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Turkish PM Erdogan Admonishes Israel President Shimon Peres over Gaza, and Walks Off

Amad Abu Reem

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Turkey’s prime minister walked off the stage at the World Economic Forum red-faced Thursday after reproaching Israel’s president over the Gaza offensive by saying “You kill people.” May Allah reward you Erdogan. Way to go! At least someone has the you-know-what. And Shimon quoted Mubarak and Abbas, accusing Hamas for everything. May Allah also reward these two sell-outs with what they deserve.

After he walked off, our Br. Abu Eesa was in the audience:

Well, across perhaps 30-40 bodyguards when I shouted across to him in Arabic, “Jazākallāhu khayran for speaking the truth!” he turned around, and came through the crowd to give me a hug and say, “Hayyākallāh wa bārakallāhu feek!” My Turkish colleague then said to him, “May Allah be pleased with you for what you said!” to which he replied pointing to his heart, “My imān forced me to say it.”

Read more on AlJazeera news.

The confrontation saw Peres and Ergodan raise their voice – highly unusual at the elite gathering of corporate and world leaders, which is usually marked by learned consensus seeking and polite dialogue. It showed how emotions remain frayed over Israel’s offensive against Hamas that ended less than two weeks ago. [Forbes]

I find it interesting that Shimon, who is thought to be a “man of peace” was so strong in his defense of the massacre. Also find it interesting how people can lie with a straight-face so easily. And shame on him for bringing up the statements from the Hamas charter about Muslims and Jews related to end-times, but obviously forgetting to mention the OFFICIAL ARMY Rabbi urging maximizing murders of gentiles in Gaza’s massacre in the last month(and not in end-times):

The booklet contains quotes from a nationalist rabbi which declares that showing mercy during the battle would be “terribly immoral” and quotes a medieval sage who cautioned Jews not to “be enticed by the folly of the Gentiles who have mercy for the cruel.” [Anti-War / Independent]

The following is a short-clip of Erdogan’s response and walk-out, followed by a video spanning the entire debate (over an hour long):

Entire Debate:

[youtube cR4zRbPy2kY]


Photo Credit: AP

Imad Shaykh is one of the founders of MuslimMatters, Inc. His identity is shaped by his religion (Islam), place of birth (Pakistan), and nationality (American). By education, he is a ChemE, topped off with an MBA from Wharton. He has been involved with Texas Dawah, Clear Lake Islamic Center and MSA. His interests include politics, cricket, and media interactions. Career-wise, Imad is in management in the oil & gas industry (but one who still appreciates the "green revolution").

60 Comments

60 Comments

  1. Avatar

    AsimG

    January 29, 2009 at 7:35 PM

    I was going to email you about this Amad.

    May Allah reward him and his wife. They are trying so hard to change things in such a secular country.
    His wife wears hijab and people tried kicking him out of office when he tried to overturn the hijab ban.

    They also talked to his and her eyes were glistening saying everything Peres said is wrong!

  2. Avatar

    Hidaya

    January 29, 2009 at 8:08 PM

    U r super-duper quick mashaAllah! I came here to post the link from BBC but I guess u beat me to it..olol

  3. Avatar

    Turkeyfan

    January 29, 2009 at 8:21 PM

    where does peres mention the hadith? i don’t have time to watch the whole thing!! thank you!!!!

    • Amad

      Amad

      January 29, 2009 at 8:26 PM

      “turkeyfan” 42:10

  4. Avatar

    Turkeyfan

    January 29, 2009 at 8:32 PM

    thank you brother. i’m appalled.

  5. Avatar

    AsimG

    January 29, 2009 at 8:56 PM

    I watched the whole thing and cannot believe they quoted a hadith and pretended it was just rantings of Hamas.

    Why does Israel play this game? If you are having a war against Islam then just say so! Don’t justify your actions by talking about how evil Islam and Muslims are when you have nothing else to say.

    Already yahoo has edited their article to include more of Peres talking points. Watch his popularity skyrocket and his words repeated all over.

    *sigh* Deaf ears…

  6. Avatar

    mofw

    January 29, 2009 at 9:02 PM

    The army is gonna punish him. They are buddy buddy with Israel.

  7. Avatar

    Hidaya

    January 29, 2009 at 9:11 PM

    He received a very warm welcome in Turkey…Thousands of people gathered in airport to welcome him..(my dad said, they showed it live on Geo)

    • Amad

      Amad

      January 29, 2009 at 9:20 PM

      Those thousands are your “average” Turkish people. Muslims and proud to be Muslims. And the majority. But the powerful minority of secularists, supported by the secularist army and courts, continue to repress the majority’s will (such as in the hijab case). If it wasn’t the international community watching, Turkey probably would have had a coupe a long time ago to preserve minority rule by the ataturk-behind-kissers. And I won’t be surprised that after Turkey’s increasingly anti-Israel rhetoric, that the international community doesn’t give the army the signal to move in or the courts are given some “nice incentives” to force the Muslim party out (note: I said Muslim, not Islamist).

  8. Avatar

    Turka

    January 29, 2009 at 9:23 PM

    No! No one can punish the government! The government got %47 of Turkish votes and underwent a party closing case which ended in failure for seculars! Things have changed in Turkey. I advice you to make a search about Fethullah Gülen. Perhaps you can understand why Turkey has changed…

  9. Avatar

    mofw

    January 29, 2009 at 9:25 PM

    I just watched the video and I actually got a little emotional finally seeing a Muslim political leader tell it as it is. Everyone else is all smiles, hugs and kisses with these lying murderers.

  10. Avatar

    BrownS

    January 29, 2009 at 9:25 PM

    Note Peres’ point about how democracy is not just about holding elections but about “civilization.”
    Isn’t there a verse in the Qur’an about how nothing except adopting their way of life will satisfy the non-Muslims?

    Also, this will probably become yet another instance of Muslims making a scene because they don’t know how to manage their temper or comport themselves in a “civilized” way.

  11. Avatar

    Manas Shaikh

    January 29, 2009 at 9:27 PM

    “Israel’s offensive against Hamas”
    Yeah, right.

  12. Avatar

    abu abdAllah, the Houstonian

    January 29, 2009 at 9:34 PM

    innalhamdolillah! may Allah bless the leader of the Turks, the secular leader who has not sold out his faith for a cheap price.

    every Turk i ever met in Turkey was kind and fair. tears filled my eyes as i type. subhanAllah. that there might be people in Turkey who would oppose him for standing up against a defender of murderers, a man who defines the hypocrisy of the Zionists’ “Shalom.”

    that man’s name should be shallow, or something lower than that. it should be the opposite of salam.

