Thoughts and Truth from the Impossible Life

The True History Palestine

The True History Palestine

In the 2nd century c.e., the last attempt of the Jews to achieve independence from the Roman Empire ended with the well-known event of Masada, that is historically documented and universally recognized as the fact that determined the Jewish Diaspora in a definitive way. The Land where these things happened was until then the province known as Judæa , and there is no mention of any place called “Palestine” before that time. The Roman emperor Hadrian was utterly upset with the Jewish Nation and wanted to erase the name of Israel and Judah from the face of the Earth, so that there would be no memory of the country that belonged to that rebel people. He decided to replace the denomination of that Roman province and resorted to ancient history in order to find a name that might appear appropriate, and found that an extinct people that was unknown in Roman times, called “Philistines”, was once dwelling in that area and were enemies of the Israelites. Therefore, according to Latin spelling, he invented the new name: “Palæstina”, a name that would be also hateful for the Jews as it reminded them their old foes. He did so with the explicit purpose of effacing any trace of Jewish history. Ancient Romans, as well as modern Palestinians, have fulfilled the Hebrew Scriptures Prophecy that declares: “They lay crafty plans against Your People… they say: ‘come, let us wipe them out as a nation; let the name of Israel be remembered no more’.” – Tehilim 83:3-4 (Psalm 83:3-4). They failed, as Israel is still alive. Any honest person would recognize that there is no mention of the name Palestina in history before the Romans renamed the province of Judea, that such name does not occur in any ancient document, is not written in the Bible, neither in the Hebrew Scriptures nor in the Christian Testament, not even in Assyrian, Persian, Macedonian, Ptolemaic, Seleucian or other Greek sources, and that not any “Palestinian” people has ever been mentioned, not even by the Romans that invented the term. If “Palestinians” allegedly are the historic inhabitants of the Holy Land, why did they not fight for independence from Roman occupation as Jews did? How is it possible that not a single Palestinian leader heading for a revolt against the Roman invaders is mentioned in any historic record? Why there is not any Palestinian rebel group mentioned, as for example the Jewish Zealots? Why every historic document mentions the Jews as the native inhabitants, and the Greeks, Romans and others as foreigners dwelling in Judea, but not any Palestinian people, neither as native nor as foreigner? What is more, there is no reference to any Palestinian people in the qur’an (koran), although muslims claim that their prophet was once in Jerusalem (an event that is not mentioned in the koran either). It appears evident that he did not meet any Palestinian in his whole life, nor his successors did either. Caliph Salahuddin al-Ayyub (Saladin), knew the Jews and kindly invited them to settle in Jerusalem, that he recognized as their Homeland, but he did not know any Palestinian… To claim that Palestinians are the original people of Eretz Yisrael is not only against secular history but also against Islamic history!
The name “Falastin” that Arabs today use for “Palestine” is not an Arabic name, but adopted and adapted from the Latin Palæstina . How can an Arab people have a western name instead of one in their own language? Because the use of the term “Palestinian” for an Arab group is only a modern political creation without any historic or ethnic grounds, and did not indicate any people before 1967. An Arab writer and journalist declared:

“There has never been a land known as Palestine governed by Palestinians. Palestinians are Arabs, indistinguishable from Jordanians (another recent invention), Syrians, Iraqis, etc. Keep in mind that the Arabs control 99.9 percent of the Middle East lands. Israel represents one-tenth of one percent of the landmass. But that’s too much for the Arabs. They want it all. And that is ultimately what the fighting in Israel is about today… No matter how many land concessions the Israelis make, it will never be enough”.

- Joseph Farah, “Myths of the Middle East” -

Let us hear what other Arabs have said:

“There is no such country as Palestine. ‘Palestine’ is a term the Zionists invented. There is no Palestine in the Bible. Our country was for centuries part of Syria. ‘Palestine’ is alien to us. It is the Zionists who introduced it”.

- Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi, Syrian Arab leader to British Peel Commission, 1937 -

“There is no such thing as Palestine in history, absolutely not”.

- Professor Philip Hitti, Arab historian, 1946 -

“It is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing but Southern Syria”.

- Representant of Saudi Arabia at the United Nations, 1956 -

Concerning the Holy Land, the chairman of the Syrian Delegation at the Paris Peace Conference in February 1919 stated:

“The only Arab domination since the Conquest in 635 c.e. hardly lasted, as such, 22 years”.

The preceding declarations by Arab politicians have been done before 1967, as they had not the slightest knowledge of the existence of any Palestinian people. How and when did they change their mind and decided that such people existed? When the State of Israel was reborn in 1948 c.e., the “Palestinians” did not exist yet, the Arabs had still not discovered that “ancient” people. They were too busy with the purpose of annihilating the new Sovereign State and did not intend to create any Palestinian entity, but only to distribute the land among the already existing Arab states. They were defeated. They attempted again to destroy Israel in 1967, and were humiliated in only six days, in which they lost the lands that they had usurped in 1948. In those 19 years of Arab occupation of Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip, neither Jordan nor Egypt suggested to create a “Palestinian” state, since the still non-existing Palestinians would have never claimed their alleged right to have their own state… Paradoxically, during the British Mandate, it was not any Arab group but the Jews that were known as “Palestinians”!

What other Arabs declared after the Six-Day War:

“There are no differences between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. We are all part of one nation. It is only for political reasons that we carefully underline our Palestinian identity… yes, the existence of a separate Palestinian identity serves only tactical purposes. The founding of a Palestinian state is a new tool in the continuing battle against Israel”.

- Zuhair Muhsin, military commander of the PLO and member of the PLO Executive Council -

“You do not represent Palestine as much as we do. Never forget this one point: There is no such thing as a Palestinian people, there is no Palestinian entity, there is only Syria. You are an integral part of the Syrian people, Palestine is an integral part of Syria. Therefore it is we, the Syrian authorities, who are the true representatives of the Palestinian people”.

- Syrian dictator Hafez Assad to the PLO leader Yassir Arafat -

“As I lived in Palestine, everyone I knew could trace their heritage back to the original country their great grandparents came from. Everyone knew their origin was not from the Canaanites, but ironically, this is the kind of stuff our education in the Middle East included. The fact is that today’s Palestinians are immigrants from the surrounding nations! I grew up well knowing the history and origins of today’s Palestinians as being from Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Christians from Greece, muslim Sherkas from Russia, muslims from Bosnia, and the Jordanians next door. My grandfather, who was a dignitary in Bethlehem, almost lost his life by Abdul Qader Al-Husseni (the leader of the Palestinian revolution) after being accused of selling land to Jews. He used to tell us that his village Beit Sahur (The Shepherds Fields) in Bethlehem County was empty before his father settled in the area with six other families. The town has now grown to 30,000 inhabitants”.

- Walid Shoebat, an “ex-Palestinian” Arab -

How long do “Palestinians” live in “Palestine”?

According to the United Nations weird standards, any person that spent TWO YEARS (!!!) in “Palestine” before 1948, with or without proof, is a “Palestinian”, as well as all the descendants of that person. Indeed, the PLO leaders eagerly demand the “right” of all Palestinians to come back to the land that they occupied before June 1967 c.e., but utterly reject to return back to the land where they lived only 50 years before, namely, in 1917 c.e. Why? Because if they agree to do so, they have to settle back in Iraq, Syria, Arabia, Libya, Egypt… and only a handful Arabs would remain in Israel (by Israel is intended the whole Land between the Yarden River and the Mediterranean Sea, plus the Golan region). It is thoroughly documented that the first inhabitants of Eretz Yisrael after some centuries were the Jewish pioneers, and not the Arabs so-called Palestinians. Some eyewitnesses have written their memories about the Land before the Jewish immigration:

“There is not a solitary village throughout its whole extent (valley of Jezreel, Galilea); not for thirty miles in either direction… One may ride ten miles hereabouts and not see ten human beings. For the sort of solitude to make one dreary, come to Galilee… Nazareth is forlorn… Jericho lies a mouldering ruin… Bethlehem and Bethany, in their poverty and humiliation… untenanted by any living creature… A desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds… a silent, mournful expanse… a desolation… We never saw a human being on the whole route… Hardly a tree or shrub anywhere. Even the olive tree and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil had almost deserted the country… Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes… desolate and unlovely…”.

- Mark Twain, “The Innocents Abroad”, 1867 -

Where had the Palestinians been hidden that Mark Twain did not see them? Where was that “ancient” people in the mid XIX century c.e.? Of course, modern biased Arab politicians try to discredit Mark Twain and insult and blame him of racism. Yet, it seems that there were other people that did not achieve in recognizing a single Palestinian in those times and earlier:

“In 1590 a ‘simple English visitor’ to Jerusalem wrote: ‘Nothing there is to bescene but a little of the old walls, which is yet remayning and all the rest is grasse, mosse and weedes much like to a piece of rank or moist grounde’.”.

- Gunner Edward Webbe, Palestine Exploration Fund,
Quarterly Statement, p. 86; de Haas, History, p. 338 -

“The land in Palestine is lacking in people to till its fertile soil”.

- British archaeologist Thomas Shaw, mid-1700s -

“Palestine is a ruined and desolate land”.

- Count Constantine François Volney, XVIII century French author and historian -

“The Arabs themselves cannot be considered but temporary residents. They pitched their tents in its grazing fields or built their places of refuge in its ruined cities. They created nothing in it. Since they were strangers to the land, they never became its masters. The desert wind that brought them hither could one day carry them away without their leaving behind them any sign of their passage through it”.

- Comments by Christians concerning the Arabs in Palestine in the 1800s -

“Then we entered the hill district, and our path lay through the clattering bed of an ancient stream, whose brawling waters have rolled away into the past, along with the fierce and turbulent race who once inhabited these savage hills. There may have been cultivation here two thousand years ago. The mountains, or huge stony mounds environing this rough path, have level ridges all the way up to their summits; on these parallel ledges there is still some verdure and soil: when water flowed here, and the country was thronged with that extraordinary population, which, according to the Sacred Histories, was crowded into the region, these mountain steps may have been gardens and vineyards, such as we see now thriving along the hills of the Rhine. Now the district is quite deserted, and you ride among what seem to be so many petrified waterfalls. We saw no animals moving among the stony brakes; scarcely even a dozen little birds in the whole course of the ride”.

- William Thackeray in “From Jaffa To Jerusalem”, 1844 -

“The country is in a considerable degree empty of inhabitants and therefore its greatest need is of a body of population”.

- James Finn, British Consul in 1857 -

“There are many proofs, such as ancient ruins, broken aqueducts, and remains of old roads, which show that it has not always been so desolate as it seems now. In the portion of the plain between Mount Carmel and Jaffa one sees but rarely a village or other sights of human life. There are some rude mills here which are turned by the stream. A ride of half an hour more brought us to the ruins of the ancient city of Cæsarea, once a city of two hundred thousand inhabitants, and the Roman capital of Palestine, but now entirely deserted. As the sun was setting we gazed upon the desolate harbor, once filled with ships, and looked over the sea in vain for a single sail. In this once crowded mart, filled with the din of traffic, there was the silence of the desert. After our dinner we gathered in our tent as usual to talk over the incidents of the day, or the history of the locality. Yet it was sad, as I laid upon my couch at night, to listen to the moaning of the waves and to think of the desolation around us”.

- B. W. Johnson, in “Young Folks in Bible Lands”: Chapter IV, 1892 -

“The area was underpopulated and remained economically stagnant until the arrival of the first Zionist pioneers in the 1880′s, who came to rebuild the Jewish land. The country had remained “The Holy Land” in the religious and historic consciousness of mankind, which associated it with the Bible and the history of the Jewish people. Jewish development of the country also attracted large numbers of other immigrants – both Jewish and Arab. The road leading from Gaza to the north was only a summer track suitable for transport by camels and carts… Houses were all of mud. No windows were anywhere to be seen… The plows used were of wood… The yields were very poor… The sanitary conditions in the village [Yabna] were horrible… Schools did not exist… The rate of infant mortality was very high… The western part, toward the sea, was almost a desert… The villages in this area were few and thinly populated. Many ruins of villages were scattered over the area, as owing to the prevalence of malaria, many villages were deserted by their inhabitants”.

- The report of the British Royal Commission, 1913 -

The list of travellers and pilgrims throughout the XVI to the XIX centuries c.e. that give a similar description of the Holy Land is quite longer, including Alphonse de Lamartine, Sir George Gawler, Sir George Adam Smith, Siebald Rieter, priest Michael Nuad, Martin Kabatnik, Arnold Van Harff, Johann Tucker, Felix Fabri, Edward Robinson and others. All of them found the land almost empty, except for Jewish communities in Jerusalem, Shechem, Hevron, Haifa, Safed, Irsuf, Cæsarea, Gaza, Ramleh, Acre, Sidon, Tzur, El Arish, and some towns in Galilee: Ein Zeitim, Pekiin, Biria, Kfar Alma, Kfar Hanania, Kfar Kana and Kfar Yassif. Even Napoleon I Bonaparte, having seen the need that the Holy Land would be populated, had in mind to enable a mass return of Jews from Europe to settle in the country that he recognized as theirs’ – evidently, he did not see any “Palestinian” claiming historical rights over the Holy Land, whose few inhabitants were mainly Jews.

Besides them, many Arab sources confirm the fact that the Holy Land was still Jewish by population and culture in spite of the Diaspora:
·In 985 c.e. the Arab writer Muqaddasi complained that in Jerusalem the large majority of the population were Jewish, and said that “the mosque is empty of worshippers…” .
·Ibn Khaldun, one of the most creditable Arab historians, in 1377 c.e. wrote:
“Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel extended over 1400 years… It was the Jews who implanted the culture and customs of the permanent settlement”.
After 300 years of Arab rule in the Holy Land, Ibn Khaldun attested that Jewish culture and traditions were still dominant. By that time there was still no evidence of “Palestinian” roots or culture .
·The historian James Parker wrote: “During the first century after the Arab conquest [670-740 c.e.], the caliph and governors of Syria and the [Holy] Land ruled entirely over Christian and Jewish subjects. Apart from the Bedouin in the earliest days, the only Arabs west of the Jordan were the garrisons”.
Even though the Arabs ruled the Land from 640 c.e. to 1099 c.e., they never became the majority of the population. Most of the inhabitants were Christians (Assyrian and Armenian) and Jews.

If the historic documents, comments written by eyewitnesses and declarations by the most authoritative Arab scholars are still not enough, let us quote the most important source for muslim Arabs:

“And thereafter We [Allah] said to the Children of Israel: ‘Dwell securely in the Promised Land. And when the last warning will come to pass, we will gather you together in a mingled crowd’.”.

- Qur’an 17:104 -

Any sincere muslim must recognize the Land they call “Palestine” as the Jewish Homeland, according to the book considered by muslims to be the most sacred word and Allah’s ultimate revelation.

