Thank God Someone Is Listening to Us – Terrorism Is Not Jihad

by Sheila Musaji

The U.S. Government recently issued a statement asking that government officials be cautious in their use of language as it may actually be against the interests of the U.S. to use terms that connect the religion of Islam with the acts of criminals.  The governments suggests the use of more accurate and non-inflammatory language.  A recent Homeland Security Report even sharply rebuked John McCain’s ‘Islamic Extremism’ rhetoric.  Of course, Islamophobes like Robert Spencer and Hugh Fitzgerald don’t approve, but they also thought Islamo Fascism Awareness Week was a good idea.

The governments new awareness that words have meaning has been attacked as caving in to Muslim pressure by a number of groups and individuals who currently make a nice living defining Islam and Muslims.  As an American Muslim who loves both Islam and America, I say “Thank God Someone Is Finally Listening to Us – Terrorism Is Not Jihad”.  Perhaps now we can work together to combat the very real problem of extremism and terrorism.

When the media or individuals use Arabic terms such as jihad for acts of terrorism, or when they attach the word Islam in front of a word as in Islamo-fascism, Islamic terrorism, those words have an effect.  They have an effect right here in America by linking the religion of Islam and terrorist acts in the mind of ordinary citizens.   They have an effect on Muslims who are struggling to make clear to those Muslims who attempt to justify their crimes by some false interpretation of Islamic teachings that we do not accept their claims.  They have an effect on Muslims worldwide who because of the use of language like Islamo-Fascist, have come to view the “war on terror” not as a war on al Qaeda, but as a war on Islam itself.

Criminal political movements like al-Qaeda who attempt to convince other Muslims that their actions are somehow “Islamic” attempt to call their terrorist acts Jihad, and when their false claims are echoed in the media in the West, that adds some legitimacy to their claims, at least for uneducated Muslims.

There have been lots of folks who have said that they have no problem with Islam, their problem is with Islamism or Islamists.  This however is problematic even in the definition of the terms.  The online dictionary and thesaurus gives the following definitions:

Dictionary:  Islamism:  1. An Islamic revivalist movement, often characterized by moral conservatism, literalism, and the attempt to implement Islamic values in all spheres of life.  2. The religious faith, principles, or cause of Islam.
Thesaurus:  1. Islamist – a scholar who knowledgeable in Islamic studies bookman, scholar, scholarly person, student – a learned person (especially in the humanities); someone who by long study has gained mastery in one or more disciplines.   2. Islamist – an orthodox Muslim Islam, Muslimism – the civilization of Muslims collectively which is governed by the Muslim religion; “Islam is predominant in northern Africa, the Middle East, Pakistan, and Indonesia”

The truth is that when you add the word Islam in front of words like fascist, extremist, terrorist, etc.  Or, when you allow criminals like Osama bin Laden or al Qaeda to redefine the words Jihad and Shahed, then you are giving the impression to all the millions of Muslims in the world that you think that OBL and al Qaeda are correct in their attempts to give an Islamic justification for their criminal actions.  They are not correct.  Terrorism is not Jihad, it is Hirabah.  A martyr is a person who dies in the cause of God, most certainly not someone who dies committing an act of terrorism.

Terrorism is not a legitimate part of jihad according to traditional Islamic scholars, and mainstream Islamic scholars, and ordinary Muslims regularly attempt to point this out because they are aware that the only appeal to reason that might influence extremists who claim an Islamic justification in any way is the appeal to Islamic teachings.

If you must use an Arabic word, use the correct word HIRABAH which is the word that would correspond to these acts of terrorism.  But, why use an Arabic word at all in English?

When Muslims have attempted to clarify the position of Islam, they have often been misunderstood.  The following statement by Paul Barrett is typical of this deep misunderstanding of Islam and Muslims:

“But Hathout’s characterization of the attack also includes one of those troubling asterisks. When he says he reviles the 9/11 hijackers, he also tries to deny that they are Muslims. “If those people claim to be Muslims,” he says, “this is against every fiber in Islam.” In his circular reasoning, real Muslims can have no connection to terrorism because Islam forbids such violence. Ergo, Muslims didn’t carry out 9/11 since anyone who could do such a thing is not a real Muslim. This verbal feint could suggest evasiveness to some listeners.”

As a Muslim, I absolutely understand and agree with what Maher Hathout was attempting to express.  Any person who could carry out the 9/11 terrorist act could not understand Islam, and no matter what distorted reasoning they followed to convince themselves that there was any possibility of justifying such an act, they were wrong.  And, if there are any others out there who are following the same line of reasoning or attempting to convince others of that reasoning, they are wrong.  Any extremist political ideology masquerading as Islamic is wrong and must be resisted by all Muslims.