  13. Avatar

    mofw

    January 29, 2009 at 10:58 PM

    Turka,

    Things may have changed in turkey but they haven’t in the military which will kick you out if you pray. The only reason the army hasn’t shut down this government yet is because of the whole entrance into the EU thing. When the army was getting all agitated the Europeans started wagging their fingers until they backed down.

  14. Avatar

    mofw

    January 29, 2009 at 11:02 PM

    Erdogan standing up for the Palestinians is admirable. But let us also encourage him to stand up for the oppressed minority of Kurds in Turkey.

    Read more here

  15. Avatar

    mbslrm

    January 29, 2009 at 11:10 PM

    Hopefully this doesn’t get Turkey kicked out of the EU…

    And May Allah reward and preserve him and his family.

  16. Avatar

    Ameera

    January 29, 2009 at 11:34 PM

    Great news to start the day MashAllah! I was surprised to see, in a BBC report, how the supporters who gathered outside the Istanbul airport were so prepared and organized, with all the right banners and everything. It’s a good welcome for him in Turkey, no matter what the “establishment” does later on. May Allah guide them!

    The rest of the Muslim leaders better develop some backbone now.

  17. Avatar

    Dawud Israel

    January 29, 2009 at 11:49 PM

    I always thought Turkish people were ALL “modern and secular” but from the Turks I have talked to, even if they aren’t religious- they are VERY MUCH for helping the Muslim world. They identify heavily with their history as Muslims. The Ottomans have left a sense of responsibility among some Turks, responsibility for helping the rest of the Muslim world progress and a longing to be what they once were. I think that was partly why they are so secular…because they see it as the best way of helping Muslims. India had this same dynamic with the establishing of Aligarh Muslim University…and also the Darul Ulooms- both by religious men.

    It’s enlivening to see the religious take root in the government of Turkey, but I hope they don’t become dogmatic, angry and cathartic and end up accomplishing nothing like some of the men who preach from minbars.

    Turkey and Malaysia are the two best hopes in the Ummah today. Educated, religious and up-to-date. May Allah make them lights for this ummah. Ameen.

  18. Avatar

    abu abdAllah, the Houstonian

    January 30, 2009 at 12:09 AM

    bismillah. “…we really need to get people to dinner…” that about sums up the interest of the average Davos participant in the suffering imposed by Israel. sure, there were people there whose hearts bleed for the inhumanities done by the Zionists against defenseless Gazan women and children, and the husbands and fathers who died or were heavily wounded with them. but their sentiments were summed up by Prime Minister Erdogan, mashaAllah.

  19. Avatar

    Alpaslan

    January 30, 2009 at 12:30 AM

    Turkiye, with its people and military is getting ready for its predestined future and duties, but are you guys ready for that too?
    Salaaam alaikum

  20. Avatar

    Taha A

    January 30, 2009 at 12:46 AM

    Perez is a moron. He was talking about the rockets that hit a setltement. In my opinion after watching the 60 minutes segment, any settler whether men or women are all enemies and are fair game Their goals are to destroy the palestinians!!!

  21. Avatar

    Phil

    January 30, 2009 at 1:02 AM

    Taha
    Who/what are our teachers? Perez or the Quran?

  22. Avatar

    Taha A

    January 30, 2009 at 1:08 AM

    I really applaud the turkish pm . It is about time some muslim leader stands up to israel. Mubarak and abbas are traitors

  23. Avatar

    abu abdAllah, the Houstonian

    January 30, 2009 at 1:17 AM

    okay — i’ve reached the end of the whole “debate.” how disgusting is the moderator for giving the lying-Peres-“we-never-started”!-“they-broke-it”-[the ceasefire] — gave that liar the chance to speak in the fourth position? i can understand starting with the UN Secretary — though notice how the sympathetic SG was only given a few minutes. then having two Muslims on stage, the moderator did not bracket Peres. rather he wanted Peres to have “equal time” to what he gave the Muslims. and for the moderator “equal” meant Peres gets to have both twice as much time as the PM of Turkey, but also the right to speak after everyone else. subhanAllah.

    and Peres used almost all of this generous allocation of time — from the outset — not to give a single pre-written comment, but strictly to attack the statements of PM Erdogan. “why did they fire rockets against us?” — subhanAllah. may Peres know much peace at night, every night full of delightful slumber in this life, so that when he is in his grave he will burn — wide awake in lasting terror for his sins and lies. may his every night in the grave be subject to a rain of fire that makes his nation’s attack seem by comparison like Gaza’s rockets. let him think then about proportionality. and may his every day in the grave sting with parched heat, like the thirst of Gaza — “There wasn’t a day that we did not supply water and oil,” liar!

    Peres never spoke the truth except when he said that he hoped Hamas had learned the same lesson as Hizbollah.

    at the very end, i felt sad for the Arab SG — he really looked like he wanted to follow PM Erdogan offstage. but he let the UN SG bring him back in line; may Allah forgive him for his weakness.

    PM Erdogan’s first speech was laudable, as was the brief response he started to give (though a youtube commentator said that the translator watered down most of his words quite a bit). i am actually amazed he had the stomach to sit there through Peres’ direct attacks. but imagine what he would done with his time if he had been allowed to go after Peres? wAllaho’Alim, i think he would have ripped Peres to shreds.

  24. Avatar

    Phil

    January 30, 2009 at 1:22 AM

    does anyone know who the man at the end was who shook his hand?

    When the Pm walked off the last guy that was seated stood up and shook his hand. Anyone know who it was?

  25. Avatar

    osman

    January 30, 2009 at 2:18 AM

    amazing display from the turkish leader!!!

    on a side, I think MM should write about what is happening in Sri Lanka, lots of innocents Tamils are being killed with similar “justifications”, although they might not be Muslims, Muslims in Sri Lanka are affected by it.

  26. Avatar

    MuslimahCA

    January 30, 2009 at 3:19 AM

    Subhanallah can someone translate this for us!? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nw9uJ0XgBp4&feature=related
    Its PM Erdogan, probably after he spoke at the debate!

    May Allah protect him and his family, surely he is the only Muslim leader with you know what like you said and eman!

  27. Avatar

    AsimG

    January 30, 2009 at 3:48 AM

    Phil, it’s the Arab secretary, Amr something. Watch the longer version and it will have his name.

