Friday, February 10, 2006

Tuesday, February 7th, 2006
Good morning…
Last week was so full for me, and loaded with sorrow…
A group of ladies came from Baghdad, some I met for the first time, and the others I knew when I was in Baghdad. The business they were here for was starting the procedures of acquiring the visa to travel to the United States, to participate in the activities of the International Women's Day next March, with an American, non-governmental organization which opposes the war on Iraq, and want these Iraqi women, all of them mothers, to talk about their personal experiences during that war.
Some women came along, working with Iraqi societies for helping the residents in the devastated areas, like Fallujah, Al-Qa'aim, Ramadi, and others of the tense and hot towns, towns which still get American air raids from time to time, or get shelled by missiles aiming at the Iraqi resistance there, and of course- they hit the civilians without mercy, as a form of the punishment policy used by the occupation and the imperialism every time, everywhere, as we read the history books.
Those civilians have hot files that are worth following up:

• The widows and orphans file: those who were left behind as a result of this silly war, and now this is the responsibility of the Iraqi non-governmental organizations.

• The detention camps and prisons file: and the human rights transgressions that are taking place there, against the detainees, men and women, Iraqis and non-Iraqis. Some Iraqi non-governmental organizations are struggling to defend them, after the international organizations proved incapable of interfering to help them.

• The town services file: about the services of the towns which are being besieged, stormed, and raided by the occupation forces; services like water supply, electricity, communications, reconstructing schools, hospitals, public streets and roads, and other public services. These are the responsibility of the state, but where is the Iraqi state now? There is ruin, chaos, and stealing the public funds, without any obvious, and serious accomplishments on the ground of reality, to assure people and give them confidence in the new government…

• The dead and wounded, the ruined houses, and compensations file: this is a long, spiky file, of which the Iraqi and American governments elude, but I am sure it is a file demanding justice, and legal rights, and it shall be won, no matter how long it takes- a year, five, ten, or fifty. The Iraqis will be compensated, and those will be taken out of the American government's eyes, and despite her nose, one day. The American army eludes the compensations now, telling the citizens who complain: who can prove that the source of the missile that fell upon you is the American army? Perhaps you are the victims of the resistance and its missiles in the combat zone. Well then; how can a family prove that their house was ruined by an American missile? Or that her children were killed by an American missile? Do they photograph that and put it in the complaint file? Who guarantees the army will admit to that? They will simply tell them they are liars; you made up that story, and brought that missile from another site… very well, logically- when an occupation force enter a village or town, besiege it, and forbid people from leaving it, and the shelling starts, people get killed, and all is ruined, the green and the dry, as they say, to whom shall the residents go, those who lost casualties, and their houses were ruined by the violence of the engagement? Logically; isn't the occupation force responsible for what is happening? How are these cases solved internationally? There must be some international law that should be taken as a reference to the Iraqi lawyers, to follow up this file…

• The children file: those who became crippled or disfigured by this war, or those who need urgent surgery, like Hakeem, whom I saw here, waiting for a visa to travel to America for treatment, that was a donation of an American, non-governmental organization.