The American Muslim has been publishing articles on this distinction between hirabah and jihad for many years, and will hopefully publish many more.  After 9/11 American Muslims were forced to come to terms with the fact that there were some people who also considered themselves Muslims whose view of what it means to be a Muslim and to follow Islam was completely unrecognizable and abhorrent to us.  It was a shock to hear those people use words that hold deep spiritual meaning and beauty for us in a way that turned the meanings of those words on their heads.  We must counter this false message and find ways to reach those who have been brainwashed into believing that there is any validity in this false understanding preached by groups such as al Qaeda.

UPDATE April 30, 2008

In 2008, the U.S. State Department approved new counterterrorism lexicon for diplomats.  The report, “Words that Work and Words that Don’t: A Guide for Counterterrorism Communication,” offers specific directives, such as: don’t use terms such as “jihadist” or “holy warrior” because it legitimizes bin Laden’s followers, but also don’t use terms such as “Islamo-fascism,” which offends everyone else by associating Islam with fascism.  You can view the full report here.  UPI reports “Urging officials not to use the word Islam in conjunction with terrorism, the guide notes that, “Although the al-Qaida network exploits religious sentiments and tries to use religion to justify its actions, we should treat it as an illegitimate political organization, both terrorist and criminal.”      Instead of calling terror groups Muslim or Islamic, the guide suggests using words like totalitarian, terrorist or violent extremist—“widely understood terms that define our enemies appropriately and simultaneously deny them any level of legitimacy.”

A report entitled TERMINOLOGY TO DEFINE THE TERRORISTS: RECOMMENDATIONS FROM AMERICAN MUSLIMS was considered by the State Department in preparing their report.  The PDF of this document can be read here.  From the conclusion of this report:  “Words matter. The terminology the USG uses should convey the magnitude of the threat we face, but also avoid inflating the religious bases and glamorous appeal of the extremists’ ideology. Instead, USG terminology should depict the terrorists as the dangerous cult leaders they are. They have no honor, they have no dignity, and they offer no answers. While acknowledging that they have the capacity to destroy, we should constantly emphasize that they cannot build societies, and do not provide solutions to the problems people across the globe face.”

UPDATE April 2010

According to news reports Obama has ordered a revision of America’s National Security Strategy with the aim to remove terms that link Islam to terrorism.   ABC News reports that the final report on the new strategy won’t be issued for at least another month.  It seems as if this new initiative depends heavily on the original 2008 recommendations.  It remains to be seen whether or not it will be implemented.  TAM’s collection of alarming statements shows that a lot of people have not taken this seriously since the original 2008 recommendations.  And, since this new report came out, Senator Lieberman (chairman of the Homeland Security Committee) has called dropping ‘Islamic extremism’ term  ‘Orwellian and counterproductive’

UPDATE 6/19/2010

The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) today sent a letter to Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) challenging the congressman’s argument  in his Wall Street Journal op-ed “Who’s the Enemy in the War on Terror?” that religious labels are a important component of identifying and defeating our enemies.

In his op-ed published this week, Senator Lieberman argues that the recent National Security Strategy put forth by the Obama administration  “refuses to identify our enemy in this war as what it is: violent Islamist extremism.” He goes on to give a number of arguments for why it is important to identify the violent perpetrators as Muslims and Islamists.

In the letter to Sen. Lieberman, MPAC President Salam Al-Marayati underscores how dropping the religious labels and associations for Al-Qaeda and its affiliates is a crucial step in delegitimizing their self-proclaimed religious authority to Muslims worldwide. The letter, reads in part:

[Dropping religious labels] denies Al-Qaeda and its affiliates the religious legitimacy they severely lack and so desperately seek. For years, Muslim public opinion has decisively turned against Bin Ladin, Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups because of the immoral, unethical and gruesome tactics they employ and because the vast majority of their victims have been other Muslims.

As you mention in your op-ed, one of our strategic goals should be to empower the authentic and mainstream Muslim voices that are working on a daily basis to counter the cult of death, which groups such as Al-Qaeda call to. By removing religious labels from describing the terrorists, we empower and embolden those mainstream voices and deny the terrorists from making a religious claim. This is precisely why in 2008 a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) internal memo circulated amongst government agencies directed government officials and diplomatic staff to consider the implications of using “Islamic” language when discussing terrorism-related issues.

“It is important to note that both the Bush and Obama administrations have made similar recommendations when dealing with violent extremism,” said MPAC’s Director of the Washington DC office Haris Tarin. “Muslim communities worldwide understand the nature of this threat and do not need government agencies using terminology that will further alienate the voices of the mainstream.”

The success of our nation and our community’s effort to marginalize the voices of extremism will require allies within Muslim communities. Using religious labels will give more authenticity to the cult of death that groups like Al-Qaeda call to and will cast a shadow of doubt on entire community in our own backyard.

