“Islam Claims Jerusalem Too; Mideast: Supporters of Israel consistently attempt to diminish Muslims’ connection to the city.” and Other Fairy Tales

e-s_041

***UPDATE***

“What is truth?” Pilate said, and washed his hands…

Today’s complex world demands a passion for truth, by which I mean accuracy in description, not some nebulous philosophical notion subject to infinite redefinition.

Mankind has always done best when seeing clearly what was in front of our eyes and applying our creativity and will to the parts we found fun, interesting, or that quite simply sucked.  Sadly some people have always preferred to confound truth for their own short term status quotient retarding and delaying the progress of the majority.

This piece started out with me noticing an excerpt, a mere two paragraphs, from the L.A. times. The headline made me pause.  I have always loved history and the mental disconnect with what I knew stopped me in mid-click.

The headline?

Commentary; Islam Claims Jerusalem Too; Mideast: Supporters of Israel consistently attempt to diminish Muslims’ connection to the city.

Los Angeles Times – Los Angeles, Calif.

Subjects: Islam, Territorial issues

Author: RIAD ABDELKARIM; HUSSAM AYLOUSH

Date: Jul 25, 2000

At first I noticed that there was a lot of false information and misleading statements in the piece; then I tried to find any fact that was not false.  And then I looked up the background of the authors, and found that the pre-fertilizer mass descends in close proximity to the genetically spoiled cow.

First I will look at those two, wonderful paragraphs, then let us turn our attention to having a peak at what our intrepid authors have been up to for the last ten years.

Read original here;

In addition to numerous Koran references, several sayings of the Prophet Muhammad focus on the significance of Jerusalem.

From the first sentence truth and realty are very flexible for Riad and Hussam; Jerusalem is never mentioned in the Quran by name and the only reference at all I can find is to the fact that, very early in his career, he had turned away from the City of the Jews because they had rejected him; this is hardly an intimate, spiritual connection we are talking about here since the name is not even articulated!

The only other “source” of historical “proof” of the ancient connection are hadiths, or sayings of Mohammed, speaking of the al-aqsa (furthest place of worship), a religious term.  So, what happened? Let me allow Dr. Daniel Pipes, Islamic scholar, tell the tale:

“The Koran states that God took Mohammed “by night from the sacred mosque in Mecca to the furthest (al-aqsa) place of worship.” When this passage was revealed (about 621), “furthest place of worship” was a turn of phrase, not a specific place. Decades later, the Umayyads built a mosque in Jerusalem and called it Al-Aqsa. Moslems since then understand the passage about the “furthest place of worship” as referring to Jerusalem.”

However our intrepid authors do not mention this, they simply give the evolved version and move on.

In one saying, the Prophet declares that the reward or blessings for a Muslim who prays in Al Aqsa mosque is multiplied 500 times. In another saying, when asked which were the first mosques established on Earth, the Prophet replied that al Haram mosque (in Mecca) was the first, then Al Aqsa mosque (in Jerusalem). Yet another saying advises Muslims not to undertake difficult journeys except to reach three destinations: al Haram mosque in Mecca, the Prophet’s mosque in Medina, and Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.

By now anyone who had doubted the historical connection is supposed to be feeling a bit shamefaced; the blows of falsehood increase in tempo.

While maintaining a strong historical claim to Jerusalem, Muslims also recognize the importance of Jerusalem to the Christian and Jewish faiths.

As is usual with this sort of lie it is put in very reasonable terms, the reader expects things to be just as the author claims in his wounded pride for his noble past.  All is not as it seems on the surface.

http://www.islam-qa.com/en/ref/21530 What does a popular Islamic question and fatwa (their terms, not mine) site www.islam.qa.comseems to disagree with Riad and Hussam:

“It is not permissible for a Muslim to make friends with a mushrik non-Muslim] or to take him as a close friend, because Islam calls on us to forsake the kaafirs and to disavow them, because they worship someone other than Allaah. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“O you who believe! Take not as friends the people who incurred the Wrath of Allaah (i.e. the Jews). Surely, they have despaired of (receiving any good in) the Hereafter, just as the disbelievers have despaired of those (buried) in graves (that they will not be resurrected on the Day of Resurrection)”

[al-Mumtahanah 60:13]

This was also the teaching of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).