I want to tell the story of Hakeem: Hakeem is a six years old child. When Fallujah was bombed in April 2004, many missiles fell over their house, the glass was shattered, and the missile's shrapnel fell over the people in the house, his mother's belly was ripped open, she was pregnant, and the embryo died, while she miraculously survived. A splinter hit Hakeem in the face, and he lost a side of his face- the left side; no eye, no skin. They performed a patching face surgery in a Baghdad hospital, taking some skin out of his thigh, but he still needs plastic surgery, and a solution for his eye problem…
I went with the Iraqi ladies to the hotel to see him, and meet him. My heart went out at the sight of him. I took a photo of Hakeem, but I can't look at him for long. I shall put down his photo, you will have to excuse me because it isn't a comforting sight to the heart, but what can I do?
Hakeem has been sitting in the hotel with his father for a month now, waiting for the visa, why? Because at the embassy they interviewed his father and asked him, was he in the Iraqi army? He said- yes of course, I served the compulsory military service, like any other Iraqi. And of course they are hesitant in the embassy to issue a visa, lest Hakeem's father would turn out to be a terrorist who would bomb America.
Ha,ha,ha….isn't that a comedy?
The executioner fears the victim…
I do not want to get into more details, more questions, I want to pass by this article on to a question that is jumping in front of me:
Why would America come to bomb our towns and villages, then we go to look for an American, non-governmental organization to treat the victim-child?
With all my respect and appreciation for this organization and its high morals, but my anger and pain raise these innocent questions: where are the Arabs, the Muslims? Where are the rich people of Iraq, the Arabs, and the Muslims? Are they storing their money in the banks of Europe and America? To gamble with it there? To buy palaces and villas there? To spend it on drinks and gambling in the nightclubs?
Aren't those obliged to treat a child like Hakeem? An Arabic, Muslim child, the victim of an unjust war? Where are the rich and princes of the Gulf, so far from the catastrophes taking place in Iraq, Palestine, and Afghanistan? There are millions of widows and orphans in Iraq, Palestine, and Afghanistan, for whom we tour around, begging for them to be sponsored, at $ 25 an orphan?
Has the money of this nation become so rare?
Not at all, for we can all see the hotels and palaces being build by the rich of the nation, here and there, the money being spend without a moment's thought, on entertainment and fun, and satellite channels, worth millions of dollars, owned by Arab princes, to spread corruption and loss among the young of the nation.
And when we speak about the wounded, the orphans, and the widows, the mood of the listeners would crumble…
Are these the ethics of Muslims?
What is left of Islam?
And why do you move in angry marches against the newspaper that ridiculed the Prophet Muhammad, (May prayers and peace be upon him)? I think he is looking down at most Muslims, and saying: "You hypocrites, what have you kept of my teachings, and my path? What have you done after me? What have you preserved of your religion, and what have you lost? You are suffering all these insults because you are sinking into sins. You have moved away from your religion and its teachings, you have forgotten mercy in your hearts, and GOD will not change your conditions until you change the deformities and defects in your selves".
By GOD, if I keep talking for hours about this subject, my pain and anger wouldn't become less, but we are a nation that does deserve mercy as long as we have a repentant among us, or ask for forgiveness.
And I do hope the rich of this nation will repent, and ask for forgiveness, for what they neglected in helping their brothers, for they will be asked about how they spent each penny, and they will know, then…
Among the ladies who came from Baghdad, who were invited to participate in the Women's Day in America, there are two Iraqi mothers, who came to talk about their own personal experience in the war…
The first one's name is Vivian, a Christian. She was with her husband, children, mother in law, and brother in law in their car, at the 7th of March 2003, that is- before the official fall of Baghdad at the 9th of March. they were in their car, driving in one of Baghdad's streets, near the famous Baghdad Clock, when they were surprised by an American tank, carrying some sweet soldiers, who started firing randomly at the car of those miserable people. The husband, his mother, and three children were all killed, while the woman and her brother in law escaped from the car to the street, hid behind some trees, with the shooting still going on at them. Then the tank stopped, and the hero American soldiers discovered that this was a family, that those were unarmed civilians, so they asked the wife and her brother in law to leave the place, and leave the bodies behind.
She says: (We walked down the street, until we reached a safe area with civilian cars, who took us home. And after a week of negotiations with the American army, they handed over the bodies to us. We took them to the church, where we washed them, prayed for them, then buried them….).
How would my tears not fall down, or my heart wouldn't twist in pain, when I tell you this story? Whenever I saw that woman I wondered in my heart; how did she retain the ability to talk, or smile? The bullets entered the heads of her children, as she said; she saw bullets get into her son's forehead, who was sitting beside her. Two of her children were in intermediate school, and the youngest was in primary school… now, she went back to live with her elderly parents…
She was a mother, a wife with a family, and suddenly, everything evaporated…
I looked at her, a young woman wearing black. I asked her about her age, and she said-45 years. But she looks younger than her years…
Another mother came from Baghdad, with another story…
A lady called – Anwaar…
At August 8th, 2003, that is, months after the fall of Baghdad, she was with her husband and children in their car, and the lovely tank came along, as usual, and there was random shooting. The husband was killed with three of her children, while she and one of her daughters were wounded… the mother was pregnant, and now she lives with her in-laws, with a 3 years old child, and a 17 years old daughter. The baby was born after his father and brothers left this world…
The four ladies went to the embassy to apply for a visa, the Council met them all, one by one, and looked with doubt at the ones wearing black. He asked them; when did their husbands die? And the answer was: during the war…
The result- he did not issue a visa for them, but only to the others who did not lose their families in the war…
Why? Everyone kept wondering….
Then they went back to Baghdad…
Why didn't he grant them a visa? Was he afraid they would confront the American people, talk about their experience, and embarrass the government and the American army?
I don't know…
But he knows the answer.
I kept thinking of them…
Who will compensate them for the devastation of their lives?
Who will compensate, and question about what befell thousands of Iraqi families; the killings, and the ruin of houses, before the fall of Baghdad, until now?
The military actions are still on, the victims are still falling every day, and the questions are still hanging, without answers….
My heart is full of sadness, bitterness, and anger at what is happening in Iraq, so, DO NOT BLAME ME.
Translated by May/Baghdad.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

