This is the first installment of what will be a weekly column entitled Ask a Shiite. Our resident expert will be fielding questions of a philosophical, physical, and political nature in regards to Shiite Islamic belief and Middle East perception from his own eyes. Interested in asking a question? Send an email to alec.
Question: What is the overall effect of the Israeli / Palestinian conflict on Muslim perspectives of the United States role in the Middle East? And what is the general perception of America given the current political climate for Muslims?
Answer: The simple answer is that there is no difference on the US image in these circumstances except that the muslim sentiment and rage is building up and is giving us all the more reason to fight back. This question is kind of an easy one not too detailed. But I have still given a bit more of my opinion on this ‘topic’.
This Palestinians conflict has been going on for decades and as far as I know for sure, it will not end unless the Palestinians are given back Israel. Our opinion about the USA has been the same for quite some time. It creates wars between countries and has been backing up Israel since the beginning because of some conspiracy. Some of us who study this matter deeply, like me, believe that the USA and Europe are controlled by Freemasons and groups like that who want to bring about the New World Order. Thats why they are successful and some sort of religious reason is behind the occupation of Israel.
We believe that the Palestinian occupation is absolutely illegal and to tell the truth most of us cant understand how and why you actually support Israel. It seems to be like a no brainer to go against Israel, looking at how they were formed. A general sentiment has been created amongst the Muslims that they are being targeted by the west because Islam teaches us the most about standing up against oppression and because we do not want the American culture to be ‘imported’ into our community.
Now you might ask why do Muslims commit terrorism even though we say that we are the most peaceful religion? Well there are some Muslims who have different opinions and thats why we are not yet totally united as should be. Most of the terrorist attacks that take place areby a small sect called the Wahabbis. These people I can assure you have very messed up thoughts.
Their scholars are not exactly educated and are self proclaimed. They think they are doing the right thing but they are not because making a big decision like Jihad bis Saif (Struggle with the sword) requires a LOT of knowledge, experience and the matter needs to be thought out from many different perspectives with all the Islamic laws in consideration. This is not an easy job. There are only a few people in the world who have this ability. Some of them are Sistani and Khamenei. In fact I think these are the only ones who do have the ability.
So these terrorists are actually not even educated and their mental horizon is very narrow. They do not represent Islam and their ‘version’ of Jihad is flawed. For example, the 9/11 attacks were not jihad because killing travelers in jihad is not allowed, likewise todays civilian attacks are not allowed because women and children cannot be targeted and only those who openly come to challenge can be opposed back. Racism is not allowed in Islam so killing Americans because they are Americans is not allowed.
I read one of Usama bin Laden letter on a blog and it said that he targets American civilians because their tax money goes to killing Muslims. This is wrong because the Arab governments are the ones who actually invest in the USA, their oil money is stored in US banks etc. So why not target Arab countries?
Secondly during the time of the Prophet Muhammad (A.S) the enemy armies were surely built form tax money. So why did the Prophet also not target civilians? This shows that targeting Americans is wrong.
Now up until now the only Islamic government ever formed is the current Irani Government. It’s decisions are monitored by Ayatollah Khamenei. The only so called ‘terrorist’ group who opposes Israel rightfully is Hezbollah. One little proof: the Qur’an says that in jihad you attack them in the right manner and we will make you victorious. Its a promise. Now what is Hezbollah? A small group of highly motivated and trained militants who fought against one fo the worlds most powerful army and guess what? They won!
The Qur’an’s promise has been fulfilled. What are our Sunni brothers doing on the other hand? They have fought I think 5 wars and lost all of them. I dont really think thats jihad. Those wars were not thought out with Islamic guidance and so they lost.
[tags]perceptions of america, al-qaeda, middle east, osama bin laden, terrorism, israel, palestine, iraq, iran, afghanistan, mecca, military occupation, jihad, oil, united states, interference of the west[/tags]