 

December 25, 2012 Posted by | Christianity / God, Islamorealism, Israeli-Palestinian Issues, Politics/Government/Freedom, Societal / Cultural Issues, Understanding Islam, World Affairs | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Debunking the Assumption that Palestine is a Country

See on Scoop.itTruth Revealed

Much thanks to Eli Hertz for this comprehensive, exhaustive historical deconstruction of the lie told around the world.

Palestine is a Geographical Area, Not a Nationality.

In an interview with Republican Presidential Primary front-runner and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, a former Professor and Historian, he explains his position on the Arab-Israeli conflict and states that the Palestinians are “an invented Palestinian people, who are in fact Arabs.”

It is time to tell the truth that is based on facts:

Until the Jews began returning to the Land of Israel in increasing numbers from the late 19th century to the turn of the 20th, the area called Palestine was a deserted waste land that belonged to the Ottoman Empire, based in Turkey.

‘Palestinianism’ in and of itself lacks any substance of its own. Arab society on the West Bank and Gaza suffer from a deep social cleavage created by a host of rivalries based on divergent geographic, historical, sociological and familial allegiances.

What glues Palestinians together is a carefully nurtured hatred of Israel and the rejection of Jewish nationhood.

Palestinians

“All [that Palestinians] can agree on as a community is what they want to destroy, not what they want to build.”1 New York Times Columnist Thomas Friedman

The Palestinians’ claim that they are an ancient and indigenous people fails to stand up to historic scrutiny. Most Palestinian Arabs were newcomers to British Mandate Palestine. Until the 1967 Six-Day War made it expedient for Arabs to create a Palestinian peoplehood, local Arabs simply considered themselves part of the ‘great Arab nation’ or ‘southern Syrians.’

There is no age-old Palestinian people. Most so-called Palestinians are relative newcomers to The Land of Israel.

Palestinian Arabs cast themselves as a native people in “Palestine” – like the Aborigines in Australia or Native Americans in America. They portray the Jews as European imperialists and colonizers. This is simply untrue.

Until the Jews began returning to the Land of Israel in increasing numbers from the late 19th century to the turn of the 20th, the area called Palestine was a God- forsaken backwash that belonged to the Ottoman Empire, based in Turkey.

The land’s fragile ecology had been laid waste in the wake of the Arabs’ 7th- century conquest. In 1799, the population was at it lowest and estimated to be no more than 250,000 to 300,000 inhabitants in all the land.2

At the turn of the 20th century, the Arab population west of the Jordan River (today, Israel and the West Bank) was about half a million inhabitants and east of the Jordan River perhaps 200,000.3

The collapse of the agricultural system with the influx of nomadic tribes after the Arab conquest that created malarial swamps and denuded the ancient terrace system eroding the soil, was coupled by a tyrannous regime, a crippling tax system and absentee landowners that further decimated the population. Much of the indigenous population had long since migrated or disappeared. Very few Jews or Arabs lived in the region before the arrival of the first Zionists in the 1880s and most of those that did lived in abject poverty.

CONTINUED:

See on raymondjclements.wordpress.com

November 25, 2012 Posted by | Islamorealism, Israeli-Palestinian Issues, Politics/Government/Freedom, Societal / Cultural Issues, Understanding Islam, World Affairs | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Inside the Muslim mind

There are slogans which call for death to blasphemers, death to America. The strong longing to detest, bringing death and destruction upon oneself or others is deeply embedded in these slogans; the desire to kill the “culprit” not through the application of law but mob justice

What we find today is that it is only Islam and its followers which are privileged to be the focus of the entire world. Islam, though a minority religion of the world is struggling hard to excel all other religions being “youngest” of all the other “divine” religions.

Almost all the Muslims—by and large— maintain similar views on life and the material world yet the Muslims of Pakistan are notorious for their “love for Islam”, while the rightful claimant still remains Saudi Arabia.

The “family” of the Prophet and people from Mecca and Medina has always expressed their superiority over all other Muslims. Since Islam was primarily a religion of the Arab desert, at second place in “prestige” come the other Arab Muslims. The non-Arab Muslims fall at the third place. However, the philosophy of Islam underscores universality which when translated into ground realities assumes the form of “forced occupation” or imperialism. The first lesson of Islam states: “No God but Allah”; a complete negation of all the other religions, beliefs and cultures. Hence, Muslims do not consider other religions as legitimate religions but heresy and desire their elimination. ‘True’ Muslims do not understand that calling adherents of other religions as heretics is a great insult to religion itself. Everybody following any religion considers his or her to be the true, while it is only Islam which deems itself not only the “true religion” it also aspires for the total annihilation of all other religions. This diversion distinguishes Islam from all other spiritual belief systems while it assumes the form of a political religion which endeavours to establish its authority and hegemony all over the world.

When a belief system carries political considerations, it also begins to feel pride in being “true”. This leads to delusions causing aggressive tendencies. To advance aggression one needs material resources, whereas Muslims are deficient in education, scientific and technological advancement as well as political stature. This deficit causes them to become intolerant since all the material, economic and political power is in possession of the West. Hence, the Saudi rulers from the royal family employ all their economic resources and petrodollars to invade the world in another way. The strategy begins with spreading the extremist Wahabi doctrine in Muslim states to accomplish“spiritual occupation”; a goal achieved quite successfully. A large number of mosques and religious schools have been set up propagating Wahabi philosophy presented as “true Islam”. Trousers above the ankles and Arab-style burqas are now very popular in our country while most of the jehadi and extremist organizations belong to the Saudi brand of Islam which also enjoys the backing of our security establishment. The Saudis have also made efforts to pitch all Muslims of the world against the West and followers of all other religions. Hence, it is Islam vs. the rest of the world. Saudi Arabia is actively involved through the advancement of particular beliefs, culture and political objectives. In short, Saudi imperialism is spreading in the name of Islam.

The basic ideology of Islam and the Muslim mindset clearly establishes that there is no pluralism in Islam. And this is the reason why mainstream Muslims cannot live alongside people from other religions and cultures. They consider it against their belief system. They strongly feel that all the non-Muslims are heretics and are involved in hatching conspiracies against them. Such material is written in the Quran and in our text books which we teach our children. Therefore, most Muslims do not consider diversity as indicative of the beauty of nature and humanity and that is the primary reason why minorities live a miserable life in the Muslim countries [often regarded as second class citizens]. Efforts are even made in the Muslim countries to eliminate minorities. Harshest of laws and attitudes exist in Saudi Arabia. It is therefore not possible that the civilized world and the Islamified Muslim world can integrate or even co-exist.

The Muslims foster a strong desire that the whole world should treat them in a preferential way as well as respect Islam while they keep calling every non-Muslim a heretic. They should have the allowance to live their lives according to their beliefs and values while they would not become part of any other religion or culture. They would remain a separate entity, demand separate rules for themselves overlooking the fact that the Western society is no more religious or “divine” in character rather it is driven by humane considerations and is founded on values which mankind has found useful after gaining experience of thousands of years based on rationality and science. On the other hand, the Muslims consider male oriented tribal Arab traditions of the desert as ideal not only for themselves but for the entire world.

A majority of the Muslims do not consider man-made disciplines of any real value. The rights and civil liberties which most Muslims demand in non-Muslim countries do not exist even in their own countries. These do not exist either in Islam, which like most religions happens to envisage an authoritarian, centrist and theocratic state. Here there is no concept of individual freedom. If a single demand of the Muslims is conceded to by a Western country, they would put forth another; till such time that the whole society would divide on the basis of Muslim and non-Muslim. The story would not end here; the next demand would be the establishment of an Islamic state.

Today even if we look at our own society, we find violence and authoritarianism as part of our national psyche. As if the Caliphs still rule the world and we are a super power. This attitude can be gauged by going through the slogans written on banners seen all across the country:

Gustakh-e-Rasul ki saza, Sar tan say juda” or “hand us over the blasphemer”.

The expression “Gustakh” itself is an expression of power. It translates into “How dare you”. Then there are slogans which call for death to blasphemers, death to America, Islam zindabad and kufr murdabad. The strong longing to detest, bringing death and destruction upon oneself or others is deeply embedded in these slogans; the desire to kill the “culprit” not through the application of law but mob justice.

How many heads would roll as the Muslim world is fast losing rationality, humanity and a civilized existence.

Arshad Mahmood is a columnist,freelance writer and a social activist.

 

Original Article:  http://www.viewpointonline.net/inside-the-muslim-mind.html

October 7, 2012 Posted by | Christianphobia, Islamorealism, Politics/Government/Freedom, Societal / Cultural Issues, Understanding Islam, World Affairs | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

THE MYTH THAT PALESTINIAN ARABS OWN THE LAND THAT FORMED ISRAEL

THE MYTH THAT PALESTINIAN ARABS OWN THE LAND THAT FORMED ISRAEL

While working to create new, multiple states, Great Britain (with the cooperation of the League of Nations, an early proto-type of the United Nations) decided they would also offer an opportunity for Jews all over the world to return to their homeland. This invitation was called the Balfour Declaration. Needless to say, grateful Jews responded with terrific enthusiasm. Indeed, many children of Abraham did migrate from Russia, Western Europe and other corners of the globe where they had lived for some two-thousand years in ghettos, at the mercy of pogroms or harsh policies of Ant-Semitic governments.

A homeland of their own had been a hopeful vision to the Jews for two millennia. The most familiar Jewish toast (common at Passover celebrations) said, “Next year in Jerusalem.” But few thought they were reciting much more than a pipe dream. Now they could really, truly return to Jerusalem! Just imagine how this must have felt! The Jews were going to sojourn to a country of their own, and not just any country; the very land of their ancestors, a land where a remnant of Jews had remained since ancient times, living side by side with Muslims and Christians who also had interests in Palestine and who viewed it as their Holy Land too.

What exactly was offered to the Hebrew immigrants by the League of Nations? Everything we would today call Israel, everything we would today call Jordan and most of what we would today call “the occupied territories.”

When the Jews arrived, many of them purchased land from Arab lords. In time, a terrain that had been little more than a desolate, flee-bitten combination of swamps and deserts, swiftly turned green with farmlands and transplanted trees. The economy also boomed, transforming this area in such an amazing way, that the term metamorphosis barely does justice. New jobs were created, resulting in an influx of Arabs from other regions who now saw Palestine as a land of opportunity and employment made possible by Jewish farmers and businessmen recently arrived from Europe.

What was the proportion of Arabs and Jews in Palestine prior to the Balfour Declaration? The truth is, there was really only a handful of each people group, because again, the swamp-like conditions limited the kind of life one could realistically enjoy in the Holy Land. The famous American author, Mark Twain, wrote as much after his own personal visit. He was surprised how desolate the Holy Land was, how little was going on there and how few people inhabited the area.

All of this changed when the League of Nations invited Jews to resettle their ancient home. Ironically, it was after Jewish business created a surplus of jobs that Arabs flooded into the territory en mass, creating a situation where the Arabs greatly outnumbered the Jews.

We continue now with our true/false quiz:

True or False? The Arabs who lived in this area were never allowed to have their own separate Palestinian state.

ANSWER: FALSE: In paradoxical fashion, the double-dealing British, after inviting the Jews to return, sold over 75 percent of Palestine to the Arabs, creating a new country called, Trans-Jordan. This is an extremely important and seldom taught fact. Please catch this: 75 percent of what had been offered to the Jews was sold behind their backs to the Arabs instead! Not only were the Arabs offered a “separate Palestinian state” long ago; but they have been living in one since the early part of the Twentieth Century. It’s called Jordan, a country three times the size of what remained for the Jews.

The Jews accepted this betrayal, only because they had no choice. After all, a sliver of the promise was better than no land at all.

But the Arabs didn’t want the Jews to have even a sliver and fresh controversy broke out over what to do with the remaining 25 percent.

http://bobsiegel.blogtownhall.com/2008/02/27/thetruth_about_israel_and_palestine_part_five.thtml

 

June 2, 2012 Posted by | Israeli-Palestinian Issues, Politics/Government/Freedom, Societal / Cultural Issues, Understanding Islam, World Affairs | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Gaza and Judea and Samaria are Israeli

There is no such place as the West Bank. The name for this part of Israel is Judea and Samaria.

Prior to the First World War, all of the area known to Europeans as Palestine was part of the Ottoman Empire. In the 1920 San Remo conference, the victorious Allies allocated the area to the British Mandate of Palestine. The 1948 Arab-Israeli War saw the establishment of Israel in parts of the former Mandate, while Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) was captured and annexed by Jordan, which destroyed any existing Jewish villages. The 1949 Armistice Agreements defined its interim boundary. From 1948 until 1967, the area was under Jordanian occupation, and Jordan did not officially relinquish its claim to the area until 1988. Jordan’s claim was not recognized by most other countries. Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) was liberated by Israel during the Six-Day War. Most of the residents are Arabs, including a large population of Christian Arabs, although large numbers of Israelis have returned since the liberation settling in Israeli settlements that have been built in the region. Most of the Arab portions of the West Bank are administered by the Palestinian National Authority.

Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) have an anomalous international status, since Jordan’s occupation was never recognized as legitimate by most countries, and Jordan relinquished its territorial claims. The area is not occupied under the strict definition of international law, since it is not territory of another sovereign, but most countries consider Israeli rule as legitimate, except Islamic Arab countries that are using these areas as excuses for Anti-Semitism and Anti-Israel. Israeli courts apply most aspects of international law regarding occupation to cases where it is relevant.

April 30, 2012 Posted by | Constitutional Issues, Politics/Government/Freedom, Societal / Cultural Issues, Understanding Islam, World Affairs | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Who was Mohammad

Who was Muhammad?

How accurate is the Quran?

How has the Quran been rewritten over the last 1400 years?

These questions and many more are answered in Living by the Point of my Spear – a thoroughly researched biography of Mohammed, revealing the hidden facts about Muhammad’s sayings and deeds that have disappeared from history for 1,400 years – concealed by the use of the old Arabic language, to fool other nations into thinking that Muhammad was a true prophet. Concealed by the deliberate methods of Muhammad himself, who frequently rewrote the prophecies he supposedly told and concealed through generations of followers who have rewritten and falsely interpreted the Quran.

Zaki Ameen is a Muslim and former Imam, who having researched the history of Muhammad and the origins of the Muslim faith, uncovered shocking facts about the Quran and about Muhammad’s life. Living by the Point of My Spear lets you follow Zaki Ameen’s journey of discovery to uncover the dark side of Muhammad.

The biography of Muhammad is addressed and dedicated primarily to Arabs and Muslims, however all readers will find content that is interesting, well researched and informative. Written from the perspective of a Muslim, it is free from any western influences and is researched solely from Arabic literature and sources.

Being a former Imam of a mosque, Zaki Ameen understands the Arabic mentality and the suffering of Muslims as individuals and as a society. Living by the Point of My Spear is the first time ever that an Arab has spoken out with such honesty and clarity on the secret truth of Muhammad.

Different sections of the book investigate the secret of Islam’s longevity, how Muhammad frequently rewrote the Quran using a method called Abrogation and how the Quran has been rewritten since the time of Muhammad. It also explores how Mohammad received his ‘prophecies’, questioning the nature of Jibreel, the inspiring angel, whom he claimed inspired many of his prophecies – some of which he would then rewrite or remove completely the next day on some new guidance.

