Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Palestine Is Not For Moslems By Ghassan Kadi June 2011

Palestine Is Not For Moslems

 

June 27, 2011
By Ghassan Kadi

Arabs and Israelis have perfected the art of each claiming to be the rightful and exclusive owner of the Holy Land.

The world, including Arabs, have heard the Zionist rhetoric and claims too many times and there is no point in discussing them herein. That said, some argue that God’s promise to Abraham was taken literally and out of context, but it would be a good idea to steer away from religious arguments.

With or without the so-called promise to Abraham, Jewish presence in Palestine is more ancient than that of Moslems, but that alone does not win the Zionist argument and does not justify the displacement of Palestinians even if they have “only” lived there for thirteen centuries in comparison to thirty centuries of Jewish presence.

But let us briefly examine the Moslem claim of the ownership of Palestine from a realistic non-Zionist vantagepoint. Are Moslems the rightful owners of Palestine?

The Quran is a Holy Book and not a real estate title deed. There is no mention of any land rights in the Quran. The city of Jerusalem (Al-Quds in Arabic) is not even mentioned in the Quran. There is however a mention of “Al-Masjed Al-Aksa” which Moslems believe to be in Jerusalem/Al-Quds.

This does not make Al-Quds inherently a Moslem city, and even if it did, there is absolutely no reference to any Moslem exclusivity either.

Furthermore, there has never been a time in history in which there was an Islamic state called Palestine with Al-Quds as its capital. If anything, Al-Quds perhaps rose to prominence in the Moslem psyche following the Crusaders wars and its fall under their reign which was followed by its heroic recapture by Salladin. If anything, in real terms, Al-Quds is perhaps a city where Moslem religious romance flourishes.

Moslems need to admit this fact and stop making unfounded claims.

When Zionism established the state of Israel, the Zionist aggression was (and continues to be) practised against both Arab Moslems and Christians. The anti-Zionist resistance was the Arab Resistance, and it was comprised of both Christians and Moslems. When Fateh was established, it was meant to be an armed struggle for the liberation of Palestine. George Habash, the founder of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) was a Christian.

Zionists regarded all Arabs equally unequal to them, and when they were pillaging the Church of Nativity recently, the West stood back and watched. It would be easy to imagine the Western outcry had Al-Qaeda or the Talibans committed a fraction of the Israeli atrocities at any Church.

As Israel treated both Christian and Moslem Palestinians as second grade citizens, it was only natural for the anti-Israeli resistance to be nationally-based and driven. The slogan of those days was “Al-Quds lil Arab” ie Al-Quds belongs to Arabs. There was even a song with that title. The term Arabs back then meant the inhabitants of the land; ie Moslems, Christians, as well as Jews who refute Zionism.

Suddenly, sometime in the 1980’s, a huge turn of events took place in Lebanon and Palestine almost at the same time.

The 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon was soon followed by a resistance then named the “Lebanese Resistance”. Soon after Hezbollah rose to prominence the name changed to “Islamic Resistance”. In Palestine, Hamas rebunked the anti-Israeli resistance and turned into an Islamic resistance as well. All of a sudden, the struggle against Zionism changed course from a national secular Arab struggle against the theocratic state of Israel into a Moslem struggle against Jews.

Instead of rising above the narrow-minded bigoted Zionist views of land ownership, the Moslems unfortunately stooped to those levels and became equal partners in bigotry and exclusionism.

Why exclusionism one may ask? Because neither the Zionist Jewish nor the Fundamentalist Moslem criteria have any room for Christians. Christians are well and truly excluded by both. A Christian Palestinian friend once told me that Zionism took Palestine away from him first, and then Hamas took it away again. That man is a former Palestinian activist who decided to quit after Hamas hijacked the nature of the struggle.

The truth must be said and heard. It will neither please the Zionist Jews nor the fundamentalist Moslems. Even though Israel is the aggressor and instigator of this whole nonsense, and even though Hamas and Hezbollah are indeed freedom-fighting organizations and duly deserve the accolade and support, ideologically speaking, Zionism, Hamas and Hezbollah are equal partners in crime. They have all stooped to the level religious warfare.

When Islamists make claims of ownership of Palestine in general and of Jerusalem to be specific, they would be using the same false argument of Zionist Jews; only in reverse. Two wrongs do not make it right.

Fair and open-minded people on both sides of the Arab/Israeli divide need to realise that they have to make loud and clear statements to their policy makers that they refuse fanaticism and bigotry irrespective who the culprit is. The wider whole world does not need to suffer because some bigot makes his/her own interpretation of what is his/hers.
Some cynics may interpret the above as the words of a Christian defending Christians. Such is not the case and in previous articles (such as “The Anti-Syrian Cocktail” and “The Anti-Syrian Vendetta) it was obvious that criticism was given to groups and individuals who need to be criticised without any favouratism. In this particular context, the role of Christians has been very benign and they are indeed the biggest losers in all of this. In this respect, any criticism of Christians that relates to the above argument would be unwarranted an unfair.

Palestine is not for Moslems, nor is it for Jews or Christians; not exclusively. It is for all of them combined, and for all who want to live there in peace and harmony with the rest of its inhabitants.

Divided they fall
Divided they fall

 

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