Posts Tagged ‘Pakistan’

The following article written by me was not published as it tackled a so called “sensative issue”

“It is the Jews’ fault”, “the Jews’ control the world”, “Jews are evil”, “Jews are kafirs” – We are used to hearing these words in our part of the world. It has become a mantra for conspiracy theorists like Zaid Hamid and basically each and every preacher in our mosques, teacher in our schools and friends in our circles in Pakistan. Why do we blame the Jews for everything? Are these accusations based on fact or hearsay? Or are we grossly generalizing the actions of the State of Israel and the Jewish people? Have we ever tried to examine the insecurity that the State of Israel uses to perpetrate the injustices in besieged Gaza and the occupied territory of West Bank?  In this article I would like to present some history of the Jewish people so we can actually know the people that we blame and understand them as human beings. The purpose of this article is not in any way to justify the barbarism of IDF (Israel Defense Force) and the actions of the State of Israel but to understand the people we blame for everything. Actions of a state, government or an organization does not mean that they are exacting the collective will of the people, exactly like actions of Al-Qaeda, Taliban or Hezbollah does not represent the collective will of the Muslim people.  We expect them to understand us, our actions and our suffering so it is imperative for us to also endeavor to understand them as our fellow human beings. It is not a one way street.

Auschwitz death camp

Firstly, I would like to point out right at the onset that complete Jewish history cannot be covered in one article so I would try and cover the main areas and if readers want to explore there is a plethora of literature available. Secondly, I would not cover the World War Two Jewish Holocaust (systematic Genocide of 6 million Jews just on the basis of race and religion by Nazi Germany) because readers might already know about it as it is an extensively covered subject in the media. The people who deny it cannot provide any evidence and only base their argument on religious and nationalistic rhetoric. It is proven and it did happen.

 

 

Jews under Roman Rule

Areas of Jewish Settlement under the Roman Empire

The Jewish people of Judaea (modern day West Bank and Jerusalem) were under the Roman rule essentially from 63 BC to early 300s AD. They were mostly hostile towards the empire and a feeling of mistrust prevailed even though Kind Herod of Judaea rebuilt many of the Jewish cities and also reconstructed the Jewish temples in one of the most extraordinary structures of its time. Shortly after the death of King Herod, Judaea came under direct Roman rule and continuous suppression of Jewish life resulted in a full scale revolt in 66 BC. Roman forces inevitable defeated the Jewish forces completely destroying Jerusalem. The temple was also razed to the ground. This was a catastrophic event and according the historian Josephus Flavius, more than a hundred thousand Jews perished in the siege and thousands sold into slavery. Later the Romans renamed Judaea and Jerusalem as Palaestinia and Aelia Capitolina, respectively.

Jews under Christian Rule 

This is a vast subject; therefore I would focus on the Crusades and the Catholic Rule in Iberian Peninsula. The essential purpose of the crusades was to take back the holy land from Muslim occupation. One of the most important aspects that we usually tend to ignore is that the Crusades were also a war against the all the unbelievers or infidels, which essentially were Muslims and the Jews. Our history books in the Middle East usually ignore that fact that on the way to Jerusalem, there were always pogroms conducted by the Crusaders against the Jews. Massive pogroms (massacres) occurred during the 1st Crusade of 1096 AD of Jewish communities on the Rhine and Danube rivers. Anti-Jewish sentiment at that time was on a high in Europe because of the accusation of the Catholic Church which held the Jews responsible for the Jesus Christ’s Crucifixion. This can be termed as a fallacy because Jesus Christ was convicted by the Romans for crucifixion and was conducted by Pontius Pilate who was the prefect of Judaea and no historical or archaeological exists of a Jewish conspiracy.