( / 28.08.2011)

Hadeeth 32 : No Harming nor Reciprocating Harm

On the authority of Abu Sa’eed Sa’ad bin Sinaan al-Khudree (radiAllaahu anhu) that the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) said :

There should be neither harming [darar] nor reciprocating harm [diraar].
A Hasan hadeeth related by Ibn Maajah, ad-Daaraqutnee and others as a musnad hadeeth. It was also related by Maalik in al-Muwatta in mursal form from ‘Amr bin Yahyaa, from his father from the Prophet (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam), but leaving Abu Sa’eed from the chain. And it has other chains of narrations that strengthen one another.

Explanation of Hadeeth Number 32
Know that he who harms his brother has oppressed him, and oppression is Prohibited [Haraam], as has preceeded in the hadeeth of Abu Dharr (radiAllaahu anhu) : “O My servants ! I have forbidden dhulm (oppression) for Myself, and I have made it forbidden amongst you, so do not oppress one another”, and the Prophet (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) has said : “Verily your blood [ie lives] and your property and your honour are all Sacred/Prohibited”. And he said this on many occasions, including the Sermon he gave at the Farewell Hajj.

And as for his (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) statement “There should be neither ‘darar’ nor ‘diraar'” then some of the ‘ulamaa have said that these are two words which have the same meaning, and they have been used together as a form of emphasis.

And Ibn Habeeb (rahimahu Allaah) said : “According to the scholars of the Arabic language, ad-darar refers to the noun and ad-diraar refers to the action/verb, and so the meaning of ‘no darar’ is that none of you should harm any other with something that they have not harmed you with first. And the meaning of ‘no diraar’ is that none of you should harm any other at all.”

And al-Muhsinee (rahimahu Allaah) said : “ad-darar is that by which you attain benefit, but in it is harm for your neighbour”, and this is a good understanding of a nuance of the meaning. And other scholars have said : “ad-darar and ad-diraar are similar to al-qatal [murder] and al-qitaal [fighting one another], so ad-darar is that you harm one who has not harmed you, while ad-diraar is that you harm one who also harms you in a way that is not responding equally or taking revenge rightfully”, and this is similar to his (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) statement “Return the Trusts given to you, to those who entrusted them to you, and do not betray the one who betrays you” [Hasan Ghareeb, narrated by at-Tirmidhee]. And the meaning of this according to some of the ‘ulamaa is that one must not betray the one who betrays, after one has already taken revenge or sought justice for his betrayal. And so it is as though the forbiddance here is upon initiating an injustice or harm, while the one who seeks revenge with the equal of what he has been harmed with, and who takes his Right, then he is not considered to be a betrayer. Rather, the betrayer is he who takes that which does not belong to him or more than that which is rightfully his.

And the Jurists [fuqahaa’] have differed over the one who refuses to fulfill the rights/trusts that others have upon him, such that the entruster forcibly takes the wealth that he had entrusted to him. So some of the scholars have said : “It is not correct for him to [forcibly] take what is his right due to what is apparent from his (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) statement “Return the Trusts, and do not betray the one who betrays you”. On the other hand, other scholars have said : “It is permissible for him to take revenge from the one who has betrayed him, and to forcibly take what is due to him from the hand of his betrayer” and they use as proof the hadeeth narrated by ‘Aaishah (radiAllaahu anhaa) regarding the incident involving Hind and her husband Abu Sufyaan, wherein Hind said to the Prophet (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) “O Messenger of Allaah ! Verily Abu Sufyaan is a stingy/tight-fisted man, and he does not give to me what is sufficient for myself and my child, unless I take it from him secretly.” So the Prophet (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) replied : “Take [from his wealth] what is sufficient for you and your child, but with justice” [narrated by Muslim]. And in this issue the fuqahaa’ have mentioned many points and fine issues that cannot be mentioned here.

And what is correct from an examination of all the evidences is that it is not correct for someone to harm his brother, whether he has harmed him or not, except if he avenges himself to the extent that Justice allows him to [ie equally], and this is not considered to be oppression nor harm, as long at is in a fashion that the Sunnah makes permissible for him.

And the Shaykh Abu ‘Amr bin as-Salaah (rahimahu Allaah) has said that [the famous hadeeth scholar] ad-Daaraqutnee has collected a number of chains of narration of this hadeeth which strengthen one another, and thus raise it to the level of being Hasan [Sound, acceptable], and it has been transmitted and used as proof by the vast majority of the ‘ulamaa, and [the hadeeth scholar] Abu Daawood said : “The Knowledge of Fiqh revolves around five ahaadeeth”, and he counted this hadeeth amongst them. So Shaykh Abu ‘Amr said that the fact that Abu Daawood counted this hadeeth amongst the five, and his other statements about it, show that he did not consider it to be a Da’eef [Weak, unreliable] hadeeth, and he said about it that ad-diraar is similar to al-qitaal, and this is what is upon the Sunnah. And many of the scholars of Fiqh and Hadeeth have also narrated this hadeeth as “There should be neither darar nor idraar”, but this wording has no basis.

And Allaah knows best.

