Internet Sheikh claims Islam was spread by the Sword, encourages Islamophobia in the West


 

Most Muslims take pride in the fact that Islam was not spread by the sword, meaning that no person is to be forced to become a Muslim. The truth of Islam is supported by intellectual proofs, not coercion. Moreover, coercion in matters of religion and worship necessarily breed hypocrisy, making them fruitless and without reward due to lack of sincerity. However, some hardline Sheikhs would like you to think that Islam gives them free license to attack peaceful people who do not convert to their narrow-minded school of thought.

When asked the simple question, “Was Islam spread by the sword?” Our internet Sheikh replies:

The defeatists among the Muslims come out to defend Islam, and they want to disavow Islam of this so-called lie, so they deny that Islam was spread by the sword, and they say that jihad is not prescribed in Islam, except in the case of self-defence. There is no such thing in Islam as taking the initiative in fighting in their view. This goes against what the Muslim scholars have stated, let alone the fact that it goes against the Qur’aan and Sunnah.

The “defeatists” (meaning the majority of Muslims and great scholars like Sheikh Al-Azhar Mahmud Shaltut) are described as such because they do not believe Islam gives Muslims the right to attack a peaceful nation. We are given several citations, presented in such a way as to intimidate the common Muslim who believes Islam is a religion of peace. But what is the Sheikh hiding?

Allah Almighty said:

وَقَاتِلُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ الَّذِينَ يُقَاتِلُونَكُمْ وَلَا تَعْتَدُوا إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمُعْتَدِينَ

Fight in the way of Allah those who fight you but do not transgress. Indeed, Allah does not love transgressors.

[Surah Al-Baqarah 2:190]

At-Tabari recorded that Ibn Abbas, companion of the Messenger of Allah, explained the meaning of “transgression” as such:

عن ابن عبـاس: لا تقتلوا النساء ولا الصبـيان ولا الشيخ الكبـير ولا من ألقـى إلـيكم السلـم وكفّ يده، فإن فعلتـم هذا فقد اعتديتـم

Do not kill women, or children, or old men, or whoever meets you with peace and restraining his hand (from fighting). For, indeed, if you did that, you would certainly have transgressed.

Ibn Abbas believed that attacking “whoever meets you with peace” is an act of transgression. This is why Sheikh Al-Islam ibn Taymiyyah said:

لأن القتال هو لمن يقاتلنا ، إذا أردنا إظهار دين الله

We may only fight those who fight us when we intend to make the religion of Allah victorious.

Furthermore, Al-Badawi described “transgression” in the verse 2:190 to mean:

وَلاَ تَعْتَدُواْ بابتداء القتال، أو بقتال المعاهد، أو المفاجأة به من غير دعوة، أو المثلة، أو قتل من نهيتم عن قتله

Do not transgress by starting the fighting, or by fighting those who are protected by a peace treaty, or by ambushing those who have not been called (to Islam or a peace treaty), or by mutilation (of the enemy), or by fighting whomever it is prohibited from fighting.

Again, “initiating the fighting” is considered transgression by this great scholar, but curiously not by our internet Sheikh.

Since Islam was allegedly spread by the sword, our internet Sheikh thinks that Islamophobia(meaning fear and hatred of Muslims) is actually a good thing! He says:

In the English-language Muslim World Magazine it says: There should be some kind of fear in the western world, one of the causes of which is that since the time it first appeared in Makkah, Islam has never decreased in numbers, rather it has always continued to increase and spread. Moreover Islam is not only a religion, rather one of its pillars is jihad…

If Islam was only spread by peaceful means, what would the kuffaar have to be afraid of? Of mere words spoken on the tongue?…

The fact that the sword and power were means of spreading Islam is not a sources of shame for Islam, rather it is one of its strengths and virtues, because that makes people adhere to that which will benefit them in this world and in the Hereafter…

This is something for which Islam deserves to be praised, not condemned. The defeatists should fear Allaah lest they distort this religion and cause it to become weak on the basis of the claim that it is a religion of peace…

First, Islam has five pillars, not six. The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

بُنِيَ الْإِسْلَامُ عَلَى خَمْسٍ عَلَى أَنْ يُعْبَدَ اللَّهُ وَيُكْفَرَ بِمَا دُونَهُ وَإِقَامِ الصَّلَاةِ وَإِيتَاءِ الزَّكَاةِ وَحَجِّ الْبَيْتِ وَصَوْمِ رَمَضَانَ

Islam is built upon five: worshipping Allah alone and disbelieving in what is worshipped besides him, establishing prayer, paying charity, performing the pilgrimage, and fasting the month of Ramadan.

