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Palestine – Israel peace treaty?

s I read the news about a possible peace treaty for Israel and Palestine, I also watched a documentary following Gideon Levi on the subject of Palestine. Every time I watch these kinds of documentaries, I get very angry and my heart just hurts for them.

I could not understand the audacity of Israelites killing Palestinian youths for protesting in 2018 and so what if they retaliate? What do you expect when you push a person to a corner. Despair results in terrible consequences and what baffles me is that the oppressors have this rhetoric that they are the victims. They gain support from like minded powerful groups and people accept this after Muslims are demonised even though they are the true victims. Any form of retaliation from the said true victims is shown as evidence of their violent nature. And let us be clear that this is not about actual terrorists who attack anyone against their agenda, including children.

What is happening today to my Muslim brothers and sisters in Palestine is creating pressure with few outbursts but will that culminate in an ultimate explotion out of frustration?

At this moment in time, most of the Muslim nations have agreements with the Western nations and Israel, so I doubt an outward show of solidarity by threatening the severing of ties will be seen in support of Palestine. What I really want to know however, is what kind of help are the Muslim nations providing to Palestinians within the rimits of their treaties? What are they actually doing for Gaza? It sounds naieve but I pray they are perhaps extending efforts secretly so as not to sever ties but still help in some way.

My generation should be witnessing a new form of stability and peace for all through the advent of technology which is making knowledge and information easily accessible to all. I would have thought that the true teachings of Islam will be enough to make the non-beleivers at least understand the religions anti-violence stance but historical wars and segregation are not forgotten, making Muslims the enemy of many. This is fuelled by media backlash against Muslims and it seems people just do not want wake up from their anti-Muslims stupor. Otherwise, no one will accept what is happening in Palestine and a united public outcry from everyone will force Israel to think twice.

By the way, by saying I wish people will forego their prejudice towards Muslims, I am not expecting a mass conversion to Islam. Once Shaytaan understands that a persons mind is slightly inclined to disbelieve, he will never stop until the person completely relents. And as we already know from Allah (S.W.A), some people will never be on the right path and they will never open their hearts to it no matter how much knowledge of the religion they attain. I am just hoping for a little understanding of the core religious values for peaceful co-existence.

What is the purpose of this writing? I wanted to vent (albeit with reasoning) because every time I watch the news or read an article, there is some sort of enmity towards Muslims being projected by the media. We are shown as an evil entity that others need protecting from and this makes it harder for non-Muslims to relate to us as fellow human beings. This then makes the oppression of Muslims easier.

May Allah grant us patience. Remember, this world is a temporary abode to test us so that we stand witness on the day of judgement when we will clearly acknowledge the righteous from amongst ourselves.

Churchchrist – an Islamophobia law?

The aftermath of the Christchurch massacre has seen a call for a law against Islamophobia but people such as Charles Moore who wrote an article in the Telegraph titled ‘’A law against Islamophobia is a terrible idea’’ explains that such a law will be a disaster. This post is focused on his article because it singularly merged most of the comments made by a other like-minded people.

Moore starts by saying that Islam as a proselytising religion seeks to ‘’convert the whole of humanity’’ and he reasons that a law against Islamophobia will seek to punish religious disagreements. Yes, indeed Muslims are offered great rewards for converting or reverting people to Islam but to do this, Muslims have to engage in an open dialogue. There is no foreseeable risk of taking away people’s freedom of speech – just their ability to insult and use derogatory language against Islam and Muslims. An internationally agreed definition of Islamophobia is only needed for non-Muslim nations, especially those that have an established democracy to protect the Muslims against violence and prejudice. The fear of branding Islamophobia is not because of eradicating religious contention, it is perhaps in fear of upsetting international relations with countries like China and Burma for their cruelty against the Uighur and Rohingya Muslims respectively. It will also force European countries to abandon (or further hide) their increasingly anti-Muslim agendas and UK political parties such as the Conservative party to confront their rampant Islamophobia as witnessed by Baroness Sayeeda Warsi.

Moore argues that Baroness Warsi’s definition of Islamophobia as ‘’rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness’’ is in fact, false. He uses the example of Muslim girls being prevented from wearing the niqab in schools being classed as Islamophobia even though teachers will be acting along with the Western notion of equality between genders. This reasoning indicates that Moore is an Islamophobe – he is clearly not ignorant and is painting Islam as a religion that promotes inequality against women by virtue of their clothing. Also, laws are clearly well defined with set boundaries so why will it be difficult to have a definition of what is classed as Islamophobia.