Summary :
That it is forbidden to harm others
That it is forbidden to transgress against those who harm us

الحديث الثاني والثلاثون : لا ضرر ولا ضرار

عن أبي سعيد سعد بن سنان الخدري رضي الله عنه : أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال : ( لا ضرر ولا ضرار ) ، حديث حسن ، رواه ابن ماجة و الدارقطني وغيرهما مسندا . ورواه مالك في الموطأ مرسلا : عن عمروا بن يحيى ، عن أبيه عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم . فأسقط أبا سعيد . وله طرق يقوي بعضها بعضا .


امتازت قواعد الشريعة الإسلامية بشموليتها واتساع معناها ، بحيث يستطيع المرء أن يعرف من خلالها الحكم الشرعي لكثير من المسائل التي تندرج تحتها ، ومن جملة تلك القواعد العظيمة ، ما ورد من قول النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم : ( لا ضرر ولا ضرار ) ، فإن هذا الحديث على قصره يدخل في كثير من الأحكام الشرعية ، ويبيّن السياج المحكم الذي بنته الشريعة لضمان مصالح الناس ، في العاجل والآجل .

وإذا عدنا إلى لفظ الحديث ، فإننا نجد أنه قد نفى الضرر أولا ، ثم نفى الضرار ثانيا ، وهذا يشعرنا بوجود فرق بين معنى الضرر ومعنى الضرار ، وقد ذكر العلماء كلاما مطولا حول ذلك ، وأقرب تصوّر لمعنى الكلمتين : أن نفي الضرر إنما قُصد به عدم وجود الضرر فيما شرعه الله لعباده من الأحكام ، وأما نفي الضرار : فأُريد به نهي المؤمنين عن إحداث الضرر أو فعله .

ومن هنا ، فإن نفي الضرر يؤكد أن الدين الإسلامي يرسّخ معاني الرحمة والتيسير ، وعدم تكليف الإنسان ما لا يطيق ، فلا يمكن أن تجد في أحكامه أمراً بما فيه مضرّة ، أو نهياً عن شيء يحقق المصلحة الراجحة ، وإذا نظرت إلى ما جاء تحريمه في القرآن الكريم أو في السنة النبوية فلابد أن تجد فيه خبثا ومفسدة ، مصداقا لقوله تعالى : { ويحرّم عليهم الخبائث } ( الأعراف : 157 ) .

ومن ناحية أخرى فإن كل ما ورد في الكتاب والسنة من أوامر ، فالأصل أنها مقدورة ، داخلة ضمن حدود الطاقة ، وإذا عرض للإنسان أحوال تمنعه من إتمام الامتثال بالأمر الشرعي ، كأن يلمّ به مرض أو عجز أو نحوهما ، فهنا يأتي التخفيف من الله تعالى ، كما في رخصة الإفطار في نهار رمضان ، ورخصة الجمع والقصر في الصلاة ، وغير ذلك كثير.

على أن الضرر المنفي في الدين لا يتناول العقوبة والقصاص ؛ لأن عقاب المجرم على جريمته هو السبيل الوحيد الذي يردع الناس عن انتهاك حدود الله ، والاعتداء على حقوق الآخرين ، بل إننا نقول : إن هذه الحدود التي شرعها الله عزوجل هي مقتضى العدل والحكمة ؛ إذ لا يُعقَل أن نغلّب جانب مصلحة الفرد على حساب مصلحة المجتمع كله ، ولا يُعقل أن ننظر بعين العطف على الجاني ، ونتناسى حق من جنى عليهم ، ولذلك يقول الله عزوجل : { ولكم في القصاص حياة يا أولي الألباب لعلكم تتقون } ( البقرة : 179 ) .

ولم يقتصر الحديث على نفي الضرر في الشريعة ، بل أتبعه بالنهي عن إضرار العباد بعضهم لبعض ،  فالمكلف منهي عن كل فعل يترتب عليه إضرار الآخرين ، سواء قصد صاحبه الإضرار أم لم يقصد  .

وهذا أصل عظيم من أصول الدين ؛ فإن الفرد إذا التزم بصيانة حقوق غيره وعدم الإضرار بها ، فإن من شأن ذلك أن تقل المنازعات بين الناس ، فينشأ المجتمع على أساس من الاحترام المتبادل بين أفراده .

أما إذا تخلى الناس عن العمل بهذا المبدأ ، وصار كل إنسان ينظر إلى مصلحته دون أي اعتبار للآخرين ، فهنا تحصل الكارثة ، وتشيع الأنانية المدمرة ، وهذا ما جاء الإسلام بإزالته والقضاء عليه .

لقد حرّم الإسلام الضرار بكل صوره ، وجميع أشكاله ، حتى حرّم الإضرار بالآخرين منذ ولادتهم إلى حين وفاتهم ، بل وبعد موتهم ، فحرّم إضرار الأم بولدها ، كما قال الله تعالى : { لا تضار والدة بولدها } ( البقرة : 233 ) ، وحرّم تغيير الوصية بعد سماعها ، وحرّم إضرار الموصي في وصيّته ، وحفظ للأموات حقوقهم حتى حرّم سب الأموات ، فما أعظمها من شريعة ، وما أحسنه من دين .

