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Jesus and George Galloway get in a Ford | Iesa Interviews GG for a MM-Exclusive

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Jesus and George Galloway get in a Ford… An interview for Muslim Matters

Parliamentarian and YouTube sensation George Galloway made time during his jam-packed tour schedule, promoting the Viva Palestina US convey, to answer Muslim Matters readers’ questions and to offer advice for activists in the US and the UK.

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This interview was conducted in transit from one speaking event to another and was done from the backseat (Iesa Galloway) to the front seat (George Galloway) of a Ford Explorer. Due to this setup there are minor sound quality issues and two audio interruptions (One in the introduction and the other in question number seven). Our solution is to write the questions for our readers then allow you to hear his responses.

Q1) Please describe your first exposure to the issue of Palestine and what differentiated the person who introduced the issue to you and made his effort so effective?

[audio:http://muslimmatters.org/audio/galloway/answer1.mp3]

Q2) How do you recommend that activists who work on the Palestinian Issue do so when speaking to people who have very little exposure to the issue or exposure only to one side?

[audio:http://muslimmatters.org/audio/galloway/answer2.mp3]

Q3) Can you speak to the BNP (British National Party) and what Muslims in the UK should do to marginalize or counteract their influence? Is this a wise use of time and energy?

[audio:http://muslimmatters.org/audio/galloway/answer3.mp3]

Q4) The majority of our readers are Muslim minorities in the west, are there any activities that you feel Muslims should be doing that we are not pursuing aggressively?

[audio:http://muslimmatters.org/audio/galloway/answer4.mp3]

Q5) Many people asked if you felt that public demonstrations, rallies and marches are an effective use of time? Are there more effective ways to win friends and influence people?

[audio:http://muslimmatters.org/audio/galloway/answer5.mp3]

Q6) Many “Religious” Muslims debate how effective or if it is even allowable to vote in the non-Muslim democratic system, can you speak to civic participation and its importance in your view?

[audio:http://muslimmatters.org/audio/galloway/answer6.mp3]

Q7) Can you share your analysis on Obama’s address in Cairo and its significance to Palestine and to US Muslim relations?

[audio:http://muslimmatters.org/audio/galloway/answer7.mp3]

NOTE: During this question we were interrupted and some audio was lost. In the missing audio, George Galloway mentioned Obama recognized that some Palestinians support Hamas, and in George Galloway’s view that Obama was “issuing Hamas a ticket,” the lost audio states – I am paraphrasing here – that if Hamas has support from some Palestinians in the electorate that they have to be dealt with as a representative of the people who elected them. He then mentioned that Obama compared the Palestinian people’s suffering to that of the black people in South Africa under apartheid.

Q8) As a final comment would you like to discuss Viva Palestina and its goals?

[audio:http://muslimmatters.org/audio/galloway/answer8.mp3]

A few points, thoughts and observations:

I did not ask George Galloway any questions about his religious beliefs. I did preface the first question as follows, “To help activists learn from other’s successes please share with us how, you a non-Muslim, non-Palestinian, non-Arab, with no vested interest in Palestine have come to be such a passionate activist for Palestine?” To which he responded with audio file above, mentioning a young Palestinian who lobbied him in a local, district political office in the UK. It is apparent that George Galloway sees himself as wholeheartedly on the side of Muslims, in the several instances when asked for advice to the Muslim community’s activists he uses the word, “we.”

While we (the interviewer and the interviewee) share the same last name there is no relation between us.

About George Galloway, I found him very down to earth, in the sense that he spoke to people as his equals. He was goal oriented and business minded, yet he was still very personable. I saw him holding and kissing babies, taking photos with all who asked – he is a politician after all.

To secure the interview, I met him twice at two different events in Houston, each nearly a month apart. The first event, when I was introduced to George Galloway he said “Wal’llah you’re a Galloway?” My kneejerk thought was he has been hanging out with too many Arabs.

He was also very sharp witted. He mentioned portions of this interview and my off-the-record questions and debating during his speaking engagements. For example, before the interview I asked him if he was being overly optimistic about the significance of President Obama’s speech in Cairo. During his next public speaking event he said to the audience, while looking squarely at me, “Earlier, I was accused of being over optimistic,” and he went on to offer similar points about the significance of Obama’s Cairo address that are recorded above.

He truly knows how to work an audience. Each of George Galloway’s speaking engagements had a vastly different attendance. With each group he referenced hot topics that won him points with their particular demographic.