The book looks in detail at the prophet Muhammad’s relationship with Abu Sufyan and at how Muhammad viewed and treated women, slaves and other nations, including the Turks. It shows how he perpetuated the image of his own holiness, creating laws sentencing those who disagreed with him to death and imposing different taxes on the nation’s he conquered, depending on their loyalty.

The book focuses particularly on two sections of the Quran – the Tawba chapters and how the so called Satanic Verses were explained away.

If you wish to discover the true biography of Muhammad and the true history of the Muslim nations, then Living by the Point of my Spear is the book for you.

Living by the Point of my Spear is now available on amazon.com. or an eBook from Felibri for less than $5!

Copyright

You may copy, republish or translate any of the extracts listed in the left-hand column of this page without prior permission from the author (though a credit and link to this website would be appreciated). http://myspear.org

You are likewise free to copy, print, distribute or republish the Arabic language version of Living by the Point of My Spear.
All other material is copyright (2009) to Zaki Ameen and all rights are reserved. This includes the English version of the book itself – Living by the Point of My Spear.

Zaki Ameen

A large section of the book is available to download for free from Google Books here: Living by the Point of My Spear

SOVIET RUSSIA, THE CREATORS OF THE PLO AND THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE

SOVIET RUSSIA, THE CREATORS OF THE PLO AND THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE

by Wallace Edward Brand

How Soviet Russia created the “peace process” and incited the Muslim world against the US.

The “peace process” is a charade. The revelations of the highest ranking Soviet bloc defector, Major General Ion Mihai Pacepa, show that the peace process is, and has from the outset, been nothing but a charade.

It all started with the creation of a fictitious “Palestinian People” who allegedly demand political self determination. This collective noun was created by the Soviet disinformation masters in 1964 when they created the Palestinian Liberation Organization, the “PLO”. The term “Palestinian People” as a descriptive of Arabs in Palestine appeared for the first time in the preamble of the 1964 PLO Charter, drafted in Moscow. The Charter was affirmed by the first 422 members of the Palestinian National Council, handpicked by the KGB.

Why in Moscow? The 1960s and 1970s were the years the Soviets were in the business of creating “liberation organizations”: for Palestine and Bolivia in 1964, Columbia 1965, in the 70s “The Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia” that bombed US airline offices in Europe, and “The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine that bombed Israelis.” But the PLO, was by far its most enduring success.

Pacepa has written[1]

For nearly four decades, the PLO has been the largest, wealthiest, and most politically connected terrorist organization in the world. For most of that time, it was held in the firm grip of Yasser Arafat’s iron fist. But Arafat was not the fierce, independent actor he posed as; he was completely dependent on the Soviet KGB and its surrogate Warsaw Pact intelligence services for arms, training, logistical support, funds, and direction.

According to Pacepa his KGB handlers included Vasali Samoylenko, Vladimir Buljakov, and Soviet “Ambassador” Alexander Soldatov. Arafat’s closest friend and head of PLO intelligence, Hani Hassan, was actually an agent of the DIE, the Romanian subsidiary of the KGB.

In the PLO Charter preamble they actually had to use the phrase “Palestinian Arab People” to exclude those Jews who had retained a presence in Palestine since Biblical times and had been a majority population in Jerusalem as early as 1845. Romanian Communist dictator Ceausescu, at Soviet urging, persuaded Arafat to abandon his claim of wanting to annihilate the Jews in Israel in favor of “liberating the Palestinian People” in Israel.

Why? A brilliant strategy. That was the first step in reframing the conflict between the Arabs and the Jews from religious jihad to secular nationalism in a quest for political self determination, a posture far less offensive to the West. By focusing on political liberation for a small group of Arabs, it ignored the fact that Israel is a small state whose existence is threatened by the surrounding Arab states. These are states that outnumber its population many fold with Muslims who are commanded by an extreme form of their religion to kill infidels to take back land formerly controlled by Muslims. It creates Jews, ignoring they are a small group, as oppressors of an even smaller discrete group of Arabs, described in the Charter as Palestinian Arabs excluding those in Jordan, Judea, Samaria and Gaza. (After the 1967 war, and the Isreali conquest of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, the exclusions for Arabs in those areas were removed the Charter). It transforms the Jews from victims to oppressors.

The Arabs in Palestine had been engaged in religious jihad at least since 1929 when they massacred 69 Jews in Hebron, egged on by Haj Amin al Husseini, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. He had imported the Brotherhood’s vicious jihadist doctrines into Palestine from Egypt. Now, mirabile dictu, jihad became “liberation”. The religiously motivated attacks on Jews were turned into “resistance” from oppression motivated by secular nationalism. This will explain to you why, whenever the Arabs attacked the Jews thereafter, they said they were “resisting”.

In his book, History Upside Down,[2] David Meir Levi puts it this way:

“Arafat was particularly struck by Ho Chi Minh’s success in mobilizing left-wing sympathizers in Europe and the United States, where activists on American campuses, enthusiastically following the [propaganda] line of North Vietnamese operatives, had succeeded in reframing the Vietnam war from a Communist assault on the south to a struggle for national liberation. Ho’s chief strategist, General Giap, made it clear to Arafat and his lieutenants that in order to succeed, they too needed to redefine the terms of their struggle. Giap’s counsel was simple but profound: the PLO needed to work in a way that concealed its real goals, permitted strategic deception, and gave the appearance of moderation:”Stop talking about annihilating Israel and instead turn your terror war into a struggle for human rights. Then you will have the American people eating out of your hand.”

At the same time that he was getting advice from General Giap, Arafat was also being tutored by Muhammad Yazid, who had been minister of information in two Algerian wartime governments (1958-1962): wipe out the argument that Israel is a small state whose existence is threatened by the Arab states, or the reduction of the Palestinian problem to a question of refugees; instead, present the Palestinian struggle as a struggle for liberation like the others. Wipe out the impression that in the struggle between the Palestinians and the Zionists, the Zionist is the underdog. Now it is the Arab who is oppressed and victimized in his existence because he is not only facing the Zionists but also world imperialism.

To make sure that they followed this advice, the KGB put Arafat and his adjutants into the hands of a master of propaganda: Nicolai Ceausescu, president-for-life of Romania.

For the next few years, Ceausescu hosted Arafat frequently and gave him lessons on how to apply the advice of Giap, Yazid, and others in the Soviet orbit. Arafat’s personal “handler,” Ion Mihai Pacepa, the head of the Romanian military intelligence, had to work hard on his sometimes unruly protege. Pacepa later recorded a number of sessions during which Arafat railed against Ceausescu’s injunctions that the PLO should present itself as a people’s revolutionary army striving to right wrongs and free the oppressed: he wanted only to obliterate Israel. Gradually, though, Ceausescu’s lessons in Machiavellian statecraft sank in. During his early Lebanon years, Arafat developed propaganda tactics that would allow him to create the image of a homeless people oppressed by a colonial power. This makeover would serve him well in the west for decades to come.”

Brezhnev, according to Pacepa, carried it one step farther when Carter came into office. He suggested to Pacepa that Carter might fall for Yassir Arafat PRETENDING to renounce violence and pretending to seek peace negotiations. He persuaded Arafat to do this by telling him that the West would shower him with gold and glory. It did. Billions of dollars and a Nobel prize. Ceausescu warned Arafat he would have to pretend over and over again. Abbas is still pretending.

James Woolsey, former CIA director has been reported as stating that Pacepa is credible. Pacepa’s account is also corroborated by Zahir Muhsein, a member of the PLO executive board. In an interview by the Dutch newspaper Trouw in 1977, he stated that there is no such thing as the “Palestinian People”, that the term’s use is a political ploy, and there is no quest for political self-determination — that as soon as the Jews have been wiped out, sovereignty would be turned over to Jordan. Hafez Assad also has stated there was no “Palestinian People”; that prior to 1964 the Arabs in Palestine called themselves “citizens of Greater Syria”.

During WWI the British offered the local Arabs self determination if they helped in the war against the Ottoman Empire but the local Arabs fought on the side of the Ottomans to the eternal gratitude of the Turks.

This is from Pacepa’s article in National Review Online[3].

“In 1972, the Kremlin decided to turn the whole Islamic world against Israel and the U.S. As KGB chairman Yury Andropov told me [Pacepa], a billion adversaries could inflict far greater damage on America than could a few millions. We needed to instill a Nazi-style hatred for the Jews throughout the Islamic world, and to turn this weapon of the emotions into a terrorist bloodbath against Israel and its main supporter, the United States. No one within the American/Zionist sphere of influence should any longer feel safe.”According to Andropov, the Islamic world was a waiting petri dish in which we could nurture a virulent strain of America-hatred, grown from the bacterium of Marxist-Leninist thought. Islamic anti-Semitism ran deep. The Muslims had a taste for nationalism, jingoism, and victimology. Their illiterate, oppressed mobs could be whipped up to a fever pitch.”

Again from the National Review Online article, Pacepa writes:[3]

“In the mid 1970s, the KGB ordered my [Rumanian intelligence] service, the DIE — along with other East European sister services — to scour the country for trusted party activists belonging to various Islamic ethnic groups, train them in disinformation and terrorist operations, and infiltrate them into the countries of our “sphere of influence.” Their task was to export a rabid, demented hatred for American Zionism by manipulating the ancestral abhorrence for Jews felt by the people in that part of the world. Before I left Romania for good, in 1978, my DIE had dispatched around 500 such undercover agents to Islamic countries. According to a rough estimate received from Moscow, by 1978 the whole Soviet-bloc intelligence community had sent some 4,000 such agents of influence into the Islamic world.In the mid-1970s we also started showering the Islamic world with an Arabic translation of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a tsarist Russian forgery that had been used by Hitler as the foundation for his anti-Semitic philosophy. We also disseminated a KGB-fabricated “documentary” paper in Arabic alleging that Israel and its main supporter, the United States, were Zionist countries dedicated to converting the Islamic world into a Jewish colony.

We in the Soviet bloc tried to conquer minds, because we knew we could not win any military battles. It is hard to say what exactly are the lasting effects of operation SIG. But the cumulative effect of disseminating hundreds of thousands of Protocols in the Islamic world and portraying Israel and the United States as Islam’s deadly enemies was surely not constructive.”

You can find additional revelations in Pacepa’s biography, Red Horizons and in a Front Page magazine interview with him:[4].

Conclusion

The current violence both in Israel and around the rest of the world is a third wave of Islamic Jihad or Holy War, with the violence in Israel disguised by the Soviets as secular nationalism in a quest for political self determination. As a consequence, Israel is the West’s first line of defense. Russia is still the enemy of Israel and the United States.

End Notes

[1]  William F. Jasper, “The Real Terror Paymasters,” The New American, September 3, 2007,

http://209.157.64.200/focus/news/1914334/posts.

[2]  David Meir-Levi, History Upside Down (Encounter Books, 20Dec07, ISBN-10: 1594031924).

[3] T Pacepa, “Russian Footprints” National Review Online, August 24, 2006

http://article.nationalreview.com/289014/russian-footprints/ion-mihai-pacepa.

[4]  The Front Page Magazine interview conducted by Jamie Glazov is archived at http://97.74.65.51/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=13975
See also:
http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2007/08/how-the-kgb-cre.html Pacepa’s book “Red Horizons” was published here and abroad with varying subtitles. In the United States, “Red Horizons” was subtitled: “The True Story of Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu’s Crimes, Lifestyle, and Corruption.” In foreign editions, the subtitles selected were “Chronicles of a Communist Spy Chief” and “Extraordinary Memoirs of a Communist Spy Chief.”
Wallace Edward Brand is a retired lawyer living in Virginia.

Israel Under Fire

No Such Thing as a Palestinian (paulmarcelrene.wordpress.com)

Palestine 2.0 a Gun Aimed at Every Jew (paulmarcelrene.wordpress.com)

Western Wall – Al-Kotel Al-Ma’aravi (paulmarcelrene.wordpress.com)

March 12, 2012 Posted by | Politics/Government/Freedom, Societal / Cultural Issues, Understanding Islam, World Affairs | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Debunking the Biggest Lie Palestinian

Monday, December 12, 2011

DEBUNKING THE BIGGEST LIE: “PALESTINIAN”

Much thanks to Eli Hertz for this comprehensive, exhaustive historical deconstruction of the biggest lie told round the world.

Palestine is a Geographical Area, Not a Nationality December 11, 2011 | Eli E. Hertz

In an interview with Republican Presidential Primary front-runner and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, a former Professor and Historian, he explains his position on the Arab-Israeli conflict and states that the Palestinians are “an invented Palestinian people, who are in fact Arabs.”
It is time to tell the truth that is based on facts:
Until the Jews began returning to the Land of Israel in increasing numbers from the late 19th century to the turn of the 20th, the area called Palestine was a deserted waste land that belonged to the Ottoman Empire, based in Turkey.
‘Palestinianism’ in and of itself lacks any substance of its own. Arab society on the West Bank and Gaza suffer from a deep social cleavage created by a host of rivalries based on divergent geographic, historical, sociological and familial allegiances.
What glues Palestinians together is a carefully nurtured hatred of Israel and the rejection of Jewish nationhood.

Palestinians

“All [that Palestinians] can agree on as a community is what they want to destroy, not what they want to build.”1 New York Times Columnist Thomas Friedman
The Palestinians’ claim that they are an ancient and indigenous people fails to stand up to historic scrutiny. Most Palestinian Arabs were newcomers to British Mandate Palestine. Until the 1967 Six-Day War made it expedient for Arabs to create a Palestinian peoplehood, local Arabs simply considered themselves part of the ‘great Arab nation’ or ‘southern Syrians.’

There is no age-old Palestinian people. Most so-called Palestinians are relative newcomers to The Land of Israel.

Palestinian Arabs cast themselves as a native people in “Palestine” – like the Aborigines in Australia or Native Americans in America. They portray the Jews as European imperialists and colonizers. This is simply untrue.

Until the Jews began returning to the Land of Israel in increasing numbers from the late 19th century to the turn of the 20th, the area called Palestine was a God- forsaken backwash that belonged to the Ottoman Empire, based in Turkey.

The land’s fragile ecology had been laid waste in the wake of the Arabs’ 7th- century conquest. In 1799, the population was at it lowest and estimated to be no more than 250,000 to 300,000 inhabitants in all the land.2

At the turn of the 20th century, the Arab population west of the Jordan River (today, Israel and the West Bank) was about half a million inhabitants and east of the Jordan River perhaps 200,000.3

The collapse of the agricultural system with the influx of nomadic tribes after the Arab conquest that created malarial swamps and denuded the ancient terrace system eroding the soil, was coupled by a tyrannous regime, a crippling tax system and absentee landowners that further decimated the population. Much of the indigenous population had long since migrated or disappeared. Very few Jews or Arabs lived in the region before the arrival of the first Zionists in the 1880s and most of those that did lived in abject poverty.

