Why are Egyptian media demonizing Palestinians?

A poster of Mohammed Morsi entangled in barbed wire, with soldiers in background

Accusations of association with Hamas have been used to smear deposed Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi.

On 6 July, Egyptian TV host Shafki al-Moniri, on Al-Yawm TV, apologized to her viewers that she wasn’t in the country a week earlier for the 30 June protests that served as the backdrop for the army’s ouster of President Muhammad Morsi.

But she had been eager to fly home as soon as possible to join the celebrations. As her fellow passengers were checking in for their flight to Cairo from Barcelona, she recounted that one traveler “was very nervous and we didn’t know why he was nervous. We boarded, and a while later, Egypt Air had to offload him.” He turned out to be Palestinian, al-Moniri said.

“The flight attendant explained that there is an order to offload this passenger,” and there was more delay as the passenger’s luggage was located.

She said she was sure this wasn’t an action against all Palestinians, but that there must be a question mark over the particular Palestinian removed from the flight.

At that moment, al-Moniri said, she felt safe because “the army and the police forces are wide awake and acting properly.”

After telling this story, al-Moniri, overcome with emotion and joy, broke down in tears on camera as she repeated, “I love you Egypt, I love you Egypt,” and had to be comforted by her fellow TV host.

It is unclear if al-Moniri knew that in fact, one of the first acts taken by the military regime that overthrew Morsi on 3 July, was to ban Palestinians from entering Egypt through Cairo airport, leaving thousands stranded all over the world, preventing them from returning home to Gaza through Rafah crossing — the sole point of entry and exit for the vast majority of Gaza’s residents. All over the world, Palestinians were denied boarding on Cairo-bound flights and dozens were deported from Cairo’s airport.

These actions against Palestinians have been widely justified with constantly repeated rumors — never backed by evidence — that Palestinians are interfering in Egypt’s affairs, causing turmoil, and are even responsible for attacks on Egyptian security forces by militant groups in the Sinai peninsula.

The allegations have been leveled at Palestinians in general, and Hamas in particular.

Morsi “accused” of being Palestinian

To further feed the paranoia, on 8 July a speaker on Al Kahera Wal Nas TV made the allegation that toppled President Morsi is “of Palestinian origin,” an inflammatory and bigoted allegation in the present atmosphere. After the guest made the supposed revelation, the host, instead of asking for evidence, turned to the camera and said, “we must repeat it, President Morsi is of Palestinian origin.”

It is now common to hear members or supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood being denounced as “Palestinians,” or to hear claims that most of those taking part in the ongoing sit-in by Morsi supporters at Cairo’s Rabia al-Adawiya square are themselves Palestinians, or in some cases, Syrians.

Baseless allegations

On Tahrir TV, on 6 July, host Ahmad Moussa directly accused Hamas of the killing of 16 Egyptian border guards in Sinai in August 2012, and claimed the evidence would be revealed at an international press conference within a few days. More than two weeks later, no such evidence has been revealed, but the accusation that Morsi has helped Hamas cover up its alleged role continues to be used to justify his overthrow.

On the same channel, on 9 July, hosts Mohamed al-Ghaity and Samir Ghatas discussed what they purported was an official Hamas memorandum marked “top secret” disclosing that “500 terrorist militants from the al-Qassam brigades, the military wing of Hamas, are ready to destroy Egypt in order to stand by their Muslim Brothers.” Conveniently, they claimed, Hamas was acting under the orders of the prime minister of Qatar, a backer of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Al-Ghaity then displayed a document purporting to be from the Muslim Brotherhood to the “Hamas terrorists.” These documents are impossible to verify and almost certainly fake, but their use in this way has fed the anti-Palestinian frenzy.

Meanwhile, Mahmoud Wagdi, Egypt’s former interior minister, told the Ismailia Appeals Court on 8 June that “elements of al-Qassam brigades affiliated to the Islamist movement of Hamas, in collaboration with the [Islamic] Jihad and the Islamic Army groups in Gaza and the Shia Lebanese party of Hizballah, teamed up during the early days of the 25 January 2011 uprising that overthrew Mubarak to attack Egyptian prisons and release Islamist detainees” (“‘Exposing’ Hamas and Hizbullah’s roles,” Al-Ahram Weekly, 12 June).

Hence, on 11 July, Egyptian officials said that an investigation would be launched into allegations that Morsi, who had been detained by authorities during the 2011 uprising, was himself broken out of prison by Hamas, and that proof of foreign intervention on Egyptian soil could lead to charges of treason.

Demonization

While talking heads on satellite TV have been demonizing Palestinians around the clock, social media have been filled with rumors including that Palestinians want to occupy the Sinai peninsula. Many are as familiar as they are absurd: that the nearly 1.7 million Palestinians in Gaza are causing shortages for Egypt’s population of 83 million by siphoning off food, fuel and medicines.

The rumors were undoubtedly fed when, on 17 June, weeks before the ouster of Morsi,ONtv broadcast unsubstantiated press reports that Hamas had sent 3,000 troops into Egypt to support President Morsi.

Such wild claims have been used to justify Egypt’s efforts to destroy the tunnels between Gaza and Egypt, a lifeline for Palestinians in Gaza amid the intense Israeli siege.

False reports planted in the press travel quickly, as when, for example, The Times of Israelpicked up a report from the London-based, Saudi-funded Arabic daily Al-Hayat citing an Egyptian “security official” who claimed that the Egyptian army had killed some 200 gunmen in Sinai, including 32 from Hamas.