At one point he described himself as a “political idealist” as opposed to “other” politicians whose motivations were based on “winning elections.”

Lastly, I was struck by the audiences’ response to George Galloway. He had a sort of rock-star/sage status. This held true with the youth and the elders alike.

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Paul "Iesa" Galloway is a native born Texan. He was recently called "the Yoda of interfaith affairs" by a colleague from his daytime gig. After hours Iesa serves as a consultant, messaging strategist and trainer on media, government and community relations. Iesa is a product of the "Military Brat" experience of the 1990's on US Army bases in Germany he has traveled extensively, for extended periods in Kenya, Hungary and Communist Poland on missionary trips, visited Communist East Germany with the Boy Scouts of America, as well as enjoyed time in France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Holland and Austria. Since embracing Islam, Iesa was asked to be the founding Executive Director of CAIR-Houston, where he served the community from 2002 to 2006, he has completed the Hajj pilgrimage, participated in an interfaith pilgrimage to the Holy Land with the Society for Biblical Studies and completed a study abroad program on the history of Islamic Spain, Morocco and Andalusian Philosophy with the University of Houston. Iesa's education is rooted in History and Public Relations and he has a interfaith and multiracial background.

19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. Ibn AbuAisha

    July 3, 2009 at 4:00 AM

    Assalamu Alaikum Brother Iesa,

    Very enlightening interview. Yeah, his constant use of the word “we” took me by surprise too…May Allah reward you for your efforts and may He guide all of us to the right path. Ameen!

    • Iesa Galloway

      July 3, 2009 at 10:17 AM

      Walaikum Asalaam,

      I was pleasantly surprised with how practical and sound most of his advice was, for example, his answer to the question on rallies and protests or his repeated emphasis on building meaningful relationships…

      From watching his YouTube clips (ripping into Sky News) I half expected him to be a hothead, constantly calling for protests and confrontation… My experience, showed him to be very calm and strategic. No doubt though, he is not afraid to speak his mind!

      May we take the good from this interview, implement it and improve our communities!

  2. Nihal Khan

    July 3, 2009 at 8:35 AM

    Two Galloways, 1 car..Priceless…

  3. Yasir Qadhi

    July 3, 2009 at 9:09 AM

    Ma sha Allah great work.

    The title is just too good …;)

  4. Amatullah

    July 3, 2009 at 10:17 AM

    mashaAllah, great interview. jazaak Allah khayran.

  5. amad

    July 3, 2009 at 11:47 AM

    GREAT JOB!!

    This is a milestone for MM!

