PART 2: THE JEWS AND MUSLIMS IN THE MIDDLE EAST
Many misunderstandings about Jewish-Muslim relationships have been blown out-of-proportion, whence before 1948, there was almost no problem at all. In these three parts, we investigate the misconceptions about the Jewish existence in medieval times, including a brief look at the misconceptions people have about the Hamas, etc. Part 1 can be viewed here.
7. Jews Were Persecuted Under Muslim Rule
Actually, the exact opposite is true. If given the choice, they would rather be ruled under the Caliphates rather than under the persecuting Christian countries. When the Diaspora began, Islam had not yet taken roots in Arabia. By the time Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was born and Islam had started, the Jews had already been scattered all over the place. They were being persecuted indiscriminately especially in European nations, who regarded the stigma of a people responsible for their God’s death is too much to be welcoming and treating them with any semblance of dignity.
Throughout the ages, the Jews, who were mainly in Europe, had been experiencing many, many evictions, from various countries. There were many evictions in England before, since arriving in England during the Norman conquests, but a final massive eviction on them was in 1290 CE. The Jews were evicted from France in 1306 CE and then again massively in 1394 by Charles VI. Jews in Granada, Spain were forced to become Christians or face eviction. In 1597 nearly a thousand Jews were expelled from Milan, Italy. Even General Ulysses S. Grant expelled Jews from Kentucky in 1896 under the General Order No 11. Of course all this was a precursor to the final solution of Hitler in Germany in the 1930s and 40s.
But contrast that during the Muslim rule of Spain in 711 CE onwards: not only were they allowed in the country, but Jewish physicians, economists, professionals were allowed in the court of the Caliph. Because, to them Jews were harmless.
Jews expelled from the Iberian peninsula were invited to live in Muslim lands under the Ottoman rules. Up to this day, there are still huge population of Jews in Iran and Turkey, never once evicted by their hosts.
But why were there persecutions? Was it political? It would be foolish to think any nomadic Jew would be bringing any political clout in them. Therefore it must be dogmatic, religious.
Most of the reasons and justifications for persecutions had been coming from ones who held dogmatic authority of Christianity: the early desert fathers and scholars themselves, and these had the greatest influence on the ruling elites. But even the papacy had a strong hand in the expulsion of Jews. Both Pope Pius V in 1569 and Pope Clement VIII in 1593 issued decrees for the expulsion of Jews in certain European nations.
6. The Qassam Brigade Are Hermits, Not Warriors. Go Ahead And Beat Them
Well you know what? I tend to agree on this one. The Qassam Brigade of the Resistant group Hamas is known to be a relentless and fierce group of soldiers. But not many people know that to be accepted as a member of the Qassam Brigade of Hamas, one needs to have some pre-requisites, without which you might as well forget about being anywhere near them. Here are the pre-requisites:
- Permission must be sought from parents: something NOT that difficult to meet because many of their parents would be more than glad to let their grown-up sons join them to die as martyrs.
- A certification from the Imam of his local mosque that the candidate have been attending the Fajr prayers in the mosque for at least 3 months daily without fail.
- Must never be engaging in lewd or unlawful activities. Not even smoking.
- Compulsory for the candidate to be well-versed in the Quran.
- They must make it a habit to finish reading at least 1 juz of the Quran everyday.
- Compulsory for the candidate to memorize all 40 hadiths laid out in an-Nawawi’s “Arba’in”.
- Must frequently fast and perform Tahajjud prayers in the deepest parts of the night.
- Highly intelligent: members have been known to be Scholars, Professionals, Hafiz of the Quran and have high IQ ratings.
- Frequently attending circles of knowledge everywhere.
- Must perform daily routine of Zikr.
- Must be physically fit in Sports and Physical Activities.
- Must be ready and have a strong desire to be martyred at any point of time.
Now on the other side, stories about the Israeli military providing adult pampers to their soldiers in action have become legendary. This could be construed several ways. (a) the fear they have when facing real battles is such that it could result in them urinating in their pants; (b) they didn’t even have time to unzip when they had to go, so it would be as easy as to just let them do it there and then.
The Qassam Brigade need not, and MUST not use these kinds of contraptions merely because: (a) when the time come for prayers, even in the thick of battle, they must do so in clean clothings. (No. The prophet did not even cut any slack as far as prayers is concerned. You have to do it even in the battle field when the time comes, which he did demonstrate). So no urinating inside one’s own trousers. (b) Scared until you piss it out? Heck these guys even welcome death itself. There is nothing that they are afraid that could result in them peeing in their pants. Except God, of course.
