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Examining Israel’s ‘Right to Defend Itself’

Barack Obama, when commenting about the recent warfare in Gaza, stated that he supports Israel’s right to defend itself from Gazan rocket attacks. He declared, almost chided,“Israel has every right to expect that it does not have missiles fired into its territory.” The Canadian Foreign Minister, John Baird, also sang the same tune and reiterated the identical position.

This has been the standard position of our governments; it is no different than what it was during Israel’s Operation Cast Lead in 2008, which claimed the lives of over 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis. It seems like a reasonable position too; which explains our blind acceptance of it. If someone was launching rockets at our country, would we not fight back?

What has been conveniently omitted by our politicians and our media is one crucial piece of information: the Gaza Strip has been subject to a brutal military occupation by Israel for 45 years now. The international community, including US and Canada, recognize this occupation to be illegal. In addition, since 2006, Gaza has been under a severe economic siege which has made the dignified existence of Palestinians impossible.

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Although Israel evacuated the Gaza Strip in 2005, it now maintains and controls the occupation from the outside; entering whenever it feels appropriate. On his recent visit to the area, Noam Chomsky described Gaza as the “world’s largest open-air prison.” The idea of the Gazan siege, in the words of Israeli official Dov Weisglass, “is to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger.”

Israel strictly controls air, land and sea access to Gaza. It has defined ‘buffer zones’ along Gaza’s agriculturally rich border where Palestinians are prohibited to enter; they are shot at if they try to walk on their own land. Fishermen too are fired at by mighty Israeli ships if they dare go 3 miles pass the shoreline. Israel strictly controls all imports into Gaza and exports are almost non-existent. Construction projects to rebuild vital infrastructure can’t be carried out, forcing the UN to declare the Strip ‘unlivable’ by 2020. Drones and F-16s whiz through the sky so often that their constant thundering has become background noise.

Israel regularly conducts military operations inside Gaza; frequently targeting civilians. Western media started reporting about Operation Pillar of Cloud as a response to Hamas’ rocket fire on November 14; as if the occupation forces had been patiently standing by the border since January 2009. What is unknown to us is the recent escalation started on November 5th when a Palestinian man was killed for simply being in the ‘buffer zone’. Then again, on November 8th, a 13-year old boy was killed while playing soccer by machine gunfire. Each death resulted in retaliation from Palestinian fighters and loss of more Palestinians lives; finally leading up the November 14th episode.

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Subject to never ending humiliation, degradation and impoverishment, some Gazans end up joining Hamas’ military ranks or groups like Islamic Jihad. This small percentage of the population is driven to desperation and decides to resist the occupation violently.

Even though Hamas was elected by Gazans in 2006 to administer their internal affairs, it has been shunned as a terrorist organization. Hamas’ terrorism is akin to the terrorism of Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress (ANC), which employed violence to resist the Western-backed South African apartheid regime. Mandela and the ANC were also officially declared to be notorious terrorists at the time. When Hamas directly targets Israeli citizens; it is no doubt condemnable. However, this needs to be met by equal condemnation of Israel for attacking civilians; something our governments refuse to do.

Gilad Sharon, son of former PM Sharon, bluntly describes the pretext under which the military operation and siege on Gaza is justified in Israeli circles: “The residents of Gaza are not innocent, they elected Hamas. The Gazans aren’t hostages; they chose this freely, and must live with the consequences”.  Even if one were to assume Hamas’ militant activities serve no purpose but to provoke Israel, is it still justified to collectively punish 1.6 million Gazans for voting the ‘wrong way’?

Instead of shelling Gaza, Israel can employ peaceful means to end the rocket fire into its own territory. Hamas’ leader, Khaled Meshal, describes it quite simply,“If occupation ends, resistance ends. If Israel stops firing, we stop firing.” While Hamas has accepted a two-state solution, the Israeli leadership under Netanyahu has demonstrated no interest in pursuing it; jeopardizing any attempt for it to be executed and pinning the blame on the opposing party. However, if Hamas really was the problem, why then was no deal reached before 2006, when they weren’t even a part of the equation?

Although a cease-fire has been brokered, it is likely to be broken again. Talk of Israel ‘defending itself’ will resume in the next round of escalation. And when that happens, I want you to consider this: Is it really possible for a regime guilty of occupation to be defending itself from those it oppresses? To Obama and governments that unequivocally support Israel: Don’t the Palestinians have every right to not be occupied by Israel? Do they not have the right to defend themselves against an illegal occupation and an unjust siege?

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Waleed Ahmed writes on current affairs and politics for MuslimMatters. He focuses on Muslim minorities, human rights and the Middle-Eastern conflict. Based out of Montreal, he's currently pursuing a Ph.D. at McGill University in fundamental physics. Waleed also has a keen interest in studying Arabic and French. He spends his spare time reading, playing basketball and praying for Jon Stewart to run in the next presidential election. contact: waleed dot ahmed at muslimmatters.org

32 Comments

32 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Anon

    November 29, 2012 at 8:09 AM

    The problem with the Israel-Palestine issue is that there are no important stakeholders who are not biased to one side. No one who truly wants to see a lasting, stable solution to this can be described as impartial in any way. Not just because one side will always accuse those who suggest solutions which impact them negatively as “biased”, but simply because anyone who’s saying something about this loud enough to be heard has been blinded by partisanism.

    As a Muslim, I find it discouraging that so many Muslims are blinded by either their hatred of Israel and/or the Jewish people to see that Palestinians are not blameless in this situation.

    (I’m not even going to talk about those who hijack conflicts like this to champion their self-image and proclaim their holier-than-thou personality to anyone dumb enough to fall for it – “O you don’t wanna destroy Israel? – kaafir!. O you’re not going to attend the Free Palestine March #2521012? – Kaafir!” You get the picture…)

    I also find it staggering that so many Muslims are unaware – or choose to ignore – the long, complicated history of Israel, and the many conflicts that have been going on between Arabs and Jews, Muslims and Jews, Muslims and Christians, for centuries in that region of the world. It is simply historically ignorant to keep claiming that the Jews occupying Palestine is the beginning and end of the current crisis. It has a much longer history than that.

    Another disheartening fact is that many Muslims are unaware of the implications of hating an entire people, or wanting them or their nation to be destroyed.

    Some, on the other hand, claim that because Jews are chastised so harshly in the Qur’an and Hadith, hatred of them and desire for their destruction , in their entirety – man, woman and child, is justified, nay sanctioned by Allah. This might sound strange and implausible to some, but for those who have attended even a small amount of Jumu’a Khutbas, thinking about the words of some Khateebs when discussing this matter will lead to this same disturbing conclusion.

    I’m not saying that there is an easy solution to this problem, and in fact I will not even attempt to convey any sort of solution in this comment. I just felt it necessary to point out that Palestinians, but more importantly, the rest of the Muslim Ummah, will never ever solve this problem if they do not acknowledge that the Jews are not to blame for everything, the Palestinians are not completely innocent, the global Muslim Ummah is most definitely not blameless, and any solution to the problem MUST include the safety and right to a separate nation for the Jewish people.

    • Avatar

      Gibran

      November 30, 2012 at 11:23 AM

      SubhanAllah?

      Who exactly are you? What your are saying is absolutely revolting.

    • Avatar

      Mahmud

      December 1, 2012 at 9:49 PM

      *Comment Removed by Comments Team*

      Dear Mahmud:

      You are MashaAllah an active commentator on our site and we encourage discussion of issues and point of views within the context of our articles. However, this forum is not the place for takfir or to call another Muslim a munafiq. This is in clear violation of our comments policy and repeated comments of this nature will only result in you being banned. As it is you are already on moderation.

      We encourage you to tone down a bit so this forum can be used by you to reason and convince others of your point of view rather than antagonize them.

      Best Regards
      WasSalamuAlaikum
      -Aly

      • Avatar

        Anon

        December 2, 2012 at 7:48 AM

        This has not addressed anything in my post. All you have done is obliquely call me a munafiq, and thus dismissed by argument with that. I struggle to see what exactly about my comment betrays my munafiq nature.

        If you read my comment, and summarized it as “siding with the kuffar”, I’m afraid you have completely misunderstood it.

      • Avatar

        Mahmud

        December 3, 2012 at 9:35 PM

        Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

        Ghafarallahu lak

        Fear Allah. If you were wrong about accusing me of making takfir, than perhaps you will regret this on Yawm ad Din.

        In any case, Allah is watching how you moderate the comments on this deteriorating site. So be just and balanced, that is closer to taqwa.

        And know when to defend someone as a “Muslim”. Even when they say something like what anon said? SubhanAllah.

        We can settle this before Allah and we will surely see who is right then.

        • Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

          Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

          December 4, 2012 at 12:55 AM

          Dear Mahmud
          WaAlaikum Assalam Wa Rehmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu:

          Every day I perform my duties on this site, I keep Allah in front of me, else I would not be doing this work. It is not just I who “wrongfully accused” you but the person who you accused of being a hypocrite.

          Ultimately you are correct it will be Allah who will decide and so I think you should leave the judgement of who is or is not a hypocrite up to Him.

          With regards to this site being “deteriorating” no one is forcing you to visit, read, and comment.

          Best Regards
          -Aly

    • Avatar

      robbie

      December 2, 2012 at 10:23 AM

      Muhammed Abdul

      Words of wisdom, spoken by an educated man!!
      It’s a great shame more people of your faith can not hear your words.
      You obviously care very much about your people, which is honourable, but understand fully the implications of racial hatred.
      I salute your views and respect you for standing up and telling your people the truth about a situation which has run for centuries.