  6. Ahmed

    July 4, 2009 at 7:51 AM

    Please, do not censor me, I would just really like to know: How do you, Iesa, justify the fact that there is no space between your position and the position of a non-believer when it comes to the issue of our Muqaddasat (holy places)? When it comes to the issue of the first Qibla in Islam? When it comes to the issue of Masjid Al-Aqsa, the third holiest site in Islam, which is under the occupation of Mushrikun? When it comes to the issue of the oppressed Muslim men, women, and children-imprisoned, raped, and murdered in cold blood who are attacked by disbelievers who seize their land? Well, before you call this comment “sensationalist”, “devoid of hikma”, or “emotionally charged” there is a point that I am getting at: if in Islam we are to differ from the disbelievers in the manner in which we wear our clothes, eat our food, sleep, celebrate, or mourn how do you figure that with regards to the central issue of Islam today and the most Islamic of causes you find yourself perfectly in line with an indivdual who naturally doesn’t consider if his approach is in line with the Shari’a of Allah (for obvious reason: he is not a muslim) and who will not (unless he accepts Islam) be rewarded an iota in the sight of Allah for all his efforts (because the ‘amal of the disbeliever is not accepted by Allah because it is not for the sake of Allah’s pleasure: And We shall turn to whatever deeds they did (in this life), and We shall make such deeds as floating dust scattered about. (23. 25))? This is not to undermine the enormous (but ultimately fruitless) effort George Galloway has put forward for Palestinians, but it is to say that isn’t it odd that muslims would endorse a solution that is admittedly, and logically, not an Islamic solution in that it doesn’t consider the guidance of Al-Quran Wa Sunnah when it is formulated, or support a banner and slogan that is clearly, and we understand why so obviously, nationalistic even though we know the Prophet (SAW) said about nationalism: “He is not one us who calls for `Asabiyyah, (nationalism) or who fights for `Asabiyyah or who dies for `Asabiyyah.” narrated by Abu Da’wud, or as we know he (SAW) said when refering to nationalism: “Leave it, it is rotten.” [Muslim and Bukhari] and in the Hadith recorded in Mishkat al-Masabith, the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: “He who calls for `Asabiyyah is as if he bit his father’s genitals”. A’oodhobillah! I implore MM and Iesa sincerely: Why would you endorse that? Isn’t this so clearly in violation of the prohibition against ‘Asabiyyah in the ahadith? But not to get sidetracked, with everything that was islamically objectionable about the article, the point I want to make with all sincerity is this: Why is it that here on MM whenever you want to advocate for the issue of Al-Aqsa, note I didn’t say the “palestinian” issue, you turn to George Galloway? To me this demonstrates an obvious inferiority complex. It seems that as muslims you don’t feel justified or comfortable speaking about the Al-Aqsa issue through muslim lips. Correct me if im wrong, but the angle you are going for with consistently featuring Galloway so prominently on this issue is the classic defense: “Well, George Galloway said it and He’s not even Muslim!” or “He’s a British politician…he has credibility!” Is Galloway really the most appropriate person to address this issue? Do you even consider this a “muslim” issue? Where do you stand with regards to the Al-Aqsa mosque? Should we get control of it back or not (because we obviously don’t have it)? What about Filistine? Do you consider it a muslim land that was invaded by Jews and that the land is the legitimate land of the Palestinians? And how do you feel about recognition of the whole of Palestine as part of the “rightful homeland of the Muslim people” to paraphrase Netanyahu? Firstly, I know what you’ve done here is wrong on so many Aqeedah levels, simply full of misguidance, and second its just so lowly and stinks of Dhull (lowliness and contempt)? Why can’t you stand up for your muslim brothers and sisters? Is it out of line for a muslim to get angry for the sake of Allah when the Huramaat (sanctities) of His Slaves is the issue? Is it wrong for a muslim to stand up for a muslim simply because he is a muslim? Is it misguided for a muslim to stand by a muslim for no other reason then they are muslim? The Prophet (SAW) taught us to stand with a muslim brother if they were oppressed or the oppressor, but it seems you are neither willing to stand with muslims who you feel are misguided (the mujahideen) to correct them, or to stand with the oppressed? Please do not censor me…it looks bad on you. I would mean a lot to me if you could simply adress some of my concerns, Mr. Iesa.

    • Iesa Galloway

      July 5, 2009 at 2:57 AM

      Dear brother Ahmed, Asalaam Alaikum:

      The answers that you are seeking mostly revolve around a few very basic issues.

      #1) When did I state my “position” on Al Quds, or on Masjid Al Aqsa? You see, your a good interviewer when you are NOT the story… strike that, the very basics of an interview is ASKING questions not answering them!

      #2) What is this about nationalism? I am a convert to Islam… Who is endorsing nationalism here?

      #3) I have actually MADE the effort to go to Palestine, meet the people and groups on the ground, I have seen first hand the refugee camps in Jordan, and experienced the tension in the region. I HAVE been interrogated by Israelis. I have met with the Christan Palestinians, learned about the Arab Palestinian Jews (with a lineage in the region from before the creation of Israel) and of course dialogued with our brothers and sisters in Islam from Palestine, who are all suffering. So don’t lump me in with those who ONLY get “angry.”

      You do get A LOT of credit for the question, “is Galloway really the most appropriate person to address this issue?”

      However, another equally important question readers should be asking ourselves, is why is it that George Galloway is more visible than the vast majority of Muslims on the issue of Palestine? (By the way, why would George Galloway advocate one way or an other on Al Aqsa? You stated he is not Muslim… so why equate coverage of George Galloway’s actions for the oppressed Palestinians as Muslim Matters for Al Aqsa? Study the hadith you tried to use to defame us with… “Help your brother, whether he is an oppressor or he is oppressed.” Reporter: Hadhrat Anas bin Malik (r) Source: Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 3, #623) My interview and purpose for doing so is to learn from experience (in general) and to learn about what shaped George Galloway’s attachment to the issue, i.e. standing with the oppressed.

      A question for you is where are the Islamicly correct solutions and where are the pious believers? What action and what positive change have we believers made happen for Al Aqsa, for Palestine?

