Today, it can be professed by some that we are currently living in a society where individuals are incapable of recognising existent evil entities. One can argue this may be due to various priorities an individual has, or perhaps the deliberate misinformation propagated by the enemies of Islam that has hindered the intellect from acknowledging certain issues.
To begin with, whilst the media focuses on specific issues transpiring around the globe today, the ideology of Zionism is being accepted and spread in many arenas. Zionism, being an evil, separatist ideology established by Theodore Herzl if often synonymized with the religion of Judaism. However, it is important to note that Orthodox Jews reject this murderous ideology, for it promotes terrorism and fundamentally rejects prophecies and teachings in accordance to the sacred land.
Now that we’ve established Zionism is not a faith, why do groups insist on having interfaith dialogue and events with Zionists?! Millions of people denounce Zionism, for its ideology is nothing but destructive – so common sense would dictate that we should also disassociate ourselves from them. Muslim communities should especially reject any form of association with Zionists because the Holy Quran specifically and repeatedly mentions the importance of staying away from transgressors. Surah Nisa, verse 135 states: “O’ you have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice.” This brings me on to my next point, our brothers and sisters in Palestine have witnessed decades of oppression. The Balfour declaration, which was drafted by Zionist activists, and addressed to Lionel Rothschild essentially legitimised the subjugation of our brethren in Palestine, and Islamically it is an incumbent duty upon us to stand with the oppressed and in condemnation of the oppressor – thus, Muslims who participate in events with Zionists fail to acknowledge that they are doing a major disservice to Islam, for it is declared in the in the Holy Quran by God that: “Indeed. Allah does not like transgressors.” (2:190)
Further to this, many of us are aware of the struggle faced by the Palestinians. Innocent men, women and children are terrorised daily. IDF forces will ruthlessly kill pregnant women in the streets of Palestine, they openly target and psychologically torture children who travel to and from school, and let’s not forget the latest policy enforced by Israeli decision makers that is banning the Muslim call to prayer from being heard. So we must ask ourselves, how is it morally acceptable to associate ourselves with those who fund and support these barbaric people? The words of our leaders should be at the back of our minds when we are surrounded by those who sympathise with these terrorists. It was Imam Khomeini (May his soul rest in peace) that said: “The Muslims must be a united hand against all the oppressors.” – So why are certain members of the Muslim community failing to adhere to Islamic principles? Some of us have realised that some members of the Muslim community (including scholars) have been lured by those who shamelessly bow down to the agenda of Zionists.
It is deeply worrying to know that facilitating events with Zionist Rabbi’s funded by the Zionist Federation/Board of Deputies (the main body representing British Jews) is almost becoming a norm. For example, you’ll see Rabbi Natan Levy being frequently invited to various interfaith events and workshops despite being aware of the Zionist values he believes in. It is, even more, concerning to see Chief Rabbi Ephraim being privately visited by Muslim speakers/scholars, or then invited to share a platform alongside them. The Board of Deputies is the same group that wish to have the flag of Islamic resistance banned from being displayed in Britain, the same group that seek to have the annual Al-Quds demonstration in London stopped, and the same group that are actively campaigning to halt all criticism of the Zionist state of Israel from being heard on university campuses. Does the Quran not say: “And never will the Jews or the Christians approve of you until you follow their religion. Say, “Indeed, the guidance of Allah is the [only] guidance.” If you were to follow their desires after what has come to you of knowledge, you would have against Allah no protector or helper.” (Surah Baqarah, Verse 120).
We cannot stay silent any longer.
