It’s not very often that, as a revert, I attempt to thread a mosaic of unlikely ideas which interlace my own Christian upbringing through Judaism, secular beliefs and the Quranic message we all so aspire to. Nonetheless, this article considers the following issues, inviting people to come forward freely to faithfully and honestly reflect on.
Religious and political stirrings
Let me say clearly from the start that I am not a scholar of Islām. However, as a reverted Muslim I am entranced, fascinated and mesmerised by the Qur’ān. The depth of meaning and choice of particular words and phrases to so accurately convey Allāh’s subhānahu wa ta’āla message to mankind, can only have been formulated by The One and only Creator of all of us and everything around us.
Relating Quranic stories to the present day situation is easy for those who study our great religion and never must we allow the Qur’ān to be relegated to a mere book of legends. A female Rabbi once told me how Liberal or Reform Jews view their scripture (the Bible or Torah) as a book of legends, and one of the ways that the enemies of Islām use to destroy Islām is to seek to separate Muslims from the Qur’ān.
For the last few years I have been engaged in activism related to the injustices against the Palestinian people perpetrated by the would-be ‘Jewish State’. Here we need to ask ourselves, what is the ‘Jewish State’? How can a State be Jewish if 20% of its people are non-Jews? What exactly is ‘Jewish’ anyway, is it an identity based on religious scripture? Is it an ethnicity or tribal identity? These are very relevant questions, which remain largely unanswered, and as far as I am aware, Netanyahu has not described what “Jewish State” actually means, despite calling for it.
As my knowledge of the situation grows through both physically having been to Palestine and by reading more on the subject, I have come to understand that it is not only Palestine that is under occupation. In fact, the occupation brought about by a huge network of funders and lobby groups reaches far and wide across the West. Such funding and lobbying groups provide a carrot and stick diplomacy, which result in western politicians largely keeping silent on Israel’s illegal actions.
The constancy of the Qur’ān for all ages that the Rabbis circumvented
The first human beings were Ādam and Hawwā (‘alayhima al-Salām). They were instructed not to touch a particular tree. No reason is known as to why the tree was forbidden to Ādam and Hawwā but a command is there to be obeyed and as we all know they failed the test. Likewise we are forbidden to eat pork, again no reason is given and as much as we might want to speculate and provide theories as to why it may be so, the fact is that pork is haram, so as Muslims we hear and we obey without pseudo-intellectualising and wasting time looking for reasons or ways to ‘cheat’.
The same cannot be said for some of the Jewish Rabbis, however. It appears that just as described in the Quranic Sūrat al-A‘rāf—the story of the fish who swam out of range during the week and so avoided being caught, but swam into shore on the Sabbath thereby causing some Jews to break their Sabbath—some Jewish Rabbinical thinking sees the Divine injunctions as challenges to find a way around, rather than commands to submit to. What a miracle this religion is that I have found, when Islām literally means submission to God’s Will; and how perfect is that peace of mind and heart that one achieves when one strives to do so.
The first steps to understanding the occupation can only be taken once a person overcomes the conditioning they received from childhood and the persistent Hasbara – disinformation (pro-Israel propaganda), encountered in the mainstream media every day. There are many sources to learn from about the perpetrators of the injustices in Palestine from an historical context, a cultural context, legal context and more, but I discovered that whatever is written in these present times is already present in the Qur’ān. A good example is the book, “The Wandering Who?”, a study of Jewish identity politics by Gilad Atzmon; fascinating reading on what Jewish culture might be, but Allāh subhānahu wa ta’āla already gave us a profound description in Sūrat al-Baqarah.
The attainment of rabbinical servitude and the flouting of Divine Canons
Recently I read an article by Roi Tov, an Israeli living in exile as a refugee in Bolivia. I would recommend that people take the time to search the story of Roi Tov but in brief, he is a highly educated Israeli who served in the Israeli defence forces, later becoming a Christian and writing a book called “The Cross of Bethlehem”, which criticises the Israeli State and Israeli society. Roi Tov believes the religion of Judaism has been hijacked by Rabbis, as he says in the following paragraph of his interview:
The Israeli occupation of Palestine is the core problem in the Middle East and the Pharisaic state of Israel is the cause of that unresolved Gordian knot in the Holy Land. In these lines and pages you put your finger directly on the crux of the problem: evil men, who claim to be the authority of Mosaic Law, have stolen the Bible from the Jewish people and control them by keeping them in a rabbinical “Auschwitz of the mind.”
Interesting indeed, however it was one specific article that Roi Tov wrote called “e-Sabbath Goy is Born” that made me want to share his experience and knowledge with Muslims. The article in brief is about a Druze-run company that sells a service maintaining the servers of a Jewish tech business and fields calls on the Sabbath. Jewish law forbids Jews to work on the Sabbath. This includes tasks such as switching on a light, cooking, carrying, using a car and anything that is work-related. However, it also includes ordering someone to do the work for you, in other words delegating your tasks to a “Shabbos goy”.
Just as Allāh subhānahu wa ta’āla explains in the Qur’ān, when Banī Isrā’īl were given the laws they immediately set their Rabbis to the task of finding ways to circumvent them. In the footnotes of the same article, Roi Tov has given us some funny examples such as the following:
A long time ago, a student asked: “how far can I walk during the Sabbath, without the walk becoming forbidden work?” The rabbi answered: “As far as the length of a string.” Another student added: “How long can the string be?” “It must be a continuous string,” was the evasive answer. After many questions and answers, strings running along the highways attach modern neighbouring ultraorthodox communities in Israel, so that the Mosaic Law Violators can walk among the communities. Many strings are attached head to tail; rumors say a superstring following Earth’s Equator line is planned for the very near future.
These strings are known as ‘Eruv’s and they run in neighbourhoods where I live in North London. Since Jews are forbidden to use pushchairs, wheelchairs or carry anything on the Sabbath they build an Eruv between a Synagogue and their residential area thereby making the whole area inside the Eruv a garden and therefore permissible for them to carry items or use transport. Is this not rather amusing a notion that somehow mankind can outwit God Himself and circumvent His commands?
From the article by Roi Tov and by the story of Banī Isrā’īl breaking the Sabbath in Sūrat al-A’rāf, we can deduce that nothing has changed in some of the rabbinical teachings of today since ancient times mentioned in the Quranic stories. But does this only help us to understand religious Jews and their Rabbis? It is essential to point out that a secular Jew, Theodor Herzl, founded Zionism. It is also clear that many of the State of Israel’s political leaders are not religious, they are secular, but is there a connection between the secular and the religious? I believe the connection is the culture of a strong tribal identity and feeling of racial supremacy that enables some of both religious and secular Jews to believe that they are above the law.
The inherited canonical laws of secular misinformation—Hasbarah propaganda
Hasbara, a Hebrew word that means, “explaining” or to some it means propaganda. How does Hasbara work? Take the example of when the world is presented with an undeniable truth such as the State of Israel being the stolen land of Palestine from the people who lived on it for centuries. Hasbara is the work of changing and controlling that narrative. This uncomfortable truth is suppressed and instead replaced with “the Jews had to have somewhere to live after the holocaust” and “a land without a people for a people without a land”. Omitting the facts that the Palestinian people had lived on their land for centuries and using the holocaust as a justification changes the how people perceive the creation of the Israeli State.
It is well known that the State of Israel pays students and others to sit on the internet taking part in forums and on line discussions to present Hasbara and in order control or change the narrative in Israel’s favour. Likewise after any murder, land theft, house demolition or massacre the Israeli State applies its most brilliant Hasbara merchants to get onto TV and give their version of events, which may in fact be a totally skewed version of what really took place but they bank on this being the one that sticks in people’s mind. Likewise discrediting politicians or activists who dare to speak out against Israel’s lack of regard for International Law and human rights is done by flinging enough mud around and hoping some will stick.
It is a fact that the State of Israel is in contravention of more United Nations resolutions than any other nation . They break International Law on a regular basis with impunity. This ability to believe that laws are there to be ignored or circumvented is rationalised—whether you believe that the rules are given by God or by the United Nations—if you are raised in a culture of racial supremacy.
I contrast much of that learning with the very different mental universe I grew up in. Understanding the delicate balance of entire societies to appreciate the war in the middle east, the plethora of ideas from my early childhood allowed me to take into my stride the wealth of information I was about to encounter with my reversion. I remember earlier on at school, how we were shown archived footage of the victimised Jewish experience, in the form of a spoon-feeding campaign, not too dissimilar to secularist Zionist Hasbara, that was deliberately the root cause of the birth of a Jewish homeland to the detriment of the Palestinians, which I now actively seek to correct. But in the context of today’s changing standards it has given me a completely different understanding of what words and concepts mean in the meeting of minds and the understanding of hearts, which is all that has to be made possible with education.
Of course not all Jews think or behave in the same way and many Jews are concerned that by Netanyahu insisting that Israel be known as “the Jewish State” it implicates all Jews as participants in the State of Israel’s lawless actions. Moreover, the inevitable downfall of the State of Israel in future could have repercussions for many Jews who are completely detached or even totally opposed to the very existence of the Israeli State. You don’t have to be Jewish to be a Zionist of course. Surely, Dick Cheney must be the ultimate Sabbath Goy, working deceitfully to further Israel’s regional aspirations, a prime example that has finally been established being the invasion of Iraq based on utter lies.
For further insight and understanding into the present day conflicts of the Middle East and beyond I would recommend studying Sūrat al-Baqarah. Whilst describing various historical events, it describes an ancient culture that has not really changed for some.
Notes: http://www.redressonline.com/2012/10/israels-professional-liars/  http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Wandering-Who-Identity-Politics/dp/1846948754  http://www.roitov.com/introduction.htm  http://www.amazon.com/The-Cross-Bethlehem-Memoirs-Refugee/dp/1439257701  https://web.archive.org/web/20150420011850/http://www.roitov.com/articles/goyshelshabat.htm  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israeli_Druze  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shabbos_goy  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eruv  http://www.qtafsir.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=366&Itemid=36 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_the_UN_resolutions_concerning_Israel_and_Palestine