(Facebook / 28.08.2011)

‘What was that?’ my sister cried. ‘Thunder,’ I lied. That night they killed 3

Far away from my noisy sisters fighting over a broken remote control, a desperate attempt to escape my death-entrenched life seeped through a rusty window as I gazed at a glittering sea. Somewhere on the other end, live another people with no “collateral damage” or “Rafah Crossing” or, indeed, on goes the list.

I have always thought of the insignificance of my life hanging at the mercy of uniformed Egyptian officers, M-16 steel rifles, closed zones, or swift but long-lasting power cuts. Always ready to be doomed to the worst of fates and looming uncertainty.  Never in my life have I basked in the independence enjoyed by “outside girls” of my age. “Outside girls”– a term we use to refer to those who get their hair dried without fearing power will be cut off before the hurricane swirling their heads is smoothed.

Still leaving my eyes unleashed at the human velvet covering the sea sand, I thought how fast sand can become sand again with one deafening airstrike from Israel.

Sometime this past week, I was weaving through the events of Mornings in Jenin, taking a handful of new vocabulary to my steadfast black electronic dictionary with every page I turn. It was a starry mild-weathered night where people ditched whatever lodge they carried and flocked to inferior sea-overlooking cafes.

“Absurd is the life that made heaven out of a sewage-flooded sea” I mumbled wishing my words could reach the idling throngs on seashore.

Back into the novel, deeply taken by its characters, I was reading: “Our terror in the kitchen hole had only strengthened the bond between me and Huda. She possessed a…” when a massive explosion shook the walls of my worn-out room. My heart sank and in no time I found myself bent over my baby sister as if offering protection from an F-16 missile. My sister screamed beneath, asking me frantically in an extremely babyish tone what the sound was.

“That was thunder habibti it’s going to rain” I lied.

That night Israel killed three. One child was among the dead and the idling throngs flowed to the streets in aimless directions. Everyone was desperately trying to find a safe place, a place Israel does not suspect of holding terrorists. In a moment, seashore cleared. I turned off the lights, consigned to my thoughts. That day I realized how short life can be and how easily blood can be spilled, yet unnoticed.  I brushed my forehead against the pillow trying to push away death pictures invading my head. It killed me my how innocently my sister believed the “thunder and rain”.

My life had taught me to hate anything red. I can hardly remember the last time I purchased a red dress, t-shirt, purse or even a pen. Sometimes, colors bear bitter meanings. This particular color makes me automatically think of martyrs and forget all about Valentine’s Day.  Not that I do not feel grateful for Israel allowing my sight to remain intact, but I feel shallow when colors tend to be something vicious and bloody.

A few days ago, I received an invitation for an iftar along with child victims of the 08/09 war on Gaza.  I fidgeted and decided not to go. Selfishly, I thought I’m already drooped with much pain and unfulfilled dreams to put on more weight. One hour before the adan, I prodded my conscience and rushed to the sleazy restaurant where the iftar was to be held. On my way, I was thinking how much I deserved the shower of badala, reprimand, my mother had guaranteed for me when she knew I had told them “I can’t make it today, really sorry”.

Dressed in my Tahrir-Square t-shirt, I dragged my feet to a hall where tables stood in rows and children fussed around wildly. Dozens of arms were recklessly thrown to the air, and noise swarmed into my ears like irritating jazz. My eyes blurred at the little excited bodies surging through the hall. I felt relieved that not only child victims attended the event. Relieved. Not for a long time.

Among the fuss, one brown-haired child was leaning on another boy’s shoulders as they ran across with other boys. Both faces bore gloomy expressions. The brown-haired is blind. The other was his chauffeur. Something painful pulled me back to my seat.  Later on, I learned the child’s name is Luai.

Half way into the event, following the iftar, it was time for competitions. A young lady announced everyone should pick a number from one to thirty once they were selected to participate. Sympathetic to his condition, Luai was the first to be selected. “What is your favorite number, habibi Luai? came the lady’s empathetic tone. Luai wordless. “Allah is one, Luai, pick number one” a girl’s voice rose up from a plastic chair and successfully made its way through the silence.  Convinced by the brief suggestion, Luai consigned to one.

Colors again. Luai was now obliged to utter colors he doesn’t know, or, he once new before Israel had decided to take away his sight forever. Back in 2008, Luai was playing soccer along with cousins and friends when mercilessly Israel raided a bunch of playful terrorists –kids-.

Twisting with embarrassment, Luai haltingly listed the colors of the flag because of which he lost his sight. Black, White, Green and red. All black in Luai’s blank eyes. Colors.