الثلاثاء 7 شباط 2006
صباح الخير...
الأسبوع الماضي كان حافلا بالنسبة لي, كان مزدحما بالأحزان ..
جاءت مجموعة سيدات من بغداد ,التقيت
بعضهن لأول مرة , وبعضهن اعرفهن من بغداد
الموضوع الذي جاؤوا من اجله هو عمل اجراءات الحصول على الفيزا للسفر الى الولايات المتحدة , للمشاركة في نشاطات يوم المرأة العالمي في آذار المقبل, مع منظمة امريكية غير حكومية تعارض الحرب على العراق, وتريد لهؤلاء النساء العراقيات, وكلهن امهات, الحديث عن تجاربهن الشخصية خلال هذه الحرب
حضرت نساء يعملن في جمعيات عراقية لمساعدة الاهالي في المناطق المتضررة مثل الفلوجة والقائم والرمادي وغيرها من مدن متوترة وساخنة وفيها قصف جوي امريكي من فترة لأخرىأو قصف صواريخ تستهدف المقاومة العراقية هناك, وتضرب الاهالي طبعا دون رحمة, كنوع من سياسة العقاب التي يستعملها الاستعمار والاحتلال في كل
زمان ومكان حين نقرأ كتب التاريخ
هؤلاء المدنيين لهم ملفات ساخنة تستحق المتابعة :
· ملف الأرامل والأيتام : الذين خلفتهم هذه الحرب السخيفة,
هذه مسؤولية المنظمات غير الحكومية العراقية حاليا

ملف المعتقلات والسجون : وتجاوزات حقوق الإنسان التي تحدث هناك ضد معتقلين من رجال ونساء
عراقيين وغير عراقيين
تناضل منظمات غير حكومية عراقية للدفاع عنهم
بعد أن أثبتت المنظمات الدولية عجزها عن التدخل لمساعدتهم

ملف الخدمات للمدن : التي تتم محاصرتها واقتحامها وقصفها من قبل قوات الاحتلال, من ماء وكهرباء واتصالات واعادة اعمار المدارس والمستشفيات والطرق العامة وغيرها من خدمات عامة, هذه من مسؤولية الدولة, لكن أين هي الدولة العراقية الآن؟
ثمة خراب وفوضى ونهب الاموال العامة, دون انجازات جادة وواضحة على ارض الواقع تطمئن الناس وتعطيهم الثقة بالحكومة الجديدة..