In that, case, at least, there was a firm denial from Israeli, Egyptian and Palestinian officials (“Officials on all sides deny report that Egypt killed 32 Hamas fighters in Sinai,” 11 July).

More often, however, such claims have gone unchallenged, as when Major General Osama Askar, commander of the Egyptian military’s Third Army, claimed on 18 July that his forces had captured 19 Grad rockets belonging to the military wing of Hamas on the Cairo-Suez highway. They were, he said, destined for Cairo “to help the Muslim Brotherhood.”

The “captured rockets,” Askar asserted, “are capable of destroying an entire neighborhood which indicates that they were on their way to be used in terrorist attacks against the Egyptian people” (“Third Army Commander: Hamas rockets captured in Suez capable of destroying entire neighborhood,” al-Dustour (Cairo), 17 July [Arabic]).

Such lurid tales about Hamas are given credence because, although organizationally separate, Hamas grew ideologically out of the Muslim Brotherhood. It is therefore presented as natural that Hamas would come to the rescue of its mother organization.

The propagandists also draw parallels with Hamas’ rise to political power. Although Hamas won the majority of seats in the 2006 Palestinian legislative elections, it was by force of arms in 2007 that it secured its position in Gaza against the rival Fatah forces which would not cede power. Egyptian media are telling audiences that this is the model the Muslim Brotherhood “terrorists” plan to follow.

These same propagandists consistently forget to mention that Morsi’s policies towards Hamas and the Palestinians in Gaza did not differ in substance from Hosni Mubarak’s.

Full partnership with US

With Egypt’s history as the vanguard of Arab nationalism and the Arab struggle against Israel, it may seem shocking that such contempt for the Palestinians — and lately Syrians, who are being subjected to similar forms of incitement — could be so loud and pervasive.

During his rule from 1956-1970, President Gamal Abdel-Nasser upgraded the rights of Palestinians in Egypt, giving them equal status to Egyptians. Initially, even after the 1973 war against Israel, his successor, President Anwar Sadat, seemed to follow the same course.

But amid economic crisis, rising unemployment and poverty, Sadat sought a way out in the form of his pivot toward the United States, his neoliberal economic reforms and his 1979 peace treaty with Israel.

A whole new class rose, ready to profit from what the Egyptian embassy in Washington still calls the the full “partnership” between the two countries, at the expense of the poor. Sadat knew that by recognizing his Zionist neighbor, he was going against the will of his people. He and his supporters therefore launched a vicious anti-Palestinian campaign in Egypt, frequently portraying Palestinians as ungrateful betrayers who sold their land to the Zionists and who were dragging Egypt into costly wars. His prime minister, Mustafa Khalil, famously declared: “No more Palestine after today” (Oroub el-Abed, “The Invisible Community: Egypt’s Palestinians,” Al-Shabaka, 8 June 2011).

From then on, an entire propaganda machine was set in motion against the Palestinians.

Chauvinist nationalism

As Palestinian scholar Joseph Massad has observed, this campaign had as a motive developing a “chauvinist Egyptian nationalism in place of Egyptian Arab nationalism” (“Egypt’s nouveaux riches and the Palestinians, Al Jazeera English, 9 August 2012).

Palestinians in Egypt began to suffer from discriminatory policies that treated them as a threat to the country’s national security. Younger Egyptian generations were completely misinformed about Palestine and the struggle there.

Sadat’s successor, Hosni Mubarak, and his agents in the press occasionally deployed vicious anti-Palestinian campaigns to distract from their misdeeds. The propaganda intensified after the Muslim Brotherhood greatly increased their seats in Egypt’s 2005 parliamentary elections, and Hamas won Palestinian legislative elections the following year.

After Fatah refused to hand over power to Hamas, leading to armed clashes and the 2007 expulsion of Fatah forces from Gaza, the Mubarak regime painted Hamas as an even more dangerous foe. Egypt set to work zealously enforcing the Israeli-declared blockade of Gaza. During the January 2011 uprising that eventually toppled him, Mubarak’s media agents actively spread rumors that Palestinians and Hamas were behind the Tahrir Square protests.

This ultra-chauvinist stance has at times descended into open hatred toward Palestinians. After “Operation Cast Lead,” the three-week long Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip that began in December 2008, killing more than 1,400 Palestinians, Egyptian TV host Amr Adib, a former propagandist for the Mubarak regime with ties to his ruling National Democratic Party, said on television that Palestinians “deserve their suffering” and saluted Israel for its assault. “Those people” — the Palestinians — should be “finished off.”

On 13 July, the Arab Network for Human Rights Information published a statement from a coalition of Egyptian human rights organizations condemning the surge in incitement to hatred and violence against Syrians and Palestinians. The groups singled out Egypt’s CBC and ONtv, as well as presenters Amr Adib, Lamis Hadidi and Ahmad Moussa, as among the worst purveyors. This incitement, the statement said, would only become more common after the “silence about hate speech and incitement targeting some Egyptian citizens because of their religious or political backgrounds.”

Targeted and humiliated

UN General Assembly Resolution 59 (1) of 1946, defending freedom of the press, declares that “Freedom of information requires as an indispensable element the willingness and capacity to employ privileges without abuse. It requires as a basic discipline the moral obligation to seek the facts without prejudice and to spread knowledge without malicious intent.” These duties are embodied in any notion of journalistic ethics. And yet, sadly, in the current Egyptian media frenzy of rumor-mongering, racial incitement and demonization, no such ethics can be found.

