Palestine : An Islamic Approach and Imam Khomeini

Developing Just Leadership

Muhammad H. al-'Asi

Dhu al-Qa'dah 19, 1422 2002-02-02

Bismillah Ar-Rahmaan Ar-Raheem. Alhumdulillah. Peace and blessings on Muhammad (sallalahu alaihi wa alihi wa sallam), his Noble Companions and Family. Dear Committed brothers, dear committed sisters,

Q: (paraphrased): Is there a scriptural basis and argument in favor of the Zionists return to Palestine?

Imam Muhammad Al Asi: OK- I understand both questions now. I’m sorry there’s some kind of static and through my position I couldn’t understand the question very good, but I understood the brother here paraphrased you and I think I understand the gist of the questions.

First of all the Israelis return to the occupied territories, to the Holy Land was not done in accordance with scripture and revelation. They were given the opportunity to enter that land according to scripture thousands of years ago- they balked at it, they hesitated, they refrained and they refused.

إِنَّ فِيهَا قَوْمًا جَبَّارِينَ

… but indeed, in that land there is something like a superpower, an ominous people … (Surah Al Maa’idah verse 22)

And then they told Musa (alayhi as salaam)

قَالُوا يَا مُوسَىٰ إِنَّا لَن نَّدْخُلَهَا أَبَدًا مَّا دَامُوا فِيهَا ۖ فَاذْهَبْ أَنتَ وَرَبُّكَ فَقَاتِلَا إِنَّا هَاهُنَا قَاعِدُونَ

They said: O Moses, if you want to do any warfare go you and your Sustainer and do all the battling and warring that you want, we’re staying right here, we’re not moving in that direction. (Surah Al Maa’idah verse 24)

So the religious Jews will tell you that “because of this and other events peculiar to their history they have to live in a time of atonement in which the real State of the Mosaic Law or the real State of Israel, not this phony thing that exists now, will only come with the advent of the Messiah who according to them has never come so they are in anticipation of him.” These Zionists who came and reclaimed that area did so not on the basis of scripture or heavenly laws, but they did so on the basis of Racism and on the basis of, (what may be called), secular or Satanic laws. So they have no right to be there. We have the right to be there, except what impedes our right to be there is the force that they have established there that supersedes our military forces and also our veering away from the instructions- what we were trying to refer to (as) the militarized psychology and mentality that we need to make a thrust into that land and reclaim our rights and the heavenly laws that should be applied there. So that’s question number one.

Q: (paraphrased): Why are the Palestinians attacking civilians?

Imam Muhammad Al Asi: Question number two pertaining to, (what used to be called), “suicide operations” more recently they’re trying to give it the name “homicidal operations.” There are no Muslims in Palestine who are targeting civilians. All Muslims who strap themselves with explosives are targeting military personnel. They don’t have any military delivery systems. Muslims don’t have F16s they don’t have tanks. Yaasir Arafat himself didn’t have a military around him. These were boy scouts. Yaasir Arafat had some 35,000 boy scouts around him. They don’t have half-tracks, they don’t have armored personnel carriers- they may have some jeeps, they may have some vehicles but that’s about it and all civilians have those- and pistols. That’s not a military force. Knowing this and with the cumulative violence and injustice done to the Palestinian population throughout all of these years and with, (what is called), the Oslo Peace process winding up with more misery, more unemployment, more economic hardships, more frustrations that the Palestinians have been suffering from they finally found out that the best thing to do is to fight against the Israelis. And if we’re going to fight against them, how are we going to do this? We don’t have the instruments to fight against them. You see- you have to pause for a minute and consider the conditions that the Palestinians are in. The Palestinians are not like in South Lebanon where there was- as limited as it was, but still- there was a line of ammunition open to the Muslim combatants in South Lebanon; the Palestinians don’t have that. The best they have is smuggled weapons or arms that they may manage to get from different sources and that’s after very much difficulty. After they get this, how are they going to use it against the enemy? Now, if they were given military means, if they had tanks and they had warplanes and they had the rest of these military gadgets and didn’t use it, we can say “hey wait a minute- what’s going on here? They have another way to fight but they choose to fight dirty.” They don’t have another way to fight so their choice of fighting is the only choice and that is they strap themselves with these explosives and they go out and seek a military target. Now, you tell me “a pizzeria is not a military base.” And I tell you “you’re right, a pizzeria is not a military base, but in that pizzeria are there military personnel? Yes there are. And does a Palestinian have the right to target military personnel? Yes, he or she does. Do they do that? Yes they do that. As a consequence, are there civilian casualties? Yes there are civilian casualties but the civilians were not the target. And when there’s civilian casualties on our side what do they call it? Collateral damage. And when there’s civilian casualties on their side we call it collateral damage.” And that’s it.

