Palestine broke free from Ottoman rule after the First World War with
the help of the invading British army, but could never achieve the state
of peace and security that it had enjoyed under the Ottomans. Over the
course of nearly a century, thousands of innocent people have been killed
by Israeli terror, massacres, and torture. Millions of innocent Palestinians
have been forced from their homes and their homeland and sentenced to
live in poverty, at the brink of starvation, in refugee camps. All efforts
to solve this oppression and cruelty, played out before the world's eyes,
and to build a sustainable regional peace have failed. The phony peace
initiatives carried out under the auspices of Western governments have
proven to be of no use, other than to buy time for Israel to carry out
new tactics for depopulating the territories it occupied.
First of all, we must realize that the events in Palestine are much more
than merely a ware between Arabs and Israelis. A struggle for existence
is being waged by the Palestinians, whose lands and rights were removed
forcibly by occupying Israeli forces. What is more, the lands in question
contain sites that are sacred to Muslims. Palestine is very important
to Muslims because of Jerusalem, the Muslims' first qibla, and the site
of the Prophet Mohammed's miraculous mi'raj (night journey). Furthermore,
Palestine is sacred not only to Jews and Muslims, but to Christians as
well. For these reasons, it is folly to try and keep Palestinian lands,
Jerusalem in particular, under the authority of an exclusively nationalist
political entity or to recognize the rights of only one religious or national
group. Palestine must be a land where Jews, Christians, and Muslims can
live together in peace and fulfill their religious duties as they wish.
A merciless struggle continues today between the two peoples living in
the land of Palestine. On the one hand, the well-equipped Israeli army
is carrying out a policy of all-out destruction; on the other, radical
Palestinian groups are carrying out suicide bombings against helpless
Israeli citizens. This book will discuss the grave error of trying to
solve existing problems through violence, and how a real solution might
Here one important fact must not be ignored - the Palestinians are being
subjected to cruelty and humiliation while the entire world watches. While
Palestinian civilians daily find themselves the targets of Israeli soldiers'
bullets, while millions of people spend many years in hunger and poverty
in refugee camps, while many Muslims (including women) are tortured in
Israeli prisons, there are grave responsibilities incumbent upon all Muslims
who believe in God and fear the Day of Judgment. The first responsibility
is to fight the racist, intolerant, Social Darwinistic ideologies that
form the basis of all unfairness and injustice in the world.
As you read these lines, know that the struggle of thousands of beleaguered
Palestinians to remain on their lands continues in all of its violence.
The occupying Israeli forces may be bombing Palestinian cities or refugee
camps. Possibly, children will be going to school under helicopter fire,
and families who were forced to flee over 50 years ago will still be trying
to scratch out an existence in the refugee camps. In any part of the Gaza
Strip, the West Bank, or Jerusalem, Palestinians today will endure oppression
and cruelty mostly because they are "Muslim."
For these reasons, every person of conscience must reflect upon this
situation. The responsibility of following media stories about this cruelty
and barbarism, and then continuing to live as if nothing has happened,
no doubt will be a heavy burden to bear. In fact, the Qur'an tells us
that each person who has faith and who adheres to his or her conscience
is responsible to struggle on behalf of those who have been oppressed:
What reason could you have for not fighting in
the Way of God - for those men, women, and children who are oppressed
and say: "Our Lord, take us out of this city whose inhabitants are wrongdoers!
Give us a protector from You! Give us a helper from You!" (Qur'an, 4:75)
The responsibility borne by those who hear this command and wish to rush
to the aid of those experiencing cruelty is that explained by: "Let
there be a community among you who call to the good, enjoin the right,
and forbid the wrong. They are the ones who have success" (Qur'an, 3:104).
This responsibility is to invite all people to believe in God and experience
the beauty of religious morality, and to wage an intellectual struggle
against all ideologies that are hostile to God's religion and the Qur'an's