· ملف الجرحى والقتلى والبيوت المهدمة والتعويضات : هذا ملف شائك وطويل , تتهرب منه الحكومة العراقية والامريكية ,لكنني متاكدة انه ملف يطالب بالعدالة والحق المشروع , وانه سيتم كسبه وإن طال الزمان, سنة , خمسة , عشرة,خمسون, سينال العراقيون التعويضات , وسوف يتم اخذها من عيون الحكومة الامريكية ورغما عن انفها, يوما ما
الجيش الامريكي الآن يتهرب من التعويضات ويقول للاهالي الذين يشتكون : من يثبت أن الصاروخ الذي وقع عليكم مصدره من عندنا ؟
ربما انتم ضحايا المقاومة وصواريخها في منطقة الاشتباك , يعني كيف تثبت العائلة ان بيتها تهدم من صاروخ امريكي ؟
او اولادها قتلوا من صاروخ امريكي ؟
هل تصوره وتضعه داخل الفايل مع الشكوى؟
ومن يضمن ان الجيش سيعترف؟ سيقولون لهم انتم كاذبون ولفقتم القصة وجلبتم
صاروخ من موقع آخر..
طيب , منطقيا, قوات احتلال تدخل قرية او مدينة, وتحاصرها وتمنع الناس من المغادرة, وتبدأ القصف ’ فيقتل ناس وتهدم بيوت, ويذهب الاخضر مع اليابس, الى من يلجأ الاهالي الذين سقط لهم ضحايا وسقطت بيوتهم من عنف الاشتباك ؟
منطقيا, اليست قوات الاحتلال تتحمل مسؤولية ما يحدث؟
كيف تحل هذه القضايا دوليا ؟
لابد من وجود قانون دولي يعتبر مرجعية للمحامين العراقيين , لمتابعة هذا الملف..

· ملف الاطفال :الذين تعوقوا او تشوهوا من هذه الحرب او الذين يحتاجون الى جراحة عاجلة مثل حكيم الذي رأيته هنا ينتظر الفيزا ليسافر الى اميركا للعلاج حيث تبرعت به منظمة غير حكومية امريكية

أريدان احكي قصة حكيم :
حكيم عمره 6 سنوات, عند قصف الفلوجة في نيسان 2004 , سقطت عدة صواريخ على بيتهم, تكسر الزجاج , ونزلت شظايا الصواريخ على الناس داخل البيت, أمه تمزق بطنها, وكانت حاملا , مات الجنين, وظلت الام على قيد الحياة باعجوبة , حكيم جاءت شظية ضربت وجهه, طار جزء من وجهه , الجزء الايسر , بلا عين, بلا جلد, عملوا له عملية ترقيع للوجه في مستشفى ببغداد, واخذوا جلد من الفخذ, لكنه ما زال يحتاج الى عمليات تجميل, وحل مشكلة عينه ..
ذهبت مع السيدات العراقيات الى الفندق لرؤيته والتعرف اليه , انخلع قلبي من المنظر
اخذت له صورة , لا أقدر ان انظر اليه طويلا, وسأضع صورته, وتعذروني لانها غير مريحة للقلب, لكن ماذا افعل؟
حكيم يجلس في الفندق مع والده ينتظر الفيزا منذ شهر , لماذا؟
لانهم بالسفارة قابلوا اباه وسألوه هل كان في الجيش العراقي؟
قال لهم نعم خدمت خدمة عسكرية اجبارية كاي عراقي
طبعا في السفارة مترددين يعطوهم الفيزا , خاف يطلع ابو حكيم إرهابي يروح يفجر امريكا
ههههه....أليست هذه مهزلة ؟
الجلاد يخاف من الضحية ...
لا أريد الخوض في التفاصيل والأسئلة,,
أريد تجاوز هذه الفقرة الى سؤال يقفز امامي :
لماذا تأتي أميركا تقصف مدننا وقرانا, ونذهب لنبحث عن منظمة امريكية غير حكومية لتعالج الطفل الضحية؟
مع كل احترامي وتقديري لهذه المنظمة واخلاقها الراقية, لكن غضبي والمي يرفعان هذه الاسئلة البريئة :
أين العرب والمسلمون ؟
أين أغنياء العراق وأغنياء العرب والمسلمين؟
يخزنون اموالهم في بنوك اