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The Day We Really Lost Jerusalem

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 As dawn broke across Jerusalem on the morning of the 11th of December, the world held its breath as the central players in a struggle stretching across continents prepared to take the stage.
In Masjid Al Aqsa, Fajr prayers had just ended. A sense of impending doom hung thickly in the air. The people had no way of knowing that this would be the last prayer in a free Al-Aqsa for more than a century. They had no idea that after today they would no longer be the masters of their own destiny. They could not know that they were about to become refugees in their own land.
The Turks had evacuated the city the night before. The Ottoman Empire was already struggling to survive under the combined assault of the British, French and Russian Empires. During this existential threat, the Arabs stabbed them in the back. They had valiantly fought on all sides, but slowly and surely, their defences crumbled one by one. Three times the Allied Expeditionary Forces had launched an all out assault on Gaza, and three times they were pushed back. But there is only so long you can take on the world and win. Gaza fell. The road to Jerusalem was clear.
In his private study in London, PM Lloyd George was ecstatic. Things had not been going well for the allies on the European front. Millions of lives had been lost fighting the Axis powers in the trenches of Europe and yet there was precious little to show for it. Jerusalem was just the Christmas present the people needed. At the same time, half away across the world, Sultan Mehmed Rashad – the 35th (and penultimate) Ottoman Sultan – was receiving the same news. His people had died in their hundreds of thousands too, but losing the holy land was the bitterest of blows. He slumped deeper into his chair, unaware that rather than rallying around him, many of his subjects were preparing to revolt instead.
Meanwhile, a young man had arrived in the British camp dressed in his traditional flowing Arab garbs. More than any other person, he had helped encourage the Arabs to revolt against the Ottomans. He had used his deep knowledge of Arabic and the bedouin culture to gain the trust of the Arabs. Crucially, he also had dreamt of following in the footsteps of the Crusaders and Knights that he read about in his childhood. He requested a change of clothes. Within seconds Lawrence of Arabia with his Arab clothes was gone and in his place there stood Colonel T. E. Lawrence – the last Crusader. His dream was about to come true.
Outside the walls of Jerusalem, General Edmund Allenby prepared himself for the defining moment of his career. He was a hard working soldier, but he was always left in the shade of other more senior war heroes like General Haig. No more. This was his moment. He got on his horse and rode up to Jaffa gate. There, to show his humility as a conquering leader – following the example of Umar (R) more than 1300 years ago – he got off his horse and walked into the city on his feet.
Jerusalem had fallen.
In the years that followed, there were periods of partial control, but the reality is that this was (and still is) mere appearance. 100 years later, we are more disunited than ever, we are more disorganised than ever and we are more lacking in leadership than ever. Unless we learn lessons from our past, we are condemned to repeat the same mistakes in the future.

WAJiD Dr. Muhammad Wajid Akhter - Doctor, Medical Tutor (Social Media, History & Medicine) - Islamic Historian - Founder of, and current board member to Charity Week for Orphans and needy children. www.charityweek.com - Council member, British Islamic Medical Association

2 Comments

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  1. Avatar

    Aronno

    December 14, 2017 at 3:46 PM

    Nice one! Jerusalem is the live circus of Arab’s (in extends, the Muslim’s) disunity, power struggle and subsequent control of pieces of lands curved by the enemy. But the rulers are the representation of masses and the way it is going in the society it is what we will get every time. So, it is time for self-correction and purification of heart and going back to Allah (SWT). Then the ball will roll to right direction. Salam.

  2. Avatar

    AJF

    January 7, 2018 at 12:53 PM

    Remember, it was the decision of the Ottoman rulers to join WWI on the side of the Axis powers (Germany, Austro-Hungary). Who knows what the Ottoman expected to gain in territory if they had won.

    Instead, they chose to back the wrong side.

    No one in their right mind feels sympathy for the Ottoman Turks, who spent the war years (1915-1917) conducting a wholesale genocide of their ancient Armenian population.

    Effectively, the Ottoman rulers committed a holocaust of Armenians and killed up to 1.5 million innocent people. The Ottoman were the Nazis of WWI. An empire that murders over a million of its subjects should cease to be an empire.

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#Current Affairs

Faith Community Stands With Peace And Justice Leader Imam Omar Suleiman During Right Wing Attacks

Hena Zuberi

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In a follow up to the right-wing media platforms attack on Imam Omar Suleiman – calling him anti-semitic, a common tactic used to discredit both Muslim activists, as well as criticism of Israel policies, Faith Forward Dallas issued a statement.

Faith Forward Dallas at Thanksgiving Square – Faith Leaders United for Peace and Justice is a Texas-based interfaith organization that has worked on many initiatives with Imam Omar Suleiman.

The statement reads:

“Imam Omar Suleiman a spiritual and moral voice for peace with justice!!!!!

Time after time in our city, in the United States and around the world, Imam Omar Suleiman has been a spiritual and moral voice for peace with justice. When others seek to divide, he calls for unity. Faith Forward Dallas at Thanks-Giving Square works to unite faith leaders for justice and compassion. Imam Suleiman has been a trusted leader among us. In the wake of his beautiful prayer to open the House of Representatives on May 9, he has received threats of violence and words of vilification when instead he should have our praise and prayers. We call upon people of good will everywhere to tone down the rhetoric, to replace hate with love, and to build bridges toward the common good.

Faith Forward Dallas at Thanks-Giving Square”

Commenters on the Faith Forward Dallas statement have left comments of support.

