This verse of the Noble Quran often springs to my mind when following the news and current events.

Allah has set a seal on their hearts and their hearing, and there is a blindfold on their sight

 

Faith and Reason

In many verses there is mention of the unbelievers’ and hypocrites’ hearts, eyes, and ears being sealed and of the sinful and perverse being misled. Khatm and tab’ [both meaning “seal”] denote ending, stamping a seal, imprinting, printing, and rendering things in certain shapes.

Heart in some instances denotes the particular organ of the body—i.e., the corporeal heart—and in other instances it is used to denote the human spirit, soul, etc.—the psychic and spiritual heart.

Allah’s (awj) sealing the spiritual and inward hearts of some human beings indicates their inability to be guided, their hearts being shut to the understanding and comprehension of Divine knowledge and their failure to turn to good and virtue. The sealing of their hearts, ears, and eyes by Allah (awj) is the result of their own volitional conduct and their ignoring the repeated admonitions of Allah (awj). In addition, although their hearts, ears, and eyes are sealed—this seal encompasses various levels and degrees. If it is such that the darkness of sin and malice has pervaded their hearts completely, they will never return to virtue and guidance. Of course this does not mean that it would be impossible for them to return to the light of faith and guidance, for the possibility of change and transformation exists till the very brink of death. Therefore, they are not deprived of free choice. They can by their free choice either remain on their same perverse ways, or they can choose with a firm and resolute decision, though it be difficult, to change their ways, and by finding the way of guidance and hearkening to the Divine instructions, attain to ultimate felicity.

In other words, to the extent that one’s heart is stained by the dross of sin, one is proportionately sealed off from the path of truth and deprived of understanding the Divine Signs and benefiting from His light and guidance. It should also be noted that perversion and the shutting of the heart is not exclusive to the unbelievers and the hypocrites.

“As for the faithless, it is the same to them whether you warn them or do not warn them, they will not have faith. Allah has set a seal on their hearts and their hearing, and there is a blindfold on their sight and there is a great punishment for them.”[18] 

“Allah has set a seal on their hearts, so they do not know.”[19]

 

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Source: Edna Yaghi’s response to Dr. Mathis’s letter <Palestinian Holocaust

The UN partition of 1947 gave to Jews what it had no right to give in the first place. You cannot give the land of one people to another and call it international law. In 1922, the Jews in Palestine constituted only 11 % of the population but by 1947, they had increased their number to 31 %. This was a result of massive immigration. I would love to see how accommodating Dr. Mathis would be to some people who decided to occupy his home, take it away from him and evict him simply on the grounds that they felt they had the right to do so. That is, if they did not think that murdering him first would be a much better idea than to bother with just evicting him and his family to some desert place without food or shelter.

The Palestinians that fled their homes did so because of the atrocities committed by Jewish terrorist groups such as the Irgun and Stern gangs when they massacred whole villages of Palestinian civilians such as at Deir Yassin. Official Zionist history describes which methods of terrorism should be used to attack the Palestinians. The objective was to inflict physical harm or liquidate them. Plan Dalet was such a plan used by the Jewish Haganah. It was very effective and the result was nearly a million refugees in 1947.

The Jewish claim to Palestine has no historical basis. Zionists claim the extent of the Kingdom of David and Solomon which lasted for only about 73 years. Settled populations have inhabited Palestine for some 9000 years. Much of the land that the Zionists claim as exclusively theirs has been predominantly populated by Jews for less than 1% of its history. From AD 70, when the Roman emperor Titus destroyed the Jewish Temple, the Jewish community in Palestine practically ceased to exist until Saladin, the Muslim conqueror, retook Jerusalem in 1187 and allowed the Jews to return.

Modern anthropologists believe that today’s Palestinians are descended from the Canaanites who are the earliest recorded inhabitants of the land and the Philistines. The Palestinian people, despite the infusion of other peoples, have remained the natural inhabitants of the land.

The meaning of Jihad is a struggle for the cause of God. It is a revolution in the system of life to establish a new system in conformity with the ideology of Islam and to establish a just and equitable social order among human beings. One who goes for Jihad does so without thought of worldly benefits. Israel is the most oppressive of all societies. That children are shot at point blank range is proof of how low the Israelis have stooped in their hate of those who are non-Jews. The Palestinians do not put their children in front of Israeli guns in order to gain world sympathy. Those children are throwing stones in the name of freedom and Jihad. Truly no person who takes aim at a small child could ever even be considered the follower of any faith. It is reported that more than 10,000 Palestinians have been injured during the latest uprising and more than 320 have died. It is the Israelis who shoot these freedom fighters down with live ammunition, with helicopter gunfire, with tanks and with warships at sea. This is no democracy we are witnessing here; this is a holocaust and genocide against the Palestinian people.

