The American Muslim has recently posted an article entitled “Peace for Humanity Rally and Declaration for Global Peace”. It concerns a very commendable rally held in London, sponsored by an organization called Minhaj-ul-Quran International, denouncing religious and political extremism and promoting universal peaceful cooperation. This is one more example of the desire of the vast majority of Muslims worldwide to make it clear that terrorist violence is not a part of the religion of Islam (submission to God) and that they denounce all such indiscriminate violence.
Minhaj-ul-Quran also published a statement expressing their views about terrorist violence and world peace. This document makes such statements as:
We, the signatories to this “London Declaration for Global Peace & Resistance against Extremism”, affirm that all humans everywhere possess inherent dignity and immutable rights: these including freedom from poverty, oppression, fear and prejudice and freedom of belief, worship and expression…
Jews, Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists and those of other religions, along of course with all people who do not identify with any faith, must enjoy the same civil and legal rights and freedoms and be able to live in peace and harmony and must pursue peace only through mutually respectful engagement and dialogue.
We reject unequivocally all terrorism because at the heart of all religions is a belief in the sanctity of the lives of the innocent. The indiscriminate nature of terrorism, which has in recent years killed far more civilians and other non-combatants than it has combatants, is un-Islamic, un-Judaic, un-Christian and it is indeed incompatible with the true teachings of all faiths. Because of its manifestly indiscriminate and therefore murderous nature, we condemn all terrorism in all forms and in all countries regardless of any claimed religious and political intentions.
We unequivocally reject, disown and condemn all terrorism committed in the name of Islam, just as we reject and condemn all terrorism committed in the names of other religions or causes. Terrorism is never a legitimate and honourable act of war but is always a cowardly act of indiscriminate murder.
I wholeheartedly endorse that type of statement, and find it delightful that Muslims and representatives of other major religious beliefs such as Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, and Sikhism were willing to cooperate in gathering for the rally and issuing the statement. The more events and declarations of this kind take place, the better off the world will be.
Because of my admiration of The American Muslim, and my wholehearted agreement with the above quoted statements, I would very much like to add my signature to the declaration. Unfortunately, a few other statements in the declaration prevent me from doing so – statements which the declaration could have left out and remained equally effective, it seems to me.
For instance there is this statement (the bold print is my doing): Whereas we do not overlook the real or perceived grievances that may serve as a causative fuel for terrorist violence – and we call upon all national and local governments to address those grievances with haste and resolve – we commit ourselves to the non-violent resolution of those issues as well as to the removal through education and dialogue of conspiracy theories that seem to blinker some peoples’ worldviews.
Everything in that sentence which preceded what I have highlighted in bold print I fully agree with. However, as I have not been at all hesitant to point out, I most emphatically do believe in a “conspiracy theory”. While in regard to something like the John F. Kennedy assassination it’s possible to believe in the “lone gunman” theory as opposed to a conspiracy; with regard to 9/11 and other terrorist events of recent years everyone is a “conspiracy theorist”! There is no “lone gunman” theory available for most of these events; and even when any one particular event may have been carried out by a single individual, that “lone actor” is almost certainly believed to have at least been influenced by propaganda from a larger organization. With regard to 9/11, one either believes in a conspiracy of “extremist Muslim terrorists”, or one believes in a conspiracy involving other actors – such as a cooperative effort of the intelligence and military agencies of the United States of America and Israel. I don’t at all hide the fact that I believe in the latter conspiracy (USA and Israel), and totally repudiate the “Muslim terrorist” conspiracy.
It’s completely invalid to talk about removing “conspiracy theories” when the one seeking to remove them also believes in a conspiracy theory (but with different culprits involved).
Another statement with which I personally disagree – though not necessarily absolutely – is this: We affirm the necessity urgently to resolve this conflict so as to provide both the Palestinians with a sovereign pluralistic and representative state and the Israelis with national and local security. If it is to be permanent and durable, the peace agreement between Israel and Palestine must be fully and actively supported and protected in a non-partisan fashion by the international community and its terms must be equally beneficial to the citizens of both states who have for so long feared and mistrusted each other.
I do not for a minute admit the legitimacy of the State of Israel, or a “Jewish State”; and I personally doubt that peace will ever be achieved until the “Jewish State” of Israel is dismantled and the whole land becomes a Palestinian State – which will welcome Christian and Jewish citizens as well as Muslims as it did before the vicious and violent takeover by that “synagogue of Satan” Zionist Israel. Therefore, I personally advocate a “one state solution” to the present controversy: a Palestinian State, not a “Jewish State”.
Nevertheless, if the Palestinians and Zionist Jews can in fact reach a “two state” agreement which is satisfactory to both parties, and which will in fact put a permanent end to all the fighting, then I say “more power to them”. While I don’t believe it will ever happen, I will welcome it if I am proved wrong.
Finally – but going “hand-in-hand” with the second objection – is this statement: We unequivocally condemn anti-Semitism (including when sometimes it is disingenuously clothed as anti-Zionism), Islamophobia (including when it is sometimes disingenuously dressed up as patriotism) and all other forms of racism and xenophobia. This would, for me, be a “deal breaker” even if there were nothing else in the declaration which I found objectionable.
I emphatically maintain that “anti-Zionism” is by no means a “disingenuously clothed” disguise for “anti-Semitism”! There are many Jews who are anti-Zionist, but they are most certainly not anti-Semitic. They range from “Orthodox Jews against Zionism”, through “Jewish Voice for Peace”, to “devoutly atheist” Jews like Norman Finkelstein. It is absolutely appropriate to oppose “the synagogue of Satan” while at the same time fully embracing “the Israel of God”. To deny that a “synagogue of Satan” exists, who follow the desires of their “father, the devil” and practice the lies of that “father of lies” is itself rather “disingenuous”. It is certainly in opposition not only to Muslim and Christian Scriptures and beliefs, but also to the Torah and the Prophets of the Jews themselves. I, for one, have no hesitation in saying that Zionist Jews are “the synagogue of Satan” in its present ‘incarnation’ – or at least they are a good portion of that “synagogue” – and their Zionist Christian collaborators may truly be called “the church of Satan”. But that does not make me either “anti-Semitic” or “anti-Christian”. Those who believe otherwise are of course welcome to their beliefs, and have every right to include them in a declaration of this type. But I personally think it is quite a shame that they have chosen to “dirty”, by those statements, what is otherwise a very laudable denouncement of extremism and terrorism (or in other words, a denouncement of the “synagogue/mosque/church of Satan”) and call for world peace.
I remain multicultural and religiously pluralistic. I believe the “Religion of God” has manifestations in all of the major religions. At the same time, I remain adamantly opposed to everything that is contrary to the spirituality, morals, and ethics to be found in this universal Religion – whether it’s a “synagogue of Satan”, a “mosque of Satan”, or a “church of Satan” (or any other manifestation of the “father of lies” who was a “murderer from the beginning”).
May the day quickly come when the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea (Isaiah 11:9); or as the Prophet Habakkuk put it: the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea (Habakkuk 2:14).