July 2015

If you’re not in the US (where it will air on Al Jazeera America at some stage and so it’s geo-blocked for now!), here’s the link to the full show and my full Head to Head interview with General (retd) Michael Flynn, Obama’s former military intelligence chief, on ISIL, Iran, drones and Islam:

Is the US to blame for ISIL?

Michael T Flynn, the former head of the US Defense Intelligence Agency, on how to deal with ISIL and Iran.

When an innocent lion was killed, the world was flooded with images of the lion; its killer was named and shamed; and celebrities and politicians alike weighed in on the heinousness of the killing. And all of that is fine in its place.

But when an innocent Palestinian child was burned to death by overzealous Israeli settlers, along with members of his family, there is hardly a whimper of outrage. With great difficulty, a picture or two of the child (and family?) are found here and there, and the killers seem to be getting away with blatant murder.

Indeed, the killing of a lion is a sad tragedy. But the outright and brutal massacre of thousands of Palestinians, and the denial of basic human rights to hundreds of thousands of others, for the last 70 years, by the only Apartheid state of our times, and the collective silence or even support of this carnage by almost all other world powers, is the single most heinous sustained calamity of our generation.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/extremist-israeli-attack-live-photographs-emerge-of-palestinian-toddler-killed-in-firebombing-10429987.html

Images emerge of Palestinian baby killed in ‘Israeli extremist’ attack

Photographs have emerged of the 18-month-old child killed in an arson attack by suspected Jewish extremists in the West Bank.

When the Israeli government announces continued demolitions and illegal settlement construction, the U.S government is simply “deeply concerned.” Last night a Palestinian baby was burned alive by an Israeli terrorist. Expect a similar statement of “deep concern.” But if you initiate a non-violent response to this in the form of boycott, you’re an extremist. The Palestinians also don’t have a right to defend themselves against their occupier. Instead they’re supposed to live in this misery and wait for the “concerned” superpowers of the world to act. And we’re supposed to accept the continued transgressions against innocent human beings and holy places by this illegal state. Doesn’t add up. #BDS #FreePalestine

Palestinian baby burned to death in settler attack

Two homes set ablaze in Duma village in occupied West Bank, with graffiti left on the walls reading

Word.

Abu Eesa

We expect nothing but murder and oppression from Israelis and their indiscriminate bombing of civilians, or Western drones being used upon Afghan and Pakistani gatherings, or specifically the Iranians and their backing to al-Assad in Syria or their backing to the Houthi rebels in Yemen to commit war crimes openly against their civilians.

Some things are so well known, they need little reminding. Fa la’natullahi ‘aladh-Dhalimeen.

Our duty though also extends to others who do the same crime, especially if it is “our” side or those who aren’t so well known for doing such crimes or any other reason.

The bombing of residential areas in Yemen by Saudi coalition forces is not only a war crime, but also impermissible according to Islamic law. Just because the enemy acts in an unacceptable manner, doesn’t allow the bombing of residential areas or markets or streets or apartment building in response. It is obvious that through such retaliatory action or shock and awe tactics or whatever justification there may be even if the enemy is hiding in such places, the majority of deaths will be of those who are innocent civilians. This is transgression.

It is impermissible to transgress in war. Most of the victims in such bombings will be non-combatants. Just because the enemy doesn’t care, doesn’t mean “we” should be equally callous and ignorant. Fighting has only been permitted in Islam to stop evil, but it is not allowed to stop evil with a bigger one.

Yes this might sound idealistic, but then Islam was always about ideals and not about just achieving the ends through any means possible.

I don’t know if any scholars gave the Saudi coalition forces permission to bomb residential areas in order to fight back against the Houthis – regardless of Houthi crimes – because I find that untenable. If someone can prove different, please let me know.

Just please don’t justify what is wrong in order to get rid of the evil of the Houthis and those who back them. Wallahu a’lam.

