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It’s not just a scandal about religious symbols. . .

Ibrahim Alloush, Albasrah.net

February 11, 2006

The al-Basrah website publishes this important article on the Danish excesses against the noble Prophet, God’s peace and blessings be upon him, because it represents the best and most precise analysis that has been published until now, so far as we are aware, concerning what western groups have been doing against our noble Prophet.


Al-Basrah Website.



It’s not just a scandal about religious symbols. . .


By Ibrahim Alloush

(translated by Muhammad Abu Nasr)


Perhaps the worst way to oppose the European media’s publication of drawings derogatory of the standing of the Prophet, may God’s peace and blessings be upon him, is to make it look as though the whole thing is just a matter of insulting religious symbols.


Some people seem to believe that defending Islam demands that we limit ourselves to considering only the religious dimension, taking this as an attack on Islam.  But presenting the battle only in this way actually drains it of its real essential content.  The latest attack on Islam cannot be understood outside the framework of the earthly struggle going on between us and external hegemonists, that is, our struggle as a nation, as the oppressed of the world, here and now, against the structure of subjugation, fragmentation, and violation; our struggle, first and foremost, as a nation against occupation in all its forms, and then against the racism that oozes from the pores of the west.


If we set the issue of the occupation aside, that is the earthly dimension, the Arab national dimension of our struggle, if we set that aside, it makes it easy for Washington and London to join in condemning the Danish caricatures – as they have done – allowing them to win some easy political points at the expense of a secondary country.  Then they can laugh at us as they denounce the insulting cartoons while they continue to control the fates of the world and the Arabs.


No.  We must not let this issue be turned into a clash over how to treat religious symbols in a western society that doesn’t care about anything sacred anyway. Long ago, Hollywood already made The Last Temptation of Christ featuring licentious scenes.


If the problem is reduced to a matter of religious symbols only, an isolated issue with no background, no ramifications, no history; if no questions are raised about the political and social struggle such as: Who’s in control of the land?  Who’s making all the political decisions?  Who is controlling and benefiting from the resources of the Arabs and Muslims?  If the matter is reduced to a question of how to treat religious symbols in isolation from everything else, then it will be easy for those who are playing host to American military bases or to "Israeli" diplomatic missions in Muslim countries to act as though they were protectors of the honor of Islam, as good as Khalid ibn al-Walid or Salah ad-Din in confronting the Danish affront.


The criterion is simple: if a position on the insulting cartoons from Denmark is taken by parties or people known for their firm positions against the American occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, against the Jewish occupation of Palestine, against American military bases in the Arab homeland, against the scandalous crimes committed against Islam and the Muslims in Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, the al-Aqsa Mosque, and dozens of other places where the land, culture, and religious community of Islam have been violated – then the defense of the Prophet, on whom be blessings and peace, will become a logical extension of real struggle for Islam.


In that case, the defense of Islam will be rooted in a patriotic and nationalist position, in the here and now, in this world, and in this struggle against the American-Zionist enemy and its stooges.


But if such a political position is not taken, a stance in opposition to the forces of external hegemony with its vile practices and racism, then the defense of Islam loses its essence.  It becomes a superficial pose in defense of some exotic oriental obsession over abuse of religious and sacred symbols, in opposition to the western concept of free speech that sets no value on sacred things – unless of course they be its earthly "sacred" things, such as the Jewish community and the "holocaust."


It is incomprehensible how those who normalize and foster relations with the Zionist enemy and American imperialism, who establish political, cultural, commercial, military, and security coordination with them can wash all that away by calling for a boycott of Denmark!!!!  It is not logical for the matter of the caricatures, brought up five months after they were published, to become the hook on which the Arab regimes, America, and Britain can hang up all their political infamy and come away with their credibility intact.  It is indeed funny when those people who grumble about calls for a boycott of American and "Israeli" goods suddenly rush around proclaiming a boycott of Denmark, when we all know that Hollywood is a veritable factory for distortion and slander of the Arabs and the Muslims, not only in a few cartoons but in feature films.  If our boycott were commensurate with the crimes and violations we have suffered, then we would have to boycott the Zionist entity and America first, as well as their ally Britain, for the many decades of crimes they have committed against us, the number of which is far too high to count.


For the sake of clarity, let it be noted that Denmark sent its military to take part in the aggression against Iraq and Danish forces are still squatting on Iraqi soil.  The Danish parliament has just extended their stay until July 2006.  Danish investigators have taken part in the torture in Iraqi prisons.  So it is clear that the caricatures are an expression of the colonialist’s scorn for the colonized more than anything else.  But it will appear strange to some westerners that some of us sat silent in the face of what happened in the mosques of ar-Ramadi, al-Fallujah, in the al-Aqsa Mosque, and in Guantanamo, but now pretend to be such passionate defenders of Islam today.  Would our Prophet Muhammad accept this?


د. إبراهيم علوش : ليست قضية رموز دينية فحسب

:: Article nr. 20551 sent on 12-feb-2006 02:04 ECT


Link: www.albasrah.net/en_articles_2006/0206/3losh_110206.htm

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