      Too many of us are only active when the daily oppression reaches such horrid levels that it breaks the news cycles in the mainstream US press. The rest of the time it is out of sight and out of mind… that is the key to the ill planned and weak attended rallies that spark up from time to time. These “angry” protesters (who normally live very comfortable lives in suburbia) do nothing most of the time (sure they talk a big game on the internet or over a frappachino) and then, when it is in their face, they do as little as possible to allow them to sleep at night again (that normally includes a protest and attacking others so they can feel better about themselves).

      Lastly, (at least for now, I am hoping that my confidence that you will reply with a whole new set of accusations against myself and the entire website is mistaken) some advice: starting off a comment with “please don’t sensor me” as well as ending one with the same is a immature and very intellectually weak tactic. It looks like you are not even confident in your own words.

      Next, assumptions are dangerous. You do not know what is in the hearts of men, that is Allah’s knowledge. Further is the Muslim safe from the hand and tongue of another Muslim? Was our beloved Prophet’s example and life meant to perfect our character? It would have been better to approach a believer (unless I am reading the tone in this email as one of you assuming takfir on me) with Salaam and then addressing your concerns – rather than assuming them – which BTW would be standing with a Muslim…

      Also we should get over ourselves, I mean this whole comment (and the majority of attacking/defending style comments) contains way too many “I’s…” and “you’s.” As believers should we not be more humble? Debating for the sake of uncovering the truth is one thing, however this appears to be something else…

      “The best among you are those who have the best manners and character.”” Reporter: Hadhrat Abdullah ibn Amr (r) Source: Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 8: #56b

      May Allah perfect our conduct and guide us to what pleases Him!

      Iesa

      • Hidaya

        July 5, 2009 at 1:01 PM

        MashaAllah, very eloquently stated.

  7. Sirat

    July 5, 2009 at 12:03 AM

    Thats so true Ahmed – well said. Jazakallah khayr.

    I’m awaiting a response.

    – W’salam.

  8. AbdulQadir

    July 5, 2009 at 10:14 AM

    Love the article.

  9. Admissionofdefeat

    July 5, 2009 at 11:15 AM

    Why delete my comment? If you don’t post it I will post it elsewhere so I can expose “the systematic censorship here on MM”…that could be a big story. Just respond to my points please.

  10. Ahmed

    July 5, 2009 at 12:45 PM

    Can I get my comment up? Why the censorship?

    • Iesa Galloway

      July 5, 2009 at 1:20 PM

      Ahmed, Adissionofdefeat and I do not know how many other aliases you created, some of us have families, jobs and other responsibilities, I for one do not sit around waiting for someone to debate…

      From what I can tell you are posting under every article on our site with multiple names… you obviously have no platform of your own and you also feel so entitled that as a guest here you try use threats and bully tactics.

      At this point you are succeeding at undermining your own creditability, due to lack of manners, lack of patience and whining. What I find on the site is you complaining and stating that “you are getting angry” all over the place with a me, me, me… attitude. Try and focus that energy on something more beneficial and less egocentric.

      When I get a chance I will look into the comments you are mentioning… but this is exactly what I was speaking about when I said that as believers we should be more humble.

      • Ahmed

        July 5, 2009 at 8:10 PM

        Please do that, thank you very much.

        • Ahmed

          July 6, 2009 at 9:03 PM

          Are you gonna get around to responding to the issues I raised with my comment, which still seems to be “awaiting moderation”? It’s a bit dissapointing when you put intellectual effort into a debate and the other side responds with censorship. There’s a name for journalism and media which are glad to publish feedback that fit the official narrative but stifle counter points without responding to them: propaganda. How do you expect to receive respect as a source for intellectual honesty if you are unwilling to settle disputes through debate and dialogue but instead through censorship and bias?

          • Ahmed

            July 6, 2009 at 9:09 PM

            Jazakullahu Khair brother for responding and may Allah guide me and you to the straight path, Ameen.

            Here are my thoughts:

            First off, the reason I started off my comment with a statement that I recognize looks very desperate is because I have had a bitter experience in the past with systematic censorship here on MM. For the most part, I thought my comment would be considered “too radical”. Thankfully, that was not the case but as a future gauge to see who is really “immature” and employs a “very intellectually weak tactic” I hope the rest of this short back and forth (short, I hope) can proceed with sharing of opinions and not deleting my comments when I feel I haven’t done anything wrong.