During the remnant hours of the event, I had peeked at Luai’s scribbled forehead thinking how he might have looked like when Israel believed he posed danger to its existence. Nothing could make sense to me and I found myself holding back a tear struggling at the edges of my eyes.

Life here has taken me aback and turned me into a vigorous reader thriving to find place within numerous books. Within the black-streaked pages of Mornings in Jenin, I swung between Gaza, where bombings are relentless, and Jenin’s refugee camp where lifeless bodies persistently clung to the “dream of return”.

Every night, as Israel’s bombs rock Gaza, I hold to my book, Mornings in Jenin, and tray away from everything including myself. I wear Amal, the orphan whose fear, uncertainty and complicated life turned into courage, success and love.  Things we long, and yet long for here in this little unrecognized spot. I tread along with Amal’s absurdity and stoicism until sun perks up and I wake up the other day finding Jenin still nestled in my neck.

(Crossposted @ Rana Baker’s Blog Palestine, Memory Drafts and Future Alleys)

( / 28.08.2011)

Palestinian Americans “unequivocally reject” PA’s UN statehood bid

Palestinian Americans have called on Arabs, Palestinians and their allies everywhere to reject a bid by the Palestinian Authority (PA) to ask the United Nations next month to admit the “State of Palestine” as a full member.

In a 27 August statement from its coordinating committee, the US Palestinian Communities Network (USPCN) wrote:

We call on all Palestinian and Arab community associations, societies and committees, student organizations, solidarity campaigns, to reject fully and unequivocally the Statehood initiative as a distraction that unjustifiably and irresponsibly endangers Palestinian rights and institutions.

The USPCN statement comes amid growing concern globally among Palestinians that the PA’s UN bid harms Palestinian rights. USPCN describes itself as “US Palestinian Community Network (USPCN) is a grassroots community network with over twenty democratically-elected chapters.”

Earlier this month, as The Electronic Intifada reported, the Boycott National Committee (BNC) of the Palestinian campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions on Israel also issued a warning about the UN bid.

Endangering Palestinian rights

Like the BNC, the USPCN statement emphasizes that fundamental Palestinian rights, not “statehood” remain the core of Palestinian efforts:

As has been recently revealed, this initiative in no way protects nor advances our inalienable, and internationally recognized, rights—fundamental of which are our right to return to the homes and properties from which we were forcibly expelled, our right to self-determination, and our right to resist the settler colonial regime that has occupied our land for more than 63 years.

The Palestinian people, wherever they are, hold these rights. They are non-negotiable. No one can barter them away for false promises of “peace” and “stability.” The cynical irony of turning a UN resolution enshrining our right to return under international law (UNGA Res. 194) into a rhetorical ploy should give anyone pause. That it is being advanced at a time when the PA does not even have the political mandate of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza through Palestinian Legislative Council elections must also give us pause.

USPCN also urged Palestinians and allies to attend a 15 September rally at the United Nations in New York “For Palestine and the Right of Return.”

International law expert confirms widespread fears about UN bid

USPCN’s statement follows, and makes reference to, a recent memorandum by Guy Goodwin-Gill, an international law expert at the University of Oxford which warned that the UN bid could see most Palestinians legally disenfranchised if an illusory “State of Palestine” were to replace the PLO as the holder of Palestine’s seat at the UN.

Legally, the PLO has long been recognized as the “sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people,” even though its structures have long been defunct or inoperable. USPCN echoed widespread calls for the reconsitution of the PLO on a democratic and representative basis.

Goodwin-Gill’s memo and an interview he gave explaining its implications have heightened concern among Palestinians about the PA’s ill-thought out and desperate step which comes after the complete failure of the US-sponsored “peace process” on which the PA bet all its cards.

In recent months, a consensus has emerged among Palestinian experts and organizations that the UN statehood bid is useless at best, and highly damaging to Palestinian rights at worst.

( / 28.08.2011)

Erekat: Palestinians to press with U.N. membership bid

Occupied Jerusalem, Aug 28 (Petra) — Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said on Monday the Palestinians would go
ahead with a plan to acquire full membership at the United Nations, and added when that quest is achieved Israel cannot retain settlements or continue expanding them.

Erekat added in an interview with the Israeli Maariv newspaper: “If veto is wielded at the Security Council against the Palestinian
bid, we will go to the U.N. General Assembly, a move that could possibly change the situation.” Asked about the prospect of dismantling the Palestinian Authority if the U.N. bid failed, he said: “If under Israeli pressure the United States uses veto power and imposes economic sanctions on us, and if military pressure continues together with settlement expansion, then Israel, as the
occupying power, has to shoulder its responsibility stipulated by international conventions, the 1907 Hague Convention and the 1949 Geneva Convention.

( / 28.08.2011)

Abbas: I am ready to resume peace talks with Israelis

RAMALLAH, (PIC)– De facto president Mahmoud Abbas declared his willingness to listen to any international proposal that can convince him to resume peace talks with Israelis and refrain from resorting to the UN to extract an acknowledgement of a Palestinian state.