‘’You can imagine similar confrontations breaking out about mixed-sex swimming, dietary issues, dancing or singing classes, science teaching and so on. Such rows are already sadly common.’’ If that is the case then practicing Jews can similarly bring up anti-semitism in such confrontations which contradicts his initial reasoning. Halal meals are to be found in most places and Muslims can eat kosher meat; women in general can demand different swimming sessions by right (it is actually available now); we promote science as it brings further clarity to some undiscovered meanings behind Quranic revelations. No one should be forced to partake in an activity that they do not want to i.e. singing and dancing.

Moore suggests that relying on good will is the way to manage Islamophobia, if that is the case, then why did the Churchchrist massacre happen? And, people’s right to speak against zionism by terming it anti-semitism within the definitions of the IHRA ‘’works against the values of an open society’’ but defining the meaning of Islamophobia along the lines of gender discrimination, ageism e.t.c. does not as it will just further the definition of religious discrimination for Muslims.

The authorities do not have to define what is Islamic in order to define Islamophobia just as the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) did not have to specify who/ what is Jewish. Moore’s Islamophobic views are again obvious when he indicates that Muslim self-appointed leaders are always militant, they will diminish all our freedoms and it will result in more extremism. Surely if Western leaders sought guidance, a peaceful non-militant Imam or Mufti can be found amongst the billions of Muslims in the world? Moore and his like-minded, seemingly vacuous writers are very aware of the necessity for a definition of Islamophobia – they just do not care about the Muslims as they fear ‘’invasion’’. They rather have a watered down version that fits in with their ‘’Western’’ mode of religion as this is less likely to threaten Western civilisation.

The Churchchrist attack is comparable to the Charlie Hebdo incident that happened in France in that both attacks were perpetrated by terrorists with skewed ideologies but the reactions from world leaders and their nationals are drastically different. The news and social media were very active after the Charlie Hebdo incident with reactions from Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Premier League and FA Cup football games held moments of silence, wore black bands and played France’s national anthem after the Charlie Hebdo attack but where is the sentiment now? Such behaviours are not significant to Muslims as Islam teaches predestination and that they have not really died, they just transcended to the next world. It nonetheless seems like nationality is not a consideration when you are a Muslim, indeed many forget that Muslims are thought to live according to and uphold the laws of the land in which they live and being a Muslim is not a race like Judaism.

Moore’s article is in itself an exemplary reason as to why there should be a law against Islamophobia but it is realistically highly unlikely that any such law will ever be enacted. Islamophobia is deeply rooted within the fabric of Western civilisation due to historic conflicts, far right instigations, the anxiety caused by Muslim immigration and the divine decree that they are naturally built to oppose Islamic principles. But, even though an Islamophobia law is highly unlikely, Muslims should remain optimistic and constantly pray to Allah for protection and guidance in this “prison for the believer’s”.

Anti-Semitism or Zionism?

I have been hearing a lot about anti-semitism in the last couple of months with the criticism of those speaking against Israel in any form. Even saying what is widely known in American politics that American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC is lobbying Congress brought huge criticism. AIPAC obviously has a pro-Israel campaign – donors spent $22M in lobbying and contributions in 2018 to influence American politics. So why is any criticism of Jews, Israel and Netanyahu’s policies anti-semitic?

Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and the killing of Palestinians is in fact genocide! But is it acceptable that saying this behaviour is comparable with their history of the holocaust is anti-semitic? This is one of the 11 crisitims of the Jewish classed as anti-semitic under the the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). The IHRA defines them as “contemporary examples of antisemitism” but there might be others:

  1. Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion.
  2. Making mendacious, dehumanising, demonising, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.
  3. Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, or even for acts committed by non-Jews.
  4. Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust).
  5. Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.
  6. Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.
  7. Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.
  8. Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.
  9. Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterise Israel or Israelis.
  10. Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.
  11. Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.

No.1 – who defines what comes under “radical ideology” or an “extremist view of religion”? I will argue that if a person attacks a Jewish let’s say in the West Bank, it is a form of retaliation and defense against the occupation of their home which is infallibly justified.