A brilliant article by Francis Clark-Lowes on why Israel should cease to exist.

 Palestine Think Tank, Jan 16th, 2009

What is happening in Gaza today is the tip of an iceberg. That iceberg is the genocide of the Palestinian people. It is a slow genocide, just slow enough for the world to look the other way most of the time. Occasionally, as at present, it speeds up and we see its tip.

Such genocides are a common accompaniment of exclusive colonial projects. The Spanish committed genocide against the Incas, the British committed genocide against the Aboriginal and Maori people, the Americans committed genocide against the Native Americans, the Belgians killed 10 million Congolese. Now the Jews are trying to wipe out the Palestinians.

You may say that I should moderate my language and say only that we are witness to an unfortunate war in which people are getting killed. But this is part of an intentional war on the part of Israel, and, moreover, it clearly coincides with the international legal definition of genocide. Let us not, therefore mince our words.

Perhaps you will also say that only some Jews are involved in this crime, that I should hold ‘Israel’ or ‘the Zionists’ responsible. But do you ask me to say that only some Spanish, or some British, or some Americans, or some Belgians committed genocides?

Perhaps you will now ask me to do this, but if I hadn’t said that ‘the Jews’ were trying to wipe out the Palestinians you would probably have been quite happy with my generalisations.

For we recognise that although not even a fraction of British people, for instance, were directly involved in the genocides of the nineteenth century, and clearly those who were born after those atrocities could not have been directly involved, yet we admit that this is a stain on our national consciousness which affects all of us, in so far as we identify as being British.

Do we not say that all Germans must accept responsibility for what was done by the Nazis? If not, then why does the international community continue to insist that Germany pay reparations to Jews – with German taxpayers’ money – for what happened in the time of their parents and grandparents.

You may protest that Jews are not a nation or state like the Spanish, or the British, or the Americans or the Belgians. But who says that we cannot hold a group, however it may have constituted itself, responsible for crimes? Marxists, for example, hold ‘the capitalist class’ responsible for crimes against the working class, yet ‘the capitalist class’ is not incorporated.

And of course people have no difficulty in holding Muslims responsible for ‘extremism’ although since the abolition of the caliphate there has been no world-wide Muslim organisation. I don’t agree with this particular representation, by the way, but I mention it to show how inconsistent our thinking is.

There is little evidence that Al-Qaeda really exists in a corporate sense. It is probably more the notion of resistance to Western imperialism in the Muslim world than an identifiable organisation. And yet it is constantly held responsible for ‘terrorist’ actions.

I am well aware that to say anything against Jews, as a group, is to cross a red line. I am doing so deliberately. The present conflict in Israel-Palestine may well lead us to Armageddon. I believe plain speaking could save us and our children, not to mention the Palestinians and the Jews.

If I thought it could be done otherwise, as many of my colleagues in the solidarity movement believe, then I would not take this course. There are, however, a number or actions by Jews which, if they were to take place on a sufficient scale, could make me change my mind:

  • A recognition that Jewish identity has become inextricably linked with Zionism.
  • An acceptance that Jews are collectively responsible for what is happening in Israel/Palestine, just as we, as a nation, accept our responsibility for the empire and slavery.
  • A renunciation of the right of return and the right to Israeli nationality.
  • An acceptance that ‘the Holocaust’ (in inverted commas and with a capital H) has become a kind of religion, an instrument of propaganda, an abusive mythology.
  • A recognition that accusing people of hating Jews is usually a way of stopping them speaking.
  • A recognition that the Zionist project is incompatible with respect for the human rights of Palestinians. Israel has got to go.
  • A recognition that Jews, as a collective, exercise immense, and quite disproportionate, power in the world, and that this power is being abused.

I acknowledge that a small number of Jews have done some or all of the above. For example, Gerald Kaufman, MP, said in Parliament on 12th January 2009: “Olmert, Livni and Barak are mass murderers, war criminals and bring shame on the Jewish people whose Star of David they use as a badge in Gaza.” In doing so, however much he might disagree with other points above, he clearly acknowledged that this is a Jewish, not just an Israeli responsibility.