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Most Arabs living west of the Jordan River in Israel, the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and Gaza are newcomers who came from surrounding Arab lands after the turn of the 20th century because they were attracted to the relative economic prosperity brought about by the Zionist Movement and the British in the 1920s and 1930s.4

This is substantiated by eyewitness reports of a deserted country – including 18th-century reports from the British archaeologist Thomas Shaw, French author and historian Count Constantine Volney (Travels through Syria and Egypt, 1798), the mid-19th-century writings of Alphonse de Lamartine (Recollections of the East, 1835), Mark Twain (Innocents Abroad, 1867), and reports from the British Consul in Jerusalem (1857) that were sent back to London.5

The Ottoman Turks’ census (1882) recorded only 141,000 Muslims in the Land of Israel. The real number is probably closer to 350,000 to 425,000, since many hid to avoid taxes. The British census in 1922 reported 650,000 Muslims.

Aerial photographs taken by German aviators during World War I show an underdeveloped country composed mainly of primitive hamlets.6 Ashdod, for instance, was a cluster of mud dwellings, Haifa a fishing village. In 1934 alone, 30,000 Syrian Arabs from the Hauran moved across the northern frontier into Mandate Palestine, attracted by work in and around the newly built British port7 and the construction of other infrastructure projects. They even dubbed Haifa Um el-Amal (‘the city of work’).

The fallacy of Arab claims that most Palestinians were indigenous to Palestine – not newcomers – is also bolstered by a 1909 vintage photograph of Nablus, today an Arab city on the West Bank with over 121,000 residents. Based on the number of buildings in the photo taken from the base of Mount Gerizim, the population in 1909 – Muslim Arabs and Jewish Samaritans – could not have been greater than 2,000 residents.8

Family names of many Palestinians attest to their non-Palestinian origins. Just as Jews bear names like Berliner, Warsaw and Toledano, modern phone books in the Territories are filled with families named Elmisri (Egyptian), Chalabi (Syrian), Mugrabi (North Africa).

Palestinian Nationality is an Entity Defined by its Opposition to Zionism, and not its National Aspirations

What unites Palestinians has been their opposition to Jewish nationalism and the desire to stamp it out, not aspirations for their own state. Local patriotic feelings are generated only when a non – Islamic entity takes charge – such as Israel did after the 1967 Six-Day War. It dissipates under Arab rule, no matter how distant or despotic.

A Palestinian identity did not exist until an opposing force created it – primarily anti-Zionism. Opposition to a non-Muslim nationalism on what local Arabs, and

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the entire Arab world, view as their own turf, was the only expression of ‘Palestinian peoplehood.’

The Grand Mufti Hajj Amin al-Husseini, a charismatic religious leader and radical anti-Zionist was the moving force behind opposition to Jewish immigration in the 1920s and 1930s. The two-pronged approach of the “Diplomacy of Rejection” (of Zionism) and the violence the Mufti incited occurred at the same time Lebanon, Syria, Transjordan and Iraq became countries in the post-Ottoman reshuffling of territories established by the British and the French under the League of Nation’s mandate system.

The tiny educated class among the Arabs of Palestine was more politically aware than the rest of Arab society, with the inklings of a separate national identity. However, for decades, the primary frame of reference for most local Arabs was the clan or tribe, religion and sect, and village of origin. If Arabs in Palestine defined themselves politically, it was as “southern Syrians.”

Under Ottoman rule, Syria referred to a region much larger than the Syrian Arab Republic of today, with borders established by France and England in 1920.

In his book Greater Syria: The History of an Ambition, Daniel Pipes explains:

“Syria was a region that stretched from the borders of Anatolia to those of Egypt, from the edge of Iraq to the Mediterranean Sea. In terms of today’s states, the Syria of old comprised Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan, plus the Gaza Strip

and Alexandria.”9 Syrian maps in the 21st century still co-opt most of Greater Syria, including

Israel.

The Grand Mufti Al-Husseini’s aspirations slowly shifted from pan-Arabism – the dream of uniting all Arabs into one polity, whereby Arabs in Palestine would unite with their brethren in Syria – to winning a separate Palestinian entity, with himself at the helm. Al-Husseini was the moving force behind the 1929 riots against the Jews and the 1936-1939 Arab Revolt against two non-Muslim entities in Palestine – the British and the Jews. He gathered a large following by playing on fears that the Jews had come to dispossess, or at least dominate the Arabs.

Much like Yasser Arafat, the Grand Mufti’s ingrained all-or-nothing extremism, fanaticism and even an inability to cooperate with his own compatriots made him totally ineffective. He led the Palestinian Arabs nowhere.10

The ‘Palestinian’ cause became a key rallying point for Arab nationalism throughout the Middle East, according to Oxford historian Avi Shlaim. The countries the British and French created in 1918-1922 were based largely on meridians on the map, as is evident in the borders that delineate the Arab states today. Because these states lack ethnic logic or a sense of community, their opposition to the national aspirations of the Jews has become the fuel that fires Arab nationalism as the ‘glue’ of national identity.

From the 1920s, rejection of Jewish nationalism, attempts to prevent the establishment of a Jewish homeland by violence, and rejection of any form of Jewish political power, including any plans to share stewardship with Arabs,

20092©00E9li©E.EHlei rEtz. Hertz 3 PalestiPnailaenstsinian

crystallized into the expression of Palestinianism. No other positive definition of an Arab-Palestinian people has surfaced. This point is admirably illustrated in the following historic incident:

“In 1926, Lord Plumer was appointed as the second High Commissioner of Palestine. The Arabs within the Mandate were infuriated when Plumer stood up for the Zionists’ national anthem Hatikva during ceremonies held in his honor when Plumer first visited Tel Aviv. When a delegation of Palestinian Arabs protested Plumer’s ‘Zionist bias,’ the High Commissioner asked the Arabs if he remained seated when their national anthem was played, ‘wouldn’t you regard my behavior as most unmannerly?’ Met by silence, Plumer asked: ‘By the way, have you got a national anthem?’ When the delegation replied with chagrin that they did not, he snapped back, “I think you had better get one as soon as possible.” 11

But it took the Palestinians more than 60 years to heed Plumer’s advice, adopting Anthem of the Intifada two decades after Israel took over the West Bank and Gaza in 1967 – at the beginning of the 1987 Intifada.

Under the Mandate, local Arabs also refused to establish an ‘Arab Agency’ to develop the Arab sector, parallel to the Jewish Agency that directed development of the Jewish sector.

In fact, the so-called patriotism of indigenous Muslims has flourished only when non-Muslim entities (the Crusaders, the British, the Jews) have taken charge of the Holy Land. When political control returns to Muslim hands, the ardent patriotism of the Arabs of Palestine magically wanes, no matter how distant or how despotic the government. One Turkish pasha who ruled Acco (Acre) between 1775 and 1804 was labeled Al Jazzar, The Butcher, by locals.

Why hasn’t Arab representative government ever been established in Palestine, either in 1948 or during the next 19 years of Arab rule? Because other Arabs co- opted the Palestinian cause as a rallying point that would advance the concept that the territory was up for grabs. “The Arab invasion of Palestine was not a means for achieving an independent Palestine, but rather the result of a lack of consensus on the part of the Arab states regarding such independence,” summed up one historian.12 Adherents to a separate Palestinian identity were a mute minority on the West Bank and Gaza during the 19 years of Jordanian and Egyptian rule – until Israel took control from the Jordanians and the Egyptians in 1967. Suddenly a separate Palestinian peoplehood appeared and claimed it deserved nationhood – and 21 other Arab states went along with it.

Palestinianism in and of itself lacks any substance of its own. Arab society on the West Bank and Gaza suffers from deep social cleavages created by a host of rivalries based on divergent geographic, historical, sociological and familial allegiances. What glues Palestinians together is a carefully nurtured hatred of Israel and the rejection of Jewish nationhood.

20092©00E9li©E.EHlei rEtz. Hertz 4 PalestiPnailaenstsinian

Palestine is a Geographical Area, Not a Nationality

The Arabs invented a special national entity in the 1960s called the Palestinians, specifically for political gain. They brand Israelis as invaders and claim the geographic area called Palestine belongs exclusively to the Arabs.

The word Palestine is not even Arabic. It is a word coined by the Romans around 135 CE from the name of a seagoing Aegean people who settled on the coast of Canaan in antiquity – the Philistines. The name was chosen to replace Judea, as a sign that Jewish sovereignty had been eradicated following the Jewish Revolts against Rome.

In the course of time, the Latin name Philistia was further bastardized into Palistina or Palestine.13 During the next 2,000 years, Palestine was never an independent state belonging to any people, nor did a Palestinian people, distinct from other Arabs, appear during 1,300 years of Muslim hegemony in Palestine under Arab and Ottoman rule.

Palestine was and is solely a geographic name. Therefore, it is not surprising that in modern times the name ‘Palestine’ or ‘Palestinian’ was applied as an adjective to all inhabitants of the area between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River – Palestine Jews and Palestine Arabs alike. In fact, until the 1960s, most Arabs in Palestine preferred to identify themselves merely as part of the great Arab nation or citizens of “southern Syria.”14

The term ‘Palestinian’ as a noun was usurped and co-opted by the Arabs in the 1960s as a tactic initiated by Yasser Arafat to brand Jews as intruders on someone else’s turf. He presented Arab residents of Israel and the Territories as indigenous inhabitants since time immemorial. This fabrication of peoplehood allowed Palestinian Arabs to gain parity with the Jewish people as a nation deserving of an independent state.

In a March 1977 interview in the Dutch newspaper Trouw, Zahir Muhsein, a member of the PLO executive committee, admitted:

“Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct Palestinian people to oppose Zionism.”15

Historically, Before the Arabs Fabricated the Palestinian People as an Exclusively Arab Phenomenon, No Such Group Existed

Countless official British Mandate-vintage documents speak of ‘the Jews’ and ‘the Arabs’ of Palestine – not ‘Jews and Palestinians.’16

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Ironically, before local Jews began calling themselves Israelis in 1948 (the name ‘Israel’ was chosen for the newly-established Jewish state), the term ‘Palestine’ applied almost exclusively to Jews and the institutions founded by new Jewish immigrants in the first half of the 20th century, before independence.

Some examples include: • The Jerusalem Post, founded in 1932, was called the Palestine Post until 1948.

• Bank Leumi L’Israel was called the “Anglo-Palestine Bank, a Jewish Company.” • The Jewish Agency – an arm of the Zionist movement engaged in Jewish

settlement since 1929 – was called the Jewish Agency for Palestine.

• The house organ of American Zionism in the 1930s was called New Palestine.

• Today’s Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, founded in 1936 by German Jewish refugees who fled Nazi Germany, was called the “Palestine Symphony Orchestra, composed of some 70 Palestinian Jews.”17

• The United Jewish Appeal (UJA) was established in 1939 as a merger of the United Palestine Appeal and the fundraising arm of the Joint Distribution Committee.

Encouraged by their success at historical revisionism and brainwashing the world with the ‘Big Lie’ of a Palestinian people, Palestinian Arabs have more recently begun to claim they are the descendants of the Philistines and even the Stone Age Canaanites.18 Based on that myth, they can claim to have been ‘victimized’ twice by the Jews: in the conquest of Canaan by the Israelites and by the Israelis in modern times – a total fabrication.19 Archeologists explain that the Philistines were a Mediterranean people who settled along the coast of Canaan in 1100 BCE. They have no connection to the Arab nation, a desert people who emerged from the Arabian Peninsula.

As if that myth were not enough, Arafat claimed “Palestinian Arabs are descendants of the Jebusites” displaced when King David conquered Jerusalem. Arafat also argued that “Abraham was an Iraqi.” One Christmas Eve, Arafat declared that “Jesus was a Palestinian,” a preposterous claim that echoes the words of Hanan Ashrawi, a Christian Arab, who in an interview during the 1991 Madrid Conference said: “Jesus Christ was born in my country, in my land,” claiming she was “the descendant of the first Christians” – disciples who spread the gospel around Bethlehem some 600 years before the Arab conquest. If her claim were true, it would be tantamount to confessing that she is a Jew!20

Contradictions abound, Palestinian leaders claim to be descended from the Canaanites, the Philistines, the Jebusites and the first Christians. They also co- opt Jesus and ignore his Jewishness, at the same time claiming the Jews never were a people and never built the Holy Temples in Jerusalem.

20092©00E9li©E.EHlei rEtz. Hertz 6 PalestiPnailaenstsinian

There has Never Been a Sovereign Arab State in Palestine

The artificiality of a Palestinian identity is reflected in the attitudes and actions of neighboring Arab nations who never established a Palestinian state. It also is expressed in the utterances and loyalties of so-called Palestinians.

Only twice in Jerusalem’s history has it served as a national capital. The first time was as the capital of the two Jewish Commonwealths during the First and Second Temple periods, as described in the Bible, reinforced by archaeological evidence and numerous ancient documents.

The second time is in modern times as the capital of the State of Israel. It has never served as an Arab capital for the simple reason that there has never been a Palestinian Arab state.

The rhetoric by Arab leaders on behalf of the Palestinians rings hollow, for the Arabs in neighboring lands, who control 99.9 percent of the Middle East land, have never recognized a Palestinian entity. They have always considered Palestine and its inhabitants part of the great ‘Arab nation,’ historically and politically as an integral part of Greater Syria – Suriyya al-Kubra – a designation that covered both sides of the Jordan River.21 In the 1950s, Jordan simply annexed the West Bank, since its population was viewed as brethren of the Jordanians. Jordan’s official narrative of “Jordanian state-building” attests to this fact:

“Jordanian identity underlies the significant and fundamental common denominator that makes it inclusive of Palestinian identity, particularly in view of the shared historic social and political development of the people on both sides of the Jordan. … The Jordan government, in view of the historical and political relationship with the West Bank … granted all Palestinian refugees on its territory full citizenship rights while protecting and upholding their political rights as Palestinians (Right of Return or compensation).”22

The Arabs never established a Palestinian state when the UN offered a partition plan in 1947 to establish “an Arab and a Jewish state” (not a Palestinian state, it should be noted). Nor did the Arabs recognize or establish a Palestinian state during the two decades prior to the Six-Day War when the West Bank was under Jordanian control and the Gaza Strip was under Egyptian control; nor did the Palestinians clamor for autonomy or independence during those years under Jordanian and Egyptian rule.