[Sahih Muslim, Book 1, Number 18]

The fact that the internet Sheikh is making new pillars of Islam is a sign that he is not too concerned about innovating into the religion.

Second, the belief that Islam is the religion of peace is not a source of weakness; it is a source of strength. Our internet Sheikh here is being confused by the worldly definition of strength, which he imagines to include standing armies, tanks, bombs, and planes. On the contrary, true strength is the strength of the heart, the inner strength to do the right thing when we are put to the test. As the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

لَيْسَ الشَّدِيدُ بِالصُّرَعَةِ إِنَّمَا الشَّدِيدُ الَّذِي يَمْلِكُ نَفْسَهُ عِنْدَ الْغَضَبِ

The strong are not wrestlers. Verily, the strong are only those who control themselves when angry.

[Sahih Muslim, Book 032, Number 6313]

The strength of the believers is a function of their self-control, their adherence to beautiful patience during times of anger and suffering. This type of strength is infinitely more important than worldly strength.

Third, our internet Sheikh seems to understand that his belligerent fatwas do cause a lot of fear of Islam in the West, thinking that this will somehow help the Muslims. Yet, his verbal aggression has led frightened citizens in the West to ban minaretsban Islamic clothing, and even attempt toban mosques. All of this is supported by our internet Sheikh who says, “…there should be some kind of fear in the Western world.”

It is quite a duplicitous double-standard from our internet Sheikh to argue from one side of his mouth that Islam was spread by the sword, but from the other become outraged that anti-Muslim politicians are acting upon the fear he wants to provoke:

Since the launch of the movie was announced, non-Muslim organizations, governments and individuals have denounced this filmmaking MP, and stated that Islam has nothing to do with violence and terrorism, and that Muslims themselves are victims of terrorism as well as others.

Yes sir, many non-Muslims did stand up for the integrity of Islam and Muslims by shunning Geert Wilders and his hateful, racist film. These are the same non-Muslim organizations that you preach will always hate Muslims:

No matter what the kuffaar do, their enmity will not end. Even though they may speak words of friendship, their hearts are filled with hatred towards Islam and its people…

When you preach hate and violence, you should not be surprised when hate and violence come back to you. But in this case, our internet Sheikh gets to enjoy himself in the Gulf while he leaves innocent Muslims in the West to deal with the Islamophobic fallout he is happily promoting.

Success comes from Allah, and Allah knows best.

(www.faithinallah.org / 17.03.2012)

GMJ Asian caravan to Jerusalem crossed Iranian border

After 6 days since beginning of GMJ Asian caravan to Jerusalem, the caravan crossed Iranian border. Passing through Zahidan, Kerman and Qom the caravan reached Tehran last night at 9 pm. 120 delegates of the caravan are preparing themselves to proceed towards Turkish border and then via Mediterranean sea dock at Beirut port on 27th March where the number will be increased to 250 delegates.

The caravan will meet with Iranian prominent figures during its stay in Tehran and an Iranian delegation of artists, poets, students and activists as well as some MPs will join the caravan.

“Although it was supposed to reach to Jordanian borders to join the 30th of March program but due to situation in Syria and Iraq, no land rout to the borders of Jordan was possible and available and the caravan has to follow the rout from Turkey to Lebanon” said Mr. Salim Ghafouri head of Iranian nation GMJ board.

“There is no need to emphasize all the delegates are free to join any other surrounding country of Palestine on 30th march but as scheduled and announced before the Asian caravan is planning to join Lebanon program on 30th march 2012″ he mentioned.

People from Indonesia, Philippine, Malaysia, India, Bahrain, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, Iran has joined the caravan till now.

(gm2j.com /17.03.2012)

Afghan parliamentary team says many Americans were involved in massacre in which army accuses one

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Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, suspected in the shooting of 16 civilians in Afghanistan NBC NEWS

The US soldier allegedly responsible for the massacre of 16 civilians in Afghanistan  has been identified as Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales.