The fruit of these years of hateful misinformation are being harvested now, as Palestinians find themselves targeted and humiliated by hate speech repeated by cab drivers, salespersons, students, police officers and even intellectuals claiming to be revolutionaries. Palestinians today feel trapped in a fellow Arab country, fearing false accusations, leading many to avoid the streets, hide their origins and change their accent when communicating with Egyptians.

Yet at the same time, support for Palestine and antagonism towards Israel and Zionism remained deep-rooted in Egyptian political culture and national consciousness, demonstrated by waves of public support in the course of the years, during the Sabra and Shatila massacres of 1982, the first intifada in 1987, the second intifada in 2000, and the attack on Gaza in 2008.

But the waves of solidarity end as soon as the latest spasm of Israeli violence abates, and too many Egyptians succumb again to yet another full-blown media assault against the Palestinians. Meanwhile, principled Egyptian activists and intellectuals continue to insistently reject anti-Palestinian rhetoric and argue for solidarity with Palestinians, as well as for the centrality of the question of Palestine to Egypt. But their voices are being drowned out in the present national discourse.

(Source / 23.07.2013)

Syria opposition gets U.N. meeting, rebel chief won’t attend

General Salim Idriss, who leads the rebel Supreme Military Council, told Reuters in Paris that he will not attend Friday’s meeting with the Security Council as he needs to stay in Syria.

The U.N. Security Council will hold an informal meeting with members of the opposition Syrian National Coalition this week, Britain’s U.N. envoy said on Tuesday, but the chief rebel commander will not attend due to the situation inside Syria.

The meeting will take place on Friday and include political and military representatives of the Syrian opposition, British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant said in a statement. Saudi-backed tribal leader Ahmed al-Jarba, the new president of the coalition, will lead the delegation, he said.

Lyall Grant said the informal nature of the meeting would “provide a forum for members of the council to have a frank and informal exchange with the National Coalition, to discuss key issues relating to the Syrian conflict.”

A spokesman for Moscow’s U.N. mission confirmed that Russia would join the other 14 Security Council members at the Syria meeting on Friday. Russia is Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s main ally and arms supplier and has vetoed three Western- and Arab-backed council resolutions condemning Assad’s government.

Lyall Grant said key issues to discuss included “ending the violence and preparing for the Geneva II conference, as well as addressing the issues of humanitarian access, human rights, refugees and protection of civilians.”

So far, attempts to organize a “Geneva II” peace conference on Syria to revive a political transition plan agreed in June2012 in the Swiss city have come to naught. U.N. diplomats say it is looking increasingly unlikely that such a conference will take place anytime soon, if at all.

Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told a U.N. Security Council debate on the Middle East on Tuesday that the Syrian government was willing to talk with opposition groups.

“A significant number however of the Syrian opponents, including the Syrian National Coalition, are not yet ready, unfortunately, to participate in the conference,” he said.

Without Idriss

General Salim Idriss, who leads the rebel Supreme Military Council, told Reuters in Paris that he will not attend Friday’s meeting with the Security Council. The coalition’s representatives in the United States provided more detail.

“Despite wanting to join the delegation to the United Nations, conditions in Syria require Gen. Idriss to stay in theater, so he will not be joining the delegation to New York,” Mariam Jalabi of the Syrian National Coalition told Reuters.

Among those who will attend will be Najib Ghadbian, the Syrian National Coalition’s chief representative in the United States, the British U.N. mission said.

U.N. diplomats say the opposition representatives may choose to hold meetings on the sidelines of Friday’s session to lobby for weapons supplies.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will be in New York on Thursday and Friday to attend a special Security Council session on Africa’s Great Lakes region, but the U.S. mission to the United Nations said there was no current plan for him to meet with the Syrian opposition.

The Syrian rebels fighting to oust Assad for over two years are frustrated that U.S. plans to send weapons to them have been delayed. The United Nations says as many as 100,000 people have died in the Syrian civil war.

Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey have been supplying the Syrian rebels with arms, security sources and diplomats say.

U.N. Middle East peace envoy Robert Serry told the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday that Syria was “increasingly turning into a regional, if not a global, battleground.”

“Reports of military victories by the government should not create false confidence that the conflict can be won militarily,” he said. “The legitimate demands of the people in Syria cannot be met with arms, but only through vision and leadership by all Syrians, the government and opposition alike.”

Serry also said that the United Nations had received 13reports of alleged chemical weapons use in Syria. The head of a U.N. chemical weapons investigation team, Ake Sellstrom of Sweden, and U.N. disarmament chief Angela Kane are due to travel to Damascus this week to discuss the inquiry.

(Source / 23.07.2013)

Syria opposition hails EU’s blacklisting Hezbollah

 

In this image taken from video obtained from the Shaam News Network, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, fighters from the Free Syrian Army targets one of the bastions of the regime’s forces in Aleppo, Syria, Monday July 22, 2013. Syrian rebels seized a strategic village on the edge of the northern city of Aleppo on Monday, activists said, just hours after other opposition fighters sustained some of their heaviest losses in months in battles to the south near the capital, Damascus. Logo reads, "Aleppo News – al-Kalasa." (AP Photo/Shaam News Network via AP video)
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BEIRUT (AP) — Syria’s main Western-backed opposition group on Tuesday welcomed an EU decision to place the military wing of Hezbollah on the bloc’s terror list as a “step in the right direction,” and called for the Lebanese militant group’s leaders to be put on trial for their role in the Syrian civil war.