No.2 is perhaps referring to the ideology of Zionism which is defined as a movement to create a Jewish state in the Middle East – basically what is happening in the West Bank today. Being called a Zionist is seen as an insult and some want to distinguish anti-Zionism and anti-semitism in order to criticise the Israeli government policy and treatment of the Palestinians (which falls under anti-Zionism). Also, it is obvious that there is an agenda of Jewish control especially with what I stated above regarding AIPAC’s influence in American politics. The only thing I will say is, the conspiracy does not involve all Jews collectively, in that, not all of them hold such ideologies.

I agree to not generalise the entire Jewish race as wrongdoers for the actions of the government and their aids as stated under No.3. The statement also makes me want to petition the government to bring about a codified document that dictates what is deemed as Islamophobia so that we can also have a clause that states: accusing Muslims as a whole or Islam for being responsible for the wrongdoings of a person or group of people calling themselves Muslims real or imagined is Islamophobia.

No.7 – what about the rights of the Palestinians? Taking their lands by uprooting them and killing them because they are not Jewish is a racist endeavour.

Standards are applied to Israel because of their actions (no.8). And actually, standards are applied to “democratic” nations accused of wrongdoings. Israel is the only nation claiming democracy but with obvious untouchable notions as crisitims are forbidden to everyone.

No.10 – “if the shoe fits” – the act of targeting a group of people for being different to you and forcing them out of their land is comparable to some extent to Nazi policies.

No.11 – as previously stated, not all Jews hold the same ideology as those of the Israeli government and as such, they should not be held accountable to them.

In the end, I find that most of the 11 stated examples by IHRA are anti-Zionistic which is permissible as it is our collective right to criticise a government and their policies. The remaining points mentioned for the protection of the Jewish as a race can be classed as anti-semitic.

Also, when it comes to double standards, anti-semitism in itself is a double standard. How is it that Islam, Muslims and nations can be criticised and yet, Israelites should be treated differently? Why are they in their own protected category?

Lastly, I believe anti-semitism and particularly the points made by the IHRA is a blanket cover to further Zionism. And as a disclaimer, I will like to make it clear that I am not condoning the hatred of every Jew, just those that condone Zionist ideology, the occupation of Israel in the West Bank and violence against Palestinians.

Muslim women have no rights?

You never hear the question of a man’s rights in Islam. The question has always centered on the woman’s rights, her roles and how she is treated. It is a controversial topic around the world.

The fact is, Muslim women live in a different way, in a structure that is different to the Western model. We have our own structure, a set way as ruled by Allah that is everlasting – we live by the Shariah. The Shariah gives us rules, it dictates the ways that we act, we drink, we eat and dress. This translates into how we behave. Unlike the Western world which constantly changes by each passing generation, the Shariah does not change.

The most controversial and most discussed topic is: our outward appearance. Why does the woman have to cover her hair and sometimes her face? Why does she have to dress a certain way? Why must she cover up? The answer is – because Allah said so. Allah the most high, the Supreme creator of all things in his infinite wisdom instructed us the hijab. What most people fail to realise is that men are also told to dress in a certain way and not to wear certain things. For example, men are not to wear gold, men should wear eyeliner e.t.c.

Another hot topic is the woman’s role/ position in Islam. A ‘Muslima’ in Islam is held in a high position as a wife and mother. Men and women in Islam are equal in rewards and punishment. But the fact is, we are different beings – males and females are not the same, so our duties are not the same. The duties we have are tendered to the qualities we possess in the gender we are born in.

The issue we now have as Muslim women is that we are pushed into a world where money rules the way we live – within a capitalist structure dominated and led by the West. It is forcing us to be outside, interacting with the opposite sex in a world where sometimes women have to work in order to contribute to the household. If both of the adults in the household do not work, the family is generally limited to a set working class standard of living in most societies. This then raises the question of what the woman’s role is today, where both males and females have to work. The simple answer is: it changes nothing.

As previously alluded, the Shariah will not change to fit a model that is not our own – our actions are always set within the instructed guidelines given to us by Allah. However, there are rulings in Shariah that tells us that a woman can earn, but this should not get in the way of her primary duties of taking care of her family. If working is a necessity, the husband should then be required to help the woman in the household duties as well. There are different guidelines depending on whether the woman is working for leisure, because she wants to or if it is a must.

