whoso kills a soul, unless it be for murder or for wreaking corruption in the land, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind; and he who saves a life, it shall be as if he had given life to all mankind.”

2. If the motive for terrorism is religious, it is impermissible in Islamic law. It is forbidden to attempt to impose Islam on other people. The Qur’an says, “There is no compulsion in religion. The right way has become distinct from error.” (-The Cow, 2:256). Note that this verse was revealed in Medina in 622 AD or after and was never abrogated by any other verse of the Quran. Islam’s holy book forbids coercing people into adopting any religion. They have to willingly choose it.

3. Islamic law forbids aggressive warfare. The Quran says, “But if the enemies incline towards peace, do you also incline towards peace. And trust in God! For He is the one who hears and knows all things.” (8:61) The Quran chapter “The Cow,” 2:190, says, “Fight in the way of God against those who fight against you, but begin not hostilities. Lo! God loveth not aggressors.”

4. In the Islamic law of war, not just any civil engineer can declare or launch a war. It is the prerogative of the duly constituted leader of the Muslim community that engages in the war. Nowadays that would be the president or prime minister of the state, as advised by the mufti or national jurisconsult.

5. The killing of innocent non-combatants is forbidden. According to Sunni tradition, ‘Abu Bakr al-Siddiq, the first Caliph, gave these instructions to his armies: “I instruct you in ten matters: Do not kill women, children, the old, or the infirm; do not cut down fruit-bearing trees; do not destroy any town . . . ” (Malik’s Muwatta’, “Kitab al-Jihad.”)

6. Terrorism or hirabah is forbidden in Islamic law, which groups it with brigandage, highway robbery and extortion rackets– any illicit use of fear and coercion in public spaces for money or power. The principle of forbidding the spreading of terror in the land is based on the Qur’an (Surah al-Ma’ida 5:33–34). Prominent  [pdf] Muslim legal scholar Sherman Jackson writes, “The Spanish Maliki jurist Ibn `Abd al-Barr (d. 464/ 1070)) defines the agent of hiraba as ‘Anyone who disturbs free passage in the streets and renders them unsafe to travel, striving to spread corruption in the land by taking money, killing people or violating what God has made it unlawful to violate is guilty of hirabah . . .”

7. Sneak attacks are forbidden. Muslim commanders must give the enemy fair warning that war is imminent. The Prophet Muhammad at one point gave 4 months notice.

8. The Prophet Muhammad counseled doing good to those who harm you and is said to have commanded, “Do not be people without minds of your own, saying that if others treat you well you will treat them well, and that if they do wrong you will do wrong to them. Instead, accustom yourselves to do good if people do good and not to do wrong (even) if they do evil.” (Al-Tirmidhi)

9. The Qur’an demands of believers that they exercise justice toward people even where they have reason to be angry with them: “And do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness.”[5:8]

10. The Qur’an assures Christians and Jews of paradise if they believe and do good works, and commends Christians as the best friends of Muslims. I wrote elsewhere, “Dangerous falsehoods are being promulgated to the American public. The Quran does not preach violence against Christians.

Quran 5:69 says (Arberry): “Surely they that believe, and those of Jewry, and the Christians, and those Sabeaans, whoso believes in God and the Last Day, and works righteousness–their wage waits them with their Lord, and no fear shall be on them, neither shall they sorrow.”

In other words, the Quran promises Christians and Jews along with Muslims that if they have faith and works, they need have no fear in the afterlife. It is not saying that non-Muslims go to hell– quite the opposite.

When speaking of the 7th-century situation in the Muslim city-state of Medina, which was at war with pagan Mecca, the Quran notes that the polytheists and some Arabian Jewish tribes were opposed to Islam, but then goes on to say:

5:82. ” . . . and you will find the nearest in love to the believers [Muslims] those who say: ‘We are Christians.’ That is because amongst them are priests and monks, and they are not proud.”

So the Quran not only does not urge Muslims to commit violence against Christians, it calls them “nearest in love” to the Muslims! The reason given is their piety, their ability to produce holy persons dedicated to God, and their lack of overweening pride.

(For a modernist, liberal interpretation, see  this pdf file, “Jihad and the Islamic Law of War.”

Juan Cole is a professor of history at the University of Michigan and maintains the blog Informed Comment.

source: alternet.org