1 – It was narrated from Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri (may Allaah be pleased with him) that he heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say, “Do not keep company with anyone but a believer and do not let anyone eat your food but one who is pious.” (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2395; Abu Dawood, 4832. Abu ‘Eesa al-Tirmidhi said: this hadeeth is hasan. It was also classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 2519).

Abu ‘Eesa al-Khattaabi said: Rather he warned against keeping company with anyone who is not pious and against mixing with them or eating with them, because eating with a person instills friendship and love in the heart.

…(Ma’aalim al-Sunan, Haamish Mukhtasar Sunan Abi Dawood, 7/185, 186).

2 – It was narrated from Samurah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Do not live among the mushrikeen [non-Muslims) and do not mix with them, for whoever lives among them or mixes with them is not one of us.” (Narrated by al-Bayhaqi, 9/142; al-Haakim, 2/154. He said, it is saheeh according to the conditions of al-Bukhaari. The hadeeth was also classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Silsilat al-Saheehah, 2/229 with its corroborating reports).

But it is permissible to deal with them in a kind manner in the hope that they might become Muslim.

That is not quiet what I usually think of as respectfor MY religion or faith.

…And Allaah knows best.”

Maybe so, maybe not, but Riad and Hussam seem to feel that it is permissible to leave the truth at the door in the hope we all might become Muslim. They are really  getting off the ground now, and the truth is far, far below the clouds…

“Centuries of peaceful Islamic rule over Jerusalem, during which Christian and Jewish religious sites were protected and preserved, illustrate the esteem in which these other monotheistic faiths are held.”

This statement could be refuted with a stack of PhD theses as tall as a house; it does not pass even a cursory inspection outside of the literature produced by the likes of CAIR and the House of Saud.

here is a short list compiled in a few minutes:

After the death of Mohammed (638) a small prayer house was built on Temple Mount, Second Jewish Temple site, almost 50 years later (688 to 691 AD) the Dome of the Rock built as well on the same site.

May 28, 1948 the Arab Legion finished capturing (temporarily) the Old Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem; including  many ancient synagogues and the Western Wall of the Temple. These are and have been for approx 3,000 years, the holiest sites in the Jewish religion.
57 historic synagogues (going back all the way to the 13th century), centers of religious study and Jewish libraries were looted; 12 demolished. Religious structures that remained standing were used as housing and barns; The Western Wall became slums.

Further, the Jordanians refused access to Israeli Jews wishing to visit or worship at the Wailing Wall, Mt. Olives cemetery, Rachel’s tomb, Tomb of Abraham or any other holy places in the West Bank and Jerusalem, violating UN resolutions.

On the Mount of Olives, the Jordanian Arabs removed 38,000 tombstones, using them for paving roads, as well as construction material for latrines. After re-occupation in 1967, graves were found open, bones scattered. The cemetery had had a paved road cut though; parking lots and even a gas station were built on what had been Jewish graves. Finally, the Intercontinental Hotel was built at one end of the cemetery grounds; the Jordanian appointed caretaker built his house from stones from the ancient graves.

mo1 Here we have the Mount Olives Cemetery under Israel.

mo2d And here it is again after the Jordanians have “shown their respect

The Hurva Synagogue, built in the fifteenth century or earlier and the main synagogue for Jerusalem until  the Ottomans closed it in 1589 due to Muslim incitements; burned by Arabs(1721) it was rebuilt in the 1800’s to become a well known landmark. In 1948, when captured by the Arab Legion it was dynamited as a show of dominance over the Old Jewish Quarter.