Well before the 1967 decision to create a new Arab people called ‘Palestinians,’ when the word ‘Palestinian’ was associated with Jewish endeavors, Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi, a local Arab leader, testified in 1937 before a British investigative body – the Peel Commission – saying: “There is no such country [as Palestine]! Palestine is a term the Zionists invented! There is no Palestine in the Bible. Our country was for centuries, part of Syria.”23

20092©00E9li©E.EHlei rEtz. Hertz 7 PalestiPnailaenstsinian

In a 1946 appearance before the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry, also acting as an investigative body, the Arab historian Philip Hitti stated:

“There is no such thing as Palestine in [Arab] history, absolutely not.” According to investigative journalist Joan Peters, who spent seven years researching the origins of the Arab-Jewish conflict over Palestine (From Time Immemorial, 2001) the one identity that was never considered by local inhabitants prior to the 1967 war was ‘Arab Palestinian.’24

Palestinian Cultural Contribution

Culturally, Palestinians cannot distinguish their endeavors from other Arabs. The only innovations Palestinians can take credit for are using skyjackings – which they initiated in 196825 as a political instrument, and suicide bombers – refined since the advent of the Oslo Accords in 1993 as a political weapon that now cynically is turning Arab’s own youth into suicide bombers that target other civilians.26 There is absolutely no precedent elsewhere in the world for the Palestinian 6th grade language primer that contains a poem exalting: “I will take my soul into my hands and hurl it into the abyss of death.”27 In the wake of the Palestinians’ newest guerrilla warfare against Israel, the al Aqsa Intifada launched by Arafat in September 2000, people are closely examining Palestinian claims to nationhood.

Barry Chamish, Dov B. Fischer, and countless others seek to ascertain the truth.28 If there is an ancient Palestinian history, why can’t they find any world- renowned Palestinian artists or scientists, or at least one Palestinian literary masterpiece or breakthrough invention – anything that distinguishes Palestinians as a people?29

Jordan – a State with a Palestinian Arab Majority

There is already a Palestinian state and a Palestinian people in everything but name: over 70 percent of all Jordanians are Palestinian Arabs. The British were assigned a Mandate over Palestine in 1920 in order to realize the 1917 Balfour Declaration that called for “establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine” – a geographical area that included western Palestine (today’s Israel and the West Bank) and Eastern Palestine (today’s Jordan). In 1923 Eastern Palestine, representing 77 percent of the Mandate territory, was excised to placate the Arabs, who opposed the idea of Jews returning to their ancient Jewish homeland. That 76 percent became a separate mandate, and in 1946 Eastern Palestine became the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan (later renamed “Jordan” after the Jordanians occupied the West Bank) – a country which today is in everything but name, a Palestinian state carved out of Mandate Palestine.30 A full 70 percent of all Jordanians are Palestinian Arabs, and Palestinians occupy key positions in Jordan’s government and its economy. Even the Queen — King Abdullah II’s wife, Rania, is Palestinian. The remaining 30 percent of Jordan’s population is

20092©00E9li©E.EHlei rEtz. Hertz 8 PalestiPnailaenstsinian

Bedouin, originating from the Arabian Peninsula, and including the Jordanian royal family, who hail from Mecca.

Arabs are not satisfied with one Palestinian political entity where they are the uncontested majority and have the political machinery and the territory for self- determination – Jordan. Instead, they want an additional state because twenty- one Arab states are not enough (and one Jewish state is one too many).

IN A NUTSHELL

• So-called ‘Palestinians’ are newcomers to Palestine. Most are generic Arabs who migrated to British Mandate Palestine from surrounding Arab countries to take advantage of the relative prosperity brought about by the Zionist Movement and the British Mandate.

• Palestine is a geographical area, not a nation. Before the establishment of Israel, members of two national entities – Palestinian Jews and Palestinian Arabs – inhabited Mandate Palestine.

• A Palestinian people was artificially created in the 1960s by the PLO after the Six-Day War to rob Jews of their homeland and historical identity, and to paint them as victimizers and trespassers. The objective is to lay the groundwork for creating another Arab state at the expense of the Jews – whom Arabs consider an alien and illegitimate political entity in the Middle East.

• Over seventy percent of all Jordanians define themselves as Palestinians. That there exists a separate Palestinian people from the Jordanian population is a fabrication designed to force the creation of a second Palestinian state.

This document uses extensive links via the Internet. If you experience a broken link, please note the 5 digit number (xxxxx) at the end of the URL and use it as a Keyword in the Search Box at http://www.MEfacts.com

Atlas Shrugs – Original Article

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Israel Under Fire

No Such Thing as a Palestinian (paulmarcelrene.wordpress.com)

Palestine 2.0 a Gun Aimed at Every Jew (paulmarcelrene.wordpress.com)

Western Wall – Al-Kotel Al-Ma’aravi (paulmarcelrene.wordpress.com)

Who Truly Deserves a State? The Kurds, not the Palestinians (iamiranaware.wordpress.com)

March 11, 2012 Posted by | Christianity / God, Politics/Government/Freedom, Societal / Cultural Issues, Understanding Islam, World Affairs | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Islam, Jihad, and Terrorism in Post Sept 11 Arabic Discussion Boards

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Islam, Jihad, and Terrorism in Post-9/11 Arabic Discussion Boards

  1. Rasha A. Abdulla

Article first published online: 6 JUN 2007

DOI: 10.1111/j.1083-6101.2007.00363.x

Issue

Journal of Computer‐Mediated Communication

Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication

Volume 12, Issue 3, pages 1063–1081, April 2007

 

Abstract

This study analyzed the contents of three of the most popular Arabic-language online message boards regarding the attacks of September 11, 2001 on the United States. Although terrorists claimed that the attacks were committed in the name of Islam, those who posted messages on all three forums rejected this claim. More than 43% of the messages condemned the attacks as a criminal act of terrorism that contradicts the core teachings of Islam. Some 30% saw some justification behind the attacks, even if they felt sorry for the victims and their families. However, those participants viewed the attacks as a political, rather than a religious, issue.

Introduction

Islam is the youngest, fastest growing, and perhaps most controversial of the three monotheistic religions. Following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States (henceforth, 9/11), Islam and Muslims started to come to the forefront of the Western media, albeit not for very positive reasons. Because Osama Bin Laden cited religious motives for his criminal attacks, a debate started brewing in the Western media over the true nature of Islam and whether or not it justified or even encouraged violence, particularly against non-Muslims. Many media outlets referred to the 9/11 terrorists simply as “Muslims,” which fueled stereotyping of Islam and did nothing to help stop the verbal and physical attacks taking place against Muslims in the U.S. at the time.

In an attempt to study how Muslims viewed the attacks from a religious point of view, this article examines the online message exchange on three major discussion boards in the Arab and Muslim world. Through a descriptive content analysis of these messages, the different viewpoints reiterated through Internet conversations are examined. This is an important medium in this part of the world (the Middle East), since most of the media are government-owned and controlled. The Internet, however, provides a relatively free expression forum for Middle Eastern audiences. It therefore has the potential to reveal Muslim points of view without governmental slanting of ideas in any particular political or religious manner.

Arabs and Muslims in the Western Media

At the outset, there is a need to differentiate between the terms “Arab” and “Muslim,” which tend to be used interchangeably in the Western media. Arabs are members of an ethnic group of people who reside in North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. Muslims are those who choose Islam as their religion. Most Arabs (more than 90%) are Muslims. However, the majority of Muslims are not Arabs. The majority of Muslims come from India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, all of which are non-Arab countries (Abdulla, 2007).

Long before the attacks of 9/11, Arabs had voiced their concerns about their image in the Western media. In 1980, journalist Djelloul Marbrouk noted that the Arab in American television stands for “terrorism, hijack, intractability, sullenous, perverseness, cruelty, oil, sand, embargo, boycott, greed, bungling, comedic disunity, primitive torture, family feuds, and white slavery” (Shaheen, 1980, n.p.). Shaheen quotes Newsweek regarding the image of an Arab on television, “He is swarthy and bearded, rich and filthy, dabbling in dope smuggling and white slavery; swaddled in white robes, he carries a curved knife, rides a camel and abuses young boys. He knows a thousand vile curses such as ‘May the fleas of a diseased camel infect the hair of your first born’” (n.p.). Shaheen provides examples of many programs that portrayed Arabs in a negative light in the late 1970s, from Hollywood pictures and productions such as VegasFantasy Island, andCharlie’s Angels to comic strips such as Brenda Starr and Dennis the Menace. He also provides examples of anti-Arab and anti-Muslim coverage from reputed news shows such as 60 Minutes and 20/20, in addition to regular news bulletins that associated Arabs and Muslims with terrorism.

A few years later, Shaheen (1984) noted that “the stereotype [of Arabs] remains omnipresent, appearing in new programs and dated reruns” (p. 113). Shaheen reports on an interview with a CBS Vice President who confirmed the notion, saying he “had never seen a ‘good Arab’ on TV,” and that Arabs are rather usually portrayed as “warmongers and/or covetous desert rulers” (p. 114). Indeed, Slade (1981)analyzed a poll of American attitudes and perceptions towards Arabs and found that Americans have little knowledge of Arab culture, history, or contributions to the world. She reported that Americans commonly think of Arabs as “anti-American,”“anti-Christian,”“unfriendly,” and “warlike.”

Christensen (2006a, b) argues that the spread of Islamophobia in the West is at least in part the responsibility of distorted and imbalanced media coverage. He argues that news programs are perceived usually as “serious” and “truthful” because journalism is associated in the public mind with objectivity and fairness. Western news stories, he says, tend to show a mosque, a minaret, or a veiled woman regardless of the nature of the story, even when the story is about terrorism. “The combination of stereotypical images adds up to a whole that is, in many ways, greater than the sum of its parts” (Christensen, 2006b, p. 30).

Said (1997) argues that the image of Islam in the U.S. media has always been influenced by a framework of politics and hidden interests and is therefore laden with “not only patent inaccuracy but also expressions of unrestrained ethnocentrism, cultural and even racial hatred, deep yet paradoxically free-floating hostility” (p. ii). He characterizes the image as involving “highly exaggerated stereotyping and belligerent hostility” (p. xi). Said, himself an American Christian scholar, states, “Malicious generalizations about Islam have become the last acceptable form of denigration of foreign culture in the West; what is said about the Muslim mind, or character, or religion, or culture as a whole cannot now be said in mainstream discussion about Africans, Jews, other Orientals, or Asians” (p. xii).

If this was the image before 9/11, things took a turn for the worse after the criminal attacks. Despite the fact that all Arab countries condemned the attacks, for the most part, voices communicated through the mass media still failed to differentiate between Arabs and Muslims, on one hand, and terrorists, on the other. Pintak (2006) reports on Eric Rouleau of Le Monde, who criticized the tendency to portray images of “Muslims praying, mosques or women in chadors to illustrate stories about extremism and terror” (p. 33-34). Pintak adds that after the events of 9/11, “the U.S. media immediately fell back on the prevailing—and stereotyped—narrative about Arabs and Muslims and reverted to its historic tendency to present the world, in Henry Kissinger’s words, as ‘a morality play between good and evil’” (p. 39).

Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR, 2001) noted that “many media pundits focused on one theme: retaliation. For some, it did not matter who bears the brunt of an American attack” (n.p.). For example, on September 12, 2001, Steve Dunleavy wrote in the New York Post: “The response to this unimaginable 21st-century Pearl Harbor should be as simple as it is swift—kill the bastards. A gunshot between the eyes, blow them to smithereens, poison them if you have to. As for cities or countries that host these worms, bomb them into basketball courts.” On September 11, former U.S. Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger commented on CNN, “There is only one way to begin to deal with people like this, and that is you have to kill some of them even if they are not immediately directly involved in this thing” (FAIR, 2001, n.p.).

On September 13, Bill O’Reilly, on his popular The O’Reilly Factor show on the Fox News Channel, said it “doesn’t make any difference” who you kill in the process of retaliation against the attacks (FAIR, 2001, n.p.). On the same day, syndicated columnist Ann Coulter wrote:

This is no time to be precious about locating the exact individuals directly involved in this particular terrorist attack…. We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity. We weren’t punctilious about locating and punishing only Hitler and his top officers. We carpet-bombed German cities; we killed civilians. That’s war. And this is war. (FAIR, 2001, n.p.)

At a meeting of the Global Policy Forum, Hans Giessmann of the University of Hamburg’s Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy criticized the Western media for how it “fully attributed blame for the September attacks on ‘Muslim terrorists’ and stopped there” (Inbaraj, 2002, n.p.). He added that “the media accepted the side effects of a stigmatization of religion, cultures, states, people and minorities and this paved the way for prejudices” (n.p.). Journalists at the meeting agreed that the media failed to provide context for their pictures and stories. That, they said, would have “allowed readers, viewers and listeners to gain a clear understanding of the background issues and of the clash on interpretations in a war where the lines were blurred between reporting and propaganda in a controlled atmosphere” (Inbaraj, 2002, n.p.).

Perhaps most offensive to Muslims was Reverend Jerry Falwell’s statement on 60 Minutes: “I think Mohammed was a terrorist. I read enough of the history of his life written by both Muslims and non-Muslims, that he was a violent man, a man of war” (CBS news, 2002, n.p.).

Statements like this coincided with and may have contributed to an increasing anti-Muslim sentiment. CNN reported that the anti-Islamic sentiment following 9/11 was spreading around the world. Several mosques in Europe and Australia were petrol-bombed by individuals who believed they were “doing the U.S. a favor.” In South Shields, Northern England, graffiti on a wall near a mosque read in red paint, “Avenge U.S.A. Kill a Muslim now” (Jones, 2001, n.p.).

Such trends in the American media coverage of the post 9/11 attacks were documented in several studies. Pintak (2006) reports on a content analysis of CBS newscasts carried out by the Center for Media and Public Affairs. The study found that in covering the war on Iraq, the network was “most supportive” of U.S. government policies (p. 44). Those who displayed an anti-war message or attitude were found to constitute fewer than 10% of interviewees on CBS Evening News with Dan Rather. The study concluded that CBS coverage was even more conservative than Fox News, which is seen as “the headquarters for patriotic fervor” (p. 44). Pintak further reports on another study by the U.S. Department of Defense, which analyzed U.S., European, and Middle Eastern newspapers. The study concluded that the American media “primed its audience to support the war,” while silencing opposition voices (p. 43).

Fadel (2002) conducted a content analysis of an Egyptian daily newspaper (Al Ahram) and an American daily newspaper (USA Today) in the three months following 9/11. The study showed that the top two subjects mentioned in relation to Arab countries in both newspapers were terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism. However, while Al Ahram stressed the Arab world’s condemnation of the attacks and of fundamentalism, USA Today linked Arabs to Islamic fundamentalism, terrorism, and extremism all over the world. The study also reported that the American newspaper “adopted a clear line of linking violence and terrorism with resisting Israeli occupation in parts of Lebanon and the Palestinian territories” (p. 451).