Hezbollah, a staunch ally of the Syrian regime, has sent its fighters to bolster President Bashar Assad’s forces in their assault on rebel-held areas in Syria. The group was instrumental in helping government forces seize the strategic town of Qusair near the Lebanese border last month, and its members are believed to be fighting alongside regime forces in the central province of Homs.

The Shiite group’s role is highly divisive in Lebanon and has outraged the overwhelmingly Sunni rebels fighting in Syria to topple Assad.

The EU’s 28 foreign ministers placed Hezbollah’s military wing on its terror list on Monday after prolonged diplomatic pressure from the U.S. and Israel, which consider the group a terrorist organization.

Some European countries had pushed for EU action, citing a terrorist attack in Bulgaria’s Black Sea resort of Burgas last year that killed five Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian. Hezbollah’s military wing was accused of involvement, an allegation it denied. In March, a criminal court in Cyprus found a Hezbollah member guilty of helping to plan attacks on Israelis on the Mediterranean island.

In this image taken from video obtained from the Shaam …
In this image taken from video obtained from the Shaam News Network, which has been authenticated ba …

But several EU nations have pointed to Hezbollah’s involvement in Syria as further reason for the move.

The Syrian National Coalition, the main opposition umbrella group, hailed the EU decision but stressed the need for European countries to take “concrete steps that would contribute to stopping the militia’s involvement in Syria.”

“We call for Hezbollah leaders to be put on trial for the terrorist crimes they committed on Syrian territory,” the SNC said in a statement.

It did not say where they should face trial, and the prospects of senior Hezbollah figures ever appearing in a courtroom to answer for the Iranian-backed group’s role in Syria appear dim.

Iran, meanwhile, said the European Union’s decision was “strange” and “uncalculated” and said it serves Israel’s interests.

In this image taken from video obtained from the Shaam …
In this image taken from video obtained from the Shaam News Network, which has been authenticated ba …

Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Araghchi told a news conference in Tehran Tuesday that the designation won’t change Hezbollah’s “popular and justice-seeking identity.”

In Syria, an al-Qaida-linked group warned civilians to stay off a road linking central Syria with the northern province of Aleppo, declaring it a military zone, as the rebels try to cut one of the regime’s main routes for supplying its forces in the north, activists said Tuesday.

The warning comes a day after rebels went on the offensive in Syria’s north, seizing three villages in the province where a military stalemate has been in place since last summer.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the Aleppo Media Center said that Jabhat al-Nusra, or the Nusra Front, is threatening to target any vehicle using the road starting Wednesday. A copy of the warning was posted online.

The regime uses the route to ferry supplies to its forces in the north because the rebels already have severed the main north-south highway that connects Damascus with the embattled city of Aleppo, where regime forces have battled rebels in vicious street fighting for a year. The desert road was paved and opened by regime forces earlier this year.

In this image taken from video obtained from the Shaam …
In this image taken from video obtained from the Shaam News Network, which has been authenticated ba …

The statement, which was stamped with the Nusra Front emblem, said the Syrian military “opened this road to civilian cars and trucks when in fact it is a military road.”

“There are daily clashes and military operations there. Holy warriors have booby-trapped the road,” it said, instructing civilians not to use the road and claiming that the army will be using them as “human shields to cover its movements.”

If the rebels succeed in cutting the road, it will be a major blow to the regime, making it more difficult to bring in military reinforcements as well as other supplies to Aleppo province, most of which is under rebel control.

(Source / 23.07.2013)

Egypt ambassador praises Palestinian non-interference

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Egypt’s ambassador to Palestine on Tuesday praised the Palestinian position of non-interference in Egyptian affairs.

Egypt objects to any attempt to undermine its strong relationship with Palestine, Yasser Othman told Ma’an.

He condemned the “isolated voices that incite people against Egypt and its great army” and serve the plans of Egypt’s enemies.

(Source / 23.07.2013)

Israel releases Hamas lawmaker

QALQILIYA (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities on Tuesday released Hamas-affiliated lawmaker Imad Nofel after detaining him for eight months.

Nofel, from Qalqiliya, has spent long periods in Israeli detention for his affiliation to Hamas.

Hamas’ parliamentary bloc, the Change and Reform party, said Nofel, from Qalqiliya, has spent around eight years in Israeli jails.