But until a majority turn against the supremacist culture which supports Israel’s actions I will continue to hold Jews collectively responsible for what is happening in the Middle East. This is a very uncomfortable position. I really do have many Jewish friends, and I know that what I have said today will shock some of them. I hope that our friendship is strong enough to withstand it. But I believe Jews, above all, need to be shocked into a recognition of their own complicity in this crime against humanity.

All of which is not to forget our own (British) national complicity, starting with the Balfour Declaration. In so far as we (Westerners) have been persuaded to accept the dangerous current mainstream Jewish view of the world, we also are responsible for what is happening in Gaza. And this makes us ‘the enemy’ in terms of those who identify with the Muslim victims of Jewish power.

1-12-10

Genocide announced
Al Ahram
10 – 16 April 2008

Bombs would fall under other circumstances, but when influential rabbis call for the total annihilation of the Palestinians the world watches without blinking, writes Saleh Al-Naami

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“All of the Palestinians must be killed; men, women, infants, and even their beasts.” This was the religious opinion issued one week ago by Rabbi Yisrael Rosen, director of the Tsomet Institute, a long-established religious institute attended by students and soldiers in the Israeli settlements of the West Bank. In an article published by numerous religious Israeli newspapers two weeks ago and run by the liberal Haaretz on 26 March, Rosen asserted that there is evidence in the Torah to justify this stand. Rosen, an authority able to issue religious opinions for Jews, wrote that Palestinians are like the nation of Amalekites that attacked the Israelite tribes on their way to Jerusalem after they had fled from Egypt under the leadership of Moses. He wrote that the Lord sent down in the Torah a ruling that allowed the Jews to kill the Amalekites, and that this ruling is known in Jewish jurisprudence.

Rosen’s article, which created a lot of noise in Israel, included the text of the ruling in the Torah: “Annihilate the Amalekites from the beginning to the end. Kill them and wrest them from their possessions. Show them no mercy. Kill continuously, one after the other. Leave no child, plant, or tree. Kill their beasts, from camels to donkeys.” Rosen adds that the Amalekites are not a particular race or religion, but rather all those who hate the Jews for religious or national motives. Rosen goes as far as saying that the “Amalekites will remain as long as there are Jews. In every age Amalekites will surface from other races to attack the Jews, and thus the war against them must be global.” He urges application of the “Amalekites ruling” and says that the Jews must undertake to implement it in all eras because it is a “divine commandment”.

Rosen does not hesitate to define the “Amalekites of this age” as the Palestinians. He writes, “those who kill students as they recite the Torah, and fire missiles on the city of Siderot, spread terror in the hearts of men and women. Those who dance over blood are the Amalekites, and we must respond with counter-hatred. We must uproot any trace of humanitarianism in dealing with them so that we emerge victorious.”

The true outrage is that most of those authorised to issue Jewish religious opinions support the view of Rabbi Rosen, as confirmed by Haaretz newspaper. At the head of those supporting his opinion is Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, the leading religious authority in Israel’s religious national current, and former chief Eastern rabbi for Israel. Rosen’s opinion also has the support of Rabbi Dov Lior, president of the Council of Rabbis of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), and Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, the chief rabbi of Safed and a candidate for the post of chief rabbi of Israel. A number of political leaders in Israel have also shown enthusiasm for the opinion, including Ori Lubiansky, head of the Jerusalem municipality.

There is no dispute among observers in Israel that the shooting in Jerusalem three weeks ago that killed eight Jewish students in a religious school was pivotal for Jewish authorities issuing religious opinions of a racist, hateful nature. The day following the Jerusalem incident, a number of rabbis led by Daniel Satobsky issued a religious opinion calling on Jewish youth and “all those who believe in the Torah” to take revenge on the Palestinians as hastily as possible. A week following the operation, a group of leading rabbis issued an unprecedented religious opinion permitting the Israeli army to bomb Palestinian civilian areas. The opinion is issued by the “Association of Rabbis of the Land of Israel” and states that Jewish religious law permits the bombing of Palestinian civilian residential areas if they are a source of attacks on Jewish residential areas. It reads, “When the residents of cities bordering settlements and Jewish centres fire shells at Jewish settlements with the aim of death and destruction, the Torah permits for shells to be fired on the sources of firing even if civilian residents are present there.”