Gomaa (2002) conducted a content analysis of the image of Islam and Muslims in the American, French, and German press. She analyzed the International Herald TribuneLe Monde, and Frankfurter Allgemeine during the 50 days following 9/11. She reported that although the Herald focused on Osama Bin Laden as the party responsible for the attacks (even before any evidence had surfaced), the newspaper tackled the issue in light of Huntington’s (1993)“clash of civilizations” thesis and portrayed it as a start for a Crusade between Islam and the West. The Herald claimed that the Arab and Muslim countries have become a safe haven for terrorism and are breeding a “culture of violence” (p. 239). The study contrasted this with Le Monde’s coverage, which stressed the dangers of terrorism as a global issue that is not restricted to the Muslim world, and clarified the nature of Islam as a religion of tolerance and peace. The French newspaper focused its analysis on the importance of understanding the other and acquainting oneself with foreign civilizations. It stressed that the issue is not one of a clash of civilizations, but rather a clash between extremists and moderates within each civilization and across ethnicities and religions worldwide. In this light, the newspaper argued, France should support the U.S. not in a war against Islam but in a war against the terrorists who carried out these attacks on humanity. Still, the study reported that Le Monde reported negatively on the Arab and Muslim worlds in about 65% of its total coverage. This figure was up to 78% in the Herald, and 86.5% inFrankfurter Allgemeine. In its coverage of the sources of terrorism worldwide, the Herald linked terrorism with the Arab and Muslim world 96% of the time.

Chomsky (2001) asserted that the mainstream media in the U.S. constituted “well-run propaganda systems” whose capacity “to drive people to irrational, murderous, and suicidal behavior” should not be underestimated. He urged citizens to resist the notion of responding to terrorist crimes with more terror directed against civilian Muslims abroad but said the “hysterical” attitude of the media in such circumstances was not surprising (p. 69).

Pintak (2006) contended that the bias in American media after 9/11 constituted what could be called “jihad journalism” (pp. 42-44). He added that such slanted coverage was “the hallmark of the post-9/11 era” (p. 44). Fruit (2001) called it “a result of racist jingoism,” adding, “This is shocking but not surprising in the face of the Anti-Islamic, xenophobic hysteria in the media and from our ‘world-leaders’” (n.p.).

In light of the above literature, this study examines discussions about Islam in the Arabic-language postings of Arabs and Muslims after 9/11. It discusses whether those who posted messages thought Islamic teachings were the reason behind the attacks, and whether the attacks are considered acts of terrorism or acts of Islamic jihad.

The Arab World, 9/11, and the Internet

The latest estimates assess world Internet users in January 2007 at more than 1.1 billion (Internet World Stats, 2007). Out of this enormous number, the estimated number of users in the Arab world is about 18 million. However, with major developments in the Internet technology markets of Arab countries, the growth rate for users in the Arab world is exploding by a factor of 500% in some countries (Abdulla, 2007).

Arabic portals have started growing on the Internet. Several websites now offer Arabs the full service of a Web portal, including email services, search engines, news, culture, sports, art, music, discussion forums, and blogs. Islamic portals also offer information about the religion, recitations and interpretations of the Quran, and religious teachings, as well as sections for Muslims to communicate with Islamic scholars through posting questions whose answers appear on the websites. Arabs and Muslims have taken to discussion boards on the Internet, since they provide an alternative to the otherwise primarily government-owned and government-controlled media systems. These discussion boards cover a variety of topics, including politics, sports, culture, religion, and civic society.

Some scholars believe that discussion forums and bulletin boards can help people get through difficult times in an almost therapeutic manner (James, Wotring, & Forrest, 1995; Rosson, 1999). After the attacks of 9/11, a variety of online bulletin boards were dedicated to discussing the event and sharing sentiments of grief and anger. In addition, most online news outlets had a discussion board dedicated to 9/11. These included, for example, The New York Times, CNN, and USA Today.

Arab and Islamic portals also had discussion boards for Arab Internet users to voice their opinions concerning the attacks. Since these forums are uncensored and are outside the realm of government supervision, they provided a good opportunity for Arabs and Muslims to voice their honest opinions, even if those opinions contradicted those of the governments, whose official stance was to condemn the attacks. This study may therefore help us gauge the true feelings of Arabs and Muslims regarding 9/11.

Methodology

A descriptive content analysis was conducted of message boards on three of the most popular Arab portals: Masrawy (http://www.masrawy.com), Islam Online (http://islamonline.net), and Arabia (http://www.arabia.com).1 Masrawy is the first and one of the most popular Arabic-language portals on the Internet. The word “Masrawy” is colloquial Arabic for “Egyptian.” The site offers its users free Internet connectivity, free email, and domain name registration, in addition to all the regular services offered by major portals such as news, directories, classified ads, search options, health, sports, stock market information, entertainment, shopping, auctions, instant chat, and message boards.

Islam Online is one of the most popular and most comprehensive Islamic portals on the Internet. The site is supported and maintained by a large group of Muslim scholars headed by Sheikh Yusuf Al Qaradawi, one of the top authorities in the Muslim world today. The portal, offered in both Arabic and English, is run by a staff of over 200 people from different backgrounds. In addition to all of the usual Islamic information, the site features large sections on science and medicine, psychology and cyber-counseling, political news and current affairs, women’s rights, parenting, the Internet and IT technologies, arts and culture, and live discussions. Each of these sections is handled by professionals, many of them Ph.D. holders in their respective fields. According to El-Kashef (2005), in the aftermath of 9/11, the site witnessed a dramatic increase in visitor numbers, with page views increasing from an average of 24 million to 150 million per year.

Arabia was a major portal that offered its users the option to access it in Arabic or in English. Owned and operated by Arabia Online, which is based in Dubai’s Internet City in the United Arab Emirates, the site offered a wide array of services, including a search engine, free email, free greeting cards, news, games, entertainment, business, sports, Arab and international media outlets, horoscopes, an instant messenger service, cartoons, travel and shopping information, as well as chat and discussion boards. Rossant (2002) reported estimates of 1.5 million visitors per month to Arabia, making it one of the most popular portals in the Arab world.

Sampling

Because of the difficulty of selecting a random sample on the Internet (December, 1996; McMillan, 2000; Stempel & Stewart, 2000), I decided to examine the population of messages on the three chosen portals regarding the events of 9/11. Still, the sampling process was not easy. Discussion boards on different websites organize messages in different ways. Some offer more structure than others: In this study, the Masrawy discussion board was found to be more organized than the Arabia board, and the Islam Online board was the least organized. Masrawy offered fewer overall topics for discussion, and the topics were posted by the message board moderator. To start a new thread, participants sent a message to the moderator suggesting the new topic, after which the moderator posted the suggested topic under a new title and a new thread. While participants could reply to a particular message by entering that message number, their reply was posted as a new message under the same main thread, rather than as a sub-thread. It followed that the postings to a particular topic were easier to access, scan (by title), and quantify.

The Arabia message board allowed its users to post new topics as they pleased. The board also allowed for sub-threading of messages, meaning that each message within the same topic could have several replies accessible only through that message. The resulting structure is more problematic for the content analysis researcher (or even for a keen user) to grasp. There is no easy way of knowing how many messages are posted on a particular topic, since the topic could be fragmented under as many messages as users choose. Each message within a particular topic could be posted as a separate topic, and each message could have an unlimited number of replies in its thread. While the number of replies is posted, the only way of knowing how many messages relate to a particular topic is to scan every message title on the board, determine which ones relate to the topic of interest, and add up the replies to those messages, hoping that all replies actually relate to the topic. This process is time-consuming and frustrating, since the site hosted an average of about 50 pages of questions (or topics) at any given time.

The Islam Online website was the most problematic of the three. The site offered seven main areas of discussion (politics, religion, sports, culture, society, creativity, and Internet). Within each area were seven to ten main discussion topics, and within each topic was a structure similar to the Arabia website. The problem resided in the fact that there was an undefined number of questions or topics to go through, without a clear indication of where discussion on a particular topic started. For example, one could not assume that 9/11 would be discussed under politics alone, since it could also be discussed under religion or society.

For the purposes of this study, a total of 752 messages was analyzed on the three portals. The Masrawy website had 517 messages on 104 pages, posted between September 11th and 20th.2 All messages were in response to the question posted by the moderator, “Do you support the September 11 attacks on the United States?” From the Islam Online website, I analyzed 175 messages posted under different headings, although most were commenting on three themes: whether the participants thought Bin Laden was a terrorist or a hero; whether they thought these attacks would help or hurt Muslims; and whether they agreed that the attacks were an inhumane act. The messages were posted between September 11th and October 19th. From the Arabia website, I analyzed a total of 73 messages posted under numerous threads. Those messages were posted from September 11th to October 5th.

Some messages were eliminated because they were deemed irrelevant, although they were posted under a relevant title or message heading. This problem was particularly evident with the Arabia website. In some cases, some participants began sending personal messages to each other on the site. Others tried to solicit interest in a different discussion topic by posting their views about the other topic under 9/11, since that was the hot issue of the day. The total number of relevant messages analyzed for quantification in this study came to 265 messages on Masrawy, 161 on Islam Online, and 47 messages on Arabia, for a total of 473 messages. The message was the unit of analysis for this study.

Variables and Operationalization

Each message was coded for: (a) message identification number; (b) source message board (Masrawy, Islam Online, or Arabia); (c) date of message submission; (d) user member type (only provided for Masrawy users, categories defined below); (e) gender (male, female, unidentified); (f) attitude toward the 9/11 attacks (agree, neither agree nor disagree, disagree, or attitude not mentioned; categories defined below); (g) sympathy toward victims (mentioned, not mentioned); and (h) Islam (mentioned as probable reason, mentioned as not a probable reason, not mentioned).

An attempt was made to identify the gender of message posters where possible, based on the name or signature if provided and/or on the text of the message, since many Arabic words and pronouns require different masculine or feminine endings.

Attitude towards the 9/11 attacks was coded as: “agree” for messages showing support for any possible justification, rationalization, or excuses for the attacks (even if the message poster feels sorry for the victims); “disagree” for messages showing disagreement with the attacks in terms of denouncing them, condemning them, disapproving of the act, classifying the attacks as a crime or an act of terrorism, offering condolences for the victims and/or their families (without showing any signs of support or justification for the attacks); or “neither agree nor disagree” if the message posters admitted to not being able to make up their minds or adopt a viewpoint regarding the attacks. Messages that only raised questions or offered comments or possible answers to issues raised in other messages without taking sides were coded as “attitude not mentioned.”

Intercoder reliability was determined by having another Arabic native speaker, who is also fluent in English and has a master’s degree in communication, recode a random sample of 10% of the valid messages (n = 48; 27 messages from Masrawy, 16 from Islam Online, and 5 messages from Arabia). The reliability rate was calculated after excluding the variables of message identification number, source message board, date of message submission, and user member type to avoid falsely inflating reliability. Using the Holsti (1969) formula, intercoder reliability was determined to be 0.936. The author had the final say in cases of disagreement and also recoded the selected sample, which produced an intracoder reliability score of 0.962.

All Arabic entries were translated into English for the purposes of this study by the author. Efforts were made to remain faithful to the tone, structure, and punctuation of the original entries.

Relevant Methodological Issues

Lindlof and Shatzer (1998) pointed out the problems of participation and identity verification on an Internet discussion forum. In this study, although message posters logged in with a name, almost no one logged in with his or her real name. The name used was usually a self-chosen nickname. Sometimes, however, participants signed the actual message with their real name, which was different from the name they used to log in.

The domination of a thread by a single or a few message posters is another issue frequently encountered in content analysis of discussion boards (Miller & Gergen, 1998; Perlman, 1999). In this study, several login names at times dominated the discussions.

The geographic location where a message originated is another issue. Even on Masrawy, which means “Egyptian,” it cannot be assumed that all messages were posted by Egyptians. Although most messages were written in colloquial Egyptian Arabic,3 this is a dialect widely spoken in the Arab world; hence, any Arab (or anyone who speaks Arabic) could have posted the message. There were also some English-language messages, which could have been by non-Arabs or by Arabs whose Web browsers do not support Arabic characters or who simply chose to post their messages in English. The Arabia site featured more messages in English than did the other two sites, some of which were clearly self-marked as posted by Americans.

External validity is another concern in Internet research (Miller & Gergen, 1998; Stempel & Stewart, 2000). While this study is limited to Internet users, who constitute only a small percentage of the Arab population, it nonetheless draws on one of the few uncensored media channels in the Middle East, and represents the basic sentiments voiced in the Arab world regarding the events of 9/11 and the religious arguments made in connection with them.

Results

Message posters on Masrawy were classified on the site by member type: junior members were those under 21 years of age, and senior members were those above 21. Theoretically, a user can enter a fake age, although there is little reason to do this, since both user types have the same rights and responsibilities on the website.

Out of the message posters on Masrawy, 63.4% (n = 168) were junior members, and 21.9% (n = 58) were senior members. The remaining percentage was listed as “member,” probably because posters did not list their age upon registration. Of the messages on all three discussion boards, 53.1% (n = 251) were from males (judging by either the names they signed or the pronouns they used in the syntax of their message), 16.7% (n = 79) were from females, and 30.2% (n = 143) had no indication of gender.

Of all messages on the three websites, 43.1% (n = 204) condemned the 9/11 attacks as an act of terrorism with no justification, political or otherwise. However, 30.2% (n = 143) offered some justification for the attacks, even if they acknowledged feeling sorry for the victims and their families. The rest of the message posters (26.7%, n = 126) were either undecided, showing feelings of pure shock for the most part, or they offered political analysis without taking sides. Justification messages tended to be shorter and were mostly posted during the first four days following the attacks. For example, on September 11, several messages on Masrawy just said, “Yes, I agree with the attacks.” In contrast, condemnation messages were longer and continued to be posted throughout the time period analyzed.

Almost all justification messages on the three websites cited as their reason American foreign policy regarding the Middle East. Message posters who saw justification for the attacks viewed the issue as political, rather than religious or social. The political issues identified mainly focused on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and Iraq. Other messages cited American foreign policy in several other parts of the world, including Japan, Vietnam, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Bosnia, Chechnya, Iran, Lebanon, and Pakistan.

For example, a female junior member wrote on Masrawy on September 11, “Americans have to feel what the Palestinians feel, the destruction, terror, and all the homeless people. And they have to know that their foreign policy and their support for Israel will hurt their country and their interests in the Middle East.”

On the other hand, many condemnation messages cited the killing of innocent civilians as barbaric and inhumane. One male junior member wrote on Masrawy on September 12:

Any human being with a heart rejects the killing of children, men, women, elderly people, and all innocent people. There will be victims from all nationalities. We are against killing Palestinians, and also killing Jews. Any religion forbids killing. What did the men and women and children who were killed do? It could’ve been your brother or your son or your father or your mother or your wife. This is not permissible under any religion.

Another male wrote on Arabia on September 13 (in English): “I feel bad for all our Middle Eastern families being killed, but two wrongs don‘t make a right here. All innocent people have a right to live a happy life, both Middle Eastern and Americans.”

One member wrote on Masrawy on September 12:

I or any Arab or Muslim cannot support barbaric, vengeful revenge like I saw yesterday. No, a thousand no to such naïve, idiotic, barbarian operations. If it were in my hands, it would kill every terrorist that had to do with this. My hearty condolences to the victims’ families.

Could Islam be a Justification for the Attacks?