(Source / 23.07.2013)

Koran lezen

By Marianna Laarif

Abu Umaamah (moge Allah tevreden met hem zijn) heeft overgeleverd dat de Profeet (Allah’s vrede en zegeningen zij met hem) zei:
“Reciteer de Koran want op de Dag des Oordeels zal het verschijnen als een bemiddelaar voor zijn Ashaab (degenen die het lazen, memoriseerden en uitvoerden).” [1]
Deze hadith wijst op de deugdzaamheden van het reciteren van de Koran, de grootheid van de beloning ervoor en dat het op de Dag des Oordeels zal bemiddelen voor zijn houders voor hun toelating tot het Paradijs.
An-Nawaas Ibn Sama’aan (moge Allah tevreden met hem zijn) heeft overgeleverd:
“Ik hoorde de Boodschapper van Allah (Allah’s vrede en zegeningen zij met hem) zeggen: “De Koran zal op de Dag des Oordeels naar voren gebracht worden, evenals de mensen die er naar handelden. Soerah Al-Baqarah en soerah Aali Imraan zullen hen dan benaderen.”
De Boodschapper van Allah (Allah’s vrede en zegeningen zij met hem) vergeleek hen met drie voorbeelden die ik achteraf niet ben vergeten. Hij zei: “Alsof zij twee wolken of twee donkere zwarte luifels waren met licht tussen hen in of als twee zwermen vogels die hun vleugels strekken in de lucht, pleitend voor degene die hen gereciteerd heeft.” [2]
Abdullah ibn Amr (moge Allah tevreden met hem zijn) heeft overgeleverd dat de Boodschapper van Allah (Allah’s vrede en zegeningen zij met hem) zei:
“Het vasten en de Koran zullen op de Dag des Oordeels bemiddelen voor de dienaar.
Het vasten zal zeggen: “Mijn Heer, ik weerhield hem van eten en drinken, dus sta mij toe om voor hem te bemiddelen.”
En de Koran zal zeggen: “Ik weerhield hem ’s nachts van slapen, dus sta mij toe om voor hem te bemiddelen.”
Dus zullen zij toestemming krijgen om te bemiddelen.”” [3]
Daarom is het essentieel voor degene die vast om tijdens deze gezegende dagen en eervolle nachten veel Koran te reciteren. Want waarlijk, op deze dagen is er een speciale deugd voor de overvloed van recitatie, die niet in enige andere maand gevonden kan worden. Hij zou moeten profiteren van de verhevenheid van de tijd van deze maand waarin Allah de Koran geopenbaard heeft.
Er is een speciale verdienste voor het reciteren van de Koran in de nachten van de Ramadan. Want waarlijk, de nachten brengen een einde aan de drukke dagelijkse zaken, het enthousiasme wordt opgewekt en het hart en de tong stellen zich in op overdenken. En Allah is Degene bij Wie we hulp zoeken.
Het is overgeleverd dat Djibriel elke nacht van de Ramadan samenkwam met de Profeet (Allah’s vrede en zegeningen zij met hem) en dan bestudeerden zij samen de Koran. [4] Als dhikr (het gedenken van Allah ) beter was geweest dan de Koran of gelijkwaardig (op deze nachten), dan zouden ze dat al die tijd gedaan hebben of op bepaalde tijden naast het voortdurend samenkomen voor deze gelegenheid.
Deze hadith illustreert dus de prioriteit van het bestuderen van de Koran tijdens de Ramadan en het samenkomen voor die gelegenheid, en dat men zich richt tot iemand die vooraanstaander is in de memorisatie ervan.
De voorgangers van deze ummah reciteerden de Koran voortdurend tijdens de Ramadan. En wanneer ze aan het vasten waren, zaten ze in de masaadjid (moskeeën) en zeiden:
“We zullen ons vasten bewaken en niemand belasteren.”
Ze reciteerden de Koran in hun gebed en daarbuiten. ‘Uthmaan (moge Allah tevreden met hem zijn) voltooide de recitatie van de (gehele) Koran één keer per dag. En een aantal van de Salaf voltooide het elke drie nachten tijdens hun qiyaam in de Ramadan. Sommigen van hen deden het elke zeven dagen en sommigen elke tien dagen.
Ash-Shaafi’i (moge Allah hem genadig zijn) voltooide de Koran zestig keer tijdens de Ramadan, terwijl hij het buiten het gebed reciteerde. Al-Aswas reciteerde elke twee nachten van de Ramadan de gehele Koran. Qataadah voltooide de Koran altijd elke zeven dagen. Hij deed het elke drie dagen in de Ramadan en tijdens de laatste tien dagen deed hij het elke nacht. Hun verslagen daarover zijn bekend.
Al-Haafidh Ibn Rajab (moge Allah hem genadig zijn) heeft gezegd:
“Het verbod op het reciteren van de Koran in minder dan drie dagen (zoals vermeld in een hadith) is slechts vermeld met betrekking tot het verrichten hiervan op een normale basis. Wat de specifieke tijden betreft die deugdzaam zijn, zoals de maand Ramadan en met name de nachten waarin de nacht van Al-Qadr gezocht wordt, of deugdzame plaatsen, zoals Mekka voor degene die er binnengaat zonder er te wonen; dan is het aanbevolen om de Koran op deze tijden en plaatsen vaak te reciteren, strevend naar de verdiensten die verbonden zijn met die tijd en plaats. Dit is de mening van Ahmad, Abu Ishaaq en andere geleerden. En de handelingen van anderen wijzen daar ook op, zoals eerder vermeld is.” [5]
De persoon die de Koran reciteert, moet de juiste etiquette van recitatie in acht nemen. Een aantal daarvan is: Hij maakt zijn intentie oprecht voor Allah, hij reciteert het terwijl hij in staat van reinheid is, hij gebruikt de siwaak en hij reciteert het terwijl hij nadenkt over de betekenis en volledig bewustzijn in acht neemt. Allah zegt (interpretatie van de betekenis):
(Dit is) een gezegend Boek dat Wij aan jou hebben neergezonden opdat zij Zijn Verzen zullen overpeinzen en opdat de bezitters van verstand er lering uit trekken. [6]
Tot de etiquette van de recitatie behoort ook dat men niet stopt met reciteren om met iemand anders te praten. Wanneer veel mensen de Koran zitten te reciteren en er zitten mensen naast hen, dan komt het vaak voor dat ze hun recitatie stoppen en met hun buren gaan praten. Dit is niet gepast aangezien je je afkeert van de recitatie zonder een geldige redden.
En het is aan degene die reciteert om naar de Koran te handelen, zijn Halal toe te staan en zijn Haram te verbieden, zodat de Koran op de Dag des Oordeels een bewijs voor hem kan zijn en voor hem kan bemiddelen voor toelating tot de tuinen van gelukzaligheid.
Door ‘Abdullah bin Saalih Al-Fawzaan, uit Ahaadith As-Siyaam: Ahkaam wa Adaab, blz. 63-65
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1: Sahih Muslim
2: Overgeleverd door Muslim (804)
3: Sahih Muslim (804)
4: Al-Bukhaari (1/30) en Muslim (2308)
5: Lataa’if-ul-Ma’aarif, blz. 102-103
6: Koran, Surah Sad 38:29