            Secondly, with regards to what you perceived to be a personal attack on yourself I would like to put you at rest and say that I am neither making Takfeer of you or Tabdee’ (nor am I qualified to do so), or even calling you a traitor or a hypocrite. I am simply challenging the arguments made in this article. Can I do that without being accused of dangerous “assumptions” or somehow having a knowledge of the Ghayb that is in peoples hearts? When did I say I knew what was in your heart? I am simply debating the points you have openly put forth in your article. Nothing more.

            Thirdly, another unfair move on your part I believe is your constant insinuation that “this appears to be something else…”. Why would you suggest that my thoughts and comments are some sort of sinister personal attack on you or a “character-assassination” conspiracy…I don’t even know you, lol. I don’t feel there was any personal dimension to my comments because since I don’t even know you personally how could I and why would I attack you on a personal level? Yes, I have a different viewpoint then yours and rather than a personal attack I felt I was simply challenging your views and arguments. Can’t I simply comment and make what I feel are relevant points without being accused of some sort of ulterior motive?

            Fourthly, yes when I debate I hope to discover the truth, Insha’allah, but if I include “you’s” or “I’s” in my comment I am simply referring to my or your arguments.

            That said, I would like to address some of the points in your reply:

            1) What I intend to discover when I ask you your position on Masjid Al-Aqsa and Al-Ard Al-Muqaddas (The Holy Land) is this: do you take responsibilty for the nature of the agenda-setting you do here on MM? Brother Iesa, I believe you are a very smart an educated individual, and I believe you understand more than anybody the importance of what you say and what you don’t say. By the consistent promotion of non-believers like Galloway as “the authority” on this issue you establish the basis upon which this issue will be approached… and I think you realize this. That means the issue of our holy mosque and holy land is presented as an issue of:

            -Secular nationalism
            -Civil rights
            -Human rights
            -Self-determination
            -Political activism

            I think its fair to say that to the bulk of the 1 billion Muslims on this earth, when you bring up this issue these are not the words that immediately come to mind. I think this issue is about:

            A religious entitlement to the land of Bayt ul-Maqdis on the basis that this is a land from the land of the Muslims, ever since the likes of Umar Al-Khattab (R) liberated it and Salahuddin Al-Ayyubi (Rah) and the Muslim heroes after him, and due to the consensus of our Fuqaha’ (jurists) old and new that if even one inch of the land of the Muslims is occupied by the disbelievers it becomes Fard ‘Ayn on every Muslim the world over to liberate that land. You see that has nothing to do with the secular nationalist arguments about “Palestine” and the “2-state solution”, or the Munafiq United Nations’ ideas about human rights when it was the U.N who gave Bayt ul-Maqdis to the Yahood in the first place, or this so-called “activism” that gets in bed with those who firebomb women and children, or any of these other ideas and ideologies that were invented by the kuffaar and have no basis in Islam.

            So it’s a question of who you interview, which video clips you put up, which viewpoints you cover and which ones you don’t. I think that is the issue.

            2) I don’t understand your point about being a convert to Islam with regards to the issue of nationalism. Bottom line: Do you advocate for that part of the world on the basis of the western concept of secular nation-state self-determinism, such that it is no different than the case of the Tamils in Sri Lanka, Irish in Ireland, or the Abkhazians in Georgia, or does your advocacy base itself in the concepts of the Qur’anic and Prophetic teachings about the land belonging to Allah and that He inherits it to whomever He wills of His slaves, that the state based on the Shari’a of Allah is the only legitimate form of government, that once a land is conquered for Islam it is forever a land of the Muslims, and so on and so forth?

            3) Kudos for your efforts in getting to the region and getting first-hand knowledge of the region but I would have to say…hasn’t every U.S president, congressmen, or representative done exactly the same thing? Does that stop them from supporting and joining the Yahood in the slaughter of women and children? Absolutely not. So is a field trip really enough?

            4) The reason I bring up the issue of Masjid Al-Aqsa so prominently is because that is what I feel most Muslims believe symbolizes this issue. This is directly tied in with the oppression of the people of Filistine because precisely the reason the Yahood chose this land for their so called “Jewish state” is because of the “holiness” of the place (for some time, it was thought the British would give them Uganda!). It would be the equivalent of the Americans moving the military troops and civilian personnel they already have based on Bilad al-Haramayn (The Land of the two Harams-Mecca and Medina) directly to Mecca, announcing a “Christian State”, desecrating the Ka’ba, digging under the Ka’ba with hopes to build a church in its place to hasten the second coming, and massacring thousands upon thousands of the Muslimeen for good measure. On that occasion would we talk about “the political aspirations of the Saudi people”? So you can see its a farce. My question is: Where is Al-Aqsa in your discourse? As far as I can see it doesn’t have a place.

