Mohamed Khodr’s Column
While Bush Assures Sharon of Americas undying commitment to Israel. While Powell Assures AIPAC (American Israeli Political Action Committee) of Americas undying commitment to Israel. While Senator Joseph Biden Assures Israel that any money, weapons, resolutions, and additional sanctions against Arabs/Muslims it wants out of Congress is “a slam dunk”, i.e. a given. While Senators, Representatives, Government officials, Military Officers, Media Personalities, and Diplomats attend their obligatory annual AIPAC dinner proclaiming their “Jewishness” and renewing their oaths to Israel. While Sharon travels to Jewish Centers of Power across “our” country whipping up “American Jewish citizens to put the thumbscrews on “our” government to ensure the flow of billions, latest weapons, and U.N. Vetoes. While the New “Tel Aviv” York Times and Washington “Tel Aviv” Post are given their Israeli editorial scripts and marching orders.
While the “Judaization” of America is at full throttle, the shameless Arab leaders are gathering for their summit in Jordan. It is an oxymoronic embarrassment to join the two words ARAB and SUMMIT together. Nothing in the Arab world can be described by the word SUMMIT; not even our adherence to the greatest universal message of Peace, Salvation, Mercy, Equality, Democracy, and Hope—ISLAM. Unlike the intelligent, educated, dedicated, united, and scheming Zionists who are fighting for the liberation of Judea and Samaria from Palestinian occupation, our (excuse the expression) leaders, only adopted the lying and scheming of such Jews for their self preservation, propagation, and illegal occupation of their chairs of power.
While Sharon vows to fight “Islamic Terrorism” to the last American soldier and dollar, the “summits” answer will be to call on the international community to implement UN Resolution 242 adopted in 1967 (has it really been that long?). It will condemn Israel, tangentially refer to America, proclaim empty hyperbolic phrases about Palestinians legitimate rights, the sanctity of “East Jerusalem”, the humanitarian support for the Iraqi people, oppose moving embassies to Jerusalem, announce new aid to Palestinians, support the Emirates claim on its islands against Iran, form another committee to study something, give more time for Sharon to form his policy; ask for a UN peace conference on the Middle East and yada yada yada; then return home to hound their enemies, their opposition, and plan future backbiting activities amongst themselves. Basically they will be asking the rest of the world to save the Palestinians from “American-Israeli bullets” thereby once again admitting their own impotence. A performance not even worthy of the “GONG” show.
For 52 years the Arabs have blamed everything and everyone for Israels violent creation and its unceasing belligerency and expansionistic policies. When in truth they should start with blaming themselves. How ironic that these leaders from Arafat, to King Abdullah, King Muhammad VI, to Mubarak beat and imprison their own people for demonstrating against the daily murder of Palestinian children.
My Dear Arabs and Muslims worldwide you must have faith in our religion, you must have faith in yourselves, you must find the courage, passion, and fire to demand democracy at home and a just peaceful justice for our oppressed brothers and sisters in Palestine, Chechnya, Kashmir, China, the Philippines, Burma, and anywhere else where Islam continues to be the whipping ideology for Western colonialism, domination, greed, and misguided bigotry.
I pray that you “Rage, rage, against the dying of the Islamic light” beginning in our own lands. Islam is a peaceful, tolerant religion of all faiths and for all humanity; yet we as a people with our leaders and scholars have strayed from the true straight path. Islam is not a faith of ignorance nor terrorism yet our Muslim world is mostly an illiterate world impoverished by colonial empires and their puppet leaders. Islam enjoins us to change our leaders if they are unjust.
Why are we so silent, passive, and subservient? Why? Why? Why?
We as Muslims have been pressured to join the worlds condemnation of the Talibans senseless destruction of the Buddha statues. Islamic scholars and emissaries went to Afghanistan to persuade the Taliban to reverse their decision in the name that their action is Un-islamic and portrays Islam negatively to the rest of the world.”
While such action was warranted it reeks with the universal hypocrisy and illegitimacy that tragically permeates our Muslim Ummah. Our Islamic leaders, scholars, and institutions have not decried the “Un-Islamic” practices of our governments and leaders. There is not a single Muslim nation where our leaders are either not corrupt, weak, unprincipled, brutal, oppressive, “secular: defined as pro-western with non-Islamic ethics or behavior that satisfy our worldly, bodily lusts such as alcohol, sex, gambling or other addictions”, or self serving, ignoring the basic needs and human rights of their people. To proclaim the destruction of the Buddha statues as “UN-Islamic” while our own Muslim people are forced in most nations to build and salute countless statues and oversized paintings of our leaders, bow and kiss the hands and shoulders of our “democratic” monarchs, and be subjected to the medias daily and repeated glorification of our leaders who accomplish nothing but receive messages from one another or are seen at airports welcoming or bidding farewell to VIPs. Isnt the presence of these statues that mainly adorn every square and circle in the capital cities a form of idolatry? Isnt the subjugation of the Muslim people “Un-Islamic”? Isnt the censorship of free speech and denial of free elections “Un-Islamic”? Isnt keeping our Muslim masses brainwashed with false hopes and lies of glory while they remain hungry, illiterate, and out of work “Un-Islamic”; while our leaders continue to build their palaces, mansions, and buy new jets and cars? Isnt the silence of our leaders to the murder of Muslims in Chechnya, Kashmir, China, Philippines, Palestine, and in their own countries “Un-islamic”? Isnt it “Un-Islamic” for our leaders to saturate “their newspapers, radios, and television stations” with their photos and “wise” sayings and hyperbolic grandiose yet empty threats against Israel? For five months the Muslim and Arab world have not been able to stop a single Israeli bullet, rocket, missile, encirclement of towns, starvation of a Muslim people, or even deliver the money they promised because Arafat is corrupt and a thief. Thats like calling the kettle black. Its high time to destroy all statues and paintings of our “glorious” leaders and start erecting schools, roads, and hospitals with that money.