Qassem: resumption of negotiations a deal to sell Palestine

 

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Gaza,(DRAH.PS)– Professor of Political Science Abdul Sattar Qassem condemned the decision of the Palestinian Authority to return to negotiations and considered it treason.

Qassem told the Jordanian Sabil newspaper that the Authority’s only concern is to get aid and money, and revealed that “the negotiations have never stopped, as meetings have continued in secret in Amman and Jerusalem.”

He also considered the resumption of negotiations a deal to sell Palestine, demanding the Palestinian people to dismiss these “traitorous negotiators”

For his part, member of the central committee of Fatah Abbas Zaki stated that pressures were exerted by the Arabs on the Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to push him to accept negotiating with Israel.

He said in an interview with Sabil newspaper that America sees the region with Israeli eyes. It is not interested in freezing the settlement activity or in a Palestinian state on the borders of 67.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced that the authority has agreed to return to direct negotiations next week in Washington.

Dr. Ahmed Bahar, First Deputy Head of the Legislative Council, said in a statement that Ramallah authority’s decision to return to negotiations according to the Israeli conditions is a political suicide, and direct liquidation of Palestinian rights and national constants.

He stressed that the authority’s decision to resume negotiations with the occupation represents a complete acquiescence to the American attitude completely aligned with the Israeli position, and a disavowal of all the conditions set by the Palestinian Authority throughout the last stage for the resumption of negotiations.

Bahar noted that the resumption of negotiations would constitute a legitimate cover for the development of Judaization and settlement schemes in all the occupied Palestinian territories.

For his part; Hassan Khreisha, Second Deputy Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, also considered the resumption of negotiations “a political suicide”, and revealed that the Authority leadership in Ramallah have accepted Israeli bribes to return to negotiations.

Concerning the Palestinian reconciliation file; Khreisha said that it “has become a part of the history and the past … Who wants reconciliation does not return to negotiations and does not support the Egyptian media that incite against Hamas and the Gaza Strip and attack the Palestinians.”

(Source / 23.07.2013)

Netanyahu, Abbas Back to Square None ~ by Ramzy Baroud

 

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The political peddlers, think-tank experts and media professionals are all back in full force. They want us to believe that US Secretary of State John Kerry has done what others have failed to do. On his sixth trip to the Middle East during his post, and following intense shuttle diplomacy likened to that of Henry Kissinger, Kerry managed to create a modest common space between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority (PA), thus securing their agreement to resume the so-called peace process.

The media is focusing a great deal on how the “breakthrough” happened, not on why or whether or not it was really a breakthrough in the first place. It is typical in these breaking-news dramas that the media inundates itself with excessive superfluous details, while paying little heed to the underlying logic behind the entire story.

For now, we know this: Kerry announced from Amman on July 19 that Palestinian and Israeli negotiators had put the groundwork in place to resume peace talks. They have been frozen since 2010 because Israel refuses to stop illegal settlement construction in occupied Palestinian land. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants to continue slicing up the West Bank, fully control and isolate occupied East Jerusalem, build illegal settlements, erect walls and cut down trees, while wining and dining in some fancy Washington retreat, talking about peace and such.

But why would Kerry even bother poking a stick in Netanyahu’s beehive in the first place? One must consider the very tumultuous events that are currently shattering the Middle East region – a military coup in Egypt, a civil war in Syria, a return to major violence in Iraq, instability in Lebanon, and a sectarian divide that has turned a wide chasm into a bottomless abyss. Isn’t it better for the US to place its diplomatic energies elsewhere? Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian National Authority, and are struggling with their own problems, so why are they playing along in a game that will surely fail?

The answer is not simple and cannot be readily expressed through catchphrases and sound bites, although some commentators are doing just that. Speaking on Israeli public radio, Chico Menashe said the return to negotiations is like “a half-baked cake Kerry removed from the stove. Kerry convinced the Israelis and Palestinians it was edible, and both sides agreed to eat it.” Natan Sachs, a fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institute, was quoted in the Jerusalem Post saying both parties “basically agreed to disagree, and to talk about that”.