The opinion adds that sometimes it is necessary to respond with shelling to sources of fire immediately, without granting the Palestinian public prior warning. A week ago, Rabbi Eliyahu Kinvinsky, the second most senior authority in the Orthodox religious current, issued a religious opinion prohibiting the employment of Arabs, particularly in religious schools. This religious opinion followed another that had been issued by Rabbi Lior prohibiting the employment of Arabs and the renting of residential apartments to them in Jewish neighbourhoods. In order to provide a climate that allows Jewish extremist organisations to continue attacking Palestinian citizens, Rabbi Israel Ariel, one of the most prominent rabbis in the West Bank settlement complex, recently issued a religious opinion prohibiting religious Jews involved in attacks against Palestinians to appear before Israeli civil courts. According to this opinion, they must instead demand to appear before Torah courts that rule by Jewish religious law.

Haaretz newspaper noted that what Rabbi Ariel was trying to achieve through this religious opinion has in fact already taken place. The first instance of such a court in Kfar Saba ordered the release of a young Jewish woman called Tsevia Teshrael who attacked a Palestinian farmer in the middle of the West Bank. And there are Jewish religious authorities that glorify killing and praise terrorists, such as Rabbi Yitzhaq Ginsburg, a top rabbi in Israel who published a book entitled Baruch the Hero in memoriam of Baruch Goldstein, who committed the Ibrahimi Mosque massacre in 1994 when he opened fire and killed 29 Palestinians as they were performing the dawn prayer in Hebron in the southern West Bank. Ginsburg considers his act “honourable and glorious“.

The danger of these religious opinions lies in the fact that the religious authorities issuing them have wide respect among religious Jewish youth. And while only 28 per cent of Israel’s population is religious, more than 50 per cent of Israelis define themselves as conservative and grant major significance to opinions issued by Jewish religious authorities. According to a study conducted by the Social Sciences Department of Bar Elon University, more than 90 per cent of those who identify as religious believe that if state laws and government orders are incongruous with the content of religious opinions issued by rabbis, they must overlook the former and act in accordance with the latter.

What grants the racist religious opinions a deeper and far-reaching impact is the fact that for the last decade followers of the Zionist religious current, who form nearly 10 per cent of the population, have been seeking to take control of the army and security institutions. They are doing so through volunteering for service in special combat units. The spokesperson’s office in the Israeli army says that although the percentage of followers of this current is low in the state’s demographic makeup, they form more than 50 per cent of the officers in the Israeli army and more than 60 per cent of its special unit commanders. According to an opinion poll of religious officers and soldiers supervised by the Interdisciplinary Centre Herzliya and published last year, more than 95 per cent of religious soldiers and officers say that they will execute orders from the elected government and their leaders in the army only if they are in harmony with the religious opinions issued by leading rabbis and religious authorities.

Wasil Taha, Arab Knesset member from the Tajammu Party led by Azmi Bishara, says that these religious opinions lead to the committal of crimes. He mentions religious opinions issued by a number of rabbis in mid-1995 that led to the assassination of former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin at that time. “If that’s what happens when religious opinions urge attacks against Jewish leaders such as Rabin, what will the situation be like when they urge attacks against Palestinian leaders and the Palestinian public?” he asks. “We, as Arab leaders, have begun to feel a lack of security following this flood of religious opinions, and we realise that the matter requires a great deal of caution in our movements as we are certain that there are those who seek to implement these opinions,” he told Al-Ahram Weekly.

Taha dismisses those who ask about the role of the government and Israeli political cadre in confronting these extremist religious opinions. “The ministers in the Israeli government and the Knesset members compete to incite against the Palestinian public and don’t hesitate to threaten expulsion of the Palestinians who live on their land in Israel and carry Israeli citizenship outside of Israel’s borders, just as former deputy premier Avigdor Lieberman and representative Evi Etam did,” Taha said. He notes that Palestinian citizens within Israel have begun to take extreme precautionary measures since the issue of these religious opinions, including security measures around mosques and public institutions and informing officials of public demonstrations so that members of Jewish terrorist organisations can be prevented from attacking participants. Taha holds that the sectors of the Palestinian population most likely to be harmed by these religious opinions are those living in the various cities populated by both Jews and Palestinians, such as Haifa, Jaffa, Lod, Ramleh and Jerusalem.