Bales, 38, was deployed to Afghanistan in December with the 3rd Stryker Brigade, based out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, south of Tacoma, Wash., the officials said.

Bales, a native of Ohio, has been based at Lewis-McChord his entire career. He and his family reportedly lived not too far from the base and have family roots in western Washington. Bales’ wife is said to be an executive at a Seattle-area company.

Brown said the suspect’s family will remain on base for the foreseeable future for their own protection. Bales was reportedly en route to the United States on Friday.

He has two children.

Directly after the incident, Reuters reported multiple witnesses claimed multiple soldiers were present at the scenes and carried out the crime. The acclaimedPajhwok Afghan News (initially funded by USAID, its co-founder Farida Nekzad, won the 2008 International Women’s Media Foundation Courage in Journalism Award) is reporting,  Up to 20 US troops executed Panjwai massacre: probe :

KANDAHAR CITY (PAN): A parliamentary probe team on Thursday said up to 20 American troops were involved in Sunday’s killing of 16 civilians in southern Kandahar province.

The probing delegation includes [several members of the National Assembly of Afghanistan] lawmakers Hamidzai Lali, Abdul Rahim Ayubi, Shakiba Hashimi, Syed Mohammad Akhund and Bismillah Afghanmal, all representing Kandahar province at the Wolesi Jirga and Abdul Latif Padram, a lawmaker from northern Badakhshan province, Mirbat Mangal, Khost province, Muhammad Sarwar Usmani, Farah province.

The team spent two days in the province, interviewing the bereaved families, tribal elders, survivors and collecting evidences at the site in Panjwai district.

Hamizai Lali told Pajhwok Afghan News their investigation showed there were 15 to 20 American soldiers, who executed the brutal killings.

“We closely examined the site of the incident, talked to the families who lost their beloved ones, the injured people and tribal elders,” he said.

He added the attack lasted one hour involving two groups of American soldiers in the middle of the night on Sunday.

This report should surprise no one following bulletins from Afghanistan over the last few days. Locals have insisted all along there were multiple soldiers involved, and the anger has spread since the attack. Militants launched an attack on a government delegation visiting Panjwai on Tuesday when two of President Hamid Karzai’s brothers and several top security officials were visiting. Effigies of Obama were burned, one Afghan soldier was killed as well as three militants. On the same day in the city of Jalalabad 600 students took to the streets condemning the Kandahar slaughter and chanting “Death to America! Death to Obama!

The Taliban has announced they have called off ‘peace talks‘. They have suspended all dialogue with Americans. Thursday President Karzai told the US it must pull back its troops from village areas and allow Afghan forces to take the lead in security. Today the BBC reported that Karzai accused the US of not fully co-operating with a probe into the killings.

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The BBC’s Bilal Sarwary:’Effigies of Obama were burned’

BBC

A member of the delegation, Abdul Rahim Ayubi, told AP the governor was trying to explain to locals that the shooting was an isolated incident.

“But the people were just shouting and they were very angry. They didn’t listen to the governor. They accused him of defending the Americans instead of defending the Kandahari people,” Mr Ayubi said.

Anti-US sentiment is already high in Afghanistan after soldiers burned some copies of the Koran at a Nato base in Kabul last month, sparking deadly riots across the country.

The Taliban has renewed threats of revenge attacks, saying it would behead “sadistic” American soldiers.

It sounds like the people of Afghanistan are fed up and not backing down.

Lali asked the Afghan government, the United Nations and the international community to ensure the perpetrators were punished in Afghanistan.

He expressed his anger that the US soldier, the prime suspect in the shooting, had been flown out of Afghanistan to Kuwait.

He said the people they met had warned if the responsible troops were not punished, they would launch a movement against Afghans who had agreed to foreign troops’ presence in Afghanistan under the first Bonn conference in 2001.

The lawmaker said the Wolesi Jirga would not sit silent until the killers were prosecuted in Afghanistan. “If the international community does not play its role in punishing the perpetrators, the Wolesi Jirga would declare foreign troops as occupying forces, like the Russians,” Lali warned.

Nothing about the Afghan parliamentary probe in the US media. No surprise here.

(mondoweiss.net / 17.03.2012)

China calls on Israel to put an end to airstrikes on Gaza

Wounded Palestinian children (background) receive medical atttention at a hospital in Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip on March 12, 2012, following an Israeli air raid.