And so the commentary teeters between cautious optimism, high hopes, cynicism and creative metaphors. In the final analysis, few truly understand this latest jumpstart of the “peace process”, the political risks it entails, and why the show is likely to go on for a while longer. Predictably, it will come to an abrupt ending followed by a protracted blame game. Knowing how mainstream Western media operates, Palestinians will likely be the party responsible for the failure of the talks that are yet to start.

But here are some interesting points that must be considered firstly concerning the Americans. The Middle East region is in a constant influx, between revolutions, counter revolutions and war. Neither the US nor its traditional allies are able to sway the outcomes in their favor. Neither money, nor arms, nor any political grand scheme is achieving much.

Since the US withdrawal from Iraq in 2010, the US has suffered many blows. Its status as the uncontended superpower is in shambles, and its allies have been caught in the wake of the so-called Arab Spring. Despite attempts at meddling, enticing some parties with money, and inciting violence against others, there are no tangible outcomes that promise to take the region back to an era of “political stability”, as in the same old status quo, that of political stagnation under US stewardship.

To repair its image, the US has to get reengaged in the Middle East. President Barack Obama’s administration, besieged by a dysfunctional congress at home, is barely relevant in the Middle East anymore, with Russia, France, Britain, Turkey, and even China making headway. Resuming the “peace process” is necessary to give the US a chance to claim leadership in a leaderless region.

Second, concerning the Israelis, Netanyahu’s right-wing-dominated coalition government might have looked as the ideal scenario for a rightwing politician who based his career on his love affair with armed settlers and his unmitigated detestation of the United Nations and international law, which he never thinks should apply to Israel. However, being firmly positioned in the right-wing circle has proven to be a public relations disaster.

Even his ever-supportive and malleable European allies are now turning against him. Europe can no longer be seen as an unconditional Israeli backer while pacifying its own populations, the majority of whom don’t tolerate Israel’s occupation, sieges and violent behavior. If Netanyahu has his domestic audiences to appease, EU countries do too.

The writing on the wall became even clearer on July 16, when the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz reported on the publication of an EU directive that paves the road for complete boycott of Israel’s illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The directive, which will become effective on January 1, 2014, is binding. It forbids any EU funding or cooperating with any entity that operates in “the territories occupied by Israel since 1967 (which) comprise the Golan Heights, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem”.

Although grossly belated, the EU move is truly unprecedented and deserving of the “earthquake” depiction made by a senior Israeli official. The EU directive was described by Economy Minister Naftali Bennett with palpable hysteria as an “economic terror attack”.

Israel is in desperate need to remold its scruffy image, which has resulted from too many bombs, damming evidence of war crimes, and arrogant speeches made by numerous politicians. Any “peace process” at this time would indeed do Israel’s image some good, although it will make no lasting difference.

Lastly, the Palestinian Authority, an entity that was created with Israeli consent, and funded by US-led donor countries, cannot operate outside the US political sphere. According to a reading of the just-published annual report by the Palestinian Monitory Authority, as reported by Ma’an news agency, the West Bank economic indicators for 2012 were terrible, and prospects for the next two years are even worse.

The PA has no political vision, and even if it did, it is too overwhelmed by economic dependency to act as a self-respecting political entity. The PA has to play the game, fully knowing that the game has been rigged from the very start.

All three parties know this very well, but they are willing to return to the negotiations table. Any table will do while they pause for photos, smile and shake hands over and over. By doing so, a media circus made of experts will resume, and are ready with metaphors, clichés and sound bites, as long as they are crammed into 30 seconds or less.

(Source / 23.07.2013)

Ashton pushes EU to label Israel settler goods

Israel’s settlement building in the occupied territories is illegal under international law.

JERUSALEM (AFP) — EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton is pushing for comprehensive guidelines to introduce separate labeling for products from Israeli settlements in the West Bank, a newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Ashton sent a letter to European commissioners urging them to draft the guidelines by the end of 2013, the Haaretz newspaper said.

In a separate move putting pressure on Israel, the EU last week published guidelines that forbid the 28 members of the bloc from funding or dealing with Jewish settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem which Israel occupied in the Six-Day 1967 war.

Haaretz quoted Ashton on Tuesday as saying in the letter that EU member states must ensure “the correct labeling of imported products originating beyond Israel’s pre-1967 borders that are marketed as Israeli products.”

“The Commission needs to ensure effective implementation of existing legislation relevant for the correct labeling of settlement products by adopting EU guidelines and other implementing acts.”

Israel’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said labeling settlement products is tantamount to “discrimination” against Israel.

“If it’s necessary to inform the consumer of the origin of the product in question, the EU should put out universal laws for all disputed territories in Europe and all over the world. But making legislation for one single country or territory is institutionalizing discrimination,” he told AFP.

Ashton’s spokeswoman confirmed EU intentions to label settlement products.

“We have committed to correctly implement the EU legislation relevant for origin labeling,” Maja Kocijancic told AFP.

However, she said it was “too early to confirm the timeline for the next steps.”

Another European official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said EU foreign ministers supported the labeling initiative, and also stressed there was no timeline.

“EU foreign ministers wish to have guidelines that would give indications” on how to proceed labeling settlement products, the official said.

“The work is currently ongoing and there is no real timeline. Nobody wants to give too concrete a timeline.”

Israeli settlement building on Palestinian land occupied in the 1967 war is illegal under international law.

On July 19, the EU’s Official Journal published a separate set of guidelines forbidding members from funding or dealing with settlements in any way.