I read the above 12 criteria and I say to myself: sigh… not even one of them. Not even number 8 which I had hoped for. Well, yeah, I have THIS bit of IQ but then I used it only on Crossword Puzzles and am not sure if that is enough. Put it this way. If they were criteria for University entrance, I would start to search out for jobs already.
So yeah, the Qassam Brigade are only hermits, folks. So go ahead and beat them 😊.
5. Hamas are Terrorists like ISIS
In the recent attacks onto Tel Aviv, Hamas actually announced hours beforehand that they were going to attack. That sounds like the MO of terrorists? Their only request was simple: Please stop from desecrating our holy mosque and please release those inhabitants of Syeikh Jarah whom you had forcibly taken their houses and made them prisoners. That’s all. If you don’t, we’ll send these rockets on you.
Despite being a warrior group, they are not terrorists. They fill much of their time in prayers and fasting, they do not have suicide bombers. Seems “Terrorism” is a buzzword used by many parties who have an agenda: PM Modi in wanting to extricate Zakir Naik, the CNN in trying to demonise Hamas, and many others. This is akin to shouts of “Rape!” by any young lass quarelling with her boyfriend and wanted him to be put away. In an Islamophobic world as glaring as today, such cries and labellings are welcomed almost instantly and they don’t even have to be investigated, because they know perceptions and monikers could stick for quite a long time with haters. Although Dr Zakir Naik was freed of charges of money laundering and terrorism by the Interpol, there are just some who are too happy to persist in the allegations, in the hope those who had NOT known about it, could believe it.
Hamas are at odds with ISIS who practice indiscriminate attacks. ISIS are merciless killers and nobody seem to know what they believe in.
At the same time they are not as mild-natured as Fatah. Fatah is non-confrontational, no doubt. And seek to address conflicts with peace talks and discussions. Problem is, after each of these PEACE talks and negotiations were held, the Israelis would continue killing, would continue stealing land, would continue evicting natives from their houses without ANY consideration at all as to what was agreed about on the table.
You see, you don’t understand. You just cannot TALK SENSE to a group of people who already believe that all this killing and massacring they are doing are actually under the watchful eye, agreement and under the injunction of God. As such, what kind of table discussions can be effective? To them they are a nation of James Bonds with licences to kill and to take as much land as they want. They don’t heed to reason. They heed to wars and battles. Ergo, Hamas.
So is Hamas a Terror group? Not as much as the Israelis are. Of course with the media supporting the Israeli cause, one can always turn around and instead label THEM as terrorists instead.
4. Jews Are United In Their Enmity With The Muslims
No, they are not. Only hard-core Zionists are. Zionism is the more political aspect of Judaism. It bears as much resemblance to Judaism as Hugh Hefner does to Monogamy. When one looks and reads about Zionism, one is puzzled as to find wherein are the concepts of God fearing, of piety, of meekness and humility which are so much taught by Judaism.
High-powered Zionists like Menachem Begin started off as a terrorist (a real one) even condemned by the British. His political manouvering led him to be Prime Minister of Israel and unashamedly detailed the gruesome acts that they did while killing innocent Palestinian kids, especially in the Deir Yassin Massacre in 1948.
Other Zionists like Ariel Sharon, who was responsible for the extremely gruesome Sabra and Shatilla massacres and Stern Gang and Mossad head Yitzhak Shamir also had their fair share in terrorism before becoming Prime Ministers.
But they are not supported by many Orthodox Jewish groups who are against Zionists and against occupation. The rabbi-led Naturei Karta is very vocal in holding rallies protesting on what the current Israel regime is doing onto Palestine. Currently there are huge groups of Jewish adherents made up of former army personnel, intellectuals, artists, professionals who are demonstrating in the streets of London, Paris, Melbourne and other cities to protest against Jewish atrocities onto its own Palestinian citizens.
Most of them contend that “killing, usurping other people’s houses and grabbing their properties” are not taught in Judaism. Perhaps a further confirmation that they are, succinctly, breaking their own covenant.
Don’t forget to read the final installation of the series, where it touches on the more important players of the events: namely You and Me. – New Malaysia Herald
About the writer: Poet, Pianist, Painter and Technology Buff. Scientist by Profession, Artist by Heart.
Note: The views expressed in this article are that of the writer’s and do not necessarily reflect the stand of the New Malaysia Herald.