China is concerned about the escalation of the situation in Gaza.”

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Weimin

China has called on Israel to put an end to its airstrikes on the Gaza Strip after the Israeli premier vowed that the besieged enclave would be pounded “as long as necessary.”
“China is concerned about the escalation of the situation in Gaza,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Weimin said in a press briefing on Monday.

“We call upon the Israeli side to stop air raids against Gaza. We hope parties concerned can stop firing immediately in order to avoid casualties of innocent civilians.”

China’s reaction to Israel’s offensive against the blockaded region of Gaza came in the wake of a fresh wave of Israeli air raids on the impoverished area on Monday.

The raids claimed the lives of three more Palestinians, including a 15-year-old teenager, bringing the number of casualties to 21. Nearly 40 people were also injured in the Monday attack.

Benjamin Netanyahu warned a day earlier that Israel would continue its offensive against the blockaded enclave as long as it deems “necessary.”

The attacks began on Friday when Israeli jets launched air raids on the Gaza Strip, killing Zuheir al-Qessi, the head of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) and fellow-member Mahmud Hanani.

Israeli warplanes and ground forces have frequently attacked Gaza since the end of the 22-day war on the territory in 2009. Most victims of the raids are civilians, including women and children.

(www.presstv.com / 17.03.2012)

Slaughter in Gaza: Tel Aviv’s vain attempt to win an easy victory?

Netanyahu banked on the fact that Hamas would not use its advanced rockets as the group is out on the sidelines trying to calm things down

Israel believes that using the chaos of the Arab Spring and the divisions in Palestinian ranks besides attacking Gaza would prevent the formation of a unity government in Palestine. A new government would have put more pressure on Israel to initiate concrete measures towards reviving ‘the peace process’. Netanyahu is also taking advantage of the weakness of the Palestinian National Authority, which has reached a dead end in negotiations

The new slaughter in Gaza by the present right-wing Israeli government is seen by many observers (including Israelis) as an attempt to win a cheap and heinous victory at regional and international levels. It is also seen as a purposeful attempt to cover up the extreme shortcomings of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who failed to extract an American commitment from President Barack Obama to militarily deal with and put an end to the nuclear programme of Iran.

A majority of the Israeli public (58 per cent) opposes a unilateral Israeli strike against Iran without the full backing of the American government. Yet 48 per cent of Israelis support Netanyahu and his Defence Minister Ehud Barak who both advocate a pre-emptive Israeli strike against Iran. With the backdrop of Netanyahu’s failure in his talks on the issue with Obama, the right-wing Israeli government instigated the current slaughter in Gaza in the hope first to attain a cheap victory that would bring back the Israeli public’s trust in the invincibility of the Israeli military establishment.

Such a victory may have been planned by installing the Iron Dome batteries to destroy incoming rockets, this time inferior homemade ones fired by small Palestinian groups who do not have “advanced” rockets like Hamas. The Iron Dome was declared successful in this current crisis, yet it is a self-defeating scheme that will never succeed in facing the advance of Iranian rockets estimated to be in the tens of thousands.

Observers also noticed that Netanyahu’s attempt to win a cheap victory also stems from the fact that Hamas has decided that this is not the right time to retaliate with its superior rockets. Netanyahu knows that, thus he took advantage of the situation with Hamas being out on the sidelines trying to calm things down. The right-wing Israeli government does not want the Israeli public to start contemplating the dire effects of an Islamist iron fence being established around Israel. Therefore, a mini-crisis in Gaza could take attention away from this issue. Another reason behind the current strikes is that Israel believes that using the chaos of the Arab Spring and the divisions among Palestinian ranks on top of attacking Gaza would prevent the formation of a unity government in Palestine which would have instigated more pressure on Israel to come out with concrete steps towards reviving ‘the peace process’.

Netanyahu is also taking advantage of the extreme weakness of the Palestinian National Authority which reached a dead end in ‘the peace process’ without having a valid alternative in hand to keep the trust of the Palestinian public. Stalling for sometime to complete the Judaisation process of historical Palestine is the only Israeli policy available today. Gaining from the complete paralysis of the Arab world to pursue the Judaisation of Palestine without having to face the wrath of the Arab and Islamic worlds is the basic strategy of the Israeli government under Netanyahu’s leadership.

The slaughter in Gaza is giving the Israeli colonial/apartheid regime the military power to systematically assassinate Palestinian activists without facing legal action for its crimes. Meanwhile, Netanyahu seems to be preparing himself and his right-wing party to face the possible “wrath of Obama” — as some American journalists put it — in case he wins a second term. The alliance reached by Netanyahu with the Republican Party to prevent the American president from attaining a second term is going to haunt the Israeli prime minister and his Likud party after a Democratic win next November.

Therefore, only a big victory for Netanyahu in the next Israeli elections may shield him from such ‘wrath’. The Israeli prime minister is trying to portray himself in this Gaza crisis as a leader with an iron fist “who would never compromise the safety and security of the state of Israel under any circumstances”. By launching a military strike against Gaza without the full participation of Hamas and its ‘advanced’ rockets against the raids gives Netanyahu the high stature he seeks to win a big victory against his opponents in Israel. Finally, many Israeli military experts foresee a major operation against Israel coming from the Sinai Peninsula by fighters who are not even Palestinians. While the current killings in Gaza are designed to increase the popularity of Netanyahu, they are also going to increase the chances of such an operation recurring, according to the same Israeli experts. They expect a number of Israeli casualties as a result of these operations and some in Israel want it to happen in order to put the full blame upon Netanyahu’s head who is playing with the blood of innocent souls in Gaza and in Israel.

Playing with the blood of Palestinians does not gain anyone anything, except heinous criminality of the meanest kind. Creating a crisis in which many innocent souls perish does not always fulfil the planned scenario of its instigators.

Many a time a fabricated crisis aimed to shed blood took its instigators to where they dreaded to go, especially in this current slaughter in Gaza. After all, “the law of reciprocity” was revealed in the first place to Prophet Moses who declared: “Who lives by the sword, shall perish by sword”. And “the law of reciprocity” is an absolute law, a divine law that can never be stopped from being invoked.

Professor As’ad Abdul Rahman is the Chairman of the Palestinian Encyclopaedia.

(gulfnews.com / 17.03.2012)

Israel turns Gaza into testing field for weapons: Meshaa

Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) shakes hands with Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal during a meeting in Ankara, March 16, 2012.
Hamas Political Bureau Chief Khaled Meshaal has said that the Israeli military has turned the Gaza Strip into a testing field for its new weapons.
“Israel used Gaza as a field experiment for the Iron Dome [missile system]” and the weapons of the Israeli army, Israeli newspaper Jerusalem Post quoted Meshaal as saying in a surprise meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara late on Friday.

The Hamas leader also criticized the Israeli regime for using “fabricating excuses” to launch the recent attacks on the Gaza Strip.

At least 26 Palestinians have been killed and dozens of others injured in Israeli attacks on the coastal sliver since March 9.

Erdogan also lambasted the Israeli airstrikes on Gaza, saying that Tel Aviv was marking efforts to drag Palestinians into war.

Reports say Meshaal and Erdogan also discussed the ongoing reconciliation talks between Palestinian groups Hamas and Fatah.

“There are positive developments regarding relations between Hamas and Fatah. We will assess these developments,” Erdogan told reporters before the meeting.

Fatah, which controls the West Bank, and Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, have been trying to form a unity government based on an agreement brokered by Egypt and signed last year in Cairo.

(www.presstv.ir / 17.03.2012)

Canadian Jewish groups slam Israel warmongering

There is no evidence that Iran has developed nuclear weapons, and “it’s ironic that Israel has a very large nuclear stockpile and also has the backing of the US which has the largest nuclear stockpile.”

Activist of the Jewish Community in Canada Diana Ralph

The Jewish community in Canada has denounced Israel crimes against the Palestinians as well as its warmongering against Iran by organizing rallies to protest Tel Aviv policies, Press TV reports.
Jewish groups, particularly the Independent Jewish Voices of Canada (IJVC) have played a major role in organizing rallies against a war with Iran, a Press TV correspondent reported Saturday.

IJVC, founded in 2008, describes itself as representing the Jewish people in Canada who have in common a strong commitment to social justice and universal human rights. The organization was as a result of the national Independent Jewish Canadian Conference.

“There is no evidence that Iran has developed nuclear weapons, and it’s ironic that Israel has a very large nuclear stockpile and also has the backing of the US which has the largest nuclear stockpile,” IJVC activist, Diana Ralph told Press TV in Ottawa.