Yes, men are the head of the household, they are the leaders and they can marry more than one wife: upto four – most of the discriminatory perspective on Islam is headed by this. Fist thing to say is, there are standards to abide by when it comes to our actions, everything we do is recorded and we will all be held accountable to them. A leader of any kind, holding whatever position, is answerable to Allah as he carries out his role, whether it is corruption, abuse of power, misleading your family or causing pain to anyone. The Shariah gives us the rule on how to behave as leaders.

When it comes to marrying more than one wife – it is an opportunity for the Muslim community to provide the man with worldly sexual pleasures without abusing the parameters of the sanctity of marriage. This prevents rampant sexually transmitted diseases and children without fathers. In fact, the husband will be rewarded by Allah should he marry a widow and the wife will be rewarded by Allah if her husband was to marry an additional wife. Again, this is subject to the Shariah ruling that says the man is permitted this only if he can do justice to his wives. If he fails in this by e.g. favouring one over the other, mistreating one wife, building a house for only one of them, showering only one of them with gifts e.t.c. he will be held accountable and he will be answerable to Allah.

Other than the controversial headline topics, when it comes to the Shariah and the model the Muslim’s live by, a lot of them are not alien to the lay non-muslim person. Some of the rulings can be found in Christianity, Judaism and even within the democratic laws that binds Western civilisations (as of course they were historically built on Christian beliefs). Non believers may view it as archaic and be scared by the mere mention of the word ‘Shariah’ but Muslims believe it offers the ideal human standard of living.

An introduction to Literal Feminist Islam

When reading this, I invite fresh minds open to interpreting the world with a new lens without any preconceived bigotry and prejudice. Know that Islam belongs to millions of people who have their own cultural history and they happen to follow the religion of Islam. Yes, Islam is a way of life that dictates the actions of Muslims but the teachings are still used jointly with cultural norms. This is why you will see various Muslim nations practicing differently – this is not even touching on the sects that exists within Islam.

Literal Islamic ideology should be on the rise rather than celebrating the liberalisation of a religion that is un-changing. Shariah can be seen as a written constitution, if you like, for the citizens of Islam, in the sense that all the rules that govern us are written, although some are abrogated they are all codified in the Quran and Ahadith direct from our Supreme Creator and his Prophet making them absolute.

Muslim women are in a world where Western ideology and Western views of what constitutes ‘feminism’ dominates. Their doctrine dictates a woman’s position is equal in every aspect to those of men. Shariah on the other hand celebrates our gender given differences in the interest of having a successful family unit with stable children and beautiful relationships. This does not take away from the fact that we are equal in the eyes of Allah when it comes to our actions and the rewards that follow.

Islam does not subjugate a woman to a subordinate position – this is a propaganda that promotes a breakdown of Shariah. The woman’s role in Islam is very high and quite important in actuality. She is responsible for what goes on in the house in that she moulds, teaches, guides and brings up the children in a stable union where the husband provides. Being a mother is a full time role and it is highly rewarded by Allah.

When you talk about the relationship of a man and woman in Islam, our ways of life is considered archaic and not relevant to the world today. However the teachings of Islam will always stay authentic as a divine revelation. Humans have a lot of pride in that they consider themselves above everything, but in fact we are blind. As the saying goes, the blind is now leading the blind and some Muslims are following without fully understanding the consequences to the community at.

Yes Muslim men can marry more than one wife, they can marry a woman of the scripture from another Abrahamic religion – a Christian or a Jew and yes, men are in a position as the head of the household.

It is time we celebrate our differences in ideology rather than making apologies for who we are and trying so hard to fit in. I understand the difficulty that some Muslim women face, especially if they grew up in the West. The teachings of what constitutes a Muslim woman is diluted which confuses us and makes us believe we can learn from both believes. However, this just brings about a colonialist state of mind that makes us adhere to something that is not at all ours. We then grow a new generation that delve even further away from Islam and promote a new ‘liberal’ way of thinking – which is of course celebrated by those in the West even if the educated clearly see the contradiction. It is not at all possible to call yourselves a Muslim and yet only follow some aspects of the religion. The teaching was brought to us as a whole by the final Prophet, Muhammad  (P.B.U.H) as a final testament in a series of divine revelations. I will like to celebrate Literal Islam and Literal Feminist Islam or we can discount the sociological terminology and just celebrate Islam as it stands – with no apology.