By Nourah Abdul Aziz Al-Khereiji
Friday 10 August 2001
Last Update 10 August 2001 12:49 am
HISTORY will record the episodes that took place last week and future generations will be able to look and also to understand. Islam has never had a shortage of believers who were willing to sacrifice themselves for their religion. The first was Ali ibn Abi Talib, who slept in Prophet Muhammad’s place with the aim of deceiving those who wanted to kill him. Ali ibn Abi Taleb thus became an example to those who would willingly and in good faith sacrifice themselves for their religion. Nowadays we have those who are called commandos. They are involved in similar operations against the enemy. Our problem today is deciding whether their acts constitute martyrdom or suicide, considering the difference in methods and means of sacrifice. Othman ibn Affan, for example, mobilized an army at his own expense. Today, there are many Muslims far richer than Othman ibn Affan who do little except donate money. The amounts donated, however, are insignificant when compared to the size of the fortunes and the extent of their assets.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
In the past, we had heroes and leaders who personally responded to calls for help and assistance. This is in sharp contrast to what we see today: a mere verbal condemnation and denunciation. In those long ago glorious days, martyrdom for religion and land came first and human considerations second. We had our heroes such as Salahuddin Al-Ayubi who prepared, mobilized and led the army that liberated Jerusalem, depending only on the help and blessings of God. What a difference to our leaders today who seek only the help and blessings of the White House! We have been waiting now for over five decades for another Salahuddin to appear and once again liberate Jerusalem, this time from the Jews.
History will show that despite the sophisticated and technologically advanced weapons bought by the Arabs, the Palestinians alone are defending the Al-Aqsa Mosque by throwing shoes at Israeli soldiers!
The Arabs, surprisingly, have banned all arms smuggling to the Palestinians. Our enemies, the Zionists, have requested this of us while they, at the same time, are using land, sea and air forces against the Palestinians including psychological war, siege, starvation, demolition of houses and the burning and destruction of agricultural land.
Shoes were used — but did they achieve any more than arms would? Or do we use our arms only to threaten each other? If Israel is not our enemy, who is?
Last week’s events will go down in history and will be seen in future. For our descendants, the images will have deep meaning. I personally was proud of the heroism shown by the Palestinians defending the Al-Aqsa Mosque by throwing shoes at the Israeli soldiers. Those soldiers hid themselves behind bullet-proof shields. What were they afraid of? Of shoes which were ready to explode like bombs? We have seen the bare-chested Palestinian heroes face to face with the enemy, fighting for martyrdom. Another scene showed us the truck carrying the cornerstone for the third temple that the Jews plan to erect on the site of the Holy Mosque. What does that tell us? It tells us that the demolition of the Al-Aqsa Mosque is not far away!
In an interview, Sheikh Ekremah Sabri, Jerusalem’s mufti, said that the Jews have already dug the foundations for the temple and the initial work has been completed up to the Maghareba Gate. The area selected for the temple is 150 meters long and 80 meters wide. What have the Arabs done? Only watch? What happened to us? At the beginning of the intifada, we supported it, boycotted everything American and then suddenly, we lost our will and things returned to what they had been. What next? Israel and America will ban the imports of shoes and stones if they can!
Another horrible TV scene was of a Palestinian child arrested by Israeli forces. He was obviously and visibly horrified as they dragged him away. I wondered if that scene meant anything to the Arabs and Muslims. The Palestinians are performing Friday prayer and they are surrounded by Israeli soldiers who form a wall so the Muslims cannot enter the mosque. What would happen, for example, if a Muslim country banned a group of people from practicing their religion and kept them from their churches and temples? World War III, I suppose, would be declared!
It is the responsibility of all Arabs and Muslims to announce a jihad to liberate the Al-Aqsa Mosque.