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Israel and Palestine

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Islam and the Rejection of Violence
Mohammad Ibrahim Miqdad
Dr. Mohammad Ibrahim Miqdad is a professor o f economics at the Islamic University in Gaza.
Religions arose to organize the lives o f people on the divine bases o f justice, tolerance, values and ethics. Islam, the last o f the Abraham ic religions, has the same bases and values. Prophet M ohammad said (Hadith), “I w as only sent to finalize the noble ethics.” In addition, his m essage that “God loves those who are good benefit to the people” was advice to people o f all beliefs, not only M uslims. He also preached, “All the people are the children o f God, and he loves those who are a good benefit to his children.” This message applied to all people, since they come from the same spirit regardless o f race, ethnicity or religion. In the Q u r’an, Surat A n-N isa’ (The Women), verse 1 states: In the name o f God, the Gracious, the M erciful, “O m ankind fear your Lord, who created you from one soul.”

Denouncement of Violence
In regards to relationships with the others, Islam walks in the path o f flexibility and denounces violence. In the Q u r’an, Surat A l-’A n 'am (The
Cattle), verse 108 states: In the name o f God, the Gracious, the M erciful O m ankind, “And do not insult those they invoke other than Allah, lest they insult Allah in enm ity without know ledge.”
In the name o f God, the Gracious, the M erciful O mankind, “ So by m ercy from Allah, [O M uham m ad], you were lenient with them. And if you had been rude [in speech] and harsh in heart, they would have disbanded from about you. So pardon them and ask forgiveness for them and consult them in the m atter,” Surat ‘Ali 'Im ran (Fam ily o f Imran), verse 159.

The Importance of Good Deeds and Tolerance
Islam evaluates people by their good deeds without discrim ination:
In the nam e o f God, the Gracious, the M erciful O mankind, “Indeed, those who believed and those who were Jews or Christians or Sabeans [before
Prophet M uhammad] — those [among them] who believed in Allah and the
Last Day and did righteousness — will have their rew ard with their Lord, and no fear will there be concerning them, nor will they grieve,” Surat Al-

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Baqarah (The Cow), verse 62. In addition, the Prophet Mohammad says:
“the most generous is the most fearful of wrong deeds.”
The complete Dawa in Islam is to call for tolerance and not to accept calls for murder: In the name of God, the Gracious, the Merciful, “O mankind if you should raise your hand against me to kill me — I shall not raise my hand against you to kill you. Indeed, I fear Allah, Lord of the worlds,” Surat Al-Ma’idah (The Table Spread), verse 28.
Islam came to conclude the Abrahamic religions and believes in all of the prophets and their teachings and statutes without fanaticism, denial of the other, or discrimination between the prophets, as stated in the holy
Qur’an. In the name of God, the Gracious, the Merciful, “Say, [O believers],
‘We have believed in Allah and what has been revealed to us and what has been revealed to Abraham, and Ishmael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the
Descendants, and what was given to Moses and Jesus and what was given to the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and we are Muslims [in submission] to Him,’” Surat Al-Baqarah (The
Cow), verse 136.

The Relationship between Islam, Christianity and Judaism
In Islam too, there is no discrimination between the holy books: The
Bible (Old Testament) contains the right path and light. As stated in the holy Qur’an: In the name of God, the Gracious, the Merciful, “Indeed, We sent down the Torah, in which was guidance and light. The prophets who submitted [to Allah] judged by it for the Jews, as did the rabbis and scholars by that with which they were entrusted of the Scripture of Allah, and they were witnesses thereto. So do not fear the people but fear Me, and do not exchange My verses for a small price. And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed - then it is those who are the disbelievers,” Surat
Al-Ma’idah (The Table Spread), verse 4. In addition, the New Testament contains the right path and light, as stated in the holy Qur’an: “And We sent, following in their footsteps, Jesus, the son of Mary, confirming that which came before him in the Torah; and We gave him the Gospel, in which was guidance and light and confirming that which preceded it of the Torah as guidance and instruction for the righteous,” Surat Al-Ma’idah (The Table
Spread), verse 46.
In Islam, there is no force of faith of any religion, all people are free to their religion, as stated in the holy Quran: In the name of God, the
Gracious, the Merciful, “There shall be no compulsion in [acceptance of] the religion. The right course has become clear from the wrong. So whoever disbelieves in Taghut and believes in Allah has grasped the most trustworthy
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handhold with no break in it. And Allah is Hearing and Knowing,” Surat
Al-Baqarah (The Cow), verse 256.