  11. usman

    July 5, 2009 at 5:03 PM

    Salaam, where is the sunday open thread, i always look forward to when i am at work, always gives me something to read

  12. Iesa Galloway

    July 7, 2009 at 4:11 PM

    @ Ahmed:

    OK, I found your post (the entire one, much longer than the one you posted above) and found it in whole very naive, at times self-contradicting and as feared opportunistic.

    I have chosen to respond to a few of your comments where I felt there may be a benefit.

    Where I have not responded I believe our readers will see that your comments speak for themselves.

    May Allah guide all of us to what is best.

    Iesa

    The whole point in my first response to you is that I have not put forward an argument… The points I have put forth are someone else’s, furthermore most of the questions asked were from our readers which you can view: here.

    About the attacking nature of your posts, when you have cooled down, re-read them and it should be clear via the tone, and your own admission of your having previous issues with this website, that you were, indeed attacking. Secondly, regards to assumptions, Islam considers intelligence to be in the heart, (Qur’an, 6:25), (Qur’an, 7:179). By deducting my positions based solely on my interview questions you are assuming knowledge of my beliefs…

    Your “challenging” viewpoints that are expressed by an interview, is assuming that I and George Galloway have the same exact stance – your words here: “How do you, Iesa, justify the fact that there is no space between your position and the position of a non-believer when it comes to the issue of our Muqaddasat (holy places)?” By doing that you’re equating Muslim Matters and me to secular nationalism. I for one believe that being labeled a secular “anything” is a insult to any Muslim. (To me a Muslim is one who actively attempts to submit to Allah’s will, not a race, culture or heritage).

    About your counterpoint #1)

    Talk about conspiracy theories, as stated earlier the majority of the questions came from our readers, (who are predominately Muslims) so let’s end this agenda setting idea.

    Secondly, you mentioned Salahudeen, please study the man beyond his eventual military success in liberating Palestine. You will see that he is praised by his opponents and had made many treatises with them. Next, it is clear that the saying – if the only tool you have in your tool box is a hammer than every problem looks like a nail – applies here. What I am getting at is that I believe the Sharia encourages us to use multiple means to stand against oppression, not only a military answer. This is exemplified by the life of our beloved Prophet, the Salif and the pious predecessors as well. Furthermore, with no Amir of the Believers, no Islamic state, no unity among the Ummah, the authoritative representation of a unified Muslim position – let alone, just military action – is not pragmatic.

    Lastly, every believers heart has to be attached to the issue of Palestine (and ALL the areas where Muslims are being slaughtered and oppressed). Palestine (special because of Masjid Al Aqsa of course) is vastly more complex than the limited narrative frame you are attempting to view it through. Understand, by the meaning of the word deen (religion) which for us should equate to the complete way in which we live our lives, means we should not separate or reserve Islamic guidance for specific issues or parts of our lives. Rather, we should try to please Allah with all of our actions. You see, this whole dialogue is about limiting what Islam is. My position that Islam allows for much more variety of action than you seem comfortable with.

    About your counterpoint #2)

    First, as a convert, the primary tie I have to Palestine is a religious one, I credit Islam as the reason Muslims should have a compassionate view on suffering in general. (refer to my first question of George Galloway)

    Next, are you calling then for taking back Spain? And please do inform us of this form of government that the Shari’a is calling for… In my understanding, there is no single type of governmental system enshrined in the Shari’a, however the Shari’a does give us the principles (moral guidance) from which a system of government can be administered correctly.

    About your counterpoint #3)

    No, they have not done the same… many politicians go on Israeli guided and Israeli funded tours and get a much planned exposure to the region. One that is pro-Israel only…

    About your counterpoint #4)

    It is clear that you have a lot of studying up to do on the situation in Palestine and the people (esp. the Israeli population as well as the American Jewry.) The majority of which are not Orthodox Jews (who have their own spectrum). Many of these two populations have secular and reactionary influences (the never again, no matter who is effected, survival mindset).

    Your arguments are far too simplistic, for another example, your bit about “Americans” taking over Mecca, sounds exactly like far right neo-con Christians.

    Lastly, we have to care about our brothers and sisters in Palestine and never overlook any of their aspirations (political or other).

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