Septemer 1996, Palestinians destroyed a synagogue at Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus, since then periodic attacks have been made on Rachel’s Tomb.
October 2000, The Israelis guarding Joseph’s Tomb were temporarily withdrawn and the shrine was torched to be rebuilt as a mosque!

20b

Let us not forget what was done to those Buddha statues!

I want to interject here a few non-Jewish examples so no one thinks this is a solely Muslim/Israel thing.

In india in the 11th century Mahmud Ghaznavi conducted raids on Temples regularly to finance his other wars.  In the early 13th Delhi Sultans carried on a policy of selective temple desecration for “political” ends. In addition to these and many, many other examples of expedient or politically motivated Temple destruction even the apologist author of Temple Destruction and Muslim States in Medieval India, Richard M. Eaton claims that spanning the period from 1192 to 1729, “one may identify eighty instances of temple desecration” that were motivated only by religious zeal and bigotry.

And then there was the Cordova Mosque, built in Cordova, Spain over the former main Visigothic Church; eventually rededicated by the Spanish as a Cathedral.

“This period of Muslim rule also demonstrates that Muslims have a proven track record of being faithful and just custodians of the Holy City. To this day, the keys to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher are entrusted to a Muslim family.”

Oh really now? Virginia, shall we look a tad closer at the history of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher?

A quick Wikipedia search revealsa slightly different tale than one of devoted and compassionate custodianship. For one thing the aforementioned keys were stolen by the conquering Muslims, who then assigned them to the family, sort of…

“In 1192, Saladin assigned responsibility for it to two neighboring Muslim families. The Joudeh were entrusted with the key, and the Nusseibeh, who had been the custodians of the church since the days of Caliph Omar in 637, retained the position of keeping the door.”

What has been the quality of the stewardship?

“On October 18, 1009, under Fatimid caliph Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, orders for the complete destruction of the Church were carried out. It is believed that Al-Hakim “was aggrieved by the scale of the Easter pilgrimage to Jerusalem, which was caused specially by the annual miracle of the Holy Fire within the Sepulchre. The measures against the church were part of a more general campaign against Christian places of worship in Palestine and Egypt, which involved a great deal of other damage: Adhemar of Chabannes recorded that the church of St George at Lydda ‘with many other churches of the saints’ had been attacked, and the ‘basilica of the Lord’s Sepulchre destroyed down to the ground’. …

European reaction was of shock and dismay, with far-reaching and intense consequences. For example, Clunaic monk Raoul Glaber blamed the Jews, with the result that Jews were expelled from Limoges and other French towns. Ultimately, this destruction provided an impetus to the later Crusades.[16].”

Well, there we have Riad and Hussam’s 2000 article in a nutshell. Or at least the summery.  But that was 2000, what – you ask, have they been up to since? I am SO glad you asked!

It seems Riad has been to Israel where he was mistaken for a terrorist supporter and detained for a while by the IDF, Jesse Jackson Managed to get this member of THE HOLY LAND FOUNDATION released and back home to L.A. post haste. He is an internal medicine doctor but I cannot find any actual ratings for him in practice.

His partner Hussum’s website has this to say:

Hussam Ayloush is the Southern California Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations(CAIR) (see: http://www.cair.com). Mr. Ayloush frequently lectures on Islam, media relations, civil rights, hate crimes and international affairs. He has consistently appeared in local, national, and international media advocating and articulating the mainstream Muslim position on issues. Full biography at:

http://hussamayloush.blogspot.com/2006/08/biography-of-hussam-ayloush.html

As you all may know CAIR was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trials.  For such moderates it is strange just how many convicted terror supporters these men have worked with.  But, I am sure they must be sincere – horribly misinformed about history and of questionable knowledge regarding the meaning of the word “respect”; but, surely GOOD AMERICANS both!

…Right Virginia?
…Virginia?

See Victoria there ARE Moderate Muslims

Still discriminating against women

Yusuf Mansur

Jordan signed the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) on January 3, 1980, and ratified it on July 1, 1992. It submitted four periodic reports, as required, every four years, to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, delineating and underscoring its commitments and obligations to implement the convention.

Upon reading CEDAW, one still wonders, (29) years later, if Jordan is fully implementing this important international commitment.

” While discrimination against women is less felt in the public sector, few women have managed to make it to top posts, even though their performance is often exemplary and better than that of their male counterparts “According to the Department of Statistics, women represent only 21 per cent of the workforce; the unemployment rate among them stands at 47 per cent, which is more than threefold that among men, even though 43 per cent of women hold a high school and beyond level of education – slightly higher than that of men (42.7 per cent), and have proved they are better at achieving high Tawjihi scores.

In the Qualifying Industrial Zones (QIZs), only 30 per cent of women working there, who incidentally make up the majority of the Jordanian workforce in the QIZs, are married, as employers are against hiring married women, according to a recent study. This practice needs to stop. The simple requirement that job applicants need not state their marital status could easily solve the problem.

While discrimination against women is less felt in the public sector, few women have managed to make it to top posts, even though their performance is often exemplary and better than that of their male counterparts. …

Given the chance, women may perform better than men. Sadly, discrimination also exists outside the workplace and can be more hurtful. Jordanian women that opt to marry non-Jordanians cannot give citizenship to their spouses and children, which is not the case for Jordanian men who marry non-Jordanians. Why should a man be able to give his non-Jordanian wife his citizenship while a Jordanian woman cannot?

The obvious reasoning of the legislator is that women are not supposed to go abroad and study, meet people there, fall in love and marry, while men can. Such reasoning is passé, to say the least. Furthermore, it not only causes great distress to households subjected to such discrimination, it also causes significant deadweight loss to the economy.

Jordanian women, our daughters and sisters, unable to settle with their non-Jordanian husbands in Jordan may opt to leave for the husband’s country of origin. Thus, their life labor, productivity and creativity go someplace else where men and women are treated equally. Given that some of these women are among the most educated in Jordan, the loss in brain drain is considerable in a country that espouses the principle that human capital is its greatest asset.

Their wealth, inherited or acquired through hard work, cannot be passed on to their children since they are not citizens and thus has to be sold and taken with them. Can Jordan afford to lose capital and export it to the advanced economies of the West?

I doubt it.

The uncertainty and loss of long-term planning for the many Jordanian women who opt to marry a non-Jordanian is also a loss to the economy. As the numbers grow, the losses accumulate and the problem bites more from our growth, development and competitiveness.

The so-called honor crimes are also a horrible manifestation of the discrimination against women. Reported court leniency towards male crime perpetrators is abhorring and shameful; it was reported to be on the rise during 2000-2004.

Recent improvements notwithstanding, much more still needs to be done in terms of changing the legislation, its implementation process and the institutions that safeguard it. The very mindset that underpins the crimes is consistent neither with religion nor with the very concept of honor under which it is camouflaged. My past and current research focusing on the roots of these crimes underscores the lack of honor in committing them and their economic, not “honor” cause.

Since we have made international commitments, it is time we fully abide by them. Information and the availability of the Internet have made disclosure easy; facts can no longer be swept under the long-worn carpet of ignorance. Jordan can be a model in the region, as it has been in many areas in the recent and not so recent past. It should lead in giving women what they rightly deserve: equal rights in every sense of the word.

*Published in Jordan’s THE JORDAN TIMES on August 11, 2009.

Read it all

Democracy promotion in the Middle East: Good idea, wrong place and time

By BARRY RUBIN Jpost.com
Democracy is a great idea; open elections are ideally the best way to choose governments; dialogue with everyone is wonderful in theory. But in the Middle East, unfortunately, as a policy this would be a disaster.

It is not Western policy but local conditions which are going to determine whether there will be democracy in the Arabic-speaking world. In my book, The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), I analyze both the debate and the existing groups. The assessment must be pessimistic.

Would we like to see liberal democracy and moderation prevail with rising living standards and more freedom? Of course, but the real question is what effect certain policies would have.