An artist's portrayal of the Spanish Inquisition

The Jewish community of the Iberian Peninsula came under the wrath of Christian rulers of Spain after the fall of the Moors in the region. Many Jews converted to Christianity to escape the barbarism but stayed Jewish at heart. This can be marked as the start of the Spanish Inquisitions whose main purpose was to root out this fake Christianity from the converted Jews and Muslims. The inquisitions were intensified after the decree for the expulsion of the Muslims and the Jews was issues in 1492 and early 1500s. Jews faced the brunt of the inquisitions and horrifying stories of torture and murders exist. None of the Christian nations would receive them and while on their journey’s outside the Iberian Peninsula Jews faced murder, rape and theft at the hands of Christian robbers.

 

 

Jews under Muslim Rule 

Ottoman Jews

The Muslim Rule of Spain and the heyday of Ottoman Empire can be termed as “good times” for the Jewish people where they enjoyed many rights and worked with the bureaucracy and the Muslim rulers with a certain amount of harmony. In Muslim Spain, although they had the status of Dhimmi, they worked with the monarchy and Christian counterparts for the advancement of science and knowledge. Ottoman Salonika became is prime place of refuge for the Jews expelled from Spain under Christian Rule.

An artist's portrayal of the Granada Massacre

This does not mean that it was a continuous era of happy times for the Jewish people under the Muslim Rulers. In the year 641 AD, early Muslim rulers decreed that Jews and Christians should be forcibly removed from all but the southern and eastern fringes of Hijaz. These were the Jews of the Khaybar oasis in the north and the Christians of Najran. The last remnants of these two monotheistic religions were removed from the Arabian Peninsula by the year 650. From this point onwards the Holy Land of the Hijaz was forbidden to non-Muslim. Only the Red Sea port of Jeddah was allowed as quarantine and some Jewish and Christian Merchants conducted trade. The modern day version of this rule prohibits non-Muslims from entering only Mecca and Medina.

 

Later in history there have been instances of pogroms against the Jewish people under Muslim rule. The 1066 Grenada Massacre took about 4000 lives. Continuous persecution of the Jews existed in other Arab areas of Syria and most of northern Africa. In 1400, the Jews of Aleppo were herded into their synagogues and slaughtered and the young women raped by soldiers of Central Asian Islamic conqueror Tamerlane (Taimur Lung). In 1465, Arab mobs in Fez (2nd largest city of Morocco) slaughtered thousands of Jews, after a Jewish deputy minister allegedly treated a Muslim woman badly. This caused a ripple effect of massacres all throughout Morocco. Similar injustices continued in the Persian cities of Isfahan and Bukhara. In World War Two, Haji Amin’s (spiritual leader of the Palestinians) support of Hitler’s Genocide against the Jews also does not score any brownie points for the Muslims.

Conclusion

Palestinian loss of land 1946 - 2000

Thousands of years of persecution do not give the State of Israel the right for carrying out suppression in the Palestinian Territories and occupations of Lebanon at different times. It does not give them a right to builds settlements in West Bank against international law and it does not allow them to besiege Gaza as much as they can. Their actions cannot be justified by their sufferings in the past. My purpose to emphasize that we make an effort to know the people we blame for everything as we expect them to know us. Our claim for the Land of Palestine is always based on the fact that it was our Qibla and the Prophet descended to the heavens and met all the prophets. Well, guess what, it is a site for the 1st Jewish Temple and birth of Christ so they can make equal claim to it. At this point, the official position of the Palestinian Authority is the right position and Israel’s actions are just out of stubbornness. If people continue to claim the land on the basis of religions the solutions can never be reached.

Having said that I am urging readers to read about the people we hate and blame and try to understand them. Leave the political and religious bickering aside and have a look at them without a sectarian bias. May be then we finally can understand each other and talk like sensible people and reach solutions on our differences.

