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Gaza: Waving the Bloody Shirt | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat- The currently incarcerated Sayyid Imam Al-Sharif, aka Dr. Fadl, one of the first major figures and ideologues of the global Jihadist movement and one time confidante of Al-Qaeda’s Ayman Al-Zawahiri continues his attack on the organization he helped establish with the release of his second book from jail; Gaza: Waving the Bloody Shirt’.

“During the last Israeli war against Gaza, Arab society fully drowned in a special kind of debate that divided the Arabs into ideological pockets fighting away from the main event. The political agenda was filled with exciting phrases that divided Arabs between the moderates and the rejecters, between surrender and resistance.

“Doctor Fadl, the ideologue of the Egyptian jihad group and its first amir, recorded his thoughts about the tragic scene. From his prison cell in the Al-Aqrab Prison in Liman Turah, south of Cairo, he wrote down his thoughts about the Gaza issue in a new book he titled “Gaza’s Shirt.” He finished writing it on the third of January 2009, two weeks before Israel announced its cease-fire. Asharq Al-Awsat received the book and its publishing rights.

“In the introduction to his book, Doctor Fadl writes: ‘These are issues that came to my mind with the Israeli attack on Gaza in Palestine, which began on Saturday, 27 December 2008. The inspiration for writing these thoughts was what I saw of the confusion of right and wrong in what I saw in the media and what I saw of the public following its emotions and blind slogans. I wanted to give my opinion about some issues from an Islamic perspective. No matter where people go and what opinions or sects they like, God Almighty will only judge them on the basis of Islam.’

“Doctor Fadl writes: ‘With the beginning of the current Gaza tragedy, the Hamas leaders, the rulers of Gaza, called for patience from the people of Gaza and for revenge. They said that they would not surrender even if all of Gaza is exterminated. This talk has no basis in Islam, upon which God will judge us. It is not permissible to force people into that which they cannot withstand, put the consequences upon someone else and then throw around accusations that this person betrayed the cause and that person sold out the cause.’

“Doctor Fadl begins his writing by explaining the meaning of ‘shirt’ in his first thought. He writes: ‘The raising of the shirt in the Muslim nation began in order to justify the mistakes of a person and to terrorize his detractors. Muawiah bin Abu Sufyan lifted the shirt of Othman Ibn Afan, who was unjustly killed, in order to justify his disobedience of and fighting against Ali bin Abu Talib, may God bless him. Because of this shirt, thousands of Muslims died, more than the number of Muslims killed in all the battles of Muslims before than, even the conquests of the Arabian Peninsula, Persia, and Rome [Byzantium].’

“Doctor Fadl goes on: ‘The shirts then followed throughout the history of the nation. Most of them were the result of competition over power and rule. Even in recent years, Osama bin Laden raised the shirt of jihad and combating the US and Israel. They accused anyone who criticizes them of harming jihad and working for the US. Because of this shirt, Bin Laden caused the US occupation of Afghanistan and the death of hundreds of thousands of its people and the displacement of millions. He caused the opening of Guantanamo, Abu-Ghurayb, and other prisons for Muslims. If someone criticizes them they raise the shirt of jihad and the fighting of the US and liberation of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in their face in order to terrorize and silence him from criticizing their crimes. The last one of these shirts was Gaza’s shirt. It was raised by some who have nothing to do with Gaza or Palestine in order to point fingers and distribute accusations of treason here and there.’

“By lifting shirts that have sanctity with the masses, detractors are terrorized into silence, the wrongdoer continues in their mistakes, and the truth is lost among the people. Here comes the role of those with some knowledge to reveal the truth and distinguish right from wrong. This is the duty according to God’s words: ‘And We sent down the Book to thee for the express purpose, that thou shouldst make clear to them those things in which they differ’ [partial Koranic verse, Al-Nahl, 16:64]. On this basis I wrote down these thoughts.

“The Second Thought: The Mother of all Islamic and Arab Causes

“In recent decades it has spread among people that the Palestinian issue is the mother of all Islamic and Arab causes. Thus, the Palestinian shirt has become holy and the standard with which to judge people and their positions, as if it is the entire religion. In the name of Palestine there have been coups and blood spilled in some countries. Everyone is speaking in the name of Palestine and there are some who have eaten and been made rich because of it.

“It is not the duty of those with religious knowledge to go along with people’s wishes. Their duty is to examine and show the right and wrong in them. The prophets, peace be upon them, were only sent by God to change people’s realities and thoughts so that they are in harmony with God’s way. The Hadith that says ‘Clerics are the inheritors of prophets’ is correct. So it is not correct for someone who was given some knowledge by God about religion to go along with people and tell them that Palestine is the main cause unless it really is determined to be so after examination and research.

