Blinded Extremism: Kuwait, Tunisia, France….And Jerusalem
Yesterday, I shared a photo on Facebook with a paragraph that I wrote about ISIS (Da’esh). The photo was a “declaration” or “announcement” signed by Da’esh addressed to the residents of Beit Hanina and Shu’fat in Jerusalem. Beit Hanina and Shu’fat could be considered the main populated neighborhoods of Jerusalem that include today all sects of the Palestinian society; Moslems, Christians, religious, secular, Palestinians from the North (Israeli citizens), Palestinians from the South (originally from Hebron), Palestinians from Jerusalem, and lots of Internationals. The announcement had the flag of Da’esh with a call to the people of the neighborhood to prepare themselves for the “purification” of the neighborhood from the “Christians” who serve the Zionists as collaborators (indicating that all Christians are naturally collaborators) and that they have a list of all names, but those of the residents who know of “Christians” should contact them (not mentioned how) so that this Ramadan will end by celebrating the Eid purified of the “impure” “Christians”. The announcement starts by congratulating the Muslims of Jerusalem for Ramadan and assures “them” that it will be a Ramadan that will be disastrous on the Zionists, and the Traitors among the Arab leaders, and the “so-called” Mahmoud Abbas Rida the Baha’i who empowered the Jews and Christians in the Muslim land.
Then they call for the resilient people of Islam to “report” on “Christians” who live among “you” who collaborates with the Zionists and the Western countries, and that they are all “ambassadors” to those countries and their organizations that distribute corruption and secularism and deprive Muslims of their religion. The announcement then confirms that; “ your people (the people of the state of Da’esh), know where those Christians live and they have located them, but not all of them. And the “hitting forces” – “the group of “sharp” swords” will work on “purifying” the neighborhoods from Christians during the holy month.” The announcement later confirms that it will start from Shu’fat and then to the rest of the communities until they reach the Holy Sepulcher to purify it from those who betrayed the pact of Omar.
And the last sentence addresses the Christian Kafirs telling them that they have to leave immediately by the entrance of the Eid, like lambs. Giving them the month as a more than enough notice to leave … and the signatures says the Islamic State. Bait al Maqdis Emirate.
I intended to explain in details the announcement in an attempt to re-analyze my understanding to it. I admit that I still don’t understand why Facebook removed that post. I never used any provocative language, or incitement or called for anything. I was practically cynical (as usual).
Anyway, let us go back to the announcement itself. There is no doubt that the moment one sees this horrific black photo with white letters that mentions the Islamic notion of “no God but God” one gets scared when seeing it not on a TV screen in Syria or Iraq. Still talking about the photo and their slogan, I was wondering about the three words that say in order from up to down: Allah Prophet Mohammad. Usually, the phrase means Mohammad the Prophet of God.
This is also not the place of analysis at the moment, the context of the announcement has a mixture of disturbing flow. Words that have been heard among semi-fanatic Muslims in Jerusalem in the last decade regarding the awaited come back or a Caliphate. But as inflowing as the assumed message of Da’esh, the use of the word “Zionism” was mentioned twice only, the word Israel was never mentioned or Jews. When practically the greatest threat to the Islamic whatever is supposedly Israel and the Jews. Somewhere in between this and this context, the term Zionist here doesn’t refer either to Israel nor the Jews. The call starts with the typical propaganda and takes a continuous shift to the Christians.
As I stated in my deleted Facebook post, that in other days, I would have not even bothered to read this announcement. I would have still said that Da’esh is nothing but an empty black joke made by ridiculous fanatics. Something inside me continued not to believe those movies of their cruel, barbaric, medieval assassinations. And inside of me, I still don’t buy it.
What worries me are we, the people. Both Muslims and Christians. In a typical situation, I would have included Jews as well. But these people seem obvious, not interested in Jews. Their targets are Arabs from either Muslim affiliation that is not theirs (we so far hear about their anti-Shiites slogans), but what took place today in France, as well in Tunisia, doesn’t confirm their anti-Shiite slogans. It is another confirmation that they are anti-Muslims in the first place, and then anti anything that maybe human. There is something about their agenda that seems to be hired by acquired services. But as usual, if people like me said this, the Kuwait murder of today drives us back to the Shiite equation.