Activists say that the media campaign against Iran has also helped Israel mask its treatment of the Palestinian people.

The United States, the Israeli regime, and some of their allies have repeatedly accused Iran of pursuing military objectives in its nuclear program without offering any evidence verifying such allegations. Washington and Tel Aviv have threatened Tehran with the “option” of a military strike against its civilian nuclear facilities.

Iran argues that as a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has every right to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

The IAEA has conducted numerous inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities but has never found any evidence indicating that Tehran’s civilian nuclear program has been diverted towards nuclear weapons production.

(www.presstv.com / 17.03.2012)

Palestinian forces targeted in Syria explosion

Syrian security officials inspect the site of an explosion in Damascus in this handout photo distributed by the Syrian News Agency, March 17, 2012.

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A vehicle belonging to the Palestine Liberation Army exploded in Damascus’ Yarmouk refugee camp on Saturday, killing several people, sources in the city told Ma’an.

It was not immediately clear what caused the explosion, or who was behind it. Syrian authorities immediately cordoned off the area and prevented access to the site and photography. The number of casualties could not be independently verified from outside the country.

The explosion followed two large blasts targeting state security buildings in Damascus, killing security force personnel and civilians, which state television blamed on “terrorists” seeking to oust Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Syrian state TV did not confirm the blast in Yarmouk camp, which is home to the largest population of Palestinian refugees in Syria, lying 8 km from the center of Damascus.

The vehicle exploded near the headquarters of the General Command in the camp. The PLA was established as the armed wing of the PLO, but later integrated under Syrian military command and used to police refugee camps.

While PLA forces are historically linked to the military, a Damascus source noted security forces had threatened the camp just days earlier due to reported dissent.

A security official threatened to raid the camp due to Fatah’s alleged support of demonstrations against Syrian leader Bashar Assad, sources in the camp told Ma’an this week.

“Yarmouk is not more precious than (Homs neighborhood) Baba Amro, and it will be raided if the demonstrations which Fatah movement organizes” continue, a security agent was quoted as saying.

Palestinians have not been spared the deadly violence rocking Syria as Assad battles a year-long uprising against his rule.

In August, a Syrian assault on the port city Latakia killed dozens of Palestinians in Ramel refugee camp, and the UN said thousands of refugees fled the violence.

(www.maannews.net / 17.03.2012)

Where to Go, I’m Palestinian!

Posted on March 17, 2012 by Marivel Guzman in collaboration with Omar Karem

A Place Called Home

The story is similar to thousands of young people in Palestine, every one with minor variations. “I heard this before” somebody told me when I was inquiring about Omar Karem, the Palestinian journalist from Gaza. It’s not that he heard Omar Karem’s name before, but he heard  the same story before.
The harassment of journalists in Gaza is known by the activist community, no one want to be named, or be in the story because a lot of my activists friends dreaming with going to Gaza, and no one want to have trouble with Hamas before they even try to get inside Gaza.

It is not easy to enter Gaza, you might say why? if they need the exposure of the situation, why do Hamas makes it difficult for peace activists to enter Gaza?
There are many stories, really Not official stories, but people that live in Gaza and know the procedures and the politics of Gaza, know that you have to know somebody in the Government, be part of a convoy, or have terrific credentials. If you do not meet the requirements then you need an invitation from an organization from Gaza, specifying your purpose to visit Gaza, then you need to summit that invitation to the Egyptian embassy who at the end is the ultimate and sole authority for your transfer thru Egyptian Land to transit to Gaza, then even after you might have attained authorization or transit visa from the Egyptian Government, you still have to convince Hamas that you are not spy of US or Israel.

Recently I read an article published by a journalist who try to enter to Gaza and was denied because he did not have a “fixer” authorized by Hamas.

I have a dear friend in Gaza, his name Omar Karem by now you know this name, because  we have published few articles on him, related to his multiple arrest by Hamas, his crime taking pictures to share with the world, his photography experience, and his journalistic and photographic work.
He keeps repeating the same answer to the security forces, “my word is my weapon to help Palestine, my camera is my only tool to snap photos, to share to the world, to tell the world the atrocities that Israel commit in Gaza”.

Omar has been detained in numerous occasions by the security forces of Hamas, the first time when he was deported from Egypt on May 2009, after spending 7 months in an Egyptian prison, his crime!, being Palestinian. At his arrival in Gaza in May 2009 , he was kept in jail for one week, after numerous calls to family members, and government official he was finally released.