The Western debate gets stranger and stranger. Among the policymaking classes, there’s a prevailing view that the Bush administration was a disaster. The rather misleading description for those who advocated a US policy of promoting democracy and overthrowing dictators – “neo-conservative” – has become among such people a curse word implying stupid and evil.

WHATEVER BECAME of good old-fashioned realism, the breakfast of champions in diplomacy for centuries? Realism, a term that has been hijacked lately far more than Islam, means to base a policy on the actually existing situation rather than one’s wish-list, building alliances on the basis of common interests. It does not mean embracing your worst enemies while kicking those with common interests in the groin. Nor does it mean acting like the nerdy kid groveling in the hope that it will make the popular guys like him. And it also doesn’t mean ignoring adversaries’ ideologies and goals.

Is it really so hard to understand that US policy should be based on working closely with Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Iraq, Lebanon (moderates, not Iranian-Syrian agents), Saudi Arabia and the smaller Gulf emirates? Is it really so hard to understand that US policy should also be based on combating Iran, Syria, Sudan, Hizbullah, Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhoods, as well as al-Qaida?

We saw what happened in Iran after experts predicted in 1978 that anything would be better than the shah and that moderates would inevitably prevail.

We saw what happened with the Palestinian elections, for while Fatah was no prize, Hamas is far worse and eager for bloodshed. We are about to see what will happen with Lebanese elections which are nominally democratic but influenced by Iranian-Syrian money and intimidation, as a government emerges likely to lead Lebanon into the Iranian bloc.

In Turkey, the several-times-elected AK regime, although still presented internationally as a model moderate Muslim government, is engaged in systematically Islamizing institutions and taking the country down a road leading closer to Teheran than to Washington.

I DO NOT LIKE saying this because I know many courageous liberal dissidents and would like them to win. US and Western policy should always press for their rights, against their imprisonment.

But why should the United States pursue a policy that we have every reason to believe will be catastrophic: namely, pushing for a situation in which radical Islamists are more likely to take over.

Examples have been given of people who might be expected to be liberal preferring to back Islamist parties. But Egypt is virtually the only place this seems to be happening. Elsewhere, people who might be expected to be liberal are supporting the existing regimes out of fear of Islamists. I think that Egypt is a misleading case for that reason. And in Egypt, the leading “liberal” group has now been taken over by the Muslim Brotherhood and spouts a very radical anti-American line.

Do we really want to contribute to subverting the Egyptian regime, with all its faults, and making the Brotherhood more powerful? The reaction is arrogance on the part of the radicals and despair among the moderates. The liberals conclude, you hear this all the time in Turkey, that America wants the Islamists to win.

I don’t prefer this situation. I don’t like it. But in a world where Islamists seek to overthrow nationalists, in which an Iranian-Syrian led alliance is trying to gain hegemony in much of the region, I feel that Western policy needs to back the regimes against the revolutionaries.

There are some ethnic or religious communities which have an interest in supporting a moderate democratic approach. At present, this includes Iraqi Kurds and Shi’ites; Lebanese Sunni Arabs, Christians and Druse; and the Berbers of the Maghreb. These are, however, special cases.

There are also very systematic campaigns to fool well-intentioned, gullible Westerners. These are often carried out by having moderate statements in English directed to a foreign audience and revolutionary extremist ones in Arabic directed at one’s own society. The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood has created a very nicely done English-language Web site that would make it seem the organization is something between the Democratic Party and the March of Dimes.

If the West engages with Hamas, Hizbullah and the Muslim Brotherhoods, while working to create a situation in which these groups can compete for power more effectively, the results will be disastrous both for the West and for the Arabs who become victims of the resulting Islamist regimes. No argument, no matter how sincerely heartfelt or superficially clever, alters that fact. That is a tragedy, but in policy terms it is also a necessity to deal with the reality of Middle East polities and societies.

The writer is director of the Global Research in International Affairs Center at IDC Herzliya and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs Journal.