As a Muslim in the United States its becoming more difficult to continue to defend our leaders in the face of relentless attacks, some of which rings true. There is no true Islam in the unethical behavior of our leaders nor any possibility of ethical Islamic leadership in the near future without a true “Islamic Intifadah”. In every Muslim and Arabic nation the priority in the budget is for the military and the endless acquisition of the newest weapons, weapons we neither need nor in most instances can even use. The personal budget for the President, King, or Emir in most instances far outweighs the budget for education or health.
The first word Allah (SWT) sent to His Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, is “READ”, indicating that Muslims must put a high priority on education so that they may understand Allahs (SWT) words and put His message in action to the betterment of mankind. Through the blessing of Allahs (SWT) words the early Muslims arose out of a nomadic, tribal illiterate existence to conquer the world with science, technology, arts, and a message of peace and equality. Tragically, education in our part of the world is ignored. There are not enough schools to meet the high birth rates, many schools are rotting, we dont have an adequate number of qualified teachers, and children are simply pushed through to make room for others without receiving a sound good education. More tragic is that our educational system does not offer our children a sound foundation in Islam, Quranic or Hadith teachings. If we as Muslims dont value teaching our faith then let us not be surprised when the rest of the world perceives our faith and its followers in such a lowly status. Our leaders fall into the western consumer mentality that we should buy the latest computer and install internet in our schools when the basics of reading, writing, mathematics, science and most importantly our faith and basis for living, Islam, is not taught. Its sad to see the majority of Muslim Arabs unable to read the Quran or Hadith especially among our female population who for too long have been excluded from education and society simply due to mens ignorance of Islam.
Our leaders and our masses chase after the superficial outward trappings of the Western culture. It is shocking to see Arab Satellite channels begin each day with reading or teaching the Quran and Hadith only to follow it up with western style music, clothes, and dance. To our simple mind this is progress and modernity. This cultural destruction of our society is permitted as an example of modernity and free speech. Muslims are truly drowning in their own ignorance. While Islam did away with tribal and ethnic loyalties, we Muslims are coming full circle to where our loyalty to our Sheikh surpasses our loyalty to the Ummah.
Our leaders themselves are mostly uneducated military leaders whove been in office for decades and will continue to be “re-elected” due to the people’s illiteracy and illogical submission. Thus how should we expect them to lead us in honor, dignity, Islamic principles, and in defense of our faith, land, and the glory of Allah (SWT).
We need to place a priority on education (especially on the female population), health care and the delivery of safe water and sewage, roads and infrastructure. Islam should be the sole and primary way of life in our nations. There is nothing in Islam that contradicts democracy, human rights, and progress. Yet worldwide adhering to ones faith is portrayed as uncivilized, primitive, and un-intellectual. Its almost shameful to proclaim ones faith and worship to God.
We must clean up our television and media to provide Islamic values that represents our culture. Our youth is being lost and consumed by worldly passions. Yet our political, religious, and education leaders are silent at this catastrophe contenting themselves with monetary gain and prestige.
As one who was educated and lived most of his life in the United States I can attest that most of Americas social problems arise from a lack of religious beliefs, a strong moral compass and a devaluation of human life. While Americans are searching for truth, internal peace, and a purpose for their lives; we as usual are beginning to take up what they themselves are getting rid of. Before we blame all our ills on Israel, America, and Europe let us take an honest look at us individually and collectively. Let us begin with looking into the mirror, into our family lives, into the education and future of our children, and to our political and religious leaders and ask ourselves—are we living according to Allahs (SWT) and Prophet Muhammads will and teachings, do we as Muslims care for each other within and between nations, do we have a democracy and a respect for human life and human rights, are we proud of ourselves, our nation, and our Ummah, can we change things to improve the future of Islam and our children? The answer to these questions will allow us to understand why despite the greatest divine message from the heavens we as Muslims have sunk to such a demoralized status.
May Allah (SWT) guide us to find our true purpose in life, to glorify His name and to send blessings upon His Prophet (P), to give us the wisdom, knowledge, patience, courage and strength to follow His will which will ultimately lead us into victory and paradise.
Islam blesses all of us with a “FREEDOM FROM FEAR”. Allah (SWT) Akbar.
Mr. Mohamed Khodr is an American Muslim physician and a native from the Middle East. He has worked in Academic Medicine and Public health with national and international health experience. He is a freelance writer who often writes columns on the Palestinian cause, Islam and on America’s Foreign Policy in the Middle East. He lives in the Washington DC area.