Teachings o f War in the Q ur’an
When it comes to the religious texts that were written to organize situations in case of war, they arose in order to avoid reaching the level of bloodshed characteristic of wars in Europe, the genocide of Native
Americans, the atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the killings, without mercy, among the Catholics and Protestants during the
Reformation, or the killings of Muslims in Andalusia. In Islam war is only justified in cases of self-defense. As stated in the holy Qur’an: In the name of God, the Gracious, the Merciful “[Fighting in] the sacred month is for
[aggression committed in] the sacred month, and for [all] violations is legal retribution. So whoever has assaulted you, then assault him in the same way that he has assaulted you,” Surat Al-Baqarah (The Cow), verse 194.1
When the Prophet sent his army to Mu’ta he ordered them: “Don’t betray, don’t go to extremes, don’t kill an infant, women, or the old, or a secluded person in his hermitage, don’t uproot palm trees, don’t cut a tree, and don’t destroy buildings.” These orders were also given by Abu-Baker
Alsaddeq to the army of Osama ben Zeid, when he said: “Don’t cheat, don’t go to extremes, don’t betray, and don’t mutilate, don’t kill an infant, or the old, don’t kill women, don’t uproot palm trees or bum it, don’t cut trees, don’t kill the animals unless needed for eating, and you will pass by people who confided themselves in hermitages leave them to their own selves, and you will pass by people who will bring you various kinds of meals, if you eat from it, mention the name of God on your meals.”

The Problem o f the Misuse of Islam
I preferred to start with these examples from the holy Q ur’an and Prophet Mohammad’s sayings (Hadith) because I am aware of the disfiguration that has affected religions in general and especially Islam and how it is being practiced. Nowadays, we find groups, political parties and
DAESH (ISIS) all speaking in the name of Islam, but they are very far from the tolerant teachings of Islam when dealing with the others, and especially when it comes to ethics and morals and the inviolability of human lives.
And from here we come to judge religion by its texts and not by the implementation and practice of religion of its followers. We note that the followers’ practice has distorted religion and distanced it from its divine
1http://quran.com/

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tolerant truth, which calls for unity and humanity and is far from wars, killings, bloodshed and theft.
Who is killing whom? In Islam this unjustified anonymous killing is rejected, and it is considered as a sign of the end days that were pointed to by Prophet Mohammad. “By Him in Whose Hand is my life, a time would come when the murderer would not know why he has committed the murder, and the victim would not know why he has been killed. It would be said: Why would it happen? To which he replied: It would be because of a general massacre and bloodshed. And the slaughterers and the slain would be in Fire,” The Book of Tribulations and Portents of the Last Hour
Sahih Muslim 2908, a, b2.
It is possible to infer from this saying that the killing that is happening in Sinai, Syria and Iraq doesn’t represent Islam; it is closer to Condoleezza
Rice’s theory of “creative chaos” or what is happening in Palestine-Gaza, or what is happening in Sinai and some Arab countries. Current religious conflicts in many states in this region are considered to be products of the theory of “creative chaos” and do not reflect the true teachings of religions.
Islamic texts reject these indiscriminate killings, and the Islamic parties in
Palestine also reject it. We are witnessing many extremist groups that emerge with different names. These groups have no reverence, and we know nothing about them even as they kill undeterred by any belief in religion, ethics or humanity. They give themselves Islamic names, but they are the product of this theory. In reality, those who claim this theory are the only people who are benefiting, not the killer or the killed, such is the case with ISIS.
This group arose all of a sudden, is growing stronger, receives continuous support and conducts organized killings. The majority of its victims are Muslims in countries where there is a real Islamic resistance and among real people who aspire for freedom. This group has never attacked
Israel or its supporters, or attacked stable countries in the Americas; instead, we are currently witnessing it threatening Islamic movements in Gaza,
Syria, Iraq and Libya.