  28. Avatar

    ibn mohammed AsSudani

    January 30, 2009 at 8:54 AM

    unfortunately due to Shimon Peres’ speaking abilities his argument would seem plausible to the undecided viewer. I only hoped that Erdogan could have spoken in English as the translation of his words is merely someones interpretation of what he is saying

    may Allah make it easier for him and enable him to overcome his enemies, including those within his own country.

    watch Amr Musa at 1.04.30, (when Erdogan walks off the stage). he doesnt know whether to follow Erdogan off the stage or take his seat again….its a big decision…but as expected from the leader of the useless Arab league, he takes his seat again in order not to miss the dinner.

  29. Avatar

    muhajir

    January 30, 2009 at 10:23 AM

    “We need to get people to dinner” was sort of strange. Couldn’t they think of a better reason to stifle criticism of Israel? And yes, it was a sad sight to see the Arab League rep stand up shake hands with the pm then have the sort of ‘deer in the headlight’ moment of whether I should show solidarity with Muslims or not. But when Ban Ki-Moon told him to sit down it was “yes sir” as usual.

  30. Avatar

    iMuslim

    January 30, 2009 at 11:19 AM

    I tried to listen to the PM’s clip, but the volume of his voice is drowning out that of the translator. Has it been transcribed anywhere for me to read?

  31. Avatar

    Abû Mûsâ Al-Ḥabashî

    January 30, 2009 at 12:16 PM

    Well, across perhaps 30-40 bodyguards when I shouted across to him in Arabic, “Jazākallāhu khayran for speaking the truth!” he turned around, and came through the crowd to give me a hug and say, “Hayyākallāh wa bārakallāhu feek!” My Turkish colleague then said to him, “May Allah be pleased with you for what you said!” to which he replied pointing to his heart, “My imān forced me to say it.”

    That is so beautiful.

  32. Avatar

    Ahsan Sayed

    January 30, 2009 at 1:12 PM

  33. Avatar

    Abu Safi

    January 30, 2009 at 1:32 PM

    “The Turkish PM stressed later that he had left the debate not because of his disagreements with Mr Peres but because he had been given much less time to speak than the Israeli leader. ”

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/davos/7859417.stm

    Not sure what his intention was.

  34. Avatar

    Ahsan Sayed

    January 30, 2009 at 1:34 PM

    Better audio on this though its still bad the aljazeera has some of it transcribed on the link thats in the post

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OrbQsHkVQ_4&feature=related

  35. Avatar

    Miako

    January 30, 2009 at 3:06 PM

    Abu,
    help me, my knowledge of other languages is nonexistent! was he leaving because his time was up, or was he upset because he was given less time? (and thus left before his time was up?).

    This was a brave thing to do. I hope in the future it can be handled slightly better, but when the spirit of justice moves one, it can be hard to speak moderately.

    (also, when sent as a government spokesman, one might feel some obligation to defend the gov’t. even if you think that the offensive was, well, offensive)

  36. Avatar

    Miako

    January 30, 2009 at 6:22 PM

    BIG POST ON THIS NEEDED, urgently!
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/1/30/165953/734/508/691070

    enjoy! there is yet a free press in Israel. ;-)

  37. Avatar

    MM Associates

    January 31, 2009 at 2:34 AM

    bismillah. [posted by abu abdAllah]
    @ibn mohammed AsSudani — i think almost anyone could do as “well” as Peres-may-Allah-cause-the-earth-to-spit-him-from-his-grave.

    all that person would need would be the same unfair advantages: 25 minutes of unfettered time to attack all three previous speakers — men who were given no time for rebuttal, though one of them was courageous enough to insist on time. a moderator who has the audacity to label the event a debate, and who cut off the one man who insisted on responding to the lies and attacks of Peres-i-would-spit-on-you-but-shoes-have-more-range — after all, the moderator was only cutting off the PM of a Muslim country — and why was he cutting him off? we would not want anyone’s dinner to get cold! not when Peres-“we-gave-water-and-oil-every-day-to-Gaza” made it clear that there was no suffering Gaza apart from what Gaza brought on itself. give me a break!

    even George Bush could have pulled off a Peres-smarter-than-Bush-but-even-more-damned if Bush had the deck stacked for him like that. heck i’d like to see the Israeli President try to dodge a size 10, much less two. wow, a thought i could smile at. :)

  38. Avatar

    Asad

    January 31, 2009 at 11:12 AM

    Assalamo Alaikum to all brothers. Well i think all the videos of the event have been removed from youtube. I really dont how they do this. shameful from youtube to block such content. I’ll recommend that if anyone has downloaded the videos then please upload them again. Making a channel dedicated to the event would be a good idea.

  39. Avatar

    Asad

    January 31, 2009 at 11:49 AM

    The whole debate is still available at http://fora.tv/2009/01/29/Gaza_The_Case_for_Middle_East_Peace
    Lets hope it stays.

  40. Avatar

    midatlantic

    January 31, 2009 at 12:08 PM

    muhajir said:
    “We need to get people to dinner” was sort of strange. Couldn’t they think of a better reason to stifle criticism of Israel?

    That was the crassest part of it (well, that and the audience clapping after Peres). Arianna Huffington made an interesting analogy of the Davos crowd with Marie Antoinette…this was definitely their “let them eat cake” moment.

  41. Amad

    Amad

    January 31, 2009 at 12:34 PM

    Asad, the videos in the post are still working.

  42. Avatar

    Siraaj Muhammad

    January 31, 2009 at 4:30 PM

    “The Turkish PM stressed later that he had left the debate not because of his disagreements with Mr Peres but because he had been given much less time to speak than the Israeli leader. ”

    My thoughts exactly. I watched the full clip, and that’s exactly what i thought as well (but kept quiet). he didn’t walk off in anger because of sitting next to the israeli pm – he walked off because he was cut off and not allowed to finish his thoughts.

    Although I agree with what Ban Ki Moon, Erdogan, and the Arab league fellow had to say, they were all given plenty of time to speak, and the Israeli PM was given an appropriate amount of time to respond. the rules and timings were clear ahead of time – it doesn’t make sense to agree to something, then storm off the stage because the rules you agreed to and that everyone else adhered to doesn’t sit well with you.

    All in all, I know we’re looking for some semblance of backbone from our Muslim leaders, but I really didn’t think this was it. The man with the backbone right now is but one – Ahmedinejad. If only Hugo chavez was a Muslim.