    • Avatar

      VJaber

      December 27, 2012 at 3:42 AM

      I am Palestinian and I have many Jewish, and even Israeli, friends so it is very ignorant of you to say that Muslims hate Jews.
      What have to Palestinians done to the Israeli’s, flicked a few dead matches. I believe one Israeli got injured in the latest Gaza conflict while hundreds of Palestinians DIED, innocent civilians, mothers and children. It is very revolting that anyone would defend the Israeli’s right to attack the Palestinians.

    • Avatar

      Abdurraheem

      March 1, 2013 at 6:56 AM

      You must be either acting like being a muslim or one with poor science or God-fearing. The Quran and sunnah don’t say you have to kill every jew – man, female, child – like you imply. Moreover, whatever Palestinians might have done according to you.. look at the numbers, do thousands of them have to be killed while having nothing to do with this? For me, the lifes of the supporters of that pirate state called ‘Israël’ all deserve to die and be punished right away. You people dont believe in hell, who told you that it doesn’t exist, you invented this lie yourselves.

  2. Avatar

    Abdus Sabur

    November 29, 2012 at 9:29 AM

    As salamu alaikum,

    Jazak’Allahu khair for writing this article because it has inspired me to delve a little deeper into the hunch I had that Zionism is antithetical to Judiasm because I feel that Zionism is making a mockery of the victims of the holocaust of Nazi Germany. I simply typed in Google “Zionism behind the holocaust?”

    I was surprised to find so much information of documented resources. A good place to start is jewsnotzionism.org

    I urge my brothers and sisters in Islam to read more about this subject because it will shed so much light, insha’Allah, as to what is going on and why.

    Wa salam,
    Abdus Sabur

  3. Avatar

    Mohammad Abdul

    November 30, 2012 at 5:29 AM

    I think some important facts need to be mentioned in order to apprecaite the Israeli occupation.

    Firstly the whole of Israel is an occupaying force and this occupation started in 1948 when Israel was first declared. No amount of time passed or UN resolutions should change that and we should not accept the narrative which keeps talking about the 1967 boarders, the whole of Israel is an occupation and all of it needs to be reversed.

    Secondly we need to accept that the UN, US and Western governments in general are not honest brokers of this conflict, on the contary it is they who have placed Israel in the heart of the Muslim world (UK did), armed it to the teeth and back it all the way. For people to seek them to sort this conflct out is just navie, the US and all western governments seek only 1 thing, and that is their INTEREST in the region, not right or wrong. So we should not call upon them to solve this problem.

    Lastly the problem in the Muslim world in general is that we do not have any sincere leadership which represents the aspirations and values of the Muslim masses, until we have a government is implements the values and aspirations of Muslims, the Israeli occupation will never be reversed. The only reason Israel occupys the Palestine is because no Muslim leader has the courage to send out the Muslim army to protect the Muslims of Gaza.

  4. Avatar

    robbie

    December 2, 2012 at 10:47 AM

    Mohammed Abdul

    You had me and now you’ve lost me!!

    You’re obviously well educated, and quite rightly point out that Israel was formed back in 1948.
    The 1967 borders issue, only became an issue, because on the holliest day in the Jewish calender, all the Arab/Muslim surrounding countries launched a joint assault on Israel.

    Now in your previous post, you raised some very valid points about the issue not being a wholly Israel/Jewish fault and equally mentioned that hatred of the Jews is not something that should be followed for the sake of Islam and your Muslim brothers.

    Now you are suggesting to oust the Israeli/ Jewish state altogether after over 60 years of formation, which is a complete about turn on your previous post!!
    Do you really think this would resolve anything!!!

    As for your comments about America, Uk etc, your comments are ridiculous!!
    Do you really think these countries have an anti Muslim policy???
    Just take a look at the amount of your Muslim brothers that have been welcomed to live in these countries with open arms.

    You can’t have it both ways here, come on be reasonable and stop thinking that the world is against Islam.

    Just go back over the last ten years and look at the attrocities that have been comitted, do you really think these acts have done anything good for the image of Islam???

    • Avatar

      Mohammad Abdul

      December 2, 2012 at 2:04 PM

      robbie
      I have only made 1 comment on this blog and this is my 2nd comment, so i am not sure what your first comment is reffering to, i think you should learn to follow the argument and discussion before commenting that would be advisable.

      My ponit about the US/UK is not that it is anti Muslim rather it is only inetersted in its INTEREST like i mentioned before, hence it should not be seen as a honest broker. It happens to be that its interest conflict with the interest of Muslims in that region and their values. Just because they allow Muslims to come into their country does not mean that they are not against certain Muslim views and values-to suggest otherwise that is riduculous.

      My ponit about Israel is that all of it is an occupation, are you saying it is not, it started in 1948 (fact), that occupation should be reveresed. No amount of time passed or UN resolution will justify it.

      Islam has a bad image because media is unfair towards it and politicians have demonised it, you live in a fairy world if you think otherwise, the more important ponit is that i would rather Islam had a ‘bad image’ and be on the side of good then having a ‘nice image’ like Israel and being on the side of those who oppress, then i can stand in front of my Lord and say that i was on the side of truth against falsehood even though people gave the truth a bad image.

      The real ponit is this-Israel started its occupation in 1948 should we allow it to have that land? what type of message are we sending to the rest of the dictators of the world? That is something for sincere and honest people to think about?

      • Avatar

        Waleed Ahmed

        December 2, 2012 at 3:31 PM

        thanks for the comment Mohammad. I would have to disagree with one point you make though. If we are carrying the banner of international law and the UN to fight for the rights of Palestinians, we also have to acknowledge that Israel is recognized to be a country founded in 1948 under international law. The occupation, under law, refers to the West Bank, East Jeruslam and Gaza. We aren’t calling for Israel to stop existing as a nation, we are calling for the occupation to end as defined under law. This is also what most Palestinians are calling for under the two-state solution.

        • Avatar

          Anon

          December 3, 2012 at 1:04 AM

          While it is true that most Palestinians desire a two-state solution, it should not be forgotten that there are some (no names mentioned) who would like to see the war with Israel, and the Jews in general, go on. This is because it provides them with a certain legitimacy, and also, allows them to further push their agendas. Some have even outright said that Israel’s existence is a deal-breaker for them, and that they would like to wipe them off the map.

          Again, this may sound strange to some – even blasphemous or “munafiq” apparently.

          Lest I be misunderstood – there are those on the Israeli side who would love nothing more to continue the war, and even destroy the Palestinian entirely. This is well known amongst Muslims, and sometimes goes to the extent where we falsely accuse Jews who aren’t even Israelis of desiring this. We acknowledge the fasad of Israel. We all know Netanyahu basically despises Palestinians, Arabs, and Islam in general. His predecessor was no better. The moderate Israelis are few and far between when it comes to making their voice heard. The left-leaning ones are even more dangerous, as they pretend to care about Palestinians while hijacking the issue to push their own leftist., irreligious lack-of-moral-standards agenda.

          All I’m saying is that a little introspection from the Muslim side wouldn’t hurt.

        • Avatar

          Mohammad Abdul

          December 3, 2012 at 1:40 PM

          Thanks Waleed for responding, I think this is the crux of the discussion, should we accept the framework and parameters set by the international community or not regarding the issue of Palestine? In reality the so called ‘international community’ and UN consists of the global superpowers and their views and solutions. US, UK, Russia, France and China are the permenant members and can veto any resolution they like, nobody else has this right except them, so in origin it is they who dictate what is international law or not, how can it be right for 5 countries to decide the law of the rest of the world, who gave them that authority? And it’s not very international at all. Also these countries have nothing to do with Palestine nor is it an extension of their land, so why should they decide the Resoultion to this conflict? Not to mention that it is some of these countries who estabilished, funded and protected Israel, how can they give a just settlement, I would argue that we should not follow the UN or international law on this or any issue, for they will be bias and the superpowers will veto any resolution which goes against their interest in the region hence these powers are not honest brokers, the real question is- is it possible to solve the problem of Israel without the UN?

          • Avatar

            Waleed Ahmed

            December 4, 2012 at 1:09 AM

            yes, we have to work within the parameters of international law. That’s what the Palestinians are trying to do as well. If you read my references to this series, I’ve built this case based on jurisprudence of internationally recognized laws such as the Geneva Conventions, The Apartheid Convention, UN committee on Discrimination etc etc. Since, we are invoking the law to demonstrate that Palestinian rights are being violated, we have to work within this law to carve out a just resolution to the conflict. And yes, this law also states that Israel is a country founded in 1948 and has all the rights of any sovereign nation; as accepted by most Palestinians – this point isn’t up for debate. We can debate the moral legitimacy of the State, but legally we can’t. Also, debating this point is futile as it has no acceptance in global politics and won’t take us anywhere. It’s idealistic, but it’s a waste of our energy and time.

          • Avatar

            Mohammad Abdul

            December 4, 2012 at 7:12 AM

            Waleed

            Why is there an infatuation with international law etc etc, as if these are universal? Quite frankly they are not, it was designed by the super powers of the day to dictate their values and ideals to the rest of the world, why can we not see that? Do you really think Waleed that the US and Europe will allow Muslims to have their own way with the Palestinian issue when it is they who caused the problem and perpetuate the Israeli occupation. Secondly I am not sure how you know all Palestinians want the two state solution? Maybe providing some evidence will be helpful. Lastly, we should not just view this as a national Palestinian issue, rather is this a Muslim and Islamic issue because that is what bind Muslims to that land the fact the Allah (swt) gives Al-Quds an important place in Islam so the really question is what is the Islamic solution to this issue, not the UN, international law etc etc as it should be Islam that dictates to us what needs to happen with this occupation.

      • Avatar

        robbie

        December 3, 2012 at 4:10 AM

        To Muhammed Abdul

        Firstly, my apologies, I confused your views with that of ANON, whom I think should be commended in his honesty and obviously cares deeply about his faith and brotherhood !!

        Secondly I need to tell you “POINT ” is spelt like that, not PONIT !!