The group has invited locals and other leaders to endorse and share the statement. “Endorsed! I love and fully you Imam Omar Suleiman!” wrote Karen Weldes Fry, Spiritual Director at Center of Spiritual Learning in Dallas (CSLDallas), commenting on the statement.

Some commentators do not understand the manufactured controversy.  Heather Mustain writes, “What people are writing is so vile. They obviously didn’t even listen to his prayer!” Imam  Omar Suleiman delivered the opening prayer in the US House of Representatives on May, 9th, 2019  at the invitation of Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D) of Dallas, TX.

“I’m grateful for the faith leaders with whom I’ve built relationships with and served with for years that have shown full support throughout this process. Together we’ve stood with one another in solidarity in the face of bigotry, and in the support of others in any form of pain. We will not let these dark forces divide us,” said Imam Omar Suleiman in response to the outpouring of love from the people he has worked with on the ground, building on peace, love, and justice.

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#Current Affairs

#UnitedForOmar – Imam Omar Suleiman Smeared by Right-Wing News After Opening Prayer at US House of Representatives

Zeba Khan

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Sh. Omar Suleiman delivered the opening prayer in the US House of Representatives yesterday, May, 9th, 2019  at the invitation of Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D) of Dallas.

Immediately since, right wing media platforms have begun spreading negative coverage of the Imam Omar Suleiman – calling him anti-semitic, a common tactic used to discredit both Muslim activists as well as criticism of Israel policies.

News outlets citing the criticism have pointed to a post from The Investigative Project on Terrorism or ITP, as the source. The  ITP was founded by and directed by noted Islamophobe Steven Emerson. Emerson’s history of hate speech has been documented for over two decades.

Since then, the story has been carried forward by multiple press outlets.

The immediate consequence of this has been the direction of online hate towards what has been Imam Omar Suleiman’s long history of preaching unity in the US socio-political sphere.

“Since my invocation I’ve been inundated with hate articles, threats, and other tactics of intimidation to silence me over a prayer for unity,” Imam Omar Suleiman says. “These attacks are in bad faith and meant to again send a message to the Muslim community that we are not welcome to assert ourselves in any meaningful space or way.”

MuslimMatters is proud to stand by Imam Omar Suleiman, and we invite our readers to share the evidence that counters the accusations against him of anti-semitism, bigotry, and hate. We would also encourage you to reach out, support, and amplify voices of support like Representative E.B.Johnson, and Representative Colin Allred.

You can help counter the false narrative, simply by sharing evidence of Imam Omar Suleiman’s work. It speaks for itself, and you can share it at the hashtag #UnitedForOmar

JazakAllahuKheiran


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At an interfaith panel discussion, three North Texas religious leaders promoted understanding and dialogue among Muslims, Jews, and Christians. Amid a vexed political and social climate, three religious leaders in North Texas—a priest, an imam, and a rabbi—proved it’s possible to come together in times of division. Source: DMagazine.com


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The congregation, led by Imam Omar Suleiman, penned more than 150 cards and letters. source: WFAA News


Historic action: Muslims and Jews for Dreamers

“We must recognize that the white supremacy that threatens the black and Latino communities, is the same white supremacy that spurs Islamophobia and antisemitism,” -Imam Omar Suleiman

Source: Bend The Arc


Through Dialogue, Interfaith Leaders Hope North Texans Will Better Understand Each Other

“When any community is targeted, they need to see a united faith voice — that all communities come together and express complete rejection of anything that would pit our society against one another more than it already is.” -Imam Omar Suleiman

Source: Kera News

 


Conversations at The Carter Center: Harmonizing Religion and Human Rights 

Source: The Carter Center


Imam: After devastating New Zealand attack, we will not be deterred

My wife and I decided to take our kids to a synagogue in Dallas the night after the massacre at Tree of Life in Pittsburgh to grieve and show solidarity with the Jewish community. My 5-year-old played with kids his age while we mourned inside, resisting hate even unknowingly with his innocence…” Source: CNN

 

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#Current Affairs

Ben Shapiro Gets Wrecked on the BBC for Racism Against Palestinians and American Jews

Andrew Neil so thoroughly destroys Ben Shapiro that he has a snowflake meltdown and retreats in the middle of the interview to his own safe space, off-camera. 

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The video plays at the 10:00 minute mark where Neil begins to break down Shapiro on his statements about President Obama, Palestinians, and American Jews.

Let’s set the context – popular conservative commentator Ben Shapiro, known for his aggressive debate style in the public square, visited the BBC to promote his new book.  The interviewer, Andrew Neil, after giving Shapiro a chance to introduce himself to the BBC audience, questioned him about the anger both the left and the right feel towards one another, and Shapiro’s own role in stoking that anger and polar opposition within the Republican party over many years.

The reason for this line of questioning is because Shapiro claims this to be a problem in American discourse and fails to consider his own contribution to the problem, and it is this hypocrisy that Neil confronts him about.  Shapiro attempts to respond, but is promptly crushed by Neil’s responses with Shapiro’s own quotes.  For example, he brings up the following tweet written about Palestinians which Shapiro agrees was wrong but hasn’t taken down:

 

Shapiro futilely attempts to respond, but Neil continues to quote Shapiro until he is left with no choice except to throw ad hominems at his interviewer, which were deftly turned back on Shapiro, leaving him to look even more petty for his attempted condescending remarks.  The end result is the man claiming earlier to welcome a spirited debate quickly found himself running away to lick his wounds.

Perhaps the greatest irony in this debate – Shapiro accused Neil of being an opinion journalist of the left-leaning variety, while Neil is a conservative and chairman of The Spectator, whose editorial outlook is conservative.

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