Palestinian writer and researcher Abdul-Hakim Mufid, from the city Um Fahem, holds that the religious opinions of rabbis have gained major significance due to the harmony between official rhetoric and that of the rabbis. Mufid notes that official Israeli establishments have not tried to confront the “fascist” rhetoric expressed in these religious opinions even though they are capable of doing so. “Most of the rabbis who issue tyrannical religious opinions are official employees in state institutions and receive salaries from them. And the state has not held these rabbis accountable or sought to prohibit the issue of such opinions,” he told the Weekly.

Mufid points out that when the official political institution is in a crisis, the Zionist consensus behind these religious opinions grows more intense, and offers as an example the religious opinions relied upon by Rabbi Meir Kahane in the early 1980s to justify his call to forcefully expel the Palestinians. Mufid adds that Israel in practice encourages all those who kill Palestinians, and points to the way that the Israeli government dealt with the recommendations of the Orr Commission that investigated the Israeli police’s killing of 13 Palestinians with Israeli citizenship in October of 2000. The government closed the file even though the commission confirmed that the police had acted aggressively towards the Palestinian citizens. Mufid suggests that what makes the racist rhetoric the rabbis insist upon influential is the silence of leftist and liberal voices, and the lack of any direct mobilisation against it.

_870953_rabbiblair150 

Tony Blair with genocidalist Rabbi Ovadia Yosef

Get fast facts about the desperate situation facing children and their families in Gaza.

Caught in the conflict between Israel and Hamas are the families of Gaza. Here is a quick summary of the challenges faced by many Gazan children and their families.

Minute 1: Gaza’s History

The Gaza Strip is a sliver of towns, villages and farmland at the southeast end of the Mediterranean. It’s located between Israel to the north and east, and Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula to the south.
Gaza city, the region’s capital, has been continuously inhabited for more than 3,000 years and was a crossroads of ancient civilizations.
The Israeli military occupied Gaza from 1967-2005.
Today, more than 40 per cent of Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza are refugees, many of whom live in crowded camps.
An 18-month blockade by Israel has driven most families in Gaza into dire poverty. Closed borders and restricted movement has hampered aid from reaching those in need.

Get fast facts about the desperate situation facing children and their families in Gaza.

Caught in the conflict between Israel and Hamas are the families of Gaza. Here is a quick summary of the challenges faced by many Gazan children and their families.

Minute 1: Gaza’s History

The Gaza Strip is a sliver of towns, villages and farmland at the southeast end of the Mediterranean. It’s located between Israel to the north and east, and Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula to the south.
Gaza city, the region’s capital, has been continuously inhabited for more than 3,000 years and was a crossroads of ancient civilizations.
The Israeli military occupied Gaza from 1967-2005.
Today, more than 40 per cent of Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza are refugees, many of whom live in crowded camps.
An 18-month blockade by Israel has driven most families in Gaza into dire poverty. Closed borders and restricted movement has hampered aid from reaching those in need.

Minute 2: Socio-economic Conditions

49.1 per cent of Gazans are unemployed.
More than 50 per cent of families in Gaza live below the poverty line.
Most Gazans live on less than $2 a day

Minute 3: Food and Water

Socio-economic conditions in Gaza, which is subject to severe restrictions, have deteriorated sharply, causing nearly 80 per cent of Gaza’s residents to rely on food aid.
46 per cent of all Palestinians are either food insecure or in danger of becoming so.
In Beit Lahya, North Gaza, most households have access to water, but the quality is so poor that 95 per cent have to buy drinking water.

PALESTINIANS-ISRAEL/

Minute 4: Gaza’s Children

More than half of Gaza’s 1.5 million residents are children.
50,000 children in Gaza are malnourished. About half of children under two are anemic and 70 per cent have vitamin A deficiency. Current malnutrition rates rival levels seen in drought-stricken regions of Africa
Nearly half of all students in the Palestinian territories have seen their school besieged by troops, and more than 10 per cent have witnessed the killing of a teacher in school.

Minute 5: World Vision’s Work in Gaza

There are two World Vision communities in Gaza.
World Vision supports 23,893 children in the West Bank and Gaza, including 6,000 children sponsored by Canadians.

by World Vision Canada

5-minute guide to Gaza

This is inspired! A gem! Please watch and pass it on.

Taken from a movie. If anyone knows the name of the film, please leave a comment.