Islam in Palestine: Questions about Religion and Politics
In order to survey Palestinian public opinion about the role of religion and conflict in general, and the conflict with Israel in particular, I conducted a field study. A sample of 151 persons was randomly selected; the target group of this study was civilians above the age of 18, and the questionnaire contained nine main questions:
2 http://sunnah.com/

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O f the sample, half of the respondents are under the age of 25 and
28.5% between the ages of 25-32; 25% are female; and 55.6% have bachelor’s degrees, while 26.5% have higher degrees. In regard to the political orientation of the participants, 40% are independent, 30.5% support
Hamas, 18% support Fateh, and 12% support the left-wing parties. It is possible to conclude that the majority of people in Gaza prefer to remain independent, even if they have a political party affiliation.
The analysis of the results of the questions of the field study is as follows: Question 1: Do you think that the conflict between the Palestinians and the Jews (Israelis) is a religious conflict? O f the respondents, 64.2% do not think that the conflict with Israel is a religious conflict. This illustrates the fact that the Palestinians are not in conflict with the Jews (Israelis) because of their religion. There is no enmity with any Jew in any part of the world; they have faith and are from the Abrahamic religions. Islam organized relations with people from other Abrahamic religions in the name of plurality and coexistence. Men were even allowed to marry women from other Abrahamic religions without any discrimination.
Question 2: Do you think that the conflict between the Palestinians and Israelis is fueled by religion? Of the participants, 64.2% think that the conflict is fueled by religion, in spite of the fact that it is not the core root of it. Islam calls upon Muslims to defend their rights whether it is in terms of money, land or honor. Regardless of the faith of the aggressor, Islam encourages people to fight until they get their rights.
Question 3: Do you think that the bases that the Palestinian parties use to resist Israel are built on religion? The survey found that 74.8% don’t think that the bases used for resistance are religious. It is left-wing and secular parties that resist Israel.
Question 4: Do you think that Islam encourages fighting and killing
Jews wherever they are? 80% don’t think that Islam encourages this. We believe that the Palestinian Islamic parties were established on national bases and not religious bases. Their main objective is to liberate Palestine from the
Israeli occupation. These parties fight the Israelis because of the occupation, even if there are Arabs or Druze fighting with the Israeli army; in case of war they are also targeted. The main objective is to liberate Palestine; the reason is not based on their faith or their nationality.
Question 5: Do you think that your political party calls fo r resistance against the Jews in Palestine? 81 % of respondents thought that the political parties call for the resistance against the Jews in Palestine. These parties are not only Islamic but also secular and left-wing.

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Question 6: Do you think that the resistance o f your political party against the Jews (Israelis) is because o f religious disputes or because o f the occupation o f the land o f Palestine? 87% think that the resistance of the political parties against the Jews (Israelis) is because of the Israeli occupation of the land of Palestine and not because of religious dispute.
Question 7: Do you think it is possible to co-exist with the Jews if they abandoned the occupation? 64% think that they can co-exist with the
Jews if they abandoned the occupation of the land, as there is no genuine or permanent enmity with the Jews; it is a conflict resulting from the occupation. Question 8: Do you think that Islam feeds peace or conflict? 89% think that it feeds peace and renounces violence and conflict, because they know that Islam is tolerant and are aware of its call for a just peace.
Question 9: Do you think that fanatic terrorist groups such as ISIS come from Islam or have an Islamic objective? 95% don’t think fanatic groups like ISIS come from Islam or have an Islamic objective. They think these groups have other objectives, such as the destruction of Arab societies, control over Arab resources, the distortion of Islam and destruction of
Islamic thought, control of the Middle East. They also believe it is mainly the consequence of Israeli and Western policies in the region.