We need to eradicate the fear within us and speak out when we see the message of Islam being ignored. When corruption has become evident – our silence legitimises it. Additionally, we must remember that morals and ethics are a fundamental part of Islam, when we take a stance to please those who do not value basic Islamic principles – we are going against the basic ethics of Islam, it is as simple as that. We cannot pick and choose which parts of Islam we wish to adhere to; a Muslim must follow all the laws of Islam. Grand Scholars and Ayatollah’s have spent years and years to help us understand Islam, to a point where everything has been translated for us to follow – so why are some still adamant on disregarding what they say? It is these Scholars who have dedicated their lives to propagating the message of Islam, so it would make sense to firmly abide by what they say, and not rely on those who think they know about Islam by having read a book or two – after all, would you visit a person for a medical condition who had only read a book or two, or would you want a qualified medical practioner?! We need to be more aware of those who are misguiding communities because of ulterior motives.
With this said, it is also important to note that the Interfaith network in Britain is largely funded by the government. In fact, in November 2016 the British government offered Interfaith organisations and projects with over £250,000, and this is essentially just the tip of the ice-burg. Now some people will think this is fantastic, and a great opportunity to focus on “social cohesion”, “integration” and “mutual love”(!) – but in fact, we need to question exactly what achievements have been made with interfaith events; because I for one, can assure you, the rights of the Palestinians have not been met, sectarianism is still rife, Islamophobic attacks are growing at an alarming rate and many things are conveniently being brushed under the carpet. So really, other than an opportunity to sit down and sip a cup of tea, what is being achieved on a grand scale?
Retrospectively, this is not to say that interfaith dialogue should be disregarded, not at all, interfaith events are wonderful when the right people are involved. To be quite frank, faith networks and organisations that are supported by the government simply serve the agenda of those who want us to forget the strife of our Palestinian brethren. The aggressive Israeli protesters that attempted to cause havoc at the Al-Quds demonstration in London this year are an example of the types of people and groups that certain faith organisations are working with and supporting. It was the Zionist Federation and other Pro-Israel organisations that took to Twitter to condemn the Al-Quds demonstration and later organised a rally at the same location! We cannot forget the fact that it was the West that allowed the evil ideology of Zionism to flourish. In the words of Ayatollah Khamenei: “Israel was established based on oppression, deception and massacre.” The Zionist state of Israel was validated by the colonialist British government, and today this very government funds the Interfaith network – this should be an explicit indicator for all the reasons not to get involved with certain interfaith activities, but sadly, for some people, the pound has more value than principles.
If we truly want to make a difference, and we sincerely want to find solutions, sitting with transgressors is not the answer. Interfaith initiatives are beautiful, but for such initiatives to be successful, we need to work with the right people. We have members of the ‘Neturei Karta’ we can contact and organise activities with – why are they hardly ever involved? These are the real ambassadors of Judaism. Zionists do not represent Judaism; they represent an ideology that breeds terrorism, evokes hate, validates racism, and so much more. There are countless interfaith events taking place across England, but it worries me how members of the Muslim community at large have become blinded to the oppression taking place in various parts of the world purely due to Zionist involvement. Equally, if we look at the mainstream media today, we will realise that it is Zionist elites that own these media cooperation’s – which is why we are witnessing evident media bias against resistance movements, the vilification of reputable scholars, and most importantly a heavy focus on issues that are the reason for moral decay.
To conclude, it is paramount that we focus on dialogue among ourselves before jumping the gun. We need to establish more intra-faith events to recognise the beauty of unity, and therefore as a powerful force we will be able to address the social and political issues affecting the wider Muslim community. To sincerely seek solutions to the conflict that is taking place in every corner of the world, we need to initiate dialogue with like-minded people; and we need to constantly remind ourselves that Allah is all seeing and all knowing. When we associate ourselves with those who collude with other terrorists to usurp the rights of others, we are just as bad as the oppressor. We must condemn and reject faith organisations, individuals, scholars, and so called activists that are working alongside transgressors, for Allah has said to us: “Allah does not love the unjust.” (Ale-Imran, 3:57)
… And before I get accused of being Anti-Semitic, let it be a reminder that being Anti-Zionist does not equate to being Anti-Semitic.
By Afreen Rizvi