        OK, going back to your discussion:
        You are living in Cuckoo land if you think the western world is ANTI MUSLIM. In the UK, one of the top social agendas is to irradicate ANY form of racial hatred, regardless of whether it is aimed at religion or skin colour !!
        Yes, you are quite right to a degree, but it is, ONLY CERTAIN VIEWS from a MINORITY of MUSLIMS that are frowned upon!!
        So to put a question to your views, Can you tell me how the UK or the US benefit from allowing Muslims to enter their countries?? I would also like to point out that in the UK, some Muslim families recieve great welfare payments from the state !!!
        How does this benefit these countries?? I think it also more than fair to point out, that many Muslims moved to these countries to better their own lives for themselves and their families!!!
        I am sure the vast majority would agree, that to move to these countries with real democracy and the right to free speech has been a breath of fresh air !!!

        Now moving on to the rest of your argument, can you tell me how a country that was not in existance before 1948 can be an occupying force???? YOU CAN’T!!!
        The state of ISRAEL was created in 1948 which was under British rule at the time and the land in question was divided. Part became JORDAN ant the other PART became ISRAEL under an international aggreement !!!
        So after this very brief history lesson, can you tell me why these HAMAS/PALESTINIANS are not waging war against JORDAN?????
        With all due respect, I think you should read some of what ANON is saying and learn from someone that obviously cares dearly about his faith and has the interests of his fellow Muslims at heart.

        Wake up and smell the coffee, can you not see in this modern world, it is only the RADICAL BLOOD THIRSTY views that are causing al of these problems for JEWS and MUSLIMS alike.

        I’d be very interested to know what part of the world you live in??

        • Avatar

          Mohammad Abdul

          December 3, 2012 at 2:03 PM

          Robbie
          The reason we know that the UK government is against certain Islamic values and Muslims who hold these values is because it has said so in its prevent and contest strategy papers read them for yourself. The UK government explicitly states that if Muslims do not believe in homosexuality, that Israel has a right to exist etc etc (in the paper) they will be labelled extremist and beyond the acceptable values of the government, so the question is why are the government targeting Islamic values only. Also in the RAND corporation report which governments in the West have adopted it clearly states that western governments should fund those Muslims who are in agreement with the government agenda against perceived radicals who do not tow government lines, how is that not causing division within a community, setting it against each other (traditional divide and conquer). Your nonsense about Muslims receiving welfare as if that is good treatment is absurd simply because all citizens of UK receive it, does that mean the government is treating everyone well? Muslims made mass migration to Europe for two reasons 1. because of western colonialism and the havoc it caused around the world including Muslim lands and 2. because Europe needed migrant workers to build up their countries again after WW1 and 2 – so do not try and play this we welcomed you in out of the generosity of our heart nonsense, western governments allowed mass migration because it benefitted them as it did those who migrated.

          Now as for the Palestine issue, the fact that Israel was not in existence and then came into existence, who’s land do u think it took in 1948-your deluded enough to think that Transjordan at that time was empty, that Israel walked into an empty land, maybe you should check your history. Palestine was under British mandate, which was handed to the Zionist (not Jewish faith) movement, Britain itself was an occupying force, so 1 occupier handed it to another occupier, the hypocrisy is disgusting. As for international agreement about Israel, read my comment to waleed.

          It’s amazing how people want to forget how a whole people were slaughtered, displaced and then talk about Blood thirty views.

          Also thanks for the spelling correction.

          • Avatar

            Robbie

            December 7, 2012 at 11:36 AM

            Muhammad Abdul

            Please do not feel the need to thank me for correcting your spelling mistakes!!

            Now, you really don’t need to tell me about my own countries current legislation.
            I noticed however, you refrained from answering any of the questions I gave to you!!

            Anyway, as a westerner, if I visited a MUSLIM country, I would respect the country and their people and dress accordingly, to avoid upsetting the local community. This decision, would be made purely out of RESPECT, and for the same reason other countries views, should be respected by MUSLIMS in countries that they visit or live!!
            We have a saying here “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”
            Now onto your next statement which I have copied part of to refresh your mind “Muslims do not believe in homosexuality, that Israel has a right to exist etc etc”
            Not believing in one thing is fine!!
            But to encourage the eradication/destruction of another country is nothing more than RACIAL HATRED, so yes, we in the Western World will not accept this type of attitude!!
            I might also point out, that in the UK it is considered an offence to abuse HOMOSEXUAL people, be it by Muslims, Jews or Nutcase Nazi skinheads.
            Next, you are quite right, many Muslims did move to the UK because of Colonialism and the offer of Jobs, but nobody forced them to come here kicking and screaming!! Also, as I pointed out in my last mail to you, the majority of whom are very happy in the West and don’t follow your radical views!!
            Yes, WE DO HAVE A PROBLEM WITH RADICAL TERRORISM and ENCOURAGING RACIAL HATRED of any form!!
            Hey, do you want me to show you what was in these lands we are discussing PRE 1948 on this web site?? If I do, your argument will be weakened massively as it was a land which basically was a desert, and after all, according to Hamas’s recent views, they are only interested in the WEST BANK!! wHICH WAS 100% DESERT.
            Also, you mentioned JORDAN, but chose to avoid the question I asked, which was ” Why are these HAMAS/PALESTINIAN MILITANTS not waging war on JORDAN????
            Can I tell you, JORDAN refused point blank to take any of these PALESTINIANS into its country and in fact EJECTED some who did enter!!
            Now, again I am sorry to burst your Bubble, but prior to the British control of these lands, the land in question was under the Greater Syria boundaries which were under rule from the Ottoman Empire!!
            After the fall of the Ottoman Empire these lands were split between England, France and Spain.
            It was only in 1967 sometime after the formation of Israel that any one even heard about these uprooted Palestinians, so check factual history before writing.
            Also, if you want to go back further, I sure ever reader here has heard about the ISRAELITES?? Yes, well you are going back to around 12BC, when talking about these people in these lands !!!
            Oh, Syria also now own some of the old so called Palestine, so agian, why no issues with them ??

            Really, history will not help you with your argument.

            Now, your final contradicting comment:
            “It’s amazing how people want to forget how a whole people were slaughtered, displaced and then talk about Blood thirty views.”
            Haha, so if these people were all slaughtered as you suggest above, the new so called PALESTINIANS must be fakes and only interested in the destruction of Israel and Judaism !!! NO ARGUMENT after quoting your own words!!

            You know, if you want to have a debate, don’t come to the table with a load of cods whallop.

            Learn to LIVE AND LET LIVE

          • Avatar

            Robbie

            January 10, 2013 at 11:10 AM

            Muhammad Abdul

            Well I have waited for quite some time for a response to my final reply to you and just as I thought, you have disappeared !!

            I take it you have thoroughly checked my comments and found them to be 100% correct, hence the no reply.

            Case Dismissed

  5. Avatar

    Mahmud

    December 2, 2012 at 2:19 PM

    Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

    Israel has as much right to defend itself as a theif does when withholding what he stole.

    No, less than that.

  6. Avatar

    Yochanan

    December 3, 2012 at 7:36 PM

    When does the time period when something is stolen run out? Rome Stole it from the Jews in 70 AD and the annals of the Assyrian king Sennacherib – declare that he tried to steal it from them in 721 BC. He named Hezekiah the Judite by name. There is no dispute that they were there.

    Logic and historical evidence does not work very well in the Muslim mind, does it? I find the same thing with Christians. Reality totally ignored.

  7. Avatar

    Rachel

    December 23, 2012 at 1:37 PM

    Every time that a woman is stoned to death, or a woman or girl is murdered in an “honor killing” [an oxymoron for sure], or girls are subjected to clitoridectomies, or “given” in marriage barely out of diapers, the world’s view of moslems is lowered from respect toward rejection. When moslem religious leaders declare that marrying young girls who have not even lost their milk teeth is perfectly OK, the world feels shame, even revulsion for Islam. When homosexuals are killed but all know what goes on in madrases behind closed doors, there is more contempt.

    There is the issue of Israel. And first I must thank all the writers who use “Israel” in their writing instead of teh Zionist regime or Occupier or other derogatory language of rejection. You have claimed that Israel has recently attacked Gaza without any cause! What utter nonsense! You writers blithely ignore that Gazans had been lobbing rockets into Israel on a daily basis adding up to THOUSANDS of rockets over many months culminating in a daily barrage of hundreds of rockets daily that Israel finally responded to by bombing right back. Why were the deaths so disproportionate??? Why so few deaths of Israels and so many more of Gazans? Because the Israelis love their children and build bomb shelters everywhere, in every house and school. The Palestinians do NOT spend money on protecting their people; they do NOT build shelters for their children; they choose to spend the money on expensive rockets, bombs & other materiel which they launch FROM schools, FROM hospitals, FROM sports fields, FROM domiciles, so as to force Israel to destroy the launch sites IN SPITE of the presence of civilians. It is well known IN Gaza that the Israelis warned civilians, even with cell phone messages & dropping leaflets that they were about to bomb so leave the area ASAP. The leaders in Gaza know very well how to protect their sorry selves – by surrounding themselves with little children when they show themselves in public, like Mashaal.

    Allow me to remind you of some truths about the Palestinians. The recent withholding of tax money from Israel to the PA? That was to repay Israel for the electricity bills totaling many months the PA has not paid! Do any of you care that the PA extorts money from their own subjects, from the slaries they earn in Israel or their retirement pensions, and will beat or even kill if they don’t get the money? These are Mafia actions not actions of a legitimate government.

    Do you care that the Palestinians have an unfortunately duplicitous habit of thanking the Israelis by killing or trying to kill them? For example a candy distributor who trusted his long term Palestinian customers until they killed him during a delivery one day, or a gardener who killed his employer when she became too poor to employ him any longer, or a young woman would-be suicide bomber coming to hospital with a bomb belt strapped around her stomach in order to kill the doctors and nurses who were treating her for many months gratis for her severe burns. And an equally appalling habit of sneaking into Jewish homes at night and cutting the throats of sleeping babies and children.