 

By Ahmed Αμονας Aziz


 

A million questions clog my mind

A million anxieties fill my heart

My wits etched in stone, intuition based on lies

A million worries bleed my soul

I am tired, I am spent, I am weak

A million visions darken my hope

I kill for God, I rape for lust

I am angry at my being, jealous and envious

A million maggots stuff my crust

I scream and shout God is Great

I need to stop breathing, I can’t wait

A million lives I will love to bait

I hate the other color, I hate the other sex

I hate the other religion, I am the best

A million lies rust my spirit

Who do you think I am, a demon or a Saint? A monster or a prophet?

Ladies and Gentlemen, put your hands together for I am The Ignorant Cleric

In this vastly uneducated country one should see educated people as a glimmer of hope, a silver lining of an immensely dark cloud that hovers over Pakistan. This minute percentage of people is supposed to change the society and bring prosperity to our corruption infested country. But this so called broad mind is as narrow as any illiterate mind.

We as a country have a deeply rooted sectarian mind. Alas! We have given into hatred. We hate the Sindhi, we hate the Punjabi, we hate the Pathan, we hate the Baluchi, we hate the shia, we hate the sunni, we hate Ahmadi. We have drawn deep sectarian boundaries and base our judgments on a person’s past. We are hypocrites because we publically say that we love a brother from another sect, but in the confines of your own sect we call him a “bed bug” (shiites), a “homosexual” (pathans), a “parrot” (the green turban wearing sect called Ahle Hadees) and countless other names. We differentiate a person on the basis of the “topi” he wears or the way he offers his prayers, the way he grows his beard, or the way she covers her head. We feel proud when talking about the inequities of the Hindu society, but we ignore your own black hearts. So firstly, we are devided on the basis of religion, secondly, we are devided on the bases of different castes, thirdly, we are devided on the basis of the province we belong to, and lastly, race fits in somewhere between the factors that I have mentioned. This kind of hatred is present in the uneducated class but I have experienced this in our educated elite.

A prime example: In the 70s movement against the Qadianis (Ahmadi), the whole country was bent on declaring them non muslims, a minority, as if we hold a monopoly over Islam. And the parliament passed it into a law. If you ask someone about the Ahmadi belief they would not know more than ‘They donot believe in the finality of the Prophet’ in reality it’s a bit more complicated than that. OK we think they are Non-Muslims but are they not HUMAN BEINGS and citizens of Pakistan. So today we have forgotten our only national hero that we can boast about – Dr Abdus Salam. The 1st muslim to win a nobel prize for Physics. He has now become just one of the scientists we read about in our Physics books in school we have fogotton him because of his religion. And today we have heroes like Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan and we deny Dr Abdus Salam. So nomatter how much money we spend on Oxford University Education., we will still remain ignorant.

Our courts ban Google of all places. Don’t our learned judges know that Google is just a search engine? No No wait, Google is created by the west, oh well then definitely it’s a Zionist Ploy against all Muslims. Our religion leaders keep quite on the massacre of doctors on the basis of religion. This educated mind is ignorant about history also. Few people know about Armenia and the Ottoman Barbarianism. If I ask someone, “what do you think about the Ottoman Empire?”, the answer I get is that the Empire was the last Golden Age for Muslims, the last khilafat, completely ignorant of the fact that the Ottoman pushed the Arabs into the Darkness, The Ottoman committed genocide of the 1.5 million Armenians. We have refused to acknowledge our past and collectively developed a mentality of ‘We are the best’ which is a deadly fallacy.

But still I have a glimmer of hope as I see people coming to help the dead and wounded in the aftermath of a suicide attack or an accident. This is the only time I see a human helping another human and not a Shia helping a Shia or a Sindhi helping a Sindhi.

*Ignore the above paragraph now – after the Sialkot incident I am convinced that our hearts are as numb as dead fish, so I do not see any glimmer of hope, not in my lifetime.

P.S – Yes I know I will get the criticism well why don’t you say anything against the West. My answer to that is the West have their own critics in Robert Fisk, Patrick Cockburn, Norman Finklestein. We need our own critics, we need to gain own humanity back before we point out to others. Education (not Ammunition) is the answer.


