by Kalim Siddiqui (Islamic Movement, Crescent International Vol. 31, No. 7, Rabi' al-Awwal, 1423)
The issues confronting the Islamic movement in Palestine today are not new. Here we reprint an editorial on the Israeli problem written for Crescent International by the late DR KALIM SIDDIQUI (r.a.) over twenty years ago.
Sultan Salahuddin Ayyubi liberated Jerusalem in 1187 after the holy city had been in the hands of the Crusaders for 88 years. But before dealing with the Crusader States, Salahuddin Ayyubi had first to deal with the caliph of Egypt, who, in the fashion of Anwar Sadat, allied himself with the enemy. He also had to unify the other Muslim areas under the Abbasid caliph in Baghdad.
These simple facts from Islamic history used to be known to every Muslim schoolboy. Nowadays these facts are not only not generally known, they are carefully and deliberately hidden. Al-Quds — or Jerusalem — is at the very heart of Islam and the Muslim Ummah. Its status at any given time reflects the general health of the entire body of the Muslims. The parasites strike at the very heart whenever the historical situation makes it possible.
The defeat of the Uthmaniyyah State and the emergence of small nation-states in the heartland of Islam after the First World War created just such a situation. It would be tedious to recall the ‘mandate’ period of the British rule, the emergence of zionism, the Balfour declaration (1917), the illegal Jewish migration to Palestine, and the final drama of partition and the birth of the UN’s illegitimate child — the State of Israel, which the Soviet Union recognised ahead of the United States. The fact is that the zionists had no rights in Palestine and that the Israeli State has no legitimacy in history, law or religion (except for the zionist mythology). It is stolen property and must be returned to its people, the Muslims, as soon as the Muslims recover from their self-inflicted wounds of nationalism. All attempts to reconcile such concepts as nationalism, socialism, capitalism and democracy with Islam must be totally rejected, even when this is done in the name of Islam. The whole of the Islamic worldview must be totally rooted in Islam alone.
To demand a nation-State for the Palestinians is to ask for the continuation of the disease. Jerusalem is important not because it should be the capital of a Palestinian State; Jerusalem is important because it belongs to Islam. Only an Islamic State can secure the freedom of Jerusalem and all Palestine. Any other approach is bound to fail and will deserve to. The ‘self-determination’ and ‘national home’ approaches have already led to the tacit acceptance of Israel. It is now only a question of agreeing how much of its conquests Israel should keep. And Israel will not yield by negotiation an inch of territory it has captured by war. It is not in the ‘national interest’ of any of the Muslim States to go to war in the ‘national interest’ of Palestine. The nation-State is quite incapable of waging ‘holy Jihad’ despite the recent hyperbole from Riyadh. And no doubt a great many similar declarations will be heard at the United Nations General Assembly when Gen. Zia ul-Haq goes there as the ‘voice of Islam’ later this month. These ‘leaders’ lead no-one except themselves, and often they serve the purpose of the superpowers. While this generation of Muslim governments lasts – as Imam Khomeini recently pointed out in Tehran – Jerusalem will remain in the hands of Israel.
But Israel is a temporary State and unlikely to last even as long as the 88 years managed by the Latin Christian Kingdom of Jerusalem. The Islamic movement has a long way to go before it turns to Jerusalem and Israel. Before then a number of States in the heartland of Islam will need to undergo a fundamental change such as Islamic Iran. Once the world of Islam has been restored to health, the zionists will sue for peace, the west will send a fleet of ships and aircraft to evacuate the intruders from Palestine, and the US will offer to settle them all in one or more corners of its vast territory. Even the Soviet Union may offer to take back some of them. But the Jews may well prefer to dissolve the zionist State and stay as citizens of an Islamic State. Their lot under an Islamic State will be better than their fate in the US, the Soviet Union or Europe, where nothing but persecution will await them.
The talk of ‘Greater Israel’ and ‘eternal’ capital will only hasten the day of their ultimate fate.
[This article by Dr Kalim Siddiqui was originally published as an editorial in Crescent International, September 1-15, 1980, under the title ‘Temporary state... eternal capital’.]