He is tired of the situation in Gaza, his future is uncertain, Gaza future is uncertain, Omar tried everything to stay sane in a a country, where everyday is surviving day. he has done what many young Palestinians have tried, going to school is a good way to stay sane, to keep the faith in the future, to learn new skills, to be prepare for..’when the Occupation ends’., and working to survive.

It is not easy to get hire in Gaza, there are no jobs in Gaza, the well paid jobs are by UN or other International Organizations but they do not hire Palestinians, and the other jobs that he can take are fill very fast, the opportunities are almost non existent. He become peace activist, journalist and photographer, but Hamas has kept a continual eye on him, why? he does not understand.
He was almost integral part of the Italian Convoy last year, he spend 9 days with them, serving as a guide, translator and companion, seems that this brought some attention from Hamas, he was harassed many times by the security forces, detained, interrogated, his laptop and phone confiscated few times, beat, threaten and there is no reason, he is being investigated in numerous occasions and nothing is found against him, and even after he was released, he still being harassed.

Last year after the last detention, he tried to leave Gaza, he got the authorization from Hamas and he got all his belongings and say good bye to family and friend, only to be returned from Egypt side with the explanation, after two arduous day, that he can not enter Egypt, “For Security Reasons”.

Every time that he has an encounter with Hamas, he has come out clean, well Omar said; “I do not belong to any political Party, I m peace activist, I write for blogs spreading Israel crimes, I want to liberate Palestine, I use my camera, I m not criminal, I m not spy, why do Hamas always attack me”.. Did Hamas become too Extreme?

There are other activists in Gaza that have been under the scrutinizer eye  of Hamas security forces, like Mohamed Mazzer author of GBO Manifesto, who has been arrested more than 20 times, his crime telling the truth.

We wonder what are the arguments to detain journalists and photographers whose only purpose is to give us to the world the events in Gaza, for Omar be treated as enemy is hurtful, he, that knows  the treatment from Israelis, while living in West Bank, and being detained for more than a year in Israel Prison for being Palestinian, for not carrying a permit, a piece of paper that should say that he is Palestinian, what ironic for Palestinians being punish for not having identification card, as if being born in Palestine is not enough.

 

After the March 15 March on 2011, the situation turned more gray for him, he was arrested 3 more times, and again his camera, his phone taken away, last December while photographing the tunnels in Rafah he was arrested reason, No reason, Hamas will say “non of your business”

“Please come with no banners, no flags, no colors, security forces please do not give bad image to the world. Do not copy the practices of Israel, we are tired of repression and oppression. Support us, in the new Palestine Nation that we all try to build. Tomorrow is a new day, to rectify the errors, to take lessons of the past. Inshallah”   Omar Karem, Gaza, March 15 2011 Palestine One Nation

 

“I’m Omar Karem, I’m Palestinian. I live in Gaza, Palestine, I want to denounce to the Minster of Interior office of Gaza, the actions of some of their  security officers, abusing their power, they are harassing the citizens of Gaza with out authorization from the Minister office .

On March18, 2011,They stopped me and took my laptop, phone, passport and personal that I was carrying with me that day, they took me to some rooms around the Unknown Soldier Plaza- and they hit, kick me, and threat me…and say bad words and called me Zionist, they said that  I work for American agenda.

Unknown Soldier square, in the room of the jendi mahur. I was going in my way to to sign for the internet, some security officers stopped me.they kick me, 10 or 15 men asking me questions,  before calling to the police station. They took, my passport, id card, my laptop,. They took the file for my cv,  my cell phone, all his certificates from journalism.”

He is organizer of  the Rachel Corrie memorial, and active member of touristic department in Gaza, helping restaurants and hotels to organize events, but none of that matters, he is treated as if he is enemy of Gaza, to the point that he feels unwanted and unwelcome in his own Land.

Last March 2, 2012,  again security forces went to his home, forcefully enter his home, destroyed most of his family pictures, important documents, they took his lap top, his passport,  and went to invade his personal files, he was blind folded and taken to a police station for investigation and release next day, without his passport or ID card, he was advice to report every week with them, they told him if they don’t find anything on him, they will return his passport, well they did not find anything and his passport was returned.

After few weeks of relative calm, he return to his “normal” life, going back to his journalist hobby and photography passion, on March 10, under Israel assault, suffering the fear of being the last day under the bombs, he decided to visit the cemetery to have a moment of quite and could not resist the temptation to shoot few pictures, Gaza Cemetery is a beautiful and peaceful place, and as a bad movie again Hamas security show out of nowhere telling  him, that he can not be there, that it was security area, as if the cemetery is less safe than any other place in Gaza, they demanded the ID, to what Omar told them, that he has the right to be there, that he was Palestinian, that he was just relaxing, they got mad and took his camera and phone and ask him to go next day to the police station to retrieve his items.

How sad, Gaza is being besieged by Israel, for the last two years they have been suffering the worse crisis in the last decade, for the last two months they barely have few hours of electricity, and to top all that Israel has been shelling Gaza for the last two weeks, and Hamas adding more sorrow to their lives, how cruel and insensitive of them.
I can understand that the Government want to be careful with persons, that they do not trust anybody, could be that Palestinians that have contact con internationals give the idea to Hamas to be working for a ‘foreign country’.

I came to this site to take photos of the trees and flowers, two security guards with out any reason came to me and took my camera and my phone, and told me that I shouldn’t be here, that this is security area, and that I put my self in danger and people of Gaza. They know the area of war,  Gaza cemetery its very nice, with orange and lemon trees,  grapefruit and flowers, This is the Gaza Strip’s eastern cemetery.
They told me you have to go at 10 clock, we will be waiting for you, to come to the station of special forces of (alamn aldakhly )
Why Hamas do this to me?, do they want to kill my will to fight against Israeli?, why they always always say, you cant be here, you cant take pics, some others have told me, that I may not stand to good because I live here, because I try to protect the people, I want the world  to watch how Israel kills the civilian population.
It’s not fair Hamas, You are wrong.”


After many times going to the station, they finally returned my phone, they call many of my friends and family, they did not gave me my camera, I have to go to talk to Interior Minister Ahmed Bahar, why I put me thru all these struggles, they are pushing me out of my land. They are making my life impossible to live.

I prepared myself to leave Gaza, and planing to go to Egypt, yesterday I was granted permission from Hamas to go to Egypt, and new surprise

Egyptian authorities tell me that I m in the black list and barred to visit Egypt, because I fought the Mubarack Regine, because I participated in many protests to open the Rafah border, now I feel more trapped than ever, the other place that I could go, has denied my right to dream, they have told me that I can not ever go to Egypt, what I suppose to do now?.

How to fight?, If my weapons are my words, How to fly? if my wings are clipped, How to leave?, when all the doors are closed,
Where to go?, when I don’t have a place to call home. I m Palestinian, This is my home, My Land. I born Palestinian, let me BE.

(akashmanews.com/ / 17.03.2012)

FACEBOOK PAGE ICAI2 UNDER ATTACK – ACTION REQUIRED NOW!


In solidarity with ICAI2 and it’s tireless admins we issue an  ACTION ALERT

Facebook Page ICAI2 reports latest news from Palestine and facts mostly not even published by media as well as many updates live from the ground from Palestine.

They strive to empower the Palestinian people and their cause, particularly that of nonviolent resistance to occupation and an incredible source of photography and resources.

Yesterday hateposts were posted on the page, inciting the page will be downed. This happens on Facebook mostly by the reporting tactics of hasbara recruits, which even get paid 92$ an hour (2000$ a month for spreading 5 hours of lies a week) and more. You can read about that in the storify story “Israel’s Web War Declaration”

Reporting is the tactic of the buttons. Israel does not like truth. It does not matter. Buttons do to mute.

Posts like depicted below were posted on the wall of the page:

Because hasbara has no facts but only lies, they only offend.Israel and it’s recruits  shout and shoot but never the truth.

Lately the page of Izzat Resheq was downed and other Palestinian politicians , previously also of famous football player Marcelo Vieira de Silva Junior and of course of many online activists in solidarit with or from Palestine as well. Facebook seems to bother more about the number of reports than about the necessity of content for humanity, so we issue this:

ACTION ALERT

Go and Like Facebook Page ICAI2 and spread this appeal, share their request on your page and ask your friends to do the same.

Click to go to ICAI2


(occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com / 17.03.2012)