Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Back To Basics

One of the things I set out to do with this blog was to show how a Palestinian lives and thinks in North America, to put a face to the Palestinian fight and hopefuly to show how the American view of 'what a Palestinian is', is wrong. Somewhere along the way I think that I may have slipped away from my original goal and into the political rhetoric that I despise...it happens I guess.

Last night after having watched the replay of the events of 9/11 on CNN's Pipeline feed, I was listening to the NPR signal coming up from Vermont and heard a fantastic show. I sat there in my car and listened while silently hoping that everybody in the US was listening too. The show was "Speaking of Faith" which last night dealt with Islam and it's world image as a violent religion...which I know it is not. I invite you to listen to the show right here.

Listen to the Muslim point of view from other Arabs living in North America and realize the true nature of Islam.

Download the audio here: .MP3 - Real Audio

Visit the Speaking of Faith website here

1 comment:

Tzar said...


I found out your blog while surfing around the net on various blogs related to the Arab world. I was attracted to your blog because of its name (Montreal, Palestine) since I live in St-Hubert, on the South Shore of Montreal. I am not Arab though, I am a French Quebecer that happened to have great interest in the Middle East.

I listened to most of this NPR program. It is indeed quite good, especially the point made by that Muslim scholar that America has only reacted militarily to the events of 9/11, without trying to understand what's behind all that anger directed at the Western world in general and the US in particular.

I personally believe the solution to Islamist terrorism is multi-faceted, and ultimately resides in improved social justice, economic conditions, and political rights for all peoples of the Middle East.

That does not exclude military solutions however as far as the terrorists themselves are concerned. I do agree with any operation, be it a police operation or a military operation, that aims to track down, kill and eliminate these terrorist groups or individuals. They deserve to die the violent death they wish to impose upon innocent people.

But the military or security solution can only deal with the terrorists themselves, not with the root causes of the problems that created them in the first place. And if the root causes are never addressed, well, there will always be a terrorist to replace the one that was just killed. In this regard, the West and America have utterly failed. The current U.S. Administration has only addressed the symptom (terrorist organizations) while blindly and obstinately ignoring the causes (social injustice, historical prejudice, poor living conditions).

So the solution to Islamist terrorism needs to be double-pronged, ie. military on one side and socio-economico-politic on the other. As of today, there is only one prong to stand on, the military one, and that's why this whole concept of war on terrorism is failing.

Of course, to start realizing the root causes of the problems that create Islamist terrorism, the West will have to do a difficult introspection on the relation they have with Islam and Middle East peoples in general, how that relation has evolved through history, and why the West is responsible for some or a lot of the bad things that have happened in the Middle East in the last 100 years or so. Unfortunately the West is not yet there, we do have problems looking ourselves in the mirror for that.

That being said though, Muslims in Middle East will also have to do their share to help things. For example, upon hearing the controversy on the Pope's recent speech about Islam and violence, I can't help but be troubled myself about all the importance that the concept of djihad has taken in Islam. It's a crazy and utterly stupid concept (as stupid as the Christian crusades were a couple of centuries ago) that is now being used by radical and terrorist organizations in a criminal way. I feel that such violent ideas and concepts is a shame to the larger meaning of Islam, and is a shame for all Muslims to see their faith being hijacked by criminals and fanatics.

What is even more troubling is that moderate and peaceful Muslims, which forms the vast majority of Muslims, seem to be too often silent in face of such hijacking of their faith - well, that's how I perceive it. I rarely see Muslims coming forward on a regular basis to denounce djihad ideas and denounce Muslims who preach it... So I have the impression the moderate Muslims are not very active in denouncing that djihad concept, in confronting openly other Muslims who preach those ideas. It seems to me moderate Muslims stay silent in front of these radicals as if, even if they don't agree with their terrorist methods, they still agree with the underlying reasons why Islamist radicals preach the concept of djihad or violence. Why is that ? Why moderate Muslims are not confronting strongly and frequently the rotten apples in their ranks ?