Most Un-respected President, Ignorant Ladies and Idiot Gentlemen,

I abhorrently regret, with utmost sincerity, that I was elected the First Governor General of this country 63 years ago. I am extremely ashamed of the fact that I fought with my life for the creation of this state. My life is meaningless, but what about the Millions of bodies cut down for the independence? 63 years ago I told you in simple language about your responsibilities. I gave you the vision of the future, a vision of hope, peace, solidarity, tolerance, unity, faith, and discipline.

I said to you specifically, that it is your first and foremost duty as a government is to maintain law and order, so that the life, property, and religious beliefs of its subjects are fully protected by the state.

But you have failed me miserably.

Your people are unsafe, while you sit in your castle and barracks. Your people call each other by names with inherent hatred. Crime runs wild on your street while you eat the fruits of those crimes. You talk, talk, and talk while your subjects lay dead on the streets.

63 years ago, I told you, one of the biggest curses “is bribery and corruption. That really is a poison. We must put that down with an iron hand and I hope that you will take adequate measures as soon as it is possible for this Assembly to do so.” I expressed my hate for nepotism and jobbery.

But you have failed me miserably.

Alas! Your pockets are filled with the bribes and corruption that I talked about. You take bribes, skim money from government projects, while your subjects rot in the fields with poisoned water. This impurity of corruption has poisoned your blood to the extent that you shamelessly rationalize it as it is your God Given Right.

I can’t go on any longer about the inefficiency of you as a government as it breaks my heart and fill me with anger. You are responsible for the death of my vision and the thousands dead on your streets and fields. Now I will address your subject, the people of Pakistan, for they have disappointed me also.

My Brothers and sisters,

Yes, you have been ruled by dishonesty and corruption. Yes, the inefficiency of your government has let you down. But this does not absolve you of the crimes that you commit. 63 years ago I told you, “If you will work in co-operation, forgetting the past, burying the hatchet, you are bound to succeed. If you change your past and work together in a spirit that everyone of you, no matter to what community he belongs, no matter what relations he had with you in the past, no matter what is his colour, caste or creed, is first, second and last a citizen of this State with equal rights, privileges, and obligations, there will be on end to the progress you will make”.

I also said “You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place or worship in this State of Pakistan…….. And you will find that in course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State”.

But You have failed me miserably.

Alas! You have given into hatred. You hate the Sindhi, you hate the Punjabi, you hate the Pathan, and you hate the Baluchi. You have drawn deep sectarian boundaries and you base your judgment on a person’s past. You burn churches and you burn temples. You are hypocrites, while you publically say you love a brother from another sect, but in the confines of your own sect you call him a “bed bug”, a “homosexual”, a “parrot” and countless other names. You differentiate a person on the basis of the “topi” he wears or the way he offers his prayers, the way he grows his beard, or the way she covers her head. You feel proud when talking about the inequities of the Hindu society, but you ignore your own black hearts. You say I will not marry a shia, I will not marry a sunni, I will not marry an Aghakhani, I will not marry a barelwi, I will not marry a Arain, I will not marry a Sheikh, I will not marry a Sindhi. Shame on you because with this hatred in your heart you let the corrupt exploit you and you follow them blindly.

Alas! When you celebrate you Independence, at the same time you celebrate your impotence. I see it on television. You show bombs, soldiers, my tomb, war, and buildings, and valleys. You celebrate war with pride while at the same time you ignore the greatest of your nation on the basis of religious and sectarian boundaries. Yes I saw it with horror when you shamelessly forgot the Nobel Prize winner just because of his religion.

Didn’t you listen to what I said 63 years ago? Why would I ask a Hindu to write the first national anthem? Do you still know what I wanted for my country?

At the end I would just say one thing and I have no hope that you will remember it,

‘I believe my vision died with me, and my hope rots with me in my grave’

Jinnah