Of course, the supporters or the sympathizers of the Da’esh purification of the Islamic world consciously ignore the simple fact that this is mainly happening in Ramadan. There is something basic about what Islam is, that these people are apparently intentionally working against. It seems like a deliberately intended message of declaring the Islam of wars and intolerance. An extreme of what Islam or any religion can hold in its teachings. Each time the world is trying to even differentiate between the real teachings of Islam this keeps popping out as a confirmation that Islam has this ugly side that always wins. There is no way any Muslim could be part of it, no matter how fanatic he was. Well, there are fanatics, after all the construction of patriarchal societies is about power control relations. That is what makes a home for fanatics. But yet, the fundamental of Islamic tolerance and this importance of Muslim blood that is completely missing in this equation only leaves room to one speculation, that this Da’esh myth is nothing but hired criminals and outlaws that perform paid assassination and murder services to whoever pays. There is so much of a Hollywood movie composition in this, but there is also a right place of medieval history in it. The Assassins in the 11th century whose title started as “hashashun” and ended by westerners as “assassins.” Also, a group who took the mountains as their center and assassinations and drug smuggling was their way of living, even though they were originally a sect of Ismaili.
Somehow, this is how history is comprised of a piece of truth and another part of the myth, and we fall in between and create our unchanged cultures and traditions, and sadly, this is what many Muslims choose to do. But the danger today is this avalanche of fanatic extremism that is making those cultures as the norm.
Da’esh slogans have many words that any Muslim wants to tackle, such as the revival of the old Islam. The better teachings in morals of early Islam. But Islam itself is far beyond that myth. The Islam of the instruction of the prophet is centuries before the Islam that is taught and preached in its notions of the 9th till the 13th centuries. Centuries that marked the evolution of Islam to its golden age from one side and those extreme teachings that some preach today. The only missing piece of truth here is the context. Even when completely disagreeing by scholars such as Ibn Taymiya who some Arab countries today decided to ban his books as a result of its effect on Da’esh preaching. We all deliberately ignore, that, such rise of extremists back then was a natural consequence of many elements, on top of them was the massive amount of scholarly competition that was taking place. Something that in today’s vanishing academic thinking or innovation in the Arab mindset, the only refutation that results in killing the one who dares to put his ideas that differ in writings is what marks this age.
The fact that the governments decided to blame Ibn Taymiyya for instance and banning his books, as well of course, of others of his alike, forgetting that these governments fostered ideals worse than Ibn Taymiyya’s in the societies for generations and decades, in the whole existing patriarchal structure that monopolizes individuals into power relations that start by the ruler and ends with the father at the household. Our societal structure is a built in the fanatic-to-be structure under the constant abuse of Islamic patriarchal dominating behaviors, which did worse to Islam than serving it … all under only one single mission to keep: maintaining patriarchal structure at any cost.
This teaching of tribal extremism that excludes the other whoever he was, as long as he doesn’t comply completely with our copy paste versions of the nothing or all that we represent.
Da’esh is not winning and expanding because of its powerful resources and positively devoted message. It is succeeding in manipulating the minds and hearts of our societies because our communities are raised up directly and indirectly on refusing the “other.”
What took place today in Kuwait, with this heartedly sad embarrassing symbolic message of a horrific Islam in the holiest month inside a mosque on a Friday, and the attack in a busy area targeting tourists and locals in Tunisia, and the hanged head in a factory in France, as well as the announcement made against Christians in Jerusalem; should serve as a wake-up call to us all Muslims and people of the globe. Exclusion, intolerance, oppression and injustice can never help a safer world for the human kind. As long as we differentiate and choose what is ok to kill and what is not. As long as we applaud for the miseries and disasters of the others whom we see them less deserving of justice and life. As long as we sympathize less for causes that matter less for us. As long as we watch passively the injustice around us. As long as we continue with a life of blame games. As long as we continue to foster patriarchal structures of our societies. Da’esh will keep winning and rising.