Abbas made his remarks on Saturday in a meeting with preachers and mosque imams in Ramallah city.

“We are ready to listen to any acceptable proposal giving us the opportunity to obtain our rights and not to go anywhere (the UN). We say to the West, the Americans and Israelis, bring forth what you have. Until this moment, the world has not given us something new at all,” Abbas told the attendees.

“Now, they are talking about the quartet committee’s meeting. It is ok, we are ready, give us something reasonable. If they (the quartet committee) came up with a solution involving two things, the first thing is the international legitimacy and the 1967 borders, and the second thing is to stop settlement activities, we will go to the negotiations,” he added.

“Our decision to go to the security council is neither aimed to isolate Israel nor to be in confrontation with the US, but to achieve our dream of obtaining official recognition of our Palestinian state with full sovereignty over the 1967 occupied lands, which represents only 22 percent of the total area of historic Palestine,” the de facto head of the Palestinian authority said.

( / 28.08.2011)

124 Out Of 193 Countries Recognize Palestinian Independence

A total of 124 countries, out of 193 UN member countries, have officially declared recognition of Palestine, and the Palestinian UN move this September, to seek recognition of statehood and a full UN membership.

Nine of the 124 countries are among the top ten most populated countries in the World, the Maan News Agency reported.

Palestinian sources reported that Palestine is gaining momentum is international recognition, and the UN move, especially after the Spanish Foreign Minister, Trinidad Jimenez, recently called on the European Countries to support the Palestinian move. Israel was angered by the recent statement, and considered it alarming.

Recently, both Spanish and Belgium Parliaments declared support to the Palestinian UN move.

Maan stated that Palestinian Foreign Minister, Riyad Al-Maliki, is currently on a tour in several African countries, after he concluded a tour in a number of countries in South and Central America, to garner their support.

Several envoys, dispatched by President Mahmoud Abbas, toured a number of countries that could play an essential role in aiding the Palestinians at the United Nations.

Yet, the United States is following the lead of Israel in opposing the Palestinian move, and is waving its veto power to topple it.

The US claims statehood can only be achieved through negotiations, but the ongoing Israeli violations, construction and expansion of settlements, especially in Jerusalem, and its rejection to recognize the legitimate Palestine rights to liberation and independence, cast legitimate doubts on Israel’s intention to achieve a just and a comprehensive peace agreement with the Palestinians.

Israel is trying to seek full normalization with the Arab world before a final peace agreement is reached with Israel.

In 2002, the Arab League held a summit in Beirut, headed by then Crown Prince, current King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, and presented the Arab Peace Initiative. The same initiative was endorsed, one again, during the Riyadh Summit of the Arab League in 2007.

The initiative offered full normalization between the entire Arab World and Israel, in exchange for a full Israeli withdrawal from the Palestinian and Arab territories occupied by Israel in 1967; this includes occupied East Jerusalem, the capital of the future Palestinian State.

( / 28.08.2011)

Egypte weerhoudt Israel van het vermoorden van premier Ismail Haniye van Gaza

Ik begin te geloven dat het toch maar niet-terugroepen van de Egyptische ambassadeur in Israel na de dood van vijf (of zes, de berichten variëren) grenswachten door Israelisch vuur, achteraf niet zo’n slecht idee was. Op de manier kunnen de Egyptenaren waarschijnlijk beter de druk op de ketel houden. In ieder geval wisten ze zo woensdag Israel opnieuw tot een staakt-het-vuren in
Gaza te bewegen. Eveneens, zo onthulden Egyptische bronnen intusen, weerhielden de Egypgtenaren Israel ervan om Ismail Haniye, de pemier van de Hamas-regering in Gaza, te vermoorden.
Nog weer een ander succesje dat de Egyptische diplomatie behaalde – afgezien van het verhinderen van deze moord – was dat de Israelische minister van Defensie Ehud Barak erin toestemde dat Egypte duizenden man troepen in de Sinai mag stationeren, teneinde daar een einde te maken aan de activiteiten van groepen islamisten en opstandige Bedoeïenen. Egypte was al bezig met acties (en kreeg al eerder groen licht van Israel voor het zenden van militairen) vóór de aanslagen bij Eilat van vorige week donderdag. Dat gold echter alleen het noordelijke gedeelte van de Sinai bij El Arish. De Sinai is bij de vredesakkoorden tussen Egypte en Israel van 1979 nagenoeg gedemilitariseerd. De woestijn werd in drie sectoren verdeeld, waarin in afnemende mate militairen mogen komen. In het gedeelte C dat aan Israel grenst mogen helemaal geen militairen komen, alleen grenspolitie.
De laatste dagen gingen in Egypte echter steeds meer stemmen op om in iedere geval over dit gedeelte van de akkoorden opnieuw te gaan onderhandelen.Onder meer Nabil al-Arabi, de secretaris-generaal van de Arabische Liga, zei in een interview met
de tv-zender Al-Arabiya,dat het akkoord niet zo heilig is als de Koran en dat wijzigingen mogelijk moeten zijn als één van de partijen de bepalingen schendt of als de omstandigheden daartoe aanleiding geven.