    Siraaj

  43. Avatar

    Turka

    January 31, 2009 at 6:21 PM

    Let me clarify the situation of Turkey for you to have better understanding..
    1- AKP government is the child of old radical Islamic SP which was overthrew by the army with a coup in February 1998.
    2- AKP government now has nearly 50% of Turkish votes, especially it rose after this occurance.
    3- Turkish people are getting more religious and I am one of these lucky persons elhamdulillah.
    4- The main reason why we became more pious is because of Fethullah Gülen movement that I took part. The new generation that grew in that movement are well educated and pious. In past, seculars were educated and unfortunately we, religious, were ignorant mostly because of economic reasons. But now, as I said, things have changed and we started to gain money, take higher education, be up-to-date etc.. This movement is the main reason of Turkey’s drift.
    5- AKP government wants to join EU mostly due to economic reasons and painting the eyes of secularists, both inside and outside of Turkey. AKP never ever shares the secular ideology, but they are making taqiyyah which our secularists always cry for.
    6- I don’t know whether you know, the Ergenekon case is the turning point of Turkey. This is a clon-copy of Italian gladio. Until that time, a lot of secular writers, columnists, generals, soldiers, bussines men were taken into custody and it is countinuing with harsh debates in media. This organism was the brain of the Freemason-Jew body launching coups every-ten-year-period.
    7, So, now it is unable for our army to stage a coup against AKP government, because they lost their brain. Therefore, Inshallah Turkey will get the Ottoman soul fully in the state and will be the strongest fist which will explode on the face of devil’s states. And Inshallah all Muslims will get together and stand for Allah’s justice in the world in the way of Heaven!

  44. Avatar

    suraya

    January 31, 2009 at 6:48 PM

    mr siraj muhammad..

    i hope u open ur eyes WIDER..
    erdogan HAD to say so in the press conference post the davos walk out..because the secularist in turkey
    are drooling to get into EU..

  45. Avatar

    Abd- Allah

    January 31, 2009 at 6:49 PM

    “The man with the backbone right now is but one – Ahmedinejad”
    Brother Siraaj, I don’t agree with that statement. What did Ahmedinejad do for muslims? Sure he is vocal, but talk is cheap, especially if no actions follow. Another thing is the opression of the minority Sunni muslims in Iran and the crimes being done against them and not allowing them to practice their religion, while the thousands of Jews in Iran are flourishing and free to practice their religion and are treated better than the Sunni muslims there. I am not talking about conflicts between Shia and Sunni, but I am talking about the opression of the Sunnis, and that has gone un-noticed by most of the muslim world because it has been covered up and kept a secret by the government. The Sunnis of Iran even had their Youtube channel shut down. Yes they are being opressed to that extent! What kind of a backbone would be needed to opress muslims to that extent. Even a Sunni school in Iran was DESTROYED just because it is for the Sunnis. In reality, I don’t see a big difference between that and when the Israelis destroyed the Palestinian schools.

    If some of the MM authors can research the situation of the Sunni Muslims in Iran and post some more info that would be very helpful to enlighten us all on this issue.

  46. Avatar

    Abu Noor Al-Irlandee

    February 1, 2009 at 6:52 PM

    Turka, Jazzak Allahu Khayr for sharing some information about the Islamic revival in Turkey. May Allaah (swt) continue to strengthen it.

    All of us should keep in mind for context with Erdogan’s comments here that trade between Turkey and Israel has increased from 1.4 to 3.3 billion dollars a year (135 percent) since Erdogan’s party has been in power, with one of the largest segments of that trade being in military equipment. Israel and Turkey are close military allies.

  47. Avatar

    Abd- Allah

    February 1, 2009 at 7:15 PM

    Wow, I didn’t know that Turkey was selling weapons to Israel in the billions of dollars, and those weapons are known to be used in killing Muslims. Maybe it was Erdogan’s guilt that forced him to say it…

    to which he replied pointing to his heart, “My imān forced me to say it.”

    • Amad

      Amad

      February 1, 2009 at 7:39 PM

      subhanAllah, how about a little benefit of doubt and appreciation… we cannot always get the full package, so let’s be thankful for what we get. Because surely it isn’t because our Ummah deserves it.

      As Abu Eesa wrote in his comment:

      Salams all

      I’ll just say the following folks: politics is exactly that – politics.

      Everyone has a personal, nationalist and religious agenda whatever actions or statements they make. No-one is naive to what the real score is as mentioned above, but we also hope and pray that there is still iman in the heart of those who might show otherwise. I remind you all of Najashi (r) and remind you to be positive, despite the fact that I am and always have been a critic of the leaders. I directly and openly challenged the Pakistani President today on certain issues yet I understand his position and difficulties. Please try to remain balanced when dealing with politicians and politics for yes although there are many moments for takfeer, there are also small moments for tabsheer.

      And Allah knows best.

    • Avatar

      Ali Colak

      March 29, 2010 at 9:57 AM

      I know this post was a year ago, but for future reference. Turkey doesn’t sell Israel weapons, it bys Israely weapons.

  48. Avatar

    Abd- Allah

    February 1, 2009 at 8:19 PM

    “we cannot always get the full package, so let’s be thankful for what we get. Because surely it isn’t because our Ummah deserves it.”

    Brother Amad, you are right we can not always get the full package and we should be thankful, but just because our Ummah doesn’t deserve it doesn’t mean we can’t ask for it. No one deserves Jannah but yet we all ask for it every day, right. However, just because we criticize some Muslim leaders for their policies does not mean they are not Muslims anymore. No one doesn’t have any shortcomings and mistakes, but the politicians by choosing to run for these leadership positions put themselves under the magnifier and thus become exposed to criticism.

    One thing is true that remaining balanced when it comes to politics is not easy, and many of us go to an extreme of either declaring the politician or leader a kafir for doing a mistake, or of holding him in such a high position that we think he is infallible and so we start defending or denying his mistakes.

  49. Avatar

    Shahbaaz

    February 2, 2009 at 6:27 AM

    Assalamualaikum

    If only Hugo chavez was a Muslim…

    Venezuela would be an axis of evil by now.

    Turkey joined after Venezuela and Bolivia for the walkOut and have the Arab states no shame?

    BTW this is an accidental (really?) TV clip where Israel almost confirmed to attack Iran within next year.

