Sister on a Mission

A Muslimah in the Midwest trying to counteract all the "war on terror" propaganda.

Location: Midwest, United States

Monday, May 22, 2006

And Dear Fatah......

The following is an open letter to Fatah, which follows my open letter to Hamas.

Dear Fatah,

AsSalaamu Alaikum, brothers and sisters. I just heard a report that the infighting on the ground in Gaza is getting worse. A wounded Fatah official vowed revenge against Hamas, who he's sure executed a bombing/assasination attempt this weekend. "We are the authority! They will never have authority!" he insisted.

Brothers, please think about what's happening here. Divide and conquer is the oldest trick in the book. And you all are playing directly into the hands of the Zionists by dutifully going at each other's throats.

And there is so much at stake here!

Your homeland, your constituents, your families, your livilihoods, the very soul of Palestine is being ripped apart by the Zionists and you are helping them.

Petty authority is worthless. Leadership is what your people need. And that's a whole other subject. It takes vision, sacrifice, patience and courage. It takes caring more about your people than you care about yourselves. It takes leaders who dread that responsiblity, not clamour after "authority".

If Fatah and Hamas were to combine forces and lead - truly lead - the Palestinian people, no oppressor could stand in your way. If you lead your people to put down their useless conventional weapons and pick up the mantle of moral armor that is Nonviolent Resistance, there would be no stopping you. You could bring the mighty Zionist army, with all its tanks and apache helicopters and F15 fighter jets and nuclear weapons to its knees.

Killing a soldier here and a non-soldier there is doing nothing but sabatoging your own efforts and endangering your own souls. Fighting and killing your fellow Palestinians is just a cause for the Zionists to have a good chuckle over their morning coffee. At some point someone has to lead. Someone has to overcome their own nafs and steer Palestine in the direction that such a noble people deserve to go.

I know it is comlicated. I know the culture of weapons is deeply entrenched. I know there are para-military factions that are not easily controlled. But I also know that a movement of active nonviolence could catch on, once people see the results it will bring.

Nonviolence is not the coward's way out. It is not a tactic of people who preach peace at any cost. It is a potent weapon to use against an enemy that thrives on visiting others with the same horror the last generation of their own people suffered. It is the loudest way to demand justice for Palestine. And once justice is achieved, then peace will be the natural outcome.

IF you and Hamas keep leading instead of vying for authority.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Dear Hamas

The following is an open letter to the leadership of Hamas and the new Palestinian government:

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

AsSalaamu Alaikum. I'm writing to discuss with you some possible policies for your new administration.

Since 1987 your organization and all of Palestine have been actively fighting the injustice and oppression of the illegal occupation of Palestinian lands. This is a legitimate and laudable goal but I would like to suggest some more effective ways for you to go about it.

The history of your struggle against the Zionist state basically looks like a contest. One side attacks, then the other side, then the other. But the Zionists have much of the world's media - especially US media - in their pockets. So the way events get covered, in the US especially, makes it look like the Zionists attack a legitimate Palestinian target, perhaps "accidentally" kill a few civilians in the process, and then one Palestinian group or another retaliates by bombing a bus or a hotel or other civilian target. The result is that the entire conflict gets boiled down to who kills more civilians. And since the Zionist "incursions" are not properly covered, it often looks like Hamas and other Palestinian organizations are taking the cheap shots at civilians. So the most effective weapon in America - Public Opinion - is swayed against Palestine.

This is a very decisive moment in history. Your organization has just been elected to take the reigns and possibly change the direction of the Palestinian state. I would like to urge you to consider adopting a strict policy of ABSOLUTE NONVIOLENCE, like Badshah Khan, Mahatma Ghandi and Martin Luther King, Jr. These men led revolutions that outsted oppressors, defeated tyrants and won civil rights for people who had been treated as second class citizens for literally centuries.

I'm not suggesting this because I don't believe you have a right to fight for your homeland - I'm suggesting this because I believe that nonviolence is the most effective weapon at your disposal with which to conduct that fight.

If Palestinians, under your leadership, simply stood their ground and demanded their rights, without attacking anyone, it would not be possible to boil the issue down to a simple "deuling body count" on the evening news, like it is now. The world would come face-to-face with who the real bullies are. The spotlight would be shifted to the Zionist state, which would be caught red-handed killing, maiming and looting from all the people of Palestine. You could even take some of the money that is currently being spent on arms and buy small video cameras and computers for Palestinian journalists to document and upload the truth of what's going on at ground level.

Not only do I believe that these tactics would be effective, but if your jihad is powerfully nonviolent, ALL those who die at the hands of the Zionists would attain the status of shaheed, whereas now some people are facing the hereafter having killed civilians who might just have been innocent.

Your government could go down in history as the first Muslim nation to use the weapons of righteousness and public opinion together to defeat an oppressive and racist regime.

Please consider taking this courageous step.


Who's the Terrorist?

When I was speaking at a university last month about Islam, one of the
audience members asked me if I thought Hamas was a terrist organization.

To answer that question we have to define terrorism. According to the
American Heritage Dictionary, terrorism is "The unlawful use or
threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group
against people or property with the intention of intimidating or
coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political

That is the exact definition of what the Zionists have been doing
to the Palestinians for 57 years. From Sabra and Shatila to Gaza and
the West Bank, violence, threats, economic strangulation and dehumanizing
oppression have been systematically used against the Palestinian people -
first to outst them and then to break them. And all of this under the
auspices of an illegal occupation.

So it is the Zionist state which the terrorist organization.

Hamas is a group of Palestinians who have been fighting an
oppressive and illegal occupation for years, using whatever methods
are at their disposal. This is not called terrorism. This is called
defending your homeland.

THAT SAID, HOWEVER....I do not agree with this strategy, and I also make a distinction between Jihad, which is the Islamically acceptable practice of
attacking soldiers at checkpoints, etc., (completely legitimate targets
according to anyone's definition of a just war)and things which don't qualify
as jihad, such as the bombing of buses, etc., where the targets are civilian
and not military. Our dear Prophet (sal Allahu Alaihi wa sallam) left us
with strict rules to follow in the conduct of jihad, and not harming
civilians, the elderly and children is one of those non-negotiable
rules. Any operation which kills civilians is a sin, not an act of
jihad. And it doesn't matter how many innocent children the Zionist
miltary kills; they are not our role models. Islam instructs us to be
above such evil, and because our morals and methods of conduct come from
Islam, we should never allow ourselves to be sucked down to their level.