    In order to support the Palestinian cause here and now as well as in the past, one must blind oneself to many inconvenient truths and instead manufacture lies about the adversaries.

    • Avatar

      Khan G

      January 1, 2013 at 2:36 AM

      [This is a reply to the post that claims supporting the Palestinian cause is self blinding, and fabricating lies about the adversaries.] Sorry I do not know your name. I read your post carefully.As far as I can see, your perspective is either biased, therefore subjective, or very ill-informed. I will choose the latter, since our prophet would choose where there is hope.

      There are many more, but I am compelled to limit my post to two points as I am preparing for an important exam. I promise though(God willing) I will make them all in the near future.

      The first is simply putting two things together: by your logic, the 138 countries that supported the latest Palestinian bid to become an observer state ” blind oneself to many inconvenient truths and instead manufacture lies about the adversaries” (sic). I do not think there is a need for a reminder that it was the same UN that legalized Israel in 1948. So it is either they were wrong then, or they are right now.

      The second point: We Muslims know Israel as a great Prophet Jacob. So the reason we call the Jewish State( as Netenyahu calls it) ‘ the zionist regime’ or ‘ occupier’ is the need to separate the clean name of Jacob( according to our belief of course) from an apartheid regime/. By the way, I do not think ‘Zionist Regime’ is derogatory, or else Israeli ideologues would not have use it.

      I will stop here, but I will be back.

      Peace upon those who adhere to the Truth.

  8. Avatar

    Abdul Haqq

    December 24, 2012 at 9:48 PM

  9. Avatar

    Rachel

    December 26, 2012 at 4:35 AM

    You ought to know that I have lived close to & worked closely with Moslems from numerous countries for over 30 years. As individuals I have great respect for them but when it comes to any government that Moslems control, they are disasters with darn few freedoms of any kind plus devolution into medieval fear & violence. How many workers were just killed in Pakistan for trying to get kids vaccinated against polio? I have been to Iran; the Iran of today is a bastion of fear & hatred when it used to be a highly respected educated country. I have been to Afghanistan BEFORE the Buddha statues were destroyed, even back then girls outside the few privileged were never taught to read. I could go on & on. None of the deterioration & substitution of rage for reason is due to anything OUTSIDE Islam.

    • Avatar

      Robbie

      January 2, 2013 at 12:37 PM

      Very Well Spoken Rachel.

      You, I and a handful of other MM readers understand fully the situation with regards to Israel.
      Hamas, is nothing more than a Terrorist Organization that use force and bully tactics to try and achieve their goal.

      Quickly in response to the Khan G post.don’t use the fact that 138 countries have agreed to “the observer state” as a way of trying to say they are not Terrorists!!!
      I am quite sure this decision was made in the interest of saving lives, which is honorable, but as Rachel stated, it is a damned shame, these militant fanatics, don’t share the same caring for their brothers as we infidels!!!!

  10. Avatar

    Rachel

    December 27, 2012 at 9:51 AM

    As of 12/27, neither Abdul Haqq nor anyone else has responded to my remarks. Abdul Haqq’s link has no relevance to the vast majority of what I have raised that distresses me even if these issues do not move any of you.
    So let me throw out to you a simple question, since up to now, all the commenters are guys, do any of you know a moslem family in which the wives have never been beaten by their husbands? Because I do not.

    • Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

      Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

      December 28, 2012 at 2:19 AM

      Dear Rachel

      Alhamdulillah (all praises are due to Allah) there has been no cases of spousal abuse in my entire family all of whom are Muslims. Considering there are around 2 billion muslims do you seriously think you can generalize based on the handful families you may know or may have read about it the media?

      What relevance spousal abuse has to Israel/Palestine issue eludes me though.

      Regards
      -Aly
      *Disclaimer: The above comment is made in a personal capacity and not as a member of the MM Comments Team*

  11. Avatar

    Joybringer

    February 11, 2013 at 4:56 AM

    I appreciate the efforts of the many Jews and Palestinians who’ve been praying for peace in the Middle East .This is exactly what the Bible and Quran preach.However, peace-making does involve making concessions; to call Jews death-deserving and Palestinian muslims paradise-deserving has not helped matters since 1948…neither has it worked vice versa….The crux of the matter is that these two cultures need to move forward ,the past notwithstanding: I propose a starting point here…THAT EACH OF THESE PEOPLES HOLD A JOINT RECONCILIATION CONFERENCE WHERE THEY WILL RESOLVE TO ABANDON EVERY RELIGIOUS DOCTRINE THAT PREACHES THE DESTRUCTION OF THEIR NEIGHBOUR. That’s just for starters! Long speeches about Apartheid ,colonisation ,South Africa ..etc. will not help ..for every country in the world has been colonised at one point or another…and most have BEEN LIBERATED and moved on.The fate of men is in the hands of God so any more talk of the past just undermines peacemaking…and smacks of BITTERNESS…which is a sin in both Islam, Judaism and even in Christianity!

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#Current Affairs

رد على الشيخ حبيب علي الجفري

 

بداية نود الاعتراف بوجوب احترام وتقديرهؤلاء الأفراد الذين كرسوا حياتهم لخدمة التمكين الديني والروحي للآخرين. فغالبًا ما تعمل قيادتهم العلمية والأخلاقية كمنارات للتوجيه ومصدر محاكاة للأمة. ومن المتوقع، لما لدورهم من أهمية بالغة، أن يتحدثوا ويتصرفوا وفقًا لأعلى مستويات الصدق والنزاهة الأخلاقية. لذلك فإن من المخيب للآمال، بشكل خاص، أن تصدر تعليقات خاطئة من عالم يجب أن يكون جزءًا من تراث الصرامة الفكرية العالية والسلوك الأخلاقي المتفوق. الأمر الأكثر إشكالية هو أن هذه التصريحات غير اللائقة تتعلق بمجموعة من إخوانهم المسلمين الذين يتعرضون لإكراه غير مسبوق للتخلي عن دينهم وهويتهم. 

في الصورة أعلاه ، خريطة تركستان الشرقية فيما يتعلق بباقي آسيا الوسطى. تركستان الشرقية هي بنفس حجم كاليفورنيا وأريزونا ونيو مكسيكو وكولورادو ويوتا ونيفادا مجتمعة

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ومن المؤسف أن الشيخ حبيب علي الجفري، وهو عالم مشهور في العالم العربي، أساء استخدام محاضرته الأخيرة بنشر معلومات غير صحيحة أو متحيزة سياسياً أو تضر بحياة أمة مسلمة بأكملها مستعمرة ومضطهدة من قبل الصين. وعلى الرغم من أنه يقر بأن الصين قد ارتكبت خطأً تجاه الأويغور وأنها ليست بريئة تمامًا، إلا أن الكثير من ادعاءاته لا تزال غير دقيقة وتحتاج إلى لفت انتباهه وانتباه تلاميذه. وتحاول هذه المقالة استعراض بعض هذه المغالطات وتصحيح هذه الادعاءات التي تنزع الشرعية عن الحقيقة البائسة للأويغور والشعب التركي الآخر في تركستان الشرقية (والتي أعيد تسميتها ويشار إليها باسم سينجيان)  . 

Ghulja

الاحتجاجات التي سبقت مذبحة الغولجة ۱۹۹۷  

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وقد ظهر الحضور الصوفي الكبير في تركستان الشرقية من خلال مزاراتها الصوفية – التي تم التخلي عن معظمها بشكل منهجي أو تدميرها أو قطع أوصالها بأسلاك شائكة من قبل الحزب الشيوعي الصيني. 

وتسلط المخطوطات القرآنية القديمة من المنطقة، وكذلك المخطوطات من القرنين التاسع عشر والعشرين، الضوء على الحفاظ على هذه التقاليد الإسلامية وأهميتها. وكثيراً من آلاف المساجد الجميلة المشيدة على الأرض، قام الحزب الشيوعي الصيني في الآونة الأخيرة بتدميرها. ونؤكد، لو أنها لم تكن أماكن زيارة وذات أهمية تاريخية، فلماذا قام الحزب الشيوعي الصيني بتجريفها؟ أصبحت كاشغر، عاصمة سلطنة الكراخانية و “جوهرة” طريق الحرير، مركزًا تعليميًا بارزًا للإسلام ومركزًا يعرض ماضي الأويغور الغني. 

ومن الواضح الآن أن الغالبية العظمى من الأويغور ليسوا مسلمين منذ القرن الحادي عشر فحسب ، بل أيضًا لا يمكن فصل تاريخ تركستان الشرقية عن تاريخ العالم الإسلامي. يتبع الأويغور بشكل موحد التيار السائد لأهل السنة حسب مدرسة الحنفية ، ولديهم حب كبير لأهل البيت النبيل (عائلة وأحفاد النبي ) – من الذي يدعي حبيب علي جفري أيضًا أصله – مثل جميع المسلمين الأتراك. وكان الأويغور قد أقاموا مقامًا لعالم من القرن الثامن وحفيد للنبي ، الإمام جعفر الصادق ، بالقرب من خوتان من تركستان الشرقية، والذي تم تدميره الآن من قبل نظام الحزب الشيوعي الصيني. 

إذا كانت شرائح من مجتمع الأويغور لا تمارس الاسلام اليوم ، فهذا يرجع في الغالب إلى القمع الايديولوجي الشيوعي منذ الحرب العالمية الثانية ، مثل سقوط محو الأمية الدينية والممارسات التي حدثت تحت الحكم السوفياتي في الجمهوريات التركية المجاورة. ومع ذلك ، فمن الجدير بالذكر أن نرى بعض جمهوريات آسيا الوسطى تشهد حاليًا إحياءً تدريجيًا للاحتفال الإسلامي بفضل زوال السياسات القمعية ، ملمحًا إلى الكيفية التي يمكن أن تزدهر بها الحياة الأويغورية الدينية عندما تتوقف السياسات القمعية بشأن تركستان الشرقية.

إن الأهمية التاريخية للأعمال التي أنتجها علماء الأويغور، والعديد من المدن القديمة الموجودة في جميع أنحاء تركستان الشرقية واضحة من العدوان الممنهج الذي سعت الحكومة الصينية للقضاء عليها. من حظر نشر النصوص باللغة الأويغورية ، وإغلاق جميع الأماكن الدينية ، وتحويل المواقع التاريخية إلى مراكز دعائية لنشر أويغورية علمانية مدعومة من الدولة ، دليل على أن الحزب الشيوعي الصيني ليس مهددًا فقط من قبل ثقافة الأويغور.

قبل وبعد ضريح الإمام الجعفري الصادق ايل آر ديسمبر١٠،٢٠١٣، ابريل ٢٠،٢٠١٩

رقم 2: يدعي أن مسألة القمع الأويغوري مسألة سياسية وليست دينية.

في حين أنه من الصحيح أن الاستعمار يُفهم في الغالب على أنه ظاهرة سياسية وليست دينية ، ولكن في هذه الحالة تم استخدام “الدين” كذريعة لتنفيذ عمليات الاعتقال والمراقبة الجماعية لشعب الأويغور.  وتدعي الصين أنها تقاتل ضد “التطرف الإسلامي” لحماية نفسها من ردة الفعل التي قد تواجهها نتيجة لوحشيتها في تركستان الشرقية. مثلها مثل الهند والعديد من الدول الغربية ، تستغل الصين تخوف العالم من “الإرهاب الإسلامي” لتبرير قمعها للمسلمين الأبرياء.

إن ممارسة الإسلام محظور بشكل قاطع في تركستان الشرقية ، على الرغم من الضمان الدستوري الصيني لحرية الدين. تحظر النصوص والأسماء الإسلامية ، ويُحظر ممارسة أركان الإسلام الخمسة ، وقد تم تدمير المؤسسات الإسلامية القديمة وتحويلها إلى مراكز دعائية شيوعية. اختفى علماء الدين ، أو حُكم عليهم بالسجن المؤبد أو قتلوا.

صورة الرئيس الصيني شي جين بينغ يصافح الأئمة الأويغور الموضوعة في مسجد عيد كاش التاريخي قاشغرفي تركستان الشرقية. علما أن الصورة في اتجاه صلاة المسلمين – القبلة

وبطبيعة الحال ، لن يكتمل التناغم في العرض بين الحزب الشيوعي الصيني دون الملايين من الصينيين الهان غير المسلمين الذين استقروا ، بمساعدة الحكومة ، داخل حدود تركستان الشرقية. في حين يتم نقل الأويغور بشكل منهجي خارج حدود وطنهم وداخل البر الرئيسي للصين للعمل كعمال قسريين أو للسجن و”إعادة التأهيل” ، فمن الصعب تجاهل الإزالة الديموغرافية للأويغور في تركستان الشرقية. ومع جلب المزيد والمزيد من الهان الصينيين إلى أراضي الأويغور ليحلوا محل السكان النازحين، دمر الحزب الشيوعي الصيني المساجد القديمة والمنازل والملاذات لإفساح المجال للمستوطنين الجدد. ويعتبر هؤلاء المستوطنون بمثابة تذكير مستمر لاختفاء الحكم الذاتي للأويغور وكذلك حراس على ما تبقى من سكان الأويغور على حد سواء. وهناك العديد من الروايات عن الصينيين الهان الذين يعيشون مع عائلات الأويغور في منازلهم على أنهم “أشقاء كبيرون” – يغذون الحكومة بالمعلومات عن كل خطوة تقوم بها العائلة ويساعدون في سجن الأويغور حتى في أدق المخالفات الدينية.

روى سجين سابق ، عادل عبد الغفور ، في مقابلة مع مؤلفنا المشارك السيدة أيدين ، كيف تم ضربه فاقداً للوعي من قبل سلطات السجن الصينية وأجبر على ارتداء كتلة من الأسمنت تزن 25 كجم لمدة شهر علقت بخيط رفيع حول عنقه لأنه قال ” بسم الله ” (بسم الله) في نومه. وقد تم اغتصاب عدد لا يحصى من النساء والرجال الأويغور ، الذين تم إرسالهم إلى المخيمات والسجون بسبب الممارسة الدينية ، وتعقيمهم قسراً ، وتخديرهم ، واستخدام أجسادهم لحصاد الأعضاء. ويعاقب الأويغور بالسجن لفترات طويلة. فقد حُكم على امرأة من الأويغور بالسجن 10 سنوات لترويجها ارتداء الحجاب ، وحُكم على رجل كازاخستاني بالسجن 16 سنة بعد أن وجدت السلطات الصينية تسجيلات صوتية للقرآن على جهاز الكمبيوتر الخاص به وقال العديد من اللاجئين الأويغور الذين قابلناهم أنه حتى التحيات الإسلامية – السلام عليكم – يمكن أن تسجنهم لمدة عشر سنوات. 

“مشهد منتشر في شوارع شينجيانغ # هذه الأيام. الرجال والنساء (بما في ذلك كبار السن) يتجولون بأندية ضخمة ، وهي جزء من “حرب الشعب” على الإرهاب

رقم 3:  يقول الشيخ إن السبب الذي يجعل الناس يكافحون من أجل تركستان الشرقية هو أنهم لا يريدون أن تبني الصين مبادرة حزام واحد بشارع واحد وتصبح أقوى بمرتين من أمريكا اقتصاديًا. 

يقلل هذا الادعاء من صراع تركستان الشرقية إلى ثنائي الصين مقابل أمريكا – وبالتالي يمحو العقود التي رزحتها تركستان الشرقية تحت الاحتلال الصيني. ففي عام 1759 ، غزت إمبراطورية مانشو تشينغ تركستان الشرقية وجعلتها مستعمرتها الجديدة . 

وقد وقع أحدث احتلال في عام 1949 عندما وصل الحزب الشيوعي الصيني إلى السلطة ، ومنذ ذلك الحين، تعرض ملايين التركستانيين الشرقيين لأشكال مختلفة من الوحشية المنظمة والإبادة العرقية والثقافية الجماعية.

إنه لمن دواعي الأسف الشديد ليس فقط بنزع الشرعية عن جهود الشعب المسلم في الوقوف ضد مضطهديهم ، ولكن أيضًا باعتبارهم ليسوا سوى مجرد بيادق أمريكية. 

وبالتالي ، من السخف حقًا فهم قضية استعمار الأويغور من خلال عدسة السياسة الصينية الأمريكية. بدأ استعمار تركستان الشرقية قبل وقت طويل من أن تصبح الصين منافسًا حقيقيًا في سعيها للهيمنة الاقتصادية الدولية وستستمر لفترة طويلة بعد أن تغير الولايات المتحدة أو الصين سياستها الخارجية .

مشهد من جولة على “مركز التدريب المهني”. يعزف محتجزو الأويغور الموسيقى لإظهار “الانسجام” و “السعادة” داخل المخيمات. المصدر: بي بي سي

رقم 4:  يسأل كيف يمكن أن يكون فيروس كورونا عقابًا إلهيًا إذا بقيت سلطات الحزب الشيوعي نفسها دون أن يمسها الفيروس بسوء.

 بينما نتفق مع الشيخ على أننا لسنا في وضع يسمح لنا بالحكم على ما إذا كان أي حدث دنيوي هو فعل مباشر للعقاب الإلهي فإننا نتساءل عن بعض الآثار المترتبة المقدمة خلال محاضرته. فعلى سبيل المثال ، يسأل الشيخ كيف يمكن أن يكون كوفيد-19 عقابًا إلهيًا إذا ظل الأفراد الذين اتخذوا القرارات الحكومية المباشرة التي شكلت الجزء الأكبر من القمع ضد الأويغور أنفسهم سالمين من الفيروس. ونحن نجيب: كيف يمكن للفيروس الذي يضعف الاقتصاد والبنية الاجتماعية لبلد ترتكب حكومته الإبادة الجماعية ضد ملايين الشعوب المستعمرة ، ولكن يمكننا ببساطة أن نسأل كيف يعرف الشيخ أن أياً من هؤلاء الأفراد لم يصب بالمرض؟ بالإضافة إلى ذلك ، نتساءل لماذا لا يمكن للعقاب الإلهي أن يستهدف نظامًا فاسدًا بالكامل ، وليس مجرد بعض الأفراد الذين قد يعتبرهم لا يتطلب الأمر فعلًا من العقاب الإلهي حتى ندرك عدم أخلاقية فعل أو حدث. نحن لا ننتظر أن تصيبنا صاعقة قبل أن ندرك أننا ربما ارتكبنا إثماً. وبنفس الطريقة ، لا نعرف ما إذا كان كوفيد-19هو عقاب إلهي ، لكننا نعرف أن اضطهاد الأويغور مدمر، وأن حجته ضد هذا ليست مقنعة.