  50. Avatar

    Siraaj Muhammad

    February 2, 2009 at 2:36 PM

    Abd’Allah, my point about Ahmedinejad is not about his record with his own people or how he runs his state, but rather, the way he deals with the United States, meaning, he doesnt allow them to push him around. He calls their bluff every time. If enough Muslim leaders did the same, they would find that united, they have more than enough economic and political resources to bend the will of the West in its favor, but they’re goal is not society’s benefit, but their own, hence they always will cluck after the one’s putting them in power, the West, rather than stand straight and firm.

    Siraaj

  51. Avatar

    Intelect1430

    February 3, 2009 at 12:32 AM

    I agree with Siraaj,

    Abd Allah, your “Sunni” card in this discussion is is “out of context” . Siraaj is talking about “Leadership”, and if you re-read your own post you have confirmed how a Shia Leader is taking care of “shias” in his “shiaee country” can you show me one “Sunni” current Leader who is standing up for “sunnies” ?

  52. Avatar

    Abd- Allah

    February 3, 2009 at 7:26 PM

    Intelect1430, your “shia” card is out of context. If you haven’t noticed, this whole website is called MUSLIM matters, and if Ahmedinejad wants himself to be considered as a Muslim leader, then he should act like a leader for ALL muslims and not just the “shias” as you put it yourself and have no problem with agreeing that the Iranian government is only taking care of the “shias”. But in all cases, no one is asking Ahmedinejad to take care of Sunnis, just leave them be! Instead of opressing them, why aren’t they just left to deal with their own issues. This is not an issue of sunni-shia conflict, it is a matter of a government that is opressing its own people!
    And just because the rest of the leaders are corrupt, it doesn’t make Ahmedinejad any better than them! He is just as corrupt, if not more, than the rest of them. Talk is cheap, and all Ahmedinejad seems to do is talk. The media quotes him all the time as threatening to attack Israel, but he has never done anything at all except talk. He probably is just a puppet for the Israelis… but he is a good actor if he has that many people fooled.

  53. Avatar

    Pasha

    February 23, 2009 at 3:39 AM

    Excellent renglish translation in subtitles, Highly recommended:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6NMmHqSUzk

  54. Avatar

    Andrea Levin

    July 27, 2010 at 12:02 PM

    I think the PM of Turkey is doing a huge mistake.
    People are going to remember him getting closer to Iran and further away from the west (Israel included).
    The people of Israel and the people of Turkey always had such a good relationship and it’s a shame that ErdoÄŸan is happily destroying good faith for his narrow interests.

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#Current Affairs

Why Israel Should Be ‘Singled Out’ For Its Human Rights Record

Unlike other countries, ordinary citizens are complicit in the perpetual crimes committed against defenseless Palestinians.

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israel, occupied Palestine

Why is everyone so obsessed with Israel’s human rights abuses? From Saudi Arabia, to Syria, to North Korea to Iran. All these nations are involved in flagrant violations of human right, so why all the focus on Israel – ‘the only democracy in the Middle East’? Clearly, if you ignore these other violations and only focus on Israel, you must be anti-Semitic. What else could be your motivations for this double standard?

This is one of the most common contentions raised when Israel is criticized for its human rights record. I personally don’t believe in entertaining this question – it shouldn’t matter why an activist is choosing to focus on one conflict and not others. What matters are the facts being raised; putting into question the motives behind criticizing Israel is a common tactic to detract from the topic at hand. The conversation soon turns into some circular argument about anti-Semitism and the plight of the Palestinian people is lost. More importantly, this charge of having double standards is often disingenuous. For example, Representative Ihan Omar has been repeatedly accused of this recently and her motives have been called ‘suspicious’ – despite her vocal criticism of other countries, especially Saudi Arabia.

However, this point is so frequently brought up, I think that perhaps its time activists and critics simply own up to it. Yes – Israel should be singled out, for some very good reasons. These reasons relate to there being a number of unique privileges that the country enjoys; these allow it to get away with much of the abuses it commits. Human right activists thus must be extra vocal when comes to Israel as they have to overcome the unparalleled level of support for the country, particularly in the US and Canada. The following points summarize why Israel should in fact be singled out:

1) Ideological support from ordinary citizens

When Iran and North Korea commit human right abuses, we don’t have to worry about everyone from journalists to clerics to average students on campuses coming out and defending those countries. When most nations commit atrocities, our journalists and politicians call them out, sanctions are imposed, they are taking them to the International Court of Justice, etc. There are instruments in place to take care of other ‘rogue’ nations – without the need for intervention from the common man.

Israel, however, is unique in that it has traditionally enjoyed widespread ideological support, primarily from the Jewish community and Evangelical Christians, in the West. This support is a result of the historical circumstances and pseudo-religious ideology that drove the creation of the state in 1948. The successful spread of this nationalistic dogma for the last century means Israel can count on ordinary citizens from Western countries to comes to its defense. This support can come in the form of foreign enlistment to its military, students conducting campus activism, politicians shielding it from criticisms and journalists voluntarily writing in its support and spreading state propaganda.

This ideological and nationalistic attachment to the country is the prime reason why it is so incredibly difficult to have any kind of sane conversation about Israel in the public sphere – criticism is quickly seen as an attack on Jewish identity and interpreted as an ‘existential threat’ to the nation by its supporters. Any attempts to take Israel to account through standard means are thwarted because of the political backlash feared from the country’s supporters in the West.

2) Unconditional political support of a world superpower

The US is Israel’s most important and closest ally in the Middle-East. No matter what war crimes Israel commits, it can count on America to have its back. This support means the US will use its veto power to support Israel against actions of the UN Security Council, it will use its diplomatic influence to shield any punitive actions from other nations and it will use its military might to intervene if need be. The backing of the US is one of the main reasons why the Israeli occupation and expansion of the colonial settlement enterprise continues to this day without any repercussions.

While US support might be especially staunch for Israel, this factor is certainly not unique to the country. Any country which has this privilege, e.g. Saudi Arabia, should be under far great scrutiny for its human rights violations than others.

3)  Military aid and complicity of tax-payers

US tax-payers are directly paying for Israel to carry out its occupation of the Palestinian people.

Israel is the largest recipient of US-military aid – it receives an astonishing $3 billion dollars every year. This aid, according to a US congressional report, “has helped transform Israel’s armed forces into one of the most technologically sophisticated militaries in the world.”

Unlike other countries, ordinary citizens are complicit in the perpetual crimes committed against defenseless Palestinians. Activists and citizens thus have a greater responsibility to speak out against Israel as their government is paying the country to carry out its atrocities. Not only is this aid morally reprehensible, but it is also illegal under United States Leahy Laws.