Although the terrorists behind the 9/11 attacks claimed that they committed their crime in the name of Islam, the participants in this study clearly believed otherwise. Only 11% (n = 52) of all messages posted on the three websites mentioned Islam as a probable justification for the attacks. In comparison, 30% (n = 142) stressed that such attacks are against the core teachings of Islam. The remaining 59% (n = 279) did not mention Islam at all in their discussions of why the attacks could have happened, which indicates that religion was not a factor in their view of the events.

A male poster on Islam Online posted his message together with a copy of the fatwa (Islamic ruling) of Sheikh Yusuf Al Qaradawi. Parts of the fatwa read:

We are extremely sorry for the attacks on the World Trade Center and other entities in the United States of America. This is in spite of our objection to the political policy of the U.S. that is pro-Israel on all fronts, military, political, and economic.

This is because our religion respects the human soul and protects it, and prohibits any such attacks on humanity, and denotes it as a huge crime. The Quran says, “If anyone 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 anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people.”… Islam does not permit the random killing of people, innocent and un-innocent alike, for no soul shall carry the burdens of another…. These killings are therefore a major crime in the eyes of Islam.

However, there were still some who argued that the killings are justified in light of what the U.S. is doing with its foreign policies in the Middle East. For example, one male on Islam Online wrote, “Those who are saying what happened in the U.S. was terrorism, what do you call what happens in Palestine every day?” Another wrote, “America has chosen to wage war against God. Henry Kissinger, their former Jewish Secretary of State, said publicly, ‘Islam is not our religion,’ so what does that mean? Don’t they deserve what happened? They deserve more.”

Responding to these messages were many others that strongly opposed the view that the attacks could be backed by religion. One male junior member on Masrawy wrote on September 12:

I’m an Egyptian Muslim, but before anything else I’m a human being, and what happened is not permissible under any religion. I pray for mercy for those who died innocently for no reason, whether they were Muslims, Christians, or Jews. They have their religion and I have mine.4

A male who signed, “A Muslim who loves his religion,” wrote on Islam Online on September 12:

The most criminal act in the eyes of God is killing an innocent soul as stated by Sheikh Yusuf Al Qaradawi in his fatwa (Islamic ruling) about the attacks in the U.S. Even if they do kill innocent Muslims, this does not justify killing innocent Americans. This is not an Islamic principle.

One female senior member wrote on Masrawy on September 14:

This is against all religions. God did not say to kill innocent people…. It is totally against our Islamic religion to terrorize innocent people…. Terrorizing innocent people is not acceptable in Islam, it is totally against the religion.

Some posters had harsh words for those who use Islam as a backup for terrorism. One male wrote on Masrawy on September 14 (in English):

I don’t see how people can use our wonderful religion to justify such horrible acts. I am a Muslim who loves his religion, but I want to say something here. If this is Islam, then I don‘t want to be a Muslim. What I know about my religion is that it is about peace, mercy, and compassion. Anything else is not Islamic.

On Islam Online, this member wrote, “I condemn these acts because they are not legitimate, whoever did them. Killing innocent people was never a way of confronting an enemy in Islam.”

Another male wrote on Arabia, “Islam is a peaceful religion. These terrorists aren’t true Muslims. In the Quran it is forbidden to kill innocent people. My heart and prayers go out to all those affected by this tragedy. I feel that my religion is being raped by these terrorists. I wish they would just leave Islam out of it.”

Some message posters took it upon themselves to explain the true meaning of some Islamic concepts that might be used to justify the attacks. On September 14, a female senior member posted a lengthy explanation on Masrawy of why the attacks can not be attributed to, or justified by, Islam. She referenced the concept of kassas (retribution) in Islam:

Kassas as dictated by Islam is murdering a murderer, and only the murderer. This serves the ultimate good of the human life, because then you decrease the percentage of murder crimes. But this kassas as portrayed by the terrorists or the American media is what was prevalent in pre-Islamic times, and it led to much fighting and wars between tribes and hurt many innocent people. And actually you cannot call this kassas at all, this is pure murder. Our Prophet (peace and prayers be upon him) laid the foundations for these basic rules in Islam. Islam has regulated all this, and put strict rules even for times of war, and it clearly prohibits killing innocent lives. Even if we were at war with America, this would not be permissible in Islam. And since we’re at peace, these are definitely not the regulations dictated by Islam.

Another male junior member took to Masrawy to explain the concept of jihad. He wrote, “This is not jihad, this is nonsense. According to our Prophet Mohammad (peace and prayers be upon him), jihad is struggle 1) against oneself to achieve a higher level of purity, and 2) against enemies in times of war. This is not jihad.”

Some messages discussed whether the attacks, justified or not, would help or hurt Arab and Muslim interests. Most seemed to believe that the attacks would have negative effects on the Arab and Muslim world. These posters were especially concerned about the West not differentiating between such criminal attacks on one hand and efforts to fight Israeli occupation on the other. This female wrote on Masrawy:

Whoever did this cannot be Arabs or Muslims. This is an inside operation. But whoever did it, it caused us a greeeeeeeeeeeat deal of harm:

Now Israel will do whatever it pleases to Palestinians and no one will ever care. They will use this opportunity to its full potential.

Arabs and Muslims in the States and Europe are already facing a lot of hassles and being treated as terrorists.

America will now support Israel even more to face what they call “Palestinian terrorism.”

One female junior member wrote on September 14 on Masrawy:

I’m against American policies in the Middle East, but the innocent civilians had nothing to do with politics. This is forbidden in Islam, whether the victims are Iraqis, Americans, or Palestinians. And do you think Arabs will benefit from these attacks? Not at all. We will suffer as a result (although I’m sure whoever did this are American extremists). But look at what’s happening. The world is so concerned about the United States, and in the meantime yesterday Israel went into Jenin and Ariha. They killed 11 Palestinians yesterday, and four today. No one cares of course.

One female on Islam Online thought the attacks would be both of benefit and cost to Muslims. In her words:

This is not an easy question. I think these attacks both hurt us and benefited us. The hurt will be that anti-Islamists will seize the opportunity to paint a negative image of Islam in the West and make the West hate us. The good part is that Muslims who face American terrorist acts in Palestine and Iraq will get a sense of hope that this undefeated giant has been defeated, and it might also make American citizens pay attention to their government’s policies that are so unfair to Muslims. But I think the cost is so much more than the benefit. We need huge political and media efforts to make up for the damage to the image of Islam.

Another female on Arabia wrote:

This will only make life harder for Arabs, here (in the Arab world) and in the States. An advisory was issued to Arabs in the States to stop talking to each other in Arabic on the streets, and Muslims are facing a lot of hassles already. I’m sure this was not done by Arabs or Muslims, but it will only cause more mistreatment to Arabs.

A male wrote on Islam Online:

What’s happening to Muslims now is the best evidence that Bin Laden is a dangerous man. What he did is not heroic, what he did is a crazy act of terror. Dangerous and important things have started happening to Muslims worldwide as a result, he has only done a great favor for anti-Islamists by his acts. For example, in India, they put the Islamic Liberation Front on the list of terrorist organizations. And in China they detained a lot of Muslims and killed some, and also in the Philippines and elsewhere. Many will use this against Muslims in the name of fighting terrorism. And now we have to prove to the West that Muslims are not terrorists.

Several messages on Islam Online tackled the same issue of whether Bin Laden was a hero or a terrorist. Although the majority of respondents stated that the attacks were an act of terrorism, some still thought Bin Laden committed a heroic act, and some did not believe Bin Laden was the person behind the attacks.

The few who saw Bin Laden as a hero were taken by the ability of this one man to terrorize a nation as powerful as the U.S. Others believed that he must be a true believer since he abandoned a millionaire’s life of luxury and instead took to his form of jihad. One female wrote on Islam Online, “I think Bin Laden is a hero. Don’t you see how this one person managed to terrorize the United States and cause it to be insecure and worried? He has done what the whole Arab world and Arab governments could not do.”

A male poster wrote, “Osama Bin Laden is a true fighter for Islam. He has given up on a life of plenty in this life for the hope of a better afterlife. He is the only millionaire in the world who gave himself and his money to Islam and Muslims. God be with him.”

Other posters had their reasons for not believing that Bin Laden could do such an act. This male poster wrote, “I do believe Bin Laden is a hero. I do not think he had anything to do with these attacks in New York though.” Several messages agreed with this line of thinking. Another male replied to this message, saying, “I totally agree with you. I do not think Bin Laden did it, not because he can’t, but because he is a man of high morals and standards, and he could not be involved in such criminal acts.” Another poster said, “I don’t believe Bin Laden did these attacks. The U.S. still does not have any proof.” This female wrote:

Thank God we are Muslims for our religion is great. I can’t believe you’re asking whether Bin Laden is a terrorist or not. The answer lies in the teachings of Islam. If Osama is a true Muslim, he will not have had anything to do with these attacks because a true believer cannot do these horrible acts…. Our religion is not a religion of killings or terrorism, these acts are by no means a victory. If our enemies have resorted to terrorism, this is not an excuse for us to do the same.

To the same effect, one poster wrote, “To know if Bin Laden is a terrorist or a hero, look at his way of jihad and compare it to the merciful nature of Islam.” Another message came from a male poster: “By God Bin Laden is the worst terrorist. He is using our great religion to kill people in its name. He is taking people backwards to pre-Islamic times.” Finally, the following message, posted in English on Masrawy, tended to reflect several others:

The one thing we should protect the most is our humanity, our religion that urges us to rise above greed and anger and malice represented in the American and Israeli forces of darkness. They should never succeed in robbing our Islamic identity and our morality. Islam is the religion of forgiveness not revenge. We don’t kill the innocent no matter how hard it is to target the guilty.

Discussion and Conclusions

This study analyzed the contents of three of the most popular Arabic-language online message boards regarding the 9/11 attacks on the United States. The findings documented that more than 43% of the messages condemned the attacks as a pure criminal act of terrorism. However, some 30% of the message posters still saw some justification behind these attacks, even if they felt sorry for the victims and their families. It is worth noting that most of the justification messages were posted in the few days immediately after the attacks, and were short and abrupt, suggesting a hasty and impulsive reaction. Justification messages tended to become fewer over time. In contrast, condemnation messages were longer, tended to contain well-structured analysis, and continued to be posted throughout the time period included in this study. These findings were consistent across the three message boards, with no apparent ideological differences between them. The main theme that kept appearing throughout was an overall frustration with American foreign policies in the Middle East region.

Posters condemning the 9/11 attacks felt that the massive killing of innocent civilians in such a random manner was barbaric, inhumane, and contradicted the core teachings of Islam. Many posters wrote that they felt that their religion was being raped by criminals who use it to carry out their own hidden agendas. On the other hand, those justifying or supporting the attacks tended to cite American foreign policy in the Middle East. This was particularly true with regard to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and Iraq. It should be noted that these messages were posted before the launch of the current American intervention in Iraq.

More than 81% of the messages mentioned some aspect of frustration and/or dissatisfaction with American politics in the Middle East. This is an interesting finding, given that fewer than 30% justified the attacks. This means that another 51%, who mostly posted messages supporting the victims and condemning the attacks, still felt dissatisfied with American foreign policy in the Middle East.

Although the attacks of 9/11 were justified by the terrorists who committed them as having been carried out in the name of Islam, those who posted messages on all three forums—Masrawy, Islam Online, and Arabia—rejected this claim. On all three websites, only 11% of those who posted messages mentioned that Islam was a probable justification for the attacks. In contrast, more than 30% stressed in their messages that such atrocities were against the core spirit and teachings of Islam. The remaining 59% of the message posters did not mention Islam at all in their discussions, which suggests that the religion was not on their minds as a possible reason for why the attacks took place. These posters seemed to view the attacks as a political, rather than a religious, issue.

This is another interesting finding, given that, as illustrated in the literature review, most American media coverage of the issue tended to portray it as a clash of civilizations, based in essence on a confrontation between Islam as a religion and the West as a culture. The findings of this study show that Arab Muslims did not view the issue in a religious light. Rather, Arabs saw the issue as primarily political. They were (and are) frustrated with the seemingly consistent support for Israel that the U.S. displays in its foreign policy towards the Middle East, particularly regarding the Palestinian conflict and Lebanon. They see the U.S. as a “monster” that is quick to judge and take one side in support of a single entity against all others in the region.

Arab message posters also expressed concern about the then-potential problem of framing Islam as a violent and terrorist religion, a concern that was shown in the literature review to have materialized in the days and months following 9/11. In the minds of these message posters, such media coverage of the nature of Islam is distorted and hurts the interests of Arabs and Muslims everywhere.

It is the concern of this researcher that such media coverage may also have increased anti-American sentiments in the Middle East over the past few years, since Arabs felt that the U.S. insisted on dealing with Islam as an enemy. As indicated in the findings of this and other studies (Fadel, 2002; Gomaa, 2002; Inbaraj, 2002; Pintak, 2006; Said, 1997; Shaheen, 1980, 1984), Arabs feel that the U.S. media are unduly focused on Islam as a breeding ground of violence and terrorism and that the media refuse to pay attention to moderate voices, which constitute the great majority of the more than 1.3 billion Muslims around the world. Of course, terrorist acts speak to the media much more loudly than non-terrorist acts. However, Arabs feel that the U.S. media ignore coverage of any non-violent aspect of Islam, as evidenced by the near non-existence of any content about the everyday lives or the scientific achievements or the rich cultures of Arabs and Muslims worldwide and throughout history. In the minds of most Arabs, terrorism is not related to Islam as a religion. Rather, it is born and bred out of a sense of frustration with seemingly endless unfair political policies, a point that is validated daily by the flagrant rise of violent acts in Iraq since the American intervention in 2003. This is another point that Arabs believe the American media refuse to acknowledge or even consider.

Arab messages posters discussed different aspects of the relation between Islam and the 9/11 attacks. They concluded that the attacks caused more harm than good to Islam and Muslims, both in the Arab world and in the West. Although a minority hailed Bin Laden as a hero for what they perceived to be his victorious confrontation with the U.S., the majority saw him as a terrorist who is taking advantage of Islam to serve his own agenda. Muslims took to the discussion boards to defend their religion, saying that they felt it was being “raped” by such terrorists. They posted messages trying to explain to the world the basic principles on which Islam was based as a religion of tolerance, mercy, and compassion.

The Internet provided a much needed public sphere for Arabs to express their views and speak their minds on an issue as important as this one. This is particularly valuable in a region of the world where the media are mostly government-owned and controlled. Access to public media in the Arab world is not easy, and if one is lucky enough to get through with a letter to the editor, chances are that the letter will be “edited,” sometimes heavily, before it appears in print. The Internet provides Arabs with a staggering alternative to traditional media. As is shown in this study, they have used it in the aftermath of 9/11 to denounce what they perceived as attacks on humanity and on their own religion, and to attempt to spread awareness and knowledge about the true nature and the core teachings of Islam to the world.

Notes

  • 1

    Arabia.com is no longer available on the Internet. The URL now leads to “Naseeb.com,” a matchmaking site for Muslims.