محمد صالح حاج (٨٢) ، المعروف على نطاق واسع كأول باحث لقد ترجم القرآن الكريم إلى الأويغور الحديث ، هو من بين أحد الشهداء وقتل في الاحتجاز في يناير٢٠١٨

ملاحظات ختاميـة

نحن لا نسعى لمعرفة السبب وراء خطب الشيخ حول وضع إخواننا وأخواتنا الأويغور بشكل كبير على قضيتهم – ولا يمكننا معرفة السبب بالتأكيد. لكن ما يمكننا فعله هو التساؤل عن مصادر معلوماته وإبراز خطورة أفعاله وكلماته. فالملايين من المسلمين في الصين قمعوا لمجرد ارتكابهم أفعالاً إيمانية بسيطة يسعد الناس في أماكن أخرى القيام بها كل يوم – بما في ذلك قول “بسم الله” قبل أن يأخذوا لقمة من الطعام. ومع مرور رمضان بسرعة ، من المحزن التفكير في الأويغور الذين يجبرون على تناول الطعام والشراب ، ناهيك عن شرب الكحول وتناول لحم الخنزير ، خلال الشهر الكريم لإثبات بعدهم عن الإسلام وقربهم من الحكومة الصينية. وبينما نجلس نحن مع عائلاتنا للإفطار ، يعاني الأويغور وغيرهم من الأتراك بصمت في آلاف السجون ومعسكرات العمل البعيدة عن أسرهم.

هذا الباحث ، أو أولئك الذين أضلوه ، لم يتجاهلوا انتهاكات الحزب الشيوعي الصيني ضد ديننا والأمة عمومًا فحسب ، بل حاولوا أيضًا تثبيط مئات الآلاف من المسلمين الأحرار من مساعدة الأويغور في محنتهم ضد الحزب الشيوعي الصيني. وكما ذكرنا سابقًا ، نحن لا نسعى للعمل كمترجمين لمشيئة الله. بل على العكس ، نحن نسعى فقط للعمل وفق تقاليد إسلامية راسخة في أخذ عبرة ، ودرس مستمد من تجربة أخلاقية مما نلاحظه في العالم. وحتى أثناء إجراء هذه الملاحظة بعناية، فإننا نعترف بأن مصادرنا هي ظنية ، أو من عدم اليقين. ومع ذلك ، نعتقد أن تاريخنا وإيماننا قد دعوا بوضوح إلى العدالة والحرية الدينية بحيث تجاهل القمع المباشر للإسلام أو المسلمين ، خاصة من خلال وسائل عنيفة وقاسية مثل تلك التي يمارسها الحزب الشيوعي الصيني ، هو ارتكاب خطأ أخلاقي أكيد . 

إعلان استقلال جمهورية تركستان الشرقية الإسلامية، نوفمبر ١٩٣٣،١٢
ملاحظة: كما هو واضح، قاد العلماء / العلماء المحليون جهود الاستقلال

  

في الختام ، نطلب بتواضع من العالم الشيخ جفري التمسك بالتعاليم الأبدية للإسلام قبل الإدلاء بمثل هذه التعليقات العمياء التي تضر بشكل صارخ بصورة الملايين من الإخوة والأخوات المسلمين المضطهدين.  والقرآن ينصح بكل وضوح بعدم الوقوف مع الظالمين ضد إخوانكم المسلمين ، “ولا تركنوا إلى الذين ظلموا فتمسكم النار”. سوره هود:١١٤ 

وقد أكد زعيمنا بلا منازع ، النبي محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم ، أنه إذا أردت أن تقول شيئًا ، فقل شيئًا جيدًا ، وإلا فالتزم الصمت  “من كان يؤمن بالله واليوم الآخر فليقل خيراً أو ليصمت” متفق عليه.

 

١ .الاستمرار في الدعاء للمضطهدين من تركستان الشرقية والعالم.

مقاطعة المنتجات الصينية – لا ترضى بعمالة السخرة

٢. رفع الوعي حول محنة الأويغور وقضية تركستان الشرقية ، تعرّف على المزيد من موقع:

  SaveUighur.org

٣. العمل على تقليل الاعتماد الاقتصادي لبلدك على الصين.

٤. بناء تحالفات مع جميع أصحاب الضمير للمطالبة بوقف قمع الصين لجميع الجماعات الدينية ، سواء كانت الأويغور المسلمون أو الهوي أو المسيحيون أو البوذيون التبتيون.

٥. تشجيع وتعزيز التجارة العادلة مع المسلمين وغيرهم بدلاً من الصين.

٦. الاستفسار عن أعضاء الشتات الأويغور في منطقتك.  تنظيم مساعدة للأيتام والأرامل والطلاب. 

 ٧. الضغط على الحكومات لتوفير الحماية القانونية للاجئين الأويغور المنفيين إما عن طريق الجنسية أو اللجوء.  أوقفوا “تسليم – ترحيل”  الأويغور إلى الصين!

٨. احصل على أوقاف جامعاتك للتخلص من الصين. رفع الوعي بالتجسس الصيني والبنادق المستأجرة في الأوساط الأكاديمية.  طلب الدعم الأكاديمي والمالي للعلماء والطلاب الأويغور.

  1. طلب المزيد من الاهتمام الأكاديمي والتمويل للدراسات المتعلقة بآسيا الوسطى والأويغور والتركستانية.

رد على الشيخ حبيب علي الجف __ – PDFArabic Habib Ali

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Doors Of Mercy Are Open | Worship In The Days of Closed Masajid

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closed masjid

By Lisha Azad

WHATSAPP NEWSFLASH: Mosques to be indefinitely closed across the country for all prayers! 

As I crept out of bed, I could hear the imam at my neighbourhood masjid recite the Qur’an melodiously in prayer. And then a sad thought engulfed me – this would be the last Fajr Jama’ah (congregational) prayer for days to come.

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And no more Jumu’ah! 

This shocking WhatsApp message was followed by videos, audios, and writeups from imams across the globe who admitted that they broke down in tears at this news of mosque closures in their country, fearing that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)’s displeasure on humanity could perhaps be the reason that was leading to this pandemic and now this worldwide shutdown. These fears were also echoed in our young imam’s words when he described this closure as the saddest day of his life. 

I am not a 5 times-a-day masjid-goer. As a woman, it is not fardh on me to attend prayers at a masjid. However, living in a Muslim-majority country close to a masjid means being able to listen to the Adhan and the Iqamah, LIVE, five times a day. From the comfort of my home. It’s a blessing being able to respond to these calls of prayer and thereby getting blessings and rewards for it. These calls to prayer remind the men in my family to rush to attend congregational prayers and reap its massive rewards.  

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Having lived the most part of my life in a Muslim-majority in the Gulf, the Adhan and Iqamah are also the most natural sounds of my daily life. Therefore, having to listen to a shortened Adhan commanding the believers to pray in our homes that day, Dhuhr onwards and thereafter no Iqamah feels surreal, to say the least. 

While the Shahadah is reiterated even in the shortened Adhan, what I miss the most are the words, “Hayya ‘Ala As-Salah, Hayya ‘Ala Al-Falah (Come to Salah, Come to Success)”.

Five times a day, I was so used to hearing these words urging the believers to hasten to prayer that would bring perpetual prosperity. From Tuesday onwards, I began to actually question myself as to how much I truly equated success with Salah. I also miss responding to those words of the Adhan with the words “La Hawla Wa La Quwatta Illa Billah (There is no might or power but with Allah)”. In hindsight, I have to admit that like many of my Muslim brothers and sisters, especially those living in Muslim countries, I too had taken the Adhan and the Iqamah for granted. 

As one of the world’s continuously resounding sounds, these calls to prayer are the most distinctive feature and clearly experienced symbol of Islam for more than 1000 years. Starting with the testimony of the Shahadah, the Adhan and thereafter the Iqamah helps both Muslims and non-Muslims bring to mind the very essence of Islamic beliefs and the importance of living our lives dedicated to the remembrance of the Almighty. 

My husband tells me of a colleague, Mr. Lee, who was visiting a Muslim country for the first time. He recalled how captivated Mr. Lee had been by the tuneful Adhan when he first heard it and how he wanted to know what it was all about. Those melodious words eventually led him to enquire and learn more about Islam. 

Although alarm clocks and mobile phones are sufficient to remind us to pray these days, both the Adhan and the Iqamah are proclamations of the greatness of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), of how we need to hasten to make Salah and how through Salah, we can attain success. Brothers and sisters, think about it!

If we are able to hear the Adhan and then the Iqamah being pronounced 5 times a day, it is as if we are announcing to the world that ours is a Muslim country or at least a country where Muslims are free to practice the Sunnah of the beloved Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) and live their lives freely according to the dictates of Islam.  

While the reasons for the shortened Adhan, no Iqamah and cancellation of the daily/weekly community prayers that are being enforced today worldwide are completely legitimate, it’s the actual and indefinite closure of the mosques worldwide that’s disturbing.

In effect, here’s what we would be actually missing in the coming days (Hadith references at the end of the article):  

* The chance to erase our sins by walking to the mosque in a state of wudu

* The reward of walking to the mosque in a state of ablution (wudu) and gaining a’jr for every step we take

* The opportunity to make dua’ to bring light upon ourselves, to have the doors of His mercy opened to us and to ask for His abundant blessings upon us while walking to and entering/exiting His house

* The chance to make accepted dua’s between the Athan and the Iqamah

* The chance to pray Nafl prayers in the masjid after the Athan and before the Iqamah

* The rewards of the Jam’aah prayers – 25 to 27 times more reward than individual prayers prayed at home or in the marketplace! 

* The 5-a day chance and reward to personally exchange face-to-face salams with our neighbours 

* The weekly opportunity to meet our brothers and sisters from the Ummah at large

* The chance to engage in congregational dua’a and istighfar 

* The chance to be in the blessed company of angels while gaining knowledge 

* The chance to have the angels pray for us as we wait in the mosque 

As it is rightly said, “We only realize the value of a thing when it is lost.” So how could we bring back the value and reward of attending jama’ah prayers? I was deep in thought when I came across this Hadith,

Worship in a time of turmoil is as if he had emigrated to me.” (Source: Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 2948). What a fantastic thought to keep being motivated to perform acts of worship during difficult days! 