4) The Israeli lobby

The Israeli lobby is one of the most powerful groups in Washington and is the primary force for ensuring continued US political support for the nation. It consists of an assortment of formal lobby groups (AIPAC, Christians United for Israel), think-thanks (Washington Institute for Near East Policy), political action committee or PACs, not-for-profit organizations (B’nai B’irth, American Jewish Congress, Stand for Israel) and media watchdogs (CAMERA, Honest Reporting). These organizations together exercise an incredible amount of political influence. They ensure that any criticism of Israel is either stifled or there are serious consequences for those who speak up. In 2018 alone, pro-Israel donors spent $22 million on lobbying for the country – far greater than any other nation. Pro-Israel lobbies similarly influence politics in other places such as the UK, Canada, and Europe.

5) One of the longest-running occupation in human history

This point really should be the first one on this list – and it is the only one that should matter. However, because of the unique privileges that Israel enjoys, it is hard to get to the crux of what it is actually doing. Israel, with U.S. support, has militarily occupied the Palestinian territories (West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem) since 1967. The belligerent occupation, over 50 years old, is one of the longest, bloodiest and brutal in human history.

Israel continues to steal land and build settler colonies the West Bank – in flagrant violation of international law. It has implemented a system of apartheid in these territories which is reminiscent of the racist regime of South Africa. The Gaza strip has been under an insufferable siege which has made the living conditions deplorable; it has been referred to the world’s largest ‘open-air prison’. In addition to this institutional oppression, crimes committed against Palestinians include: routinely killing civilian protesters, including teenagers and medics, torture of Palestinians and severe restrictions on the everyday movement of Palestinians.

The brutality, consistency and the duration for which Israel has oppressed Palestinians is alone enough reason for it being ‘singled out’. No other nation comes close to its record. However, for the reasons mentioned above, Israel’s propaganda machine has effectively painted itself as just another ‘liberal democracy’ in the eyes of the general public. Any attempt to bring to light these atrocities are met with ‘suspicion’ about the ‘real’ motives of the critics. Given the points mentioned here, it should be evident that the level of support for Israeli aggression is uniquely disproportionate – it is thus fitting that criticism of the country is equally vocal and unparalleled as well.

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#Current Affairs

An Urgent Call Regarding the Plight of Shaykh Salman al-Ouda, Shaykh Awad al-Qarni, and Dr. Ali al-Omari

Hena Zuberi

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Saudi scholars, injustice

دعوة عاجلة بخصوص أزمة الشيخ سلمان العودة، والشيخ عوض القرني، والدكتور علي العمري

الحمد لله، والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله محمد وآله

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

لقد تلقينا بقلق بالغ ما يتوارد من أخبار غير مؤكدة حول الإعدام الوشيك للشيخ سلمان العودة، و الشيخ عوض القرني، و الدكتور علي العمري

لقد علمنا الإسلام أن الحياة نعمة من الله و إن أولئك الذين يعملون على حرمان أى أحد من هذه النعمة دون أساس شرعي واضح قد ارتكبوا إثمًا فظيعًا عدّه الله من الكبائر: وَمَن يَقْتُلْ مُؤْمِنًا مُّتَعَمِّدًا فَجَزَاؤُهُ جَهَنَّمُ خَالِدًا فِيهَا وَغَضِبَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَلَعَنَهُ وَأَعَدَّ لَهُ عَذَابًا عَظِيمًا (سورة النساء، 93)

حرمة المؤمن

إن رسول الله ﷺ وصحابته قد اعتبروا حياة كل من نطق الشهادة، وكذا ماله وعرضه حرامًا لا يُقبل انتهاكها ولقد حرصوا كل الحرص على ألا ينتهكوا تلك الحقوق الأصلية حتى في تطبيق الحدود

قال رسول الله ﷺ: ادفَعوا الحدود ما وجدْتم لها مدفعًا (سنن ابن ماجة)، وقال ابن مسعود: ادرءوا الجلد والقتل عن المسلمين ما استطعتم (السنن الكبرى)

إن حرمة دم المسلم عند رسول الله ﷺ عظيمة جدًا، فلزوال الدنيا أهون عنده من قتل امرئٍ مسلم (سنن الترمذي)

ولقد كان السلف يقولون عند طوافهم بالكعبة: ما أعظمك وأعظم حرمتك، والمؤمن أعظم حرمةً عند الله منك (رواه الترمذي)

التماس رأفة

في ضوء الهدي النبوي، وعِظم أمر انتهاك الحقوق الأصلية التي منحها الإسلام للمسلم، فإننا نطالب السلطات المعنية بأن يوقفوا أي خطة مبيتة لإعدام الشيخ سلمان العودة، والشيخ عوض القرني، والدكتور علي العمري، سواءً في المستقبل القريب أو البعيد

نطالب أولئك الذين في السلطة أن يصدروا عفوًا في حقهم في هذا الشهر المبارك

إننا نؤمن بيقين أن هؤلاء العلماء لم يقترفوا أى شيءٍ يبرر التعامل المروع الذي يتعرضون له لمدة عام وأكثر وإننا نطلق هذا النداء كنصيحة صادقة، محققين دورنا كعلماء عليهم واجب بيان الحق، ومستحضرين أن كل واحد فينا سيسأل عن عمله في الآخرة حيث الظلم ظلمات لا تفضي إلا إلى عذاب النار

والله في عون المظلومين واللهم صل وسلم وبارك على سيدنا محمد

17 رمضان 1440 /22 مايو 2019

كتب بواسطة (الشيخ) سلمان يونس

 

An Urgent Call Regarding the Plight of Shaykh Salman al-Ouda, Shaykh Awad al-Qarni, and Dr. Ali al-Omari

All praise belongs to Allah, and blessings upon the Prophet Muhammad and His family.

Peace and mercy be upon you:

It is with great concern and perturbation that we have received unconfirmed reports regarding the imminent execution of Shaykh Salman al-Ouda, Shaykh Awad al-Qarni, and Dr. Ali al-Omari.

Islam teaches us that life is a blessing from Allah. Those who seek to deprive someone of this blessing without a clearly sanctioned religious basis have committed an act that God deems atrocious and a mighty sin: “If anyone kills a believer deliberately, the punishment for him is Hell, and there he will remain: Allah is angry with him, and rejects him, and has prepared a tremendous torment for him.”(Qur’an, 4:93)

The Inviolability of the Believer

The Prophet ﷺ and his Companions viewed the life, wealth, and honor of all who uttered the testimony of faith (shahada) as inviolable. They took immense care not to impede on these basic rights even in the context of enacting punishments.