Q What is the scope of the American invasion of Afghanistan? (paraphrased):

Imam Muhammad Al Asi: Well you know, no one really knows how long these occupation forces are going to stay in Afghanistan. No one gave them the permission to be there obviously. Remember, before, the United States used to go through the United Nations to do things? If it wanted to go somewhere in the world, it sort of- remember the war against Iraq in 1991- got the United Nations involved in this and other International OrgaNisa’tions; but now the United States just went in there. You see- when you’re a hyper power like the United States and when a superpower no longer knows its limits it feels like it can do whatever it wants to do and this is one of those cases where it feels like it can go into Afghanistan, bring in whoever wants to come with it such as the British, the Australians, the Canadians, whoever else with whatever amount of troops they volunteer to send over there and stay there until there goals are accomplished. What ever are their goals? I think we referred to that in our presentation. They want to destroy the nuclear capability in Pakistan, they want to … You see- these are oil men in the White House and around the White House now- Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld; this is big oil companies at work. They found out that Kazakhstan alone has $4trillion worth of oil, (or is it four-trillion barrels of oil), and so they want that oil! They’ve advanced to the Kazakhstan Government $3,5million to Officials at the high level. They’ve sunk in $35million dollars for building a petroleum infrastructure in that area. They don’t want all of that to go to waste by some Muslims coming to rule somehow in that part of the world, to threaten their interest. So they are there to finish this mission of de-nuclearising Pakistan; getting a hold of the petroleum- they call it “the second Persian Gulf around the Caspian Sea and Central Asia”; and number three to surround the Islamic power base in Iran and try to impress on it that it should behave just like every other Nation-state in the world- behave itself and not get involved in Middle East issues such as the Palestinian issue and all of this. You know- don’t get involved in all of that. When these are accomplished and according to the United States and they’re talking about a war that’s in the twilight zone; this can go on for an indefinite time. It may not even end in our lifetime. This is what they’re telling us from the highest American Officials and this can go on indefinitely- so we don’t know; but we know that these are their objectives and if they’re moving in the direction of achieving their objectives and they think they’re making gains, they will want to stay their more. But if they begin to realize that they’re not going anywhere, there are American servicemen coming back in coffins, Muslims are opposed to the United States even more two years from now/four years from now, they see that the momentum is against them, then they’ll begin to lose interest in staying there.

Q: Islamophobia and the role of Muslims in the West?(paraphrased):

Imam Muhammad Al Asi: Yes, that’s a good question and we tried to answer it yesterday and it comes up today and we think its going to keep on coming up- but anyways; Muslims or the first generation who have gone to the West- whether it’s the United States or Britain or anywhere else- are led to believe when we … You see- I was born in the United States. I didn’t go to the United States from anywhere else but I have no choice; I don’t know if you were born here, in the West, just like me or whatever but I speak to the fact that Muslims who are born in the West, whether its Britain or the United States or any other country- should not for one moment think that we are lesser Americans or British or whatever than the rest of the people are. They want us to believe that. You see- no one asks… I don’t know about in Britain but I’ll tell you in the United States no one comes to a Polish person and says “what’s your origin?” Or comes to a German and tells him “originally where are you from?” Or they see me, (you know I have a little beard like this most of the time; some time it’s a little bigger than this), and they look at me and its very interesting the type of questions sometimes you get asked, especially when they know your name… (if they don’t know my name and I’m talking they’re very reserved because believe it or not many times they think I’m a Jew), and this comes out very clear when I’m with my family because my wife is wearing the full hijab and my daughters- I have three daughters and one boy- so the whole family is screaming out we’re Muslims, we’re Muslims”. You know- so when we go to a department store and I’ve been there before without my family and I’m treated like I’m some type of very important person. If they make a mistake with me they apologize and all this; then when I bring my family along, the same people behave exactly the opposite. They become (like) aggressive, ferocious, condescending! Why? What happened here? We’re the same people! Some of these characters ask you, when they know your name (and) some of your identity they ask you “where you’re from?” I say I’m from Michigan. You know I live in the Washington DC area and Michigan is another State. They ask “where you’re from?” I say I’m from Michigan and that blows their mind. They expect, (whatever’s on their mind), Egypt or Turkey or Iran or something else- I don’t know what’s on their mind, but that’s what they expect- something along those lines. Then when they hear that, they take a moment; they step back and hesitate. What they’re trying to do is place us in a position of being lesser civilians than they are. No one should accept that- that’s number one. Number two-because of who we are, especially the first generation emigrants, people who have come to the West and gained the citizenship of the West- I think it doesn’t occur to second and third generation Muslims who were born in the West- but this occurs with the new comers who really want this American “dream”, who really want to make it, and they don’t want to mess around so they say “we should get involved in the politics and the best way to do that is we have to register as Republicans and Democrats...” What would it be here? The Labor Party and the Conservative Party. “… you have to register and then vote and then get in…” No! We don’t have to do that. There are many Americans who refuse to be Republicans and Democrats. They are in the opposition We should feel stronger about this political opposition than anyone else especially when it comes to all these issues that we have around that they want solutions to. These issues come around every time there’s a major election. They begin to speak about unemployment, they begin to speak about securing health insurance for every one- maybe your health insurance is better than ours in the US; the US I think in all of the first world only South Africa is worse than the US as far as health insurance is concerned because there’s about fifty-million Americans who don’t have health insurance. That’s a lot of people. So this is one of the issues that comes up. The other issue that comes up is drugs, addiction, crime in the neighborhoods, Racism, the ghettos and the slums- all of these issues have to be solved. How do we solve the issue of Racism as an Islamic Party (or) an Islamic political force that is opposed to the political structure that they have? We can be just as American and more American than those who are Democrats and Republicans by presenting real Islamic solutions to real civic problems. This is where our concentration should be and we should feel very strong about that- not by going and having lobbies and saying “hey Republicans- you should understand what?!” Or “hey Democrats- we’re Democrats also and we can contribute to your program. Look- we can bring you some money; here’s a cheque for Hillary Clinton.” Then Hillary Clinton sends it back to the Muslim donor- “I don’t want your money!”