Therefore, here’s what I researched and came up with to avoid missing out on the above rewards (wherever possible, detailed references have been included at the end of the write-up):

  • Institute congregational prayers on time with our families – Praying on time is one of the best deeds that we can do. Scholars maintain that the smallest number that counts for prayer in congregation, apart from Jumu’ah prayer, is two: the imam and the person who is praying behind him, who should stand to his right. Even the Jumu’ah is valid if there are 3 or more people praying in congregation. (Source: Islamqa.info)
  • Start a family halaqah – Family halaqahs are a great way to involve all ages including the elderly and the very young in a circle of learning. And how much there is to learn and benefit from – dhikr, dua’a, knowledge of the Prophets and Sahabas, fiqh, Islamic history…what better way to have the angels lower their wings upon us as seekers of knowledge and pray for us! 
  • Make dua’a together as a family – This is another great way to have the angels make dua’ for us to be blessed with the same things that we make dua’ for, for the entire Ummah. Remember to use the most powerful dua’as and dhikr for maximum reward and effect. 
  • Use Quarantine is actually Qur’an-Time – Just as this phrase is trending these days, let us turn to reading/memorizing/perfecting the recitation our Noble Book. Let us actively seek to apply its timeless wisdom and teachings to correct and improve our lives whilst getting rewarded 10 times over for every letter recited. 
  • Increase the sending of Salawat on Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) – One salat on the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) is 10 blessings upon ourselves and through this simple act, we can also expect an increase of reward and erasure of sins as mentioned in the Hadith. Also, our salam reaches him wherever we may send it from and we will be rewarded for it always. What a great way to gain ajr! 
  • Connect creatively – The coronavirus pandemic has socially and severely distanced us. However, the Internet is now perhaps the best thing that ever happened in human history. What better time than to refresh those virtual friendships/relationships and drop a line to ask after others. We could also use other non-contact ways to connect with neighbours and friends by phoning/chatting with them on social media and once in a while, surprising them with a delicious dish on their doorstep! 

Finally, it pays to remember the Sahih hadith that states that acts of worship during times of difficulty/illness/travels are rewarded similarly as when done at home in times of good health and ease. Therefore let us set good intentions and act upon them by doing good deeds as much and whenever we can in our good times, so as to continue reaping the rewards during our difficult days. 

May Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) guide us, forgive us and keep us all steadfast on His Deen, Aameen! 

Hadith References

  • The Prophet said: Supplications (dua’s) offered in between the (two) calls for prayer (i.e. Adhan and Iqamah) will never be rejected.” – Abu Dawud 
  • Allah’s Apostle ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said, “The reward of the prayer offered by a person in congregation is twenty-five times greater than that of the prayer offered in one’s house or in the market (alone). And this is because if he performs ablution and does it perfectly and then proceeds to the mosque with the sole intention of praying, then for every step he takes towards the mosque, he is upgraded one degree in reward and his one sin is taken off (crossed out) from his accounts (of deeds). When he offers his prayer, the angels keep on asking Allah’s Blessings and Allah’s forgiveness for him as long as he is (staying) at his Musalla. They say, ‘O Allah! Bestow Your blessings upon him, be Merciful and kind to him.’ And one is regarded in prayer as long as one is waiting for the prayer.” – Narrated by Abu Huraira (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 11, Number 620)
  • Allah’s Apostle said, “The angels keep on asking for Allah’s Blessing and Forgiveness for anyone of you as long as he is at his Musalla (praying place) and does not do Hadath (passes wind). The angels say, ‘O Allah! Forgive him and be Merciful to him.’ Each one of you is in the prayer as long as he is waiting for the prayer and nothing but the prayer detains him from going to his family.” – Narrated by Abu Huraira (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 11, Number 628) 
  • He who follows a path in quest of knowledge, Allah will make the path of Jannah easy for him, and indeed, the angels lower their wings for the seeker of knowledge, being pleased with what he does…” – As narrated by Abud-Darda (RA) and quoted in Abu Dawud & At-Tirmidhi
  • Whoever supplicates Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) to exalt my mention (i.e., send salah) Allah will exalt his mention (i.e., send salah) 10 times and remove from him 10 sins and raise him 10 degrees.” – As quoted in Sahih Muslim 

Lisha Azad is a children’s author with four published books, a freelance writer with hundreds of articles, features, opinion pieces and interviews published in the past 20-plus years in the Middle East. 

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When Racism Goes Viral: The Coronavirus And Modern Muslim Orientalism

Lumping an entire people together for collective punishment, reveling in their suffering, and sniggering at their food choices isn’t an exercise in science, Sunnah, or compassion. It’s good, old-fashioned orientalism.

In the eight weeks since it was identified, the 2019 novel coronavirus has infected nearly 12,000 people in China alone, 200 of whom did not survive. Symptoms are flu-like in nature, and global side effects include acute, apparently contagious… racism.

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Online, in Muslim as well as non-Muslim spaces, social media feeds are sniggering “Eww, you eat gross things! Of course you’ll get gross diseases!” In the midst of this human tragedy, orientalist tropes about the Chinese are being sloppily repackaged as health concerns over the coronavirus, and served with a side of bat soup.

Yes, bat soup.

The coronavirus in question is found in bats, and thanks to the scientific expertise of social media, videos of Chinese people consuming anything from bat soup to baby mice and rats are popping up as “proof” of the disease’s cause.

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However the coronavirus made the jump from bats to humans, the initial source of the outbreak seems to have originated from the Wuhan Seafood market, where a number of employees and a few shoppers were the first casualties to the infection. The 2019-nCoV is moving from person to person the same way the flu does, and what a person eats – or doesn’t eat – has no bearing on whether they contract the virus or not.

In an article titled, No, Coronavirus Was Not Caused by ‘Bat Soup’–But Here’s What Researchers Think May Be to Blame, Health.com writes:

“Coronaviruses in general are large family of viruses that can affect many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In rare cases, those viruses are also zoonotic, which means they can pass between humans and animals—as was the case with Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and severe acute respiratory system (SARS), two severe coronaviruses in people.

Initially, this novel coronavirus was believed to have started in a large seafood or wet market, suggesting animal-to-person spread, according to the CDC. But a large number of people diagnosed with the virus reportedly didn’t have exposure to the wet markets, indicating that person-to-person spread of the virus is also occurring. However, it’s still possible that the novel coronavirus began with an infected animal at the market—and then went on to person-to-person transmission once people were infected.”

Being uncomfortable with things you’ve never considered edible before isn’t necessarily a racist reaction. When my husband told me he ate a chocolate-covered cricket once, I hid my toothbrush for a week, but that’s not what’s happening right now. There is a deadly virus threatening a group of people, and the internet sees fit to make fun of them. Why? Because orientalism.

Orientalism is the “intellectual” framework through which Western societies create a clear and permanent line between Western superiority and “Oriental” inferiority. If orientalism were an Instagram filter, it would take any picture of any person, event, or thing, and distort its appearance to be “other,” and in some way inferior.

Orientalism is the “intellectual” framework through which Western societies create a clear and permanent line between Western superiority and “Oriental” inferiority. If orientalism were an Instagram filter, it would take any picture of any person, event, or thing, and distort its appearance to be “other,” and in some way inferior.Click To Tweet

The inferiorizing feature is step one, because in order to position yourself as a winner, the other guy has to be a loser in some way.

The otherizing is the step 2, and both steps are important because if you say that your little brother is a loser, in the end you’re still family and you’ve got his back. This would be inferiorizing, but not otherizing.

But if you say that other kind of guy is a loser, then you have no common ground. And when the other kind of guy is in trouble, you need only gloat and make nasty comments on Twitter. That’s inferiorizing with otherizing. Orientalism can be loosely translated as US vs THEM, normal versus weird, and local versus invasive foreign, or exotic.

The otherizing of orientalism is so subconsciously embedded in people that it even creates auditory illusions to maintain the “otherization” of the subject being viewed. As crazy as that sounds, everyone has their own experience. Mine for just last month played out as follows. A homeless man approached my window and said “Ma’am, do you have two dollars?”

I smiled and responded to him, “I have exactly two dollars!”

As I dug around for my wallet, he cocked his head and said, “Your accent. There’s something different about it. Something… foreign, exotic?”

“It’s Chicago,” I said, handing him two dollars.

He blinked a few times. “What’s Chicago?”

“My accent. It’s Chicagoan. English is my first language. My accent is from Chicago.”

He narrowed his eyes at me suspiciously, this gatekeeper of Chicagoness. “What part of Chicago?”

“North side, Lincolnwood area,” I said. “I grew up on Devon Ave.”

“Pulaski Park!” he beamed, pointing to himself. “I’m from Chicago too!”

We smiled at each other, basking for a moment in our mutual Chicagoness. Then I waved and drove away, adding his insistence of my  exotic“otherness” to the dozens of other peoples’ who have heard my perfectly flat, perfectly blandly midwestern accent and perceived something foreign. I call that one “hearing with your eyes.”

I have lost track of people who have tried to insist that I have an accent. One woman even went so far as to imply that I was lying about being a native English speaker, that I must have some other first language, because there’s “Something else in there, I can hear something foreign! But you’re very articulate though.”

(To form your own opinion on my exotic accent or the lack thereof, visit the MuslimMatters podcast here!)

Compliments like “You’re so articulate!” or “You’re so different!” give you partial credit for your exceptionality, while still discrediting every other member of your general race, religion, region, or hemisphere. The left-handed compliment has a long history, and follows a predictable pattern. Take, for example, this excerpt from The Talisman, a crusade-genre fiction published in 1825.

In this scene, our gallant, invading knight finds himself unable to defeat the enemy “Saracen,” aka – Muslim defender of the Holy Land. In grudging admiration, the knight concedes:

“I well thought…that your blinded race had their descent from the foul fiend, without whose aid you would never have been able to maintain this blessed land of Palestine against so many valiant soldiers of God. I speak not thus of thee in particular, Saracen, but generally of thy people and religion. Strange it is to me, however, not that you should have the descent from the Evil One, but that you should boast of it.”