The Prophet ﷺ said, “Avoid applying punishments as long as you are able to find an excuse to avert them,”(Sunan Ibn Majah) and Ibn Masʿud stated, “Avoid flogging and applying the death penalty upon people as much as you can.”(Sunan al-Kubra)

Indeed, the sanctity of the believer was so great in the eyes of the Prophet ﷺ that he deemed the destruction of the world as a lighter affair than the killing of even a single Muslim. (Sunan al-Tirmidhi)

Similarly, the early Muslims (salaf) would remark when gazing upon the Kaʿba, “The inviolability of a believer is greater with Allah than your inviolability.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhi) There are few statements one can imagine as emphatic as these in affirmation of the rank of the believer.

A Call for Clemency

In light of the guidance of the Prophet ﷺ and the gravity of depriving a Muslim of the fundamental rights granted to him or her by Islam, we urge the authorities in question to immediately cease any plans to execute Shaykh Salman al-Ouda, Shaykh Awad al-Qarni, and Dr. Ali al-Omari in the immediate or distant future.

We urge those in the leadership to grant them clemency in this blessed month of Ramadan.

It is our firm belief that the actions of these scholars do not in any way justify the appalling treatment they have been subjected to over the past year and more. We make this call in the spirit of providing sincere counsel, realizing our role as scholars duty-bound to the expression of truth, and recognizing that each of us will be held accountable for our actions in the next life where oppression will be nothing but darkness leading to perdition.

And Allah is in the aid of His oppressed servants. May the blessings and peace of Allah be upon His Prophet.

Ramadan 17th, 1440

May 22nd, 2019

Drafted by Shaykh Salman Younas

Signatories (v. 2)

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

SeekersGuidance

Dr. Yasir Qadhi

Islamic Seminary of America

Shaykh Omer Suleiman

USA

Dr. Ingrid Mattson

Canada

 

Dr. Omar Qureshi

USA

 

 

Dr. Abdullah Hamid Ali

USA

 

Shaykh Mustapha Elturk

Amir, Islamic Organization of North America

 

Shaykh Rami Nsour

Tayba Foundation

Dr. Shadee Elmasry

Safina Society

Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari

Director of Darul Iftaa Leicester

 

Shaykh Azhar Nasser

Tasneem Institute

 

 

Professor John Esposito

Georgetown University

 

 

Mufti Abdur-Rahman ibn Yusuf

London

 

Dr. Jonathan Brown

Georgetown University

Professor Mohammad Fadel

University of Toronto

Imam Suhaib Webb

Scholar in Residence, ICNYU

Shaykh Shams ad-Duha

Ebrahim College

 

Ustadha Zaynab Ansari

Tayseer Seminary

 

Dalia Mogahed

ISPU

 

Imam Dawud Walid

Member of Michigan Imams Council

 

 

Dr. Asim Yusuf

UK

 

 

Dr. Ovamir Anjum

University of Toledo

 

Dr. Abdullah Hakim Quick

USA

 

Shaykh Hani Saleem

Islamic Center of Detroit

Dr. Shabbir Ally

Toronto

Shaykh Furhan Zubairi

Dean of IOK Seminary

 

Dr. Ihsan Bagby

University of Kentucky

 

Shaykh Mohammed Faqih

Islamic Institute of Orange County

 

Shaykh Bilal Ali Ansari

Khalil Center

Mohammad Elshinawy

Yaqeen Institute

 

Shaykh Abdur Rahman Khan

Co-Chair of National Catholic-Muslim Dialogue

 

Shaykh Sulaiman Gani

London

 

Dr. Hamid Slimi

USA

 

Mufti Taha Karaan

South Africa

Shaykh Sadullah Khan

South Africa

Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi

Chairman of Fiqh Council of America

 

 

Shaykh Taha Abdul-Basser

USA

Imam Ibrahim Hindy

Dar al-Tawheed Islamic Center

 

 

Dr. Basma Abdelgafar

Vice President of Maqasid Institute Global

 

Prof. Jasser Auda

President of Maqasid Institute Global

 

Laila Mehar

Former President of UConn SJP

Hartford

Dr. Osman Latiff

Jamia Masjid and Islamic Center

 

Imam Abdul-Malik Ryan

DePaul University

 

Imam John Ederer

Muslim Community Center of Charlotte

 

Shaykh Amer Jamil

Scotland

 

Shaykh Bilal Ismail

Imam Development Project

 

Shaykh Muhammad Mustaqeem Shah

Walsall

 

Dr. Bekim Hasani

Imam and Activist

Australia

 

Imam Imran Salha

ICA

 

Dr. Tajul Islam University of Leeds

 

Dr. Mustapha Sheikh

University of Leeds

 

Dr. Ahmed Soboh

Religious Director of Chino Valley Islamic Center

 

Dr. Rafaqat Rashid

Al Balagh Academy

 

Imam Shafi Chowdhury

Leicester

 

Buthaina Hawas-Neveln

Iraqi Journalist

 

Shaykh Salmaan Parkar Australian Islamic College

 

Muslema Purmul

The Majlis

Dr. Mohammad Ilyas,

University of Florida

 

Dr. Asif Hirani

Imam and Resident Scholar of Worcester Islamic Center

 

Shaykh Ahmad Kutty

Resident Scholar of Islamic Institute of Toronto

 

Shaykh Mohammad Aman Haque

Norway

 

Imam Mazhar Mahmood

Director of Islamic Foundation of Peoria

 

Ishraq Ali

Organizing Director of MPower Change

 

Usman Qamar

Muslim Chaplaincy of Waterloo

 

Mawlana Zakariyah Harneker

 

Shaykh Shahinur Rahman

al-Rahma, UK

 

Shaykh Abdul Wahab Saleem

Salik Academy

Dr. Usaama Al-Azami

Markfield Institute

Ustadh Samir Hussain

ISNA High School

 

Shaykh Tariq Ata Dr. Zaid alBarzinji

Maqasid Institute

Shaykh Abdur Rahim Reasat

SeekersGuidance

Mufti Liaquat Zaman

Birmingham, UK

 

Imam Salim Astewani

Cheshire, UK

 

 

Shaykh Tabraze Azam

SeekersGuidance

 

Dr. Sharif El-Tobgui

Brandeis University

 

 

Ismail Royer

USA

Imam Qasim Rashid

Al-Khayr Foundation

 