“إن من أمراض حضارتنا الحالية هي أن كل شيء منفصل عن الأشياء الأخرى. فكل الأشياء التي يجب أن تكون موصولة، نراها منفصلة ومجزأة. ففي المقاولة مثلا، نجد ظاهرة التخصص التي قد تكون ضرورية أحيانا، لكن مستويات التخصص لا تتواصل فيما بينها. إن عصرنا ينعت ب”عصر التواصل”، لكننا لا نتواصل من مجال إلى مجال، أو من مجموعة إلى أخرى إطلاقا. لقد عقدت محاضرة في كلية العلوم بتولوز، فسمعت جمهور الحاضرين يقولون :” هذه أول مرة نجتمع فيها لنتكلم عن العلوم وليس عن الإدارة!”. فهم لا يتبادلون الأفكار في هذا الصدد، إلا إذا كان الأمر يتعلق بالأسئلة الإدارية التقنية. ونفس الشيء بالنسبة للأجيال، كل الأشياء مجزأة. فالانفصال حقيقة مذهلة.”

(إدغار موران، مقطع من الكتاب الحواري على أنقاض الأفكار)

When they slept, He was awake. When they broke, He held you up. When every means failed, He saved you. When all the creation left you, He remained. He always remains. Never forget when the storms pushed you to your knees and there was no one else who could help you, He carried you. When you were broken and you swore this time it couldn’t be fixed—never forget who fixed it. Never forget what He saved you from. Never forget how He put you back together. That moment when you felt helpless and alone, never forget who never left. To forget this is the greatest heedlessness. No matter who or what may be beside you now, never forget those moments when it was only Him. Only Him. That is loyalty.

Killing of Palestinians is business as usual. Good read on the double standards of the media.

“Israeli soldiers force their way into a home in the dead of night, fully armed, masked and protected. They don’t need a warrant, and the suspects don’t have any rights. Israeli army claims that soldiers’ lives were at risk is what justifies the killing of unarmed Palestinians. Sound familiar? That is because it has happened over and over again for nearly 50 years.”

Killing of three Palestinians in a week shouldn’t be business as usual | +972 Magazine

If it had been Palestinians who killed three Israelis, we would be having a very different conversation about a ‘worrying escalation’ or ‘wave of violence.’ Israeli military forces shot and killed three Palestinians in the…

Never look down on a good deed, a very small action could be the one that leads you to Jannah.

Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported: A poor woman came to me carrying her two daughters. I gave her three dates. She gave a date to each of them and then took up one date and brought that to her mouth to eat, but her daughters asked her of that also. She then divided the date that she intended to eat between them. This (kind) treatment of her impressed me and I mentioned that to Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) who said, “Verily, Allah has assured Jannah for her, because of (this act) of her.” (Muslim)

On public figures and consideration for their private lives:

I’m grateful to Allah that I am close to many scholars and activists across the spectrum, some that also happen to be public figures. I’ve learned a lot over the last few years being in that loop. The first lesson, and the most obvious, is that every one is a flawed human being and expectations of people shouldn’t be any different.

But one thing that MANY people don’t consider is how difficult it is for public figures to deal with private tragedy and how that translates into their public behavior at times. I try to reach out to people that I know privately when i see them saying/doing something publicly that I feel is inappropriate or even out of character. And almost every time I have done that, the brother or sister in question was dealing with death in the family, divorce, financial hardship, etc. and had very few people they could confide in. They felt trapped in their public personas and didn’t know where to go for help.

Why am I bringing this up?

This doesn’t justify everything that public figures do and yes there has to be a level of accountability for everyone. There are also different levels of transgression that need to be considered. If someone abuses another person, the priority is justice for the one who was abused. But what I do want people to keep in mind is that when someone slips up on social media, in a video, on a tweet or status, etc. or when someone is suddenly extremely angry or defensive, there could be something going on. If you know that person, reach out to them. If you don’t know them, make excuses for them as that is the right of every brother/sister upon you regardless of their status.

And before you guys start to speculate, this isn’t about me 🙂

Jazakumullah khayr