Translation: “Your people and your religion are the spawn of satan, but not you. I speak not thus of thee in particular. You’re so cool for Muslim!” Spoiler alert: turns out it’s Salahuddin.

From the crusades to colonialism to America’s chronic invasion of Muslim lands, the misrepresentation of people from Over There is both a cause and effect of policy decisions. Orientalism creates the “bad guys” necessary to justify the “good guy” response by “proving” the bad guys to be so weird, inferior, and intrinsically bad that it becomes necessary to call for the good guy cavalry. That gives the good guys permission to take over the resources that the bad guys are too incompetent to manage anyway, and overthrow the governments they’re too stupid to run, and free the women that they’re too barbaric to appreciate.

One excellent reference on this is Dr. Jack Shaheen’s brilliant documentary Reel Bad Arabs, which summarizes a hundred years of Hollywood’s orientalist portrayal of “Arab Land,” a mythical, exotic, treacherous, incompetent, and seductive place, whose capital city is apparently Agrabah which, in 2015, a public policy poll found that 30% of GOP voters were in favor of bombing.

Another side effect of orientalism is the refusal to allow for individual accountability and the insistence on collective blame. “Western” men who harm and oppress women are rightly labeled as jerks and abusers who don’t represent Western morals, ethics, or ideals through their individual actions. Same for white racists, extremists, and criminals in general.

However, Muslims jerks who do the same are awarded representative status of the entire Muslim population (1.9 billion) and Islamic tradition (1441 years). The perception as all Muslim men based on only the worst of them seems ludicrous on paper, and such generalizations are no longer acceptable to make about race, but are still perfectly popular to make about minority religious groups.

Orientalism enables the belief that Muslims are terrible terrorists who are terrible to their women. If they say otherwise, it’s because their religion is terrible and lying about it is part of the religion too. They don’t deserve their own lands or resources, they’ll just use them for more terribleness. We should go in there and save them from themselves! And also, make lots of predictable, idiotic romance novels and movies in which a poor, beautiful Oriental Female is rescued through the power of Love and Freedom. Because just as violence is the natural state of the Muslim man, oppression is the natural state of the Muslim woman. Miskeena. Habibti.

Human beings can be horrible to each other. No ethnic, religious, or racial group is any exception. The problem arises when individual horribleness is elevated to collective attribution, and that collective attribution is used to justify collective punishment, as well as collective suffering.

When millions of Americans get sick from the flu, and tens of thousands die every year, why aren’t we making fun of the weird things that white people eat? Like Rocky Mountain Oysters (which are bull testicles) and sweetbreads (which are bits of an animal’s pancreas and thymus glands)?Click To Tweet

When millions of Americans get sick from the flu, and tens of thousands die every year, why aren’t we making fun of the weird things that white people eat? Like Rocky Mountain Oysters (which are bull testicles) and sweetbreads (which are bits of an animal’s pancreas and thymus glands)? What about snails, frog legs, crawfish, chocolate covered ants, and those tequila-inspired lollipops with an actual worm candied in the center?

The filtering effect of orientalism means that our weird foods – be it maghz masala and katakat– are quirky and fun, but their weird foods are disgusting and totally cause to celebrate infectious disease.

If the tables were turned and a deadly coronavirus originated from say, Saudi Arabia, would it be alright to ridicule Muslims for what they ate, or how they lived? What if that specific coronavirus actually originated in camels.

Yes, camels. The Islamophobic internet would have a field day with that one. Yes, we ride camels and prize camels and even eat camels – and they’re delicious I might add – but if a deadly virus originated from camels, found its way into humans in the Middle East, and from there caused death and destruction in other countries- would it be our fault? Would we deserve scorn? Would the suffering and death of our people be justified by how “gross” it is that we eat camels, even if only a few us actually do, and the rest of us prefer shawarma?

Pause for dramatic emphasis. Open the Lancet. Read.

“Human coronavirus is one of the main pathogens of respiratory infection. The two highly pathogenic viruses, SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, cause severe respiratory syndrome in humans and four other human coronaviruses induce mild upper respiratory disease. The major SARS-CoV outbreak involving 8422 patients occurred during 2002–03 and spread to 29 countries globally.

MERS-CoV emerged in Middle Eastern countries in 2012 but was imported into China.

The sequence of 2019-nCoV is relatively different from the six other coronavirus subtypes but can be classified as betacoronavirus. SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV can be transmitted directly to humans from civets and dromedary camels, respectively, and both viruses originate in bats, but the origin of 2019-nCoV needs further investigation.

The mortality of SARS-CoV has been reported as more than 10% and MERS-CoV at more than 35%.”

MERS-CoV, or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome –Coronavirus emerged in 2012, traveling from bats to camels to humans, killing 35% of the people who contracted it. It originated in Saudi Arabia and found its way across the continent all the way to China. So could the Chinese internet have been justified in ridiculing our deaths because we ate camels?

Could they legitimize posting “gross” videos of whole, pit-roasted camels? Could they say it was science, not racism, as they moved on to our other “gross” foods, like locusts and the dhab lizard?

Read more about the Sunnah of the Dhab Lizard.

Locusts and lizards have as much to do with MERS-CoV as mice and rats have to do with 2019 novel coronavirus, but doesn’t our grossness in general mean we deserve our fate?

No, it doesn’t. Making fun of what people eat isn’t science, epidemiology, or the sunnah. It’s racism, and it is hugely disappointing to see Muslims hurt others with to the same tropes that are used to hurt us.

No, it doesn’t. Making fun of what people eat isn’t science, epidemiology, or the sunnah. It’s racism, and it is hugely disappointing to see Muslims hurt others with to the same tropes that are used to hurt us.Click To Tweet

Orientalism is alive and kicking both of our communities in the teeth — Chinese and Muslim – but to further complicate the matter, there’s the ongoing genocide of the Uighur Muslims in China, and that’s rooted in orientalism too.

The Chinese government has imprisoned 3 million Muslims in concentration camps, a number equal to the entire Muslim population in America. It is not unexpected that some people wishfully assume the 2019 novel coronavirus epidemic to be the comeuppance that the Chinese government deserves for its cruelty, but that’s sad and wrong on many, many levels.

People cheering the coronavirus on fail to understand a few very big, very important things about the situation. I will list them, because the internet is no place for subtlety and these points have to stand out for those who would sail over the entire article so they can trash it in the comments. They are as follows:


  1. The entire population of China is no more responsible for the actions of its government than you are for yours. If you hate Donald Trump, his border wall, the separation of families, the Muslim Ban, cuts to medical benefits, and corruption in general but STILL live in America, then you understand that a great, frustrated, and powerless mass of citizens can have little to no effect on its government’s choices. Such is politics. Such is life. Such is China too.

    This guy is all our fault specifically. So I hope we all die of the flu.

  2. The coronavirus’s lethality is exponentially higher in people with poor health and weak immune systems. Like the flu, the coronavirus is overwhelmingly most lethal to children and elderly. The coronavirus is not targeted at, nor limited to the Chinese leadership for its crimes against humanity. Unfortunately, that is not how epidemics work.
  3.  The spread of Coronavirus – like all respiratory infections – is greatly accelerated through close living quarters as well as poor sanitation and hygiene. The 3 million Uighur Muslims interred by the Chinese government are imprisoned in distressingly cruel, cramped, and unhygienic conditions. Their close proximity as well as population density mean that if the virus makes it into the captive population, hundreds of thousands – if not millions of Muslims – would die. Don’t root for the coronavirus. It does not discriminate based on religion or race, even if you do.

And now we come full circle. When Muslims ridicule the Chinese for “being gross,” they are simply echoing the same racist, Orientalist talking points that labeled the Chinese – and later the Japanese – as the “Yellow Peril,” a filthy, faceless, monolithic mass deserving all of our scorn and none of the individual considerations that we insist on for ourselves.

Given the abuse that Muslims have been subject to by orientalist tropes, it should make us all the more aware of its dangerous cultural impact. We know what it’s like to be looked down on, laughed at, and blamed for our own suffering. We know what it feels like to have our foods gagged at, our accents mocked, and our cultural clothing turned into Halloween costumes.

Worse still, we know, very painfully and very currently, what it looks like for an entire people to be treated as a disease in and of themselves. China has declared Islam to be a contagious disease, an “ideological illness,” and on this very basis is it holding 3 million Muslims hostage. In an official statement loaded with situational irony, the Chinese Community Party officially stated,

“Members of the public who have been chosen for reeducation have been infected by an ideological illness. They have been infected with religious extremism and violent terrorist ideology, and therefore they must seek treatment from a hospital as an inpatient.

… There is always a risk that the illness will manifest itself at any moment, which would cause serious harm to the public. That is why they must be admitted to a reeducation hospital in time to treat and cleanse the virus from their brain and restore their normal mind … Being infected by religious extremism and violent terrorist ideology and not seeking treatment is like being infected by a disease that has not been treated in time, or like taking toxic drugs … There is no guarantee that it will not trigger and affect you in the future.” – source

The dangers of racism and orientalism are real, and the victims number the millions. Knowing how much damage orientalism causes in our community, we must commit to never, ever stooping to the same ideologies that are used to justify our own oppression. No matter how many bats people eat, or how evil their government can be, people are individual people. We stand on equal footing, equally deserving of respect, compassion, and acknowledgement of our humanity.



The Orientalist mindset that diminishes and distances us from each other strips us of our dignity, whether we are its victim, or its the perpetrator. Such racism is antithetical to the Prophetic compassion and mercy that Islam demands from us as Muslims. When Muslims celebrate the suffering of innocent people as some sort of epidemiological revenge for the suffering of innocent people, that’s not Islam.

That’s prejudice.

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