Dr. Yvonne Haddad

Georgetown University

Omar Usman

Executive Director, MuslimMatters

 

Shaykh Muhammad Abuelezz

Muslim Association of Canada

 

Mufti Ismail Syed

London

Mawlana Safwaan Navlakhi

Al-Ma’aly Institute

South Africa

 

Dr. Ildus Rafikov

ISTAC

Aamir Ansari

ICNA

Shaykh Hassan Rabbani

Zia-Ul-Quran Mosque

Scotland

Ustadha Umm Jamaal ud-Din

Islamic College of Australia

Dr. Munir Elkassem

President, Islamic Institute of Interfaith Dialogue

Dr. Yusuf Salah

Khalil Foundation

 

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OpEd: The Planned Saudi Executions Have A Context

The Arab Spring and its immediate aftermath was a wake-up call to all those who feared for the security of their thrones

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By Abdullah Abu Dawud

The news of the intended Saudi execution of three prominent scholars has infuriated many observant Muslims around the world. This is no surprise considering the fact that that the three scholars have attracted a vast audience through their TV programs and social media activity. These three scholars, and many like them, have been the source of religious knowledge and inspiration for many Muslims, not only in the Arab world, but around the globe.

However, our objection Saudi Arabia’s treatment and intended execution of these scholars should not be simply rooted in emotion. In order to properly oppose such reckless decisions, we must understand the motivation behind them and the context in which they exist. For as reckless as these decisions may be, they are not arbitrary and are not devoid of context. They exist within a bigger picture; a picture that I will try to sketch in this article. We must rewind back to the early part of the 20th century. That era witnessed events that, by all accounts, changed the nature of the Muslim world. The Muslim lands that were under the rule of the Ottoman Empire were conquered and colonized by Western powers (Britain and France), and the office of the Caliph (based in Istanbul) was abolished. This was accompanied by a calculated uprooting of Islamic social and legal structures that existed for centuries; the colonizing powers imported their European structures to serve as the new order in this part of the world. By the end of the colonization project, populations across the Arab world ended up with corrupt and authoritarian regimes and social structures and legal codes which were imported from foreign countries.

Inevitably, this new reality that was imposed on the Arab populations gave rise to organic reactions which aimed to resist this new reality. Eventually, a broad movement (often labeled as the “Islamic movement”) took shape with two main identifiable goals: 1) The revival of Islamic law and values and re-establishing Islam’s role in governance and public life (which was highly reduced after the abolishment of the Caliphate), and 2) Establishing a governance system whose legitimacy was rooted in the consent of the people. It may also be said that those two primary goals also served as criteria by which Muslim governments would be measured; i.e their adherence to Islam and their respect for the will of the populations. This broad movement was largely led by the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and then spread across the Arab and Muslim world. Although the Brotherhood is deemed to be an originator of this movement, today, many people share this vision of “revival” and “popular legitimacy” while lying outside of the organizational borders of the Brotherhood (but can still be described as being part of the “Islamic movement”).

Those who shared this vision, not surprisingly, were constantly pursued by the authoritarian regimes of the Arab world. It is also not surprising that those who shared this vision would be vocal supporters if not active participants in the Arab Spring. Indeed, the Arab Spring has demonstrated repeatedly that Arab populations yearn for a participatory form of government and find a certain appeal in the message of Islamic parties (as evidenced by the electoral victories of Islamic parties in all countries of the Arab Spring). In other words, the Arab Spring made it clear to all observing autocrats that, when given the choice, Arab populations will likely elect Islamic parties into power. The Arab Spring and its immediate aftermath was a wake-up call to all those who feared for the security of their thrones. In Abu-Dhabi and Riyadh, things were clear: The Arab spring is either to be reversed, or they will be next. With the successful ousting of the Brotherhood in Egypt and the unconditional green-light given by the Trump administration, Riyadh, Abu Dhabi, and Cairo have decided to kill the Arab Spring once and for all. The recent news about the intended execution in Saudi Arabia must be seen in this context.

Clerics such as Salman Al-Ouda, Ali Al-Omari, and Awad Al-Qarni were all vocal supporters of the Arab Spring uprisings and are associated with the Sahwa movement (which is a movement of Islamic political activism in the Gulf that draws heavily on Brotherhood ideas). The Arab autocrats simply view those voices as a danger. They represent a movement which challenges the status quo and questions the legitimacy of the rule of Arab autocrats; a movement which can be traced to the movement originated by the Brotherhood following the fall of the Caliphate and beginning of colonization. The autocrats could not afford to have influential clerics and TV personalities preach about popular legitimacy or the relevance of Islamic values and principles to public life and governance; after all, these are ideas that, if believed, would seriously question the legitimacy of their rule. As such, and after getting brief a taste of what free choice would look like in Arab nations, it became clear that the to these autocrats that the danger was more real than what they thought and more immediate. It seems that their action plan is simply to silence anyone who represents the spirit of the “Islamic movement”. From their perspective, they want to chop off the head of the snake and settle the matter once and for all.

These intended executions are not about support for extremism (a laughable accusation). Nor are they about views concerning the recent blockade on Qatar. Nor are they about the clerics’ criticisms of their government; in fact, these clerics did engage in harsh criticism of the Saudi government. Their crime is that they represent a message that, by definition, calls into question the legitimacy of the Saudi government. More importantly, it calls into question the legitimacy of the entire “order” that exists in the Arab world. The Saudi government is declaring war (along with its allies in Abu-Dhabi and Cairo) against those who represent a movement that has the potential of redefining the Arab world. Even if those clerics do not engage in direct confrontation with the Saudi government and express their views in positive terms, the existence of that message and its accessibility to Arab populations is serious enough of a problem.

What these autocrats to do not realize is that the ideas which these scholars represent exist independently of the efforts and words of these scholars. The belief in the centrality of Islam and the will of the people exists in the conscience of the vast majority of Muslims. These ideas are not the product of scholars such as Salman Al-Ouda, Awad Al-Qarni, or Ali Al-Omari. Rather, those scholars are the product of the ideas which organically exist in the minds of many Muslims. As such, executing these scholars will not bring an end to those ideas whose strength was demonstrated in the aftermath of the Arab spring. If anything, such executions are an affirmation by the Saudi government that it and its autocratic allies stand on very feeble ground. If the Saudi government goes through with its plan, all it will be doing is creating a void that will inevitably be filled by other people represent the same ideas. The cycle will keep going until the feeble ground which these autocrats stand gives way.

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