  • 2

    Some messages were posted twice, apparently due to a technical difficulty on the website. Those pairs of duplicate messages were analyzed and counted as one message.

  • 3

    The author is Egyptian. Arabic is her mother tongue.

  • 4

    “You have your religion, and I have mine” is a literal translation of a verse from the Quran, the Muslim holy book that dictates tolerance to people different from oneself. The verse is from a Sura (chapter) called “Al Kaferoon” (The Infidels), and it stresses tolerance not just of people of other religions but of any persons, even if they are infidels or have no religion. Another translation that captures the spirit of the verse is provided on IslamiCity.com: “To you be your way, and to me mine” (The Holy Quran, 109:6).

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About the Author

  1.  

    Rasha A. Abdulla is an Assistant Professor in the Journalism and Mass Communication Department of the American University in Cairo. She has a Ph.D. from the University of Miami (2003). Her research interests include the uses and effects of mass media, particularly new media and the Internet.

    Address: Journalism & Mass Communication Department, The American University in Cairo, 113 Kasr Al Aini Street, P.O. Box 2511, Cairo 11511, Egypt

February 26, 2012 Posted by | Christianity / God, Constitutional Issues, Politics/Government/Freedom, Societal / Cultural Issues, Understanding Islam, World Affairs | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Allah is NOT the name of God

Allah is the name of the only God in Islam. Allah is a pre-Islamic name coming from the compound Arabic word Al-ilah which means the God, which is derived from al (the) ilah (deity).

The Arabic name for “God” is the word “Al-ilah.” It is a generic title for whatever god was considered the highest god. Different Arab tribes used “Allah” to refer to its personal high god. “Allah” was being worshipped at the Kaa’ba in Mecca by Arabs prior to the time of Mohammed. It was formerly the name of the chief god among the numerous idols (360) in the Kaaba in Mecca before Mohammed made them into monotheists. Historians have shown that the moon god called “Hubal” was the god to whom Arabs prayed at the Kaa’ba and they used the name “Allah” when they prayed.

Today a Muslim is one who submits to the God Allah.

Islam means submission to (Allah), but originally it meant that strength which characterized a desert warrior who, even when faced with impossible odds, would fight to the death for his tribe. (Dr. M. Baravmann, The Spiritual Background of Early Islam,E. J. Brill, Leiden, 1972)

Many believe the word “Allah” was derived from the mid-eastern word “el” which in Ugaritic, Caananite and Hebrew can mean a true or false God. This is not the case, “The source of this (Allah) goes back to pre-Muslim times. Allah is not a common name meaning “God” (or a “god”), and the Muslim must use another word or form if he wishes to indicate any other than his own peculiar deity.” (Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics (ed. Hastings), I:326.)

According to the Encyclopedia of Religion, Allah corresponded to the Babylonian god Baal, and Arabs knew of him long before Mohammed worshipped him as the supreme God. Before Islam the Arabs recognized many gods and goddesses, each tribe had their own deity. There were also nature deities. Allah was the god of the local Quarish tribe, which was Mohammed’s tribe before he invented Islam to lead his people out of their polytheism. Allah was then known as the Moon God, who had 3 daughters who were viewed as intercessors for the people into Allah. Their names were Al-at, Al-uzza, and Al-Manat, which were three goddesses; the first two daughters of Allah had names which were feminine forms of Allah. Hubal was the chief God of the Kaaba among the other 360 deities. Hubal was the chief God of the Kaaba among the other 360 deities. Hubal was a statue likeness of a man whose body was made of red precious stones whose arms were made of gold. (Reference Islam George Braswell Jr.)

“Historians like Vaqqidi have said Allah was actually the chief of the 360 gods being worshipped in Arabia at the time Mohammed rose to prominence. Ibn Al-Kalbi gave 27 names of pre-Islamic deities…Interestingly, not many Muslims want to accept that Allah was already being worshipped at the Ka’ba in Mecca by Arab pagans before Mohammed came. Some Muslims become angry when they are confronted with this fact. But history is not on their side. Pre-Islamic literature has proved this.” (G. J. O. Moshay, Who Is This Allah? (Dorchester House, Bucks, UK, 1994), pg. 138).

History has shown Mecca and the holy stone al-Kaaba were holy sites for pre-Islamic pagan Arabs. The Kaaba in Mecca was formerly named Beit-Allah meaning House of Allah. We are told it was first built in heaven. This is in contradistinction to what Moses was instructed to build, something overlooked by the Muslims in their reading of the Bible.

The Koran tells us that Mohammed drove the other idols away; he made one God now the only god and he was its messenger. He kept the Kaaba as a holy, sacred place and confirmed that the black stone had the power to take away man’s sins. He obligated every believer to make a pilgrimage to the stone at least once in his lifetime. (Sura 22:26-37) No Old Testament saint ever had a pilgrimage to the Kaaba and kissed its black stone despite stories that Abraham and Ishmael restored it.

Mohammed used the name Allah which was formerly the name of a specific idol without ever distinguishing it from the idol the Meccan’s were already worshipping. This was a modification of their former worship but never a complete break. He never did say for the people to stop their worship of the wrong Allah, for the right one. It can still be monotheism and not be the God of the Bible

Al-Lat which is a T at the end of the name of Allah, was represented by a square stone whose major sanctuary was in the city of Taif. In the sanctuary was a black stone in the town of Qudayd between Mecca and Medina. She was the goddess of fate, a female counterpart of Allah. Al-uzza was the goddess of east Mecca. It has been said there were human sacrifices made to her and Islamic tradition tells of a story of Mohammed’s grandfather almost sacrificing his son the father of Mohammed to her. What prevented this was his seeking counsel from a fortune teller which told him to ransom his son with one hundred camels. Muslims look to this as the will of Allah to bring Mohammed into existence. (Reference Muhammad husain haykal, Hayat mohammed)

“The name Allah, as the Qur’an itself is witness, was well known in pre-Islamic Arabia. Indeed, both it and its feminine form, Allat, are found not infrequently among the theophorous names in inscriptions from North Africa.” (Arthur Jeffrey, ed., Islam: Muhammad and His Religion (1958), p. 85.)

The literal name of Mohammed’s father in Arabic is Abd Allah. His uncle’s name Obred Allah. These names show the devotion of Mohammed’s families pagan roots, and also prove that Allah was part of a polytheistic system of worship before Allah was made the supreme and only god from the other God’s. This should be proof to the pre- Islamic root of the name of Allah to the Muslim. Remember they were pagans who used this name. He kept his family name above all the other names. Mohammad had good intentions in removing the people from their polytheistic worship however he did not go far enough in his reform.

Mecca was the place where the idol Allah was located, so the people would face in that direction when they prayed. Prior to Islam the people would pray 5 times a day facing Mecca (The Encyclopedia of Islam p.303) Prior to Islam’s beginning each Arab tribe used Allah to refer to its own particular high god. This is why Hubal, the Moon god, (known by other names) was the central focus of prayer at the Kaabah and people prayed to Hubal and they used the name Allah. The crescent moon was the symbol of the moon God Allah (Hubal) and is still used as a symbol of Islam today (although they have changed the meaning to be -from Mecca to the moon Islam will spread). Today there is hardly a Muslim that knows its ancient origin. History records it as an ancient pagan fertility symbol that is found throughout the Middle East. Mohammed smashed all the idols that led the people into idolatry but the black stone was kept which Muslims continue to kiss today. This was another practice that preceded Mohammad.

Mohammed made Allah into a single being who, unlike the Bible’s God who is called Father, has no Son. Because of this portrayal, there is no fellowship or love among the godhead before God created man. Creation and man therefore become a necessity for God to express His attributes or characteristic’s. This God has never revealed Himself to man but revealed only His will. This God is so removed from man that it is impossible to know him in a personal way, he relates to man only through his will and law. It is a religion of obedience no different than any other.

To the Muslim God is strictly singular, all seeing, all hearing, almighty, He is the first and the last. But what differs is that he has no Son and he cannot be called Father who relates to His son in a unique way (Son and Father does not mean offspring in historic Christianity).

Of the 99 names of God in Islam, not one is “Father” or has a personal connotation. The difference is not to be overlooked. The God of the Bible is personal and wants an ongoing friendship with each of us. Islam portrays God as one who expects us to do our religious duty or He angers. There are rules to be obeyed and one can only please him but not know him personally. No Muslim would ever consider being able to have a personal relationship with him, by talking to him, and loving him. Jesus instead taught Christians to pray “our Father in heaven” (Matthew 6:9). Throughout the Old Testament God was real to the prophets who had him personally speak to them and they to him. “Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us? Why do we deal treacherously with one another by profaning the covenant of the fathers?” (Mal 2:10)

In Islam some state that if one memorizes the 99 names of Allah and repeats them he will get into paradise because they give the believer power, making them conscious of God. Neither the Koran nor the Hadith speak of these names in such a way. The Suras in the Koran begin with “In the name of Allah, most gracious, most merciful. Yet in practice Islam’s god is portrayed as stern, harsh, having compassion on those who do right and deals severely with those who do not.

To a Muslim the God of the Bible who is described as triune is offensive and pagan, reminding them of what Mohammed destroyed. This is recorded in their Qu’ran. They interpret this as 3 separate Gods and not a unified one. “ They are unbelievers who say God is a third of three. No God is there but one God.” While Muslims affirm Jesus’ virgin conception, they deny He had any pre-existence that would imply He is God. To call a prophet God is the ultimate in blasphemy to them. “ Verily God will not forgive the union of other gods with himself.” This is a true statement; however if Jesus is who He said He is, the true God, then it is they who are in union with another than the true God.

Muslims claim that the name Allah can be found in the Bible. This is no different than what the Jehovah’s Witnesses do for the name Jehovah. Allah is not called Yahweh once in the Koran but neither is Yahweh called Allah in the Bible. So they can’t be the same God. Neither is the word Elohim which is applied to Yahweh over 2,500 times in the Bible used in the Koran. Neither is he called I Am, which He said to Moses would be His name forever.

The God of the Bible identifies himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Jacobs name is later changed to the name Israel, being the father of the 12 tribes of Israel. The God of the Bible calls Jerusalem the city of David and that the Messiah would descend from his lineage. Neither does the God of the Bible does not mention Mecca or Medina but instead Jerusalem 800 times. Yet Jerusalem is not mentioned in the Koran, which the Muslim claims as there own.

The God in the Bible is called the God of the Jews, an impossibility with Allah. They are called his chosen people, but they are not Allah’s chosen. Allah commands the Muslim to not take the Jews or Christians as friends, Sura.5:51 disdains the Jews. Mohammed said, “The last hour will not come before the Muslims fight the Jews, and the Muslims kill them.” (Mishkat Al Masabih Sh.M. Ashraf pp.147, 721, 810-11, 1130). So how could Israel inherit the land or any of God’s promises from Allah, if he is their God. Clearly he is not the same God of the Bible.

Muslims trying to prove their position from the Bible point to the Old Testament with the word alleluyah, interpreting the first portion of the word alle as Allah. The word [H]alleluyah is not a compound Hebrew word. It is not two words but a singular word meaning praise to Yahweh. (alle- praise, lu-to, yah-Yaweh). The beginning of the word is Hallel meaning praise. This has nothing to do with an Allah, and the last syllable of the word is a reference to Yahweh the God of the Bible, this is hardly any evidence for their assertions. They are also confusing Aramaic with Arabic. This is not unusual, as Muslims will often take words and meanings set in another language and culture and adopt them for proof of their own book or religion.

This word play only gets more ludicrous as they try to have Jesus saying the name of their God. When Jesus was on the cross they claim when he cried out Eli, Eli it was really is Allah, Allah. The New Testament was written in Greek, however it points us to him speaking the Aramaic language, not Arabic. Jesus was quoting Psalm 22:1 which read in full says, Eli, Eli Sabbathani “My God, My God why have you forsaken me.” What makes even less sense for this position is the fact that they don’t believe that it was Jesus on the cross in the first place, but that another took His place. Some think it was Judas; so it was Judas crying out Allah, Allah?

The first Arabic translation of the Bible was made about the 9th century. Nowhere is the name of Allah found in the Old or New Testament. When Islam became the dominant political force people were coerced to use the name Allah for God or suffer the consequences from the hands of militant Muslims. Because of Islam’s dominance Allah became the common name of God. The translators of the Bible gave in to the religious pressures and substituted Allah for Yahweh in the Arabic Bibles, but this is not the name of the God of the Hebrews, nor of the creator who made heaven and earth because of its source in paganism. His nature and attributes have only a few basic similarities and many more differences. And the most important point is that all through the Qu’ran it says Allah has no son.

September 13, 2011 Posted by | Christianity / God, Understanding Islam | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Mubarak slammed U.S. in phone call with Israeli MK before resignation

Mubarak slammed U.S. in phone call with Israeli MK before resignation

Radical Islam will be result of U.S. push for democracy, Mubarak told Israel’s Ben-Eliezer during a phone call on Thursday.

By Reuters 2/11/2011

Hosni Mubarak had harsh words for the United States and what he described as its misguided quest for democracy in the Middle East in a telephone call with an Israeli lawmaker a day before he quit as Egypt’s president.

The legislator, former cabinet minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, said on TV Friday that he came away from the 20-minute conversation on Thursday with the feeling the 82-year-old leader realized “it was the end of the Mubarak era”.

“He had very tough things to say about the United States,” said Ben-Eliezer, a member of the Labor Party who has held talks with Mubarak on numerous occasions while serving in various Israeli coalition governments.

“He gave me a lesson in democracy and said: ‘We see the democracy the United States spearheaded in Iran and with Hamas, in Gaza, and that’s the fate of the Middle East,’” Ben-Eliezer said.

“‘They may be talking about democracy but they don’t know what they’re talking about and the result will be extremism and radical Islam,’” he quoted Mubarak as saying.

U.S. support for pro-democracy elements in Iran has not led to regime change in the Islamic Republic, and Hamas, a group Washington considers to be a terrorist organization, won a 2006 Palestinian election promoted by the United States.

Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip in 2007 after a coalition government it formed with Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas collapsed in a power struggle.

Ben-Eliezer said Mubarak expanded in the telephone call on “what he expects will happen in the Middle East after his fall”.

“He contended the snowball (of civil unrest) won’t stop in Egypt and it wouldn’t skip any Arab country in the Middle East and in the Gulf.

“He said ‘I won’t be surprised if in the future you see more extremism and radical Islam and more disturbances — dramatic changes and upheavals,” Ben-Eliezer added.

Egypt in 1979 became the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with Israel and has backed U.S.-led efforts to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Last week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned of an Iran-style Islamist revolution in Egypt should Mubarak’s Muslim Brotherhood rivals eventually take over.

“He repeated the sentence, ‘I have been serving my country, Egypt, for 61 years. Do they want me to run away? I won’t run away. Do they want to throw me out? I won’t leave. If need be, I will be killed here,’” Ben-Eliezer said.

Original Posting Here

February 12, 2011 Posted by | Understanding Islam, World Affairs | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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