“The truth, which does not require much research, is that Palestine is not the mother of all causes. The Palestinian cause and the Jewish occupation of it is merely the symptom of an illness. It is not correct to restrict to reducing the symptoms and leaving the main illness causing them because the symptom will remain and increase with the illness. The illness is the weakness of Muslims, their disagreements, and their divisions, which led to their enemies targeting them. These are all punishments that God punishes them with because of their abandonment of Shariaa and their distancing themselves from it in many aspects of their lives. This is God’s judgment for those who disobey him. This is the mother of all causes, the absence of Shariaa and the loss of the caliphate.

“God Almighty says: ‘Mischief has appeared on land and sea because of (the meed) that the hands of men have earned, that ((Allah)) may give them a taste of some of their deeds: in order that they may turn back (from Evil)’ [Koranic verse, Al-Rum, 30:41].

“And God Almighty says: ‘…We did take a covenant, but they forgot a good part of the message that was sent them: so we estranged them, with enmity and hatred between the one and the other…’ [partial Koranic verse, Al-Ma’idah, 5:14].

“And God says: ‘…then let those beware who withstand the Messenger’s order, lest some trial befall them, or a grievous penalty be inflicted on them’ [partial Koranic verse, Al-Nur 24:63].

“On the other hand, about those who obey him, God Almighty says: ‘(And Allah’s Message is): ‘If they (the Pagans) had (only) remained on the (right) Way, We should certainly have bestowed on them Rain in abundance’ [Koranic verse, Al-Jinn, 72:16].

“He says: ‘If the people of the towns had but believed and feared Allah, We should indeed have opened out to them (All kinds of) blessings from heaven and earth…’ [partial Koranic verse, Al-Araf 7:96].

“The enmity, hatred, strife, and corruption are because of the disobedience of God’s Shariaa. With this, Muslims fell apart and their strength withered away years before the fall of the symbolic Ottoman caliphate in 1924. European imperialism targeted them and then Israel.

“This reality will not change with demonstrations, conferences, and resolutions. This will not change except by correcting its causes, as God Almighty says: ‘…Verily never will Allah change the condition of a people until they change it themselves (with their own souls)…’ [partial Koranic verse, Al-R’ad, 13:11]. This reality will, God willing, change and the wise Islamic caliphate will return, along with the rule of the pure Shariaa, like the prophet, God’s prayers and peace on him, was told. Everything he was told about the hidden future is certain knowledge from divine inspiration and it is certain to happen. God Almighty says: ‘…this is, with thy Lord, a Decree which must be accomplished’ [partial Koranic verse, Mariam, 19:71]. As for the knowledge of the prophet, it is in his saying: ‘At the end of my nation, there will be a caliph who will give away money and cannot count it,’ narrated by Muslim, 7352. The meaning of give away is that he will give it in bundles, not by an amount, symbolizing prosperity and extreme wealth. This will not happen in the near future, I do not think. Other than this are matters which people cannot withstand to be mentioned and we are commanded to speak to people according to their capacities.

“The first victims of this lie that Palestine is the main cause were the people of Palestine itself. Because of this mother of all causes, Yasser Arafat gave himself the right to interfere in the affairs of others and to accept and reject what he likes. He accused whomever he wanted of treason because he was the owner of the cause. This brought calamities to the Palestinians. This started with the heinous actions of the Palestinians in Jordan after they fled there following the Israeli occupation of the West Bank in 1967. Arafat acted in Jordan as if he owned and ruled it. Thus the massacre of September 1970 occurred and thousands of Palestinians were killed and then banished from Jordan to Lebanon. There Arafat repeated the same mistakes because he was the father of the cause and everyone should be at his command. Thus there was the massacre of Tal al-Za’tar in 1976 and then the Sabra and Shatilla massacres in 1982 in which thousands of Palestinians were killed. When Arafat later decided to negotiate with Israel and the plan for the Palestinian state appeared he was asked, ‘Can you govern a state?’ He said ‘Why not when it was me who ruled Beirut?’ They were then thrown out of Lebanon in 1982 to Tunisia, Yemen, and elsewhere. Arafat then caused the kicking out of thousands of Palestinians and the end of their livelihoods in Kuwait and elsewhere because of his position supporting Saddam Hussein’s occupation of Kuwait in 1990.

“Because he is the owner of the mother of all causes, Arafat rejected self rule for the entire West Bank and Gaza, before there were any settlements there, presented to him by former Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat on a golden platter, without any effort on his part, as a result of the Camp David agreement in 1978. I still recall the words of Al-Sadat about his gift to the Palestinians. He said in English ‘full autonomy,’ meaning full self rule. Arafat was too proud and rejected the gift. Arafat then went himself to the second Camp David, 20 years later and did not get anything. He then died broken and besieged in his home in 2005.