En intussen bleven het miljoen mensen dat door jongerengroepen was opgeroepen om vrijdag bij de Israelische ambassade in Cairo te komen demonstreren, grotendeels weg. De bedoeling was dat de menigte ’s avonds na de iftar (de maaltijd die in Ramadan de vasten breekt) zou toestromen. Maar in plaats van de verwachte honderdduizenden kwamen er enkele honderden. (Volgens schattingen van de deelnemers zo’n 1500 à 2000).

Zaterdag hief ook de 6 April- beweging, een van de grootste protestbewegingen, haar sit-in protest bij de ambassade op, dat zij een week lang had volgehouden. In een verklaring zei de beweging dat zij nu het gezamenlijke Israelisch-Egyptische onderzoek naar de dood van de vijf politiemensen zal afwachten voor zij verdere actie onderneemt. In de verklaring zei de beweging verder dat alsnog excuses nodig zijn van Israel voor het doden van de politiemannen, dat de ambassadeur moet worden uitgewezen en de ambassade gesloten, dat de handelsakkoorden met Israel opgezegd moeten worden en het vredeverdrag zodanig moet worden aangepast dat Egypte weer volledige zeggenschap krijgt over sector C van de Sinai. 

( / 28.08.2011)

gaza need your voice’s share to have the biggest supporter number for gaza

donderdag 8 september om 22:00 – 09 september om 23:30

support gaza we need 1 million voices around the world help us to stop israeli war

Gemaakt door:

israel is killing Civilian’s destroying houses and all the basic need’s in gaza
israel occupied  gaza for more than 3 years and still…
gaza civilian’s are dying because they want to live in freedom
and everyone there  need your voice to raise up to make israel stop shooting kids women and men help us to stop this war before it get more Brutal more violence help us to make a better future for the kids in gaza
we invite you to pr…otest all around the world in 26-8-2011 (friday)
next to (israeli embassy)

اسرائيل تقتل المدنين و تهدم البيوت و كل اساسات الحياة في غزة
اسرائيل تحاصر غزة منذ اكثر من 3 سنوات و لا تزال تحاصر غزة
المدنين في غزة يُقتلون لانهم يطالبون بحريتهم و فك الحصار و حقهم الشرعي بالدفاع عن حريتهم و ارضهم و بيوتهم و العيش الكريم
غزة و سكانها يحتاجون اصواتكم لترتفع ضد ارهاب اسرائيل و قتل ابنائها
ندعو للتظاهر في كافة انحاء العالم يوم الجمعة الموافق 26-8-2011
السفارة الاسرائيلية -بعد صلاة التراويح عند مدارس كامبرج

Qor’an instituut opleiding/cursus

maandag 26 september · 9:00 – 18:00

Islamic University of Rotterdam (IUR)

Bergsingel 135
Rotterdam, Netherlands

Gemaakt door:

Start: vanaf maandag 26 september 2011

Wat is Tajwied?
Tajwied is het reciteren van de Koran volgens de recitatieregels. Het
doel is om de woorden uit de Koran te handhaven zoals ze destijds aan
…de Profeet ( vrede zij met hem ) geopenbaard zijn, dit om fouten te
voorkomen tijdens het reciteren.

Is het belangrijk?
Ja! Iedere moslim dient de Koran, het Woord van God, in de Arabische
taal te kunnen lezen. Daarnaast is het praktisch toepassen van deze
regels een vereiste tijdens het reciteren.

Kan ik deze cursus volgen?
De cursussen zijn toegankelijk voor degenen die al Arabisch kunnen
lezen, zowel jong als oud ( vanaf 15 jr ). De cursus biedt de cursist(e)
de ideale mogelijkheid om kennis te maken met de Koran en er actief
mee bezig te zijn. De lessen worden gescheiden aangeboden ( mannen
apart, vrouwen apart ).
De Profeet ( vrede zij met hem ) heeft gezegd:
“Degene die de Koran reciteert en het uit zijn hoofd leert, zal met de
nobele rechtschapen schrijvers (de engelen) zijn en degene die zichzelf
inspant om de Koran uit zijn hoofd te leren en het met grote moeite
reciteert, zal dubbel beloond worden.” ( Bukhari en Muslim )

Meer info;
Bent u geïnteresseerd in de cursus Koran Recitatie en Tajwied, maar
heeft u nog vragen over de cursus dan kunt u gerust contact opnemen
met de afdeling Studentenzaken.
Islamitische Universiteit Rotterdam
Bergsingel 135, 3037 GC Rotterdam
Tel: 010 – 485 47 21
Site:, E-mail: