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Human Rights through Human Wrongs? Or: The Palestine Peace Process

A regular feature in Common Sense is a word of reflection or recent letter from the leader of the Islamic Party of Britain, David Musa Pidcock The following is his contribution to issue 20 of Common Sense.

A Word from the Leader

After what happened in Europe to certain sections of the Jews, one would have thought that the conditions of Palestinians, living in what is now called the State of Israel, would have been much better than it is. Sadly, however, as the most recent bombing illustrates, the State of Israel is devoid of human rights for all. The bombing, on the one hand, is a symptom of Israeli injustice and on the other a symptom of the ignorance of how we, as Muslims, should respond to acts of oppression by our enemies. Furthermore, the enemy within is far more dangerous than the one with a different qiblah. Today, all "Islamic" countries and regimes - including the West Bank of Palestine - are ruled by non-fundamentalist Islamic governments. Name one, if you can, which operates - or allows to operate - a truly halal monetary system on its soil, which is the essential, indispensable precondition for being truly deserving of the epithet "Fundamentalist". Name one 'Islamic' State in which you can obtain genuine, interest-free credit. Lamentably, of course, you cannot. Therefore, our arguments and criticisms - however justified - about the way Israel treats its original and lawful Palestinian inhabitants are seriously compromised, if, at the same time, we fail to criticise or challenge the dangerous enemy within our very midst - the so-called 'Islamic Bankers' who - like Korah, mentioned in the Old Testament - are simply ibni, ibni Qarun.

The Palestinian Children of Abraham and Ishmael are clearly undergoing a serious test of character along with the non-Semitic followers of their religion Islam/Shalom. It is a new version of Cain and Abel with the offspring of Isaac and Ashkenaz firmly in the camp of Citizen Cain. Far be it for us, at such a distance, to tell our brothers and sisters to 'turn the other cheek', nor is it expected of them under the code of conduct in Islam not to retaliate when attacked. However, there is guidance in the Qur'an, to help us cope in such situations; to understand what rewards accrue to believers and what odium awaits the perpetrators of all injustice, in this world and the next (although, as Allah points out, the perpetrators of evil are not immediately made to account for their actions). The test being carried out is surely the perennial one God sets for humanity to see who among His creatures are true believers, a point clearly made in Surah 5 - al Maida - Verse 9ff. which states; "O you who believe! Stand out firmly For God, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others towards you make you swerve towards wrong and depart from Justice. Be just; that is next to Piety; and fear God, for (He) Allah is well-acquainted with all that you do. (10) To those who believe and do deeds of righteousness God has promised forgiveness and a great reward. (11) While those who reject faith and deny Our signs will be Companions of Hell-Fire. (12) O you who believe! Call in remembrance the favour of God unto you when certain men formed the design to stretch out their hands against you, but (Allah) held back their hands from you; so fear God. And on God let Believers place all their trust. (13) God did aforetime take a Covenant from the Children of Israel. And We appointed twelve Captains amongst them and God said: "I am With you if you establish regular prayers, practice regular charity, believe in My apostles, honour and assist them, and loan to God a beautiful loan, verily I will wipe out from you your evils, and admit you to Gardens with rivers flowing beneath; But if any of you, after this, resisteth faith, He has truly wandered from the path of rectitude." (14) And because of their breach of their (covenant) We cursed them (the Children of Israel) and made their hearts grow hard. (Furthermore) They change the words from their right places and forget a good part of the Message that was sent them, nor will you cease to find them bent on new deceits; But forgive them and overlook (their misdeeds) for Allah loveth those who are kind".

The Muslim Palestinians should not expect their Christian counterparts to be able to find solutions to their problems either, as verse (15) states: "For those, too, who call themselves Christians We did take a Covenant, but similarly they forgot a good part of the Message that was sent them: so We estranged them, with enmity and hatred between one and the other till the day of Judgment. And soon God will show them what ills they have done." Therefore, the only viable "Peace Process" to follow is that contained in verse (19) of al Maida: "O People of the Book! There has come to you Our Apostle, revealing to you much that you used to hide in the Book, and passing over much (that it now supersedes): There has come to you from God a new light and a perspicuous book (the Qur'an) wherewith God guides all who seek His good pleasure to ways of Shalom and Safety, And leadeth them out of darkness, by His Will, unto the light, - guiding them to a Path that is straight... (20) Both the Jews and the Christians say: "We are sons of God, and His beloved'," Say (in response) "Why then does He punish you for your sins? On the contrary, you are but men, of the men He has created: He forgives and punishes whom He pleases, and to Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and all that lies in between: And to Him is the final goal of all. (21) O People of the Book! Now has come unto you Our Apostle, making things clear, after the break in the series of Our apostles, lest you should say: "There came unto us no bringer of glad tidings and no warner from evil": But now there has come unto you a bringer of glad tidings and a warner from evil, and God has power over all things."

Following the Balfour Declaration, by comparison, the people who opposed the re-arrival of Israel into the Holy Land of Palestine in 1917 were too weak and powerless to stop them, which was in marked contrast to the fierce Canaanites who faced them in the time of Moses (Peace be upon him). Verse 22 contains the following account: "Remember Moses said to his people: "O my people! Call in remembrance the favour of God unto you, when he produced prophets from among you, made you kings, and gave you what He had not given to any other among the peoples." (23) "O my people! enter the Holy land which God hath assigned unto you, and turn not back ignominiously, for then will you be overthrown, to your ruin." (24) They said: "O Moses! in this land are a people of exceeding strength: Never shall we enter it until they leave it: If once they leave, then we shall enter," (25) "But among their God-fearing men were two (Joshua and Caleb) on whom God had bestowed His grace: They said; "Assault them at the proper Gate; when once you are in, Victory will be yours; (26) But on God put your trust if you have faith." (27) They said: "O Moses! While they remain there, never shall we be able to enter, to the end of time. Go thou and Thy Lord, and fight ye two, while we sit here and watch". (28) He said: "0 my Lord! I have power only over myself and my brother: So separate us from this rebellious people!" (29) Allah said: "Therefore will the land be out of reach for forty years: In distraction will they wander through the land: But sorrow thou not over these rebellious people." (30) "Recite to them the truth of the story of the two sons of Adam. Behold! they each presented a sacrifice to God. It was accepted from one, but not the other. The latter (Cain) said: "Be sure I will slay thee." Said the former (Abel): "Surely, God doth accept the sacrifice of those who are righteous (31) "If you stretch out your hand against me to slay me, it is not for me to stretch out my hand against you to slay you: for I do fear Allah the Cherisher of th Worlds. (32) For me, I intend to let you draw on yourself my sin as well as your own. For you will be among the companions of the Fire, and that is the reward for those who do wrong. (33) The selfish soul of the other led him to the murder of his brother; he murdered him, and became one of the lost ones ...(35) On that account We ordained for the Children of Israel that if any one slew a person - unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land - It would be as if he slew the whole people, and if he saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people. Then although there came to them Our prophets with clear signs, yet, even after that, many of them continued to commit excesses in the land. (36) The punishment of those who wage war against God and his Apostle, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land. That is their disgrace in this world and a heavy punishment is theirs in Hereafter. (37) Except those who repent before they fall into your power: In that case, know that Allah is Oft-forgiving Most Merciful."

The above rules still apply to all people. Therefore, even in a legitimate war of liberation - as against a secular, Zionist State like Israel - and even though it is not possible to make lasting peace with the enemies of God, Allah says that there should be no indiscriminate acts of war carried out against civilian targets as the end never justifies the means. Furthermore, the sins of any innocent bystander who may be killed in such an action will be placed on the perpetrator's own soul.

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