“The golden opportunity came to Arafat in 1978 and he rejected it and it never came again. Abu-al-Abbas the butcher said that ‘pride is good in everything except when seizing an opportunity.’ Abu-al-Abbas is the first Abbasid caliph and butchering is not for a crime but is for spending money without concern, like generosity.

“Al-Sadat’s offer was a unique matter which I do not think will happen again. God described the Jews: ‘Have they a share in dominion or power? Behold, they give not a farthing to their fellow-men?’ [Koranic verse, Al-Nisa, 4:53] The ‘farthing’ here is the center of the palm date. This means that if the Jews have anything they will give nothing to the people. Thus I say that every drop of blood spilled by the Palestinians from 1978 whether in Palestine, Lebanon, or elsewhere, is the responsibility of Arafat because of his rejection of the self-rule offered to him by Al-Sadat. He then went searching for this and did not get anything. No one has harmed his own people like Arafat has harmed the Palestinians. This is because his aspirations were bigger than his abilities so his people paid the price, not anyone else. This is counter to the Shariaa because there is a difference between duty and ability. God only commanded us with what we are capable of. He said: ‘On no soul doth Allah Place a burden greater than it can bear…’ [partial Koranic verse, Al-Baqarah, 2:286]. The prophet, God’s prayers and peace be upon him, said: ‘From what I have ordered you with, do what you can,’ an agreed upon Hadith.

“Third thought: Who is responsible for the loss of Palestine?

“God Almighty says: ‘Whatever misfortune happens to you, is because on the things your hands have wrought…’ [partial Koranic verse, Al-Shurah, 42:30]. These are the true words of God: ‘…And whose word can be truer than Allah’s?’ [partial Koranic verse, Al-Nisa, 4:87] The calamities of Muslims are first and foremost because of themselves. The enemy only enters after this.

“So who lost Palestine? It is the Arabs who fought against the Ottoman Empire which ruled over Palestine and refused to settle the Jews there. The Arabs fought against it, especially the Arabs of Al-Sham in the First World War under the leadership of the British Lord Allenby. They ejected the Ottomans from Palestine. The British took it in 1916 and gave it to the Jews in the Balfour Declaration of 1917. Britain had promised Al-Sharif Hussein, the sharif of Mecca, that he would be crowned king of the Arabs if he aided her in the war against the Ottomans (the Hussein letters, McMahon). It then reneged on its promise. Britain banished Al-Sharif Hussein from Arabia to Cyprus and gave Iraq to his son Faisal, Jordan to his son Abdullah, and gave Syria and Lebanon to France in the Sykes-Picot agreement. It kept Palestine under its mandate until it was handed to the Jews in 1948. Britain was like what the poet said [passage omitted of poetry condemning those who do not keep their promises].

“Who lost the chance at full autonomy in the first Camp David in 1978? It was Yasser Arafat. Who built the Jewish settlements that have dissected the West Bank? Palestinian workers. Who kills Palestinians today and did so in the past? Palestinian informers guide the Israeli planes to the locations of leaders and important areas so that Israel can fire rockets at them. That was the manner in which Sheikh Ahmad Yasin, Al-Rantisi, Abu-Ali Mustafa, and others were killed. It is in the same manner that the Gaza massacre is being committed.

“Who mercilessly killed the Palestinians? It was not only the Jews who did this. It was all the Arabs in Jordan and Lebanon. The Palestinians killed themselves many times in Gaza and elsewhere. In the Hamas coup against the government of Mahmud Abbas in 2007, Palestinians threw their own people out of the fifth floor of buildings and imprisoned each other.

“When the people of a country fight one another, the enemy will come. This is God’s way, which will never change. The prophet, God’s prayers and peace be upon him, said that God Almighty said, ‘Oh Muhammad, if I command something it will happen. I say that I will not destroy your people through pestilence or make an enemy target them. They will target themselves. They will destroy each other and kill each other.’ The Hadith was narrated by Ahmad and Ibn Mardawih. Ibn Kathir said that it is a Hadith with strong support. If the residents of a country fight each other, the enemy will come, this is reality. God almighty says: ‘Whatever misfortune happens to you, is because on the things your hands have wrought…’ [partial Koranic verse, Al-Shurah, 42:30].

“Tomorrow: Hamas and the extermination of Gaza, wrongs that have nothing to do with religion. Khalid Mishal led the war from luxury hotels and the leaders there hid.”