Making Sense of the Answers
The main statistical results demonstrated the following:
1. There is no difference between the level of education among responses to the main survey questions except for Question 4 — about whether
Islam encourages the killing of Jews — where the statistical indicator
0.05 demonstrates that there is a difference, by level of education, in answers about the level of demonization that Islam encourages regarding fighting and killing Jews.
2. There is no difference in the answers given among the respondents’ age group except for Question 4. There the statistical indicator 0.05 shows that there is a difference in the answers and the level of demonization that Islam encourages regarding fighting and killing Jews.
3. There is no statistical significance in regard to the gender of the respondents, except for Question 3, which shows that there is a gender difference in the answers about whether they deem the bases of Palestinian political parties’ resistance to Israel as religious. Responses to Question
7 also demonstrate that there is a difference by gender in respondents’

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belief that coexistence with the Jews is possible if they were to abandon their occupation of the land.
4. There is no statistically significant difference among political orientation and views in responses to the questions of this field study except for
Questions 2, 3 and 8. The results for Question 2 show a significant difference by political orientation in the level at which the conflict between the Palestinians and Israelis is deemed to be fueled by religion.
Responses to Question 3 show there is a difference by political orientation in the share of respondents who consider the bases for resisting Israel to be religious. Finally, the results for Question 8 show a significant relationship between political orientation and belief that Islam feeds peace.

Conclusion: Islam as a Model for Peace, Not a Cause of the
Conflict
To conclude, the field study reveals that the Palestinian people have a real faith that the basis for the conflict with the Israelis is not religious; this opinion was found among the majority of respondents affiliated with all political parties, without any differentiation. They also believe that the core issue of the conflict is over territory; the majority of the participants in the survey believe that it is possible to have a normal relationship with the Jews anywhere when they no longer occupy Palestinian lands.
The discussion of “the clash of civilizations” is a completely different matter from that of religious conflict. Probably the core roots of the clash of civilizations are economic, with religion being used as a tool to sustain and legitimize the conflict.
To sum up, in the fundamental teachings of Islam and the results of the survey, we find a model for peace that renounces violence and the unjustified killings of innocents, and sets merciful rules during wartime, so that wars are not transformed into crimes against humanity.
It is possible to say that some political religious parties employed religion to feed the clash of civilizations, for example, by calling the wars against the Arab countries “crusades.” There are those who believed that
God gave them the land of Palestine or allowed them to kill its people and expel them from their native lands — the lands that they have inhabited for thousands of years — so that they can live in peace.
Therefore, we are calling on everybody to stop pushing religion into the clash of civilizations. Religion itself is innocent of this. It calls for peace, not war. It fundamentally calls for justice, peace and humanity.

20.4 & 21.1 39

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...Assignment : Arab – Israel Conflict and Peace Process Subject : Conflict and Peace Studies Lecturer Date to be submitted : : Mrs. Nirmali 25th April 2014 Student Student no : : AGMPK Wijenayake PGDCPS 037 Class Institute : : Semester 1 UOC 1 Table of Contents 1. Background 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Geographical history of two states Who is Israelis Who is platinise Reason for the conflict 4 4 4 5 5 5 5 6 6 7 7 8 8 9 9 9 10 2. Conflict identification using conflict tree 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 What conflict tree Identification of conflict tree Root causes of the conflict Core problem of the conflict Result of the conflict 3. Time line of the WAR 3.1 List of battle 4. Time line of peace process 4.1 4.2 4.3 List of peace attempt Identification of failure of peace process Conflict through Galtung conflict Triangle 2 5. Possible answer for the conflict 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Common third party policy Identification by the United Nation One State Two State Three State 11 12 13 13 13 13 13 14 14 6. 7. . Recommendation Conclusion Bibliography 3 1. Background 1.1 Geographical history of two states Understanding Israel and the broader Middle East requires understanding the difference between a state and a nation, two words often used interchangeably. A state in the traditional sense is the political apparatus that governs a territory; a nation is a people who share a heritage, a culture, or perhaps a system of beliefs Israel, officially the State of Israel is a......

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