Friday, June 14, 2013

The Islamic Movement is not the answer


Not unlike Jewish fundamentalism, the Islamic Movement is one of the damaging phenomena in Arab society in Israel. The optimal solution in the context of the volatile Israeli mix is legislation prohibiting the establishment of religious parties.

Salman Masalha ||
The Islamic Movement is not the answer


Fanaticism of any sort, and especially fanaticism nourished on religious myths, is a lurking danger to any society that desires to live in a civilized way. Ever since the Six-Day War, Jewish society has been grappling with the destructive influence of Jewish fundamentalism on the social, economic and political life of the individual.

Arab society, too, is trying − unsuccessfully − to grapple with the destructive influence of religion. It can be said that the level of the destructiveness of religious fundamentalism in Arab society, which is for the most part Muslim, is far greater. It is destroying the social fabric that is fragile in any case because of the tribal and ethnic structure rooted there, and is crumbling the solidarity among the elements in the Arab mosaic in its struggle for its rights in the face of majority rule.

Islamic fundamentalism, as embodied by the Islamic Movement, is a useful tool in the hands of the Jewish regime. From one perspective, the Islamic Movement is consciously raising the civil separation barrier between Jews and Arabs, and from another perspective it is breaking Arab society into ethnic groups, sects and tribes quarreling among themselves. The movement is fueling the “divide and conquer” approach that has always served as an effective weapon in the hands of a colonial regime.

Years ago the controversy over the mosque the Islamic Movement wanted to build in Nazareth near the Basilica of the Annunciation burst into public view. It was the government headed by “defender of Islam” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that approved the construction of the mosque. In the wake of that decision, a tempest raged in the Christian world, the plan never came to fruition and since then the plot of land has been a focus of tension in the city. Evidence of the tension is a large sign hanging at the site and on it a quotation from the Koran: “And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers” (The Family of Imran: 85). Accompanying it is a translation into English to ensure that visitors to the basilica will not fail to get the message.

Another tempest has been raging recently in the Arab public but it has evaded the radar of the Hebrew media, which have not bothered to report on it. Apparently as long as things stay within the Arab community and have no exceptional repercussions or international reverberations, no one in the Hebrew media takes an interest in them. This time, too, the Islamic Movement is at the center of the affair. Now, however, its poisoned arrows are aimed neither at Jews nor at Christians, but rather at the Druze.

Recently a video filmed at the Islamic Studies College in Umm al-Fahm and uploaded to YouTube showed lecturer Dr. Raed Fathi teaching students Muslim doctrine in these words: “The Druze are heretics who must be boycotted and combated.” The Druze public was enraged, complaints against the lecturer were filed with the police and there were harsh exchanges between Druze and Muslims on the Internet. The storm did not abate until the lecturer came with a delegation and apologized to the Druze at the home of the spiritual leader in the Galilee village of Julis. The entire affair escaped the eyes of the Hebrew media. Let the Arabs slug it out among themselves; it’s good for the Jews.

The Islamic Movement is one of the damaging phenomena in Arab society in Israel. Like what is happening in Jewish society, Islamic fundamentalism bears the standard of religion and thwarts any attempt to create a civic national identity that transcends ethnic groups and religions. It must be said clearly that religious studies in which clerics are involved, and especially of the monotheistic religions, are in fact code for “advanced hatred studies.”

The optimal solution in the context of the volatile Israeli mix is legislation prohibiting the establishment of religious parties. The law should not, of course, deny an individual’s right to be religious and worship in accordance with his beliefs, but it must prevent religious incitement of any sort. It must stop the expropriation of religious affiliation by means of malicious manipulations on the part of racist agents of religion − any religion.
*
Published: Opinions-Haaretz, Jun.14, 2013

***
For Hebrew, press here

Print Friendly and PDF

Share:


Facebook comments:
0 Comments:
Post a Comment

Middle East
  • The Arab world's quagmire

    Only a society that can engage in introspection and self-examination can emerge from its dark past and march confidently to a different future. Otherwise, it will continue to sink into the same marshy swamp.

    Read more

    A Feeble Middle East

    The West learned on its own flesh that this region conducts itself by other codes. Iran has continued to entrench its standing by means of its religious ideology. The toppling of Saddam Hussein shattered the illusion of the existence of a unifying “Iraqi identity” and gave an encouraging shot in the arm to Iran, which is forging ahead.

    Read more

  • The decay in the Arab world

    With great sadness, it can be said that in the absence of a sane civil alternative, the Arab world will continue along this path.

    Read more


    Neither Arab nor Spring

    The vicissitudes that have, for some reason, been collectively dubbed the "Arab Spring" are neither Arab nor Spring. One can say that they are actually living proof of the identity crisis and reverberating bankruptcy of Arab nationalism.

    Read more

  • another title

Israel - Palestine
  • Our troubles come from us

    And so we have reached a situation in which every Arab is concerned with his own problems and everyone talks about what preoccupies him personally – that is, his own troubles.

    Read more


  • Never-ending tragedy

    The Israeli right, in all its forms, wants exclusively Jewish control over all of the Land of Israel. To the Palestinians who live in this space, it promises residency – temporary, of course, on condition that they keep their heads down, accept their designated status and behave accordingly.

    Read more
  • Solomon’s Mosque

    Religion, every religion, is the No. 1 enemy of nationalism. But under conditions of tension, such as tribal warfare, these polar opposites combine into a toxic soup that consumes all common sense.

    Read more


Racism
  • They see not, nor know

    The term "neutralize" is very popular with people who have served in the security and expulsion forces. The question to be asked is, What did the poet who spoke of "neutralization" mean in this plan?

    Read more

    For Jews only

    From the moment the pundits followed in the footsteps of the politicians, both large and small, they carried this noxious melody everywhere. They were part of legitimizing the illegitimate in Israeli politics.

    Read more

  • With yearning soul

    The Zionism that aspired to establish a "Jewish home" in the Jews' "ancient homeland" did not take into consideration the fact that the land was not empty. It thus adopted the principle of population transfer, based on the same ancient biblical tradition.

    Read more

    Rabbis of the Dry Bones

    Racism surfaces when a society loses its self-confidence and turns to seeking ways to defend itself against what is different and perceived as increasingly threatening.

    Read more

  • الحلم

    حلمتُ:
    أنّي في سجن جدران بيضاء
    حيث لا يعرفني أحدٌ، وأصواتٌ
    تختفي في الرّدهات، وأضواء تستنشقُ
    جمجمتي اللّاهثة.
    ...
    تتمة الكلام


Press photo to Email

Classic

***
Jazz




Site Archive

SELECTED TOPICS

 
Essays
  • The pit and the pendulum

    In those days, we did not drink four goblets of wine, because everything that gladdens the human heart is not a part of our custom.

    Read more

  • Welcome Back to History

    Islam, like other imperialist ideologies, still needs enemies to flourish. Enemies have served Islam in the past as fuel for its wagons. Without enemies Islam declines and stagnates...

    Read more

  • another title

Poetry
  • Balkrishna Sama

    Man Is God


    He who loves flowers, has a tender heart.
    he who cannot pluck their blooms,
    has a heart that's noble.

    Read more

  • Martin Niemöller

    First They Came

    First they came for the Communists
    And I did not speak out
    Because I was not a Communist.
    Then they came for the Socialist
    And I did not speak out
    Because I was not a Socialist.


    Read More

  • Salman Masalha

    The Song About the Child

    Boston Gospel Choir

    Text: Salman Masalha
    Composer: Stephen Feigenbaum


    listen

TOPICS