“The EU does not recognize Israel’s sovereignty over… the Golan Heights, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including east Jerusalem… and does not consider them to be part of Israel’s territory, irrespective of their legal status under domestic law,” the preamble to the guidelines said.

Israel has warned of a serious crisis between it and the EU over the move while commentators say the guidelines could pose a dilemma for Israel over whether to continue occupying the West Bank and risk damaging its relations with the international community — not to mention its trade prospects — or to comply fully.

According to 2012 World Bank figures, the EU imports 230 million euros ($300 million) of goods a year from Israeli settlements — or 15 times more than from Palestinians themselves.

(Source / 23.07.2013)

Palestine: Abbas Embarks on Empty Negotiations

 

These statements were probably behind Abbas’ decision to issue a circular indicating who is allowed to speak in the name of the Palestine Liberation Organization and the presidency.

Ramallah – Without consulting the people or representatives, the Palestinian leadership decided to unilaterally return to negotiations. The Palestinian street is being kept in the dark, while its leaders get ready for a new round of the Oslo negotiations concerning their destiny.

Although the Israeli press is buzzing with statements and positions by Israeli leaders, Palestinian officials are keeping mum about behind-the-scene agreements. This led Israeli Channel 10 reporter Ohad Ben Hamo to conclude his report from the presidential headquarters in Ramallah by declaring, “The Palestinian street is apathetic concerning the resumption of negotiations.”

In the past two days, the only statement was a brief reply by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to Jordanian al-Rai newspaper. “Negotiation is the first choice for Palestinians wanting to create a Palestinian state,” he maintained. “We have achieved choices that will safeguard our people’s rights.”

On the other hand, Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who will be meeting chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat next week in Washington, maintained that the negotiations will uphold Israeli interests, “as a Jewish democratic state.”

However, leaks to the media indicate that US Secretary of State John Kerry provided Abbas with guarantees that negotiations will be based on the 1967 borders and Israel’s agreement for a “calm freeze” on settlements, without announcing it publicly. In addition, Israel will also release prisoners “with blood on their hands,” as it calls them, but without indicating who they were and how many will be set free.

The leaks also speak about the Palestinian Authority’s commitment to continuing negotiations for at least nine months and providing guarantees to halt any steps against Israel in international organizations.” On the economic level, there is talk about an attractive economic package presented by Kerry to the Palestinians, which includes allowing the construction of a small plane airport in the West Bank and initiating vital projects in locations adjacent to Area C, in addition to facilitating the movement of Palestinians and international troops in the Jordan Valley.

Palestinian factions unanimously rejected the Palestinian leadership’s return to negotiations. Opposition voices were loud, even inside Fatah. “It is clear that this leadership is fluent in the language of militancy,” said Fatah leader Nabil Amr. “However, it ultimately surrenders to the status quo.” Amr continued that this is “a leadership crisis and not a political one.”

Fatah central committee member Abbas Zaki mentioned pressures by Arab countries on Abbas to return to the table with Israel.

These statements were probably behind Abbas’ decision to issue a circular indicating who is allowed to speak in the name of the Palestine Liberation Organization and the presidency, namely Nabil Abu Rudeina and Yasser Abed Rabbo.

Hamas, on the other hand, considered the return to negotiations as “a major prize for the extremist occupation government.” Islamic Jihad on its part said it was “reproducing failure and a departure from national consent.”

Speaking to Al-Akhbar, Palestinian National Initiative Secretary General Mustafa Barghouti said, “The Palestinian National Initiative believes that we should not go into negotiations without altering the power balance, commitment to clear benchmarks, and a complete cessation of settlement activities.”

“There are no current indicators that these negotiations will fulfill such terms,” Barghouti continued. “Thus, we do not see any use of entering into them.”

“Kerry’s announced something fragile that could collapse at any moment. Until today, the US has not provided written guarantees that negotiations are based on clear measures. There are no guarantees that the Israelis will stop their settlement activities during the negotiations,” he added.

“This poses a great threat since we do not want the Oslo sin to be repeated. The number of settlers is now 650,000, up from 150,000 at the time of signature,” Barghouti warned. “There are also no confirmed indicators that Israel is willing to commit to a government decision to free the detainees.”

When asked if the Palestinian leadership had informed them of the “consensus formula” mentioned by Kerry, Barghouti replied, “As far as we know, there is nothing concrete related to the demands. Thus the position has not changed yet.”

Speaking to Al-Akhbar, PFLP-GC political leader in Palestine Hossam Arafat, called on the Palestinian Authority to “immediately retract its agreement to go back to negotiations and announce a referendum of the Palestinian people on the issue.” He described the step as “a blatant and explicit liquidation of the Palestinian cause.”

“Returning to negotiations at this time and under US and Israeli conditions is a very dangerous political step,” Arafat explained. “It expresses the mainstream Palestinian mentality concerning the major issues. I believe the Palestinian president is duping the Palestinian people. He made a unilateral decision to return to negotiations, despite the settlement assault and Judaization of Jerusalem.”

Perhaps the most notable position was given by PFLP politburo member Rabah Mohanna. He called for “holding President Mahmoud Abbas and the PLO executive committee accountable for making a decision to go back to negotiations, in violation of the rules of the council.”

He called on “Palestinian masses at home and in the diaspora to go out in mass demonstrations against negotiations, which are destructive and harmful to the Palestinian cause.”

(Source / 23.07.2013)