Q: The political position for Muslims in the West?(paraphrased):

Imam Muhammad Al Asi:I think it’s very clear that Muslims should begin to mature in the political sense. We have no time for the petty divisions that places a distance between a Muslim and another Muslim. A political opposition is an immediate requirement and coordination... (Take a) look- the Jews in the West, in the United States in particular, have the second largest lobby in the United States. The first largest lobby is called ARP. This is the lobby group for American Retired People. Everyone who reaches the age of fifty signs up, pays $27 every couple of years and has all of these benefits- and they lobby for causes like health medicare, medipay, issues for the elderly- this is the largest lobby in the United States; but second to that its AIPAC- that’s the major Jewish-Israeli lobby in the United States. The Israeli-Jewish lobby in the United States coordinates with the Israeli Government. There’s a flow of information and understanding between the two sides. I don’t see why this is not possible when it comes to Muslims?! If we have a political presence here, why there isn’t a communication and understanding with an Islamic Government and this can grow and more can come out of it provided we are convinced that this is the way to go. But unfortunately in the past ten-fifteen years there’s been the Saudi lobby that has taken many Muslims off on a tangent and now, (as I said in my presentation), some of their figureheads have realized that this was not the right way to go and they are trying to atone for that in their own ways right now. We can spare ourselves that and set up a workable, viable, effective, consolidated and future oriented Islamic opposition. That I think is extremely important. I mean- there are a lot of people who are fed up with the way things are run. In the United States, they call the Democrats, Demopublicans and the Republicans, Republicrats because they stand for the same thing. There’s basically no difference between them and the average person is not benefitting from their election campaigns and all the promises they give to the people. The time is right for the Muslims to move in. Yes- we need resources to do this, but we’re not poor. We can think about freeing the $trillion that the Muslims have… (Do) you know that Muslims have at least $1trillion just from the Arabian Peninsula and Gulf States in American banks? This is our wealth. Do you think one day it is going to return to us by peaceful means? If we don’t belong to liberate what is ours then time is going to run out and we’re going to regret it.

Q Islamophobia nd the role of Muslims in the West?(paraphrased):

Imam Muhammad Al Asi:OK- to give a brief answer on that, idle Muslims are the workshops of the Devil, (to paraphrase a cliché). The reason many Muslims feel they are divided if because they are not action oriented. If some of these divisive Muslims went to the warfront- there’s many warfronts in Muslim countries, they can take their pick- let them go to one of these warfronts, scare them for a couple of weeks over there and then have them come back. Their tendencies for division will decrease, I assure you that. They may still have some of those feelings but its not going to be as intense as before. What I’m trying to say is the more action oriented we are, then the less these issues of division are going to come about; but the more we are withdrawn from that, you know, the more trivial issues become so divisive. I mean trivial things become “O WOW!” You can even accuse someone of being a non- Muslim for doing something very very, (sometimes), un-noticeable. So to answer your question, we have to be more action oriented, more involved, we have to sense our strategic issues, we have to show some sacrifice and then these issues that have been dividing us all along will take second place in our lives.

O Allah, shower us with patience, solidify our positions and give us triumph over those who deny your power presence.

O Allah, it is by You that we attempt, it is by You that we manoeuvre and it is by You that we do combat.

O Allah, give us victory by virtue of the truth and raise the status of that truth by virtue of that victory.

O Allah, be with us and don’t be against us.

May Allah’s peace be on Muhammad and the intimates of Muhammad.

And our concluding du’a is praise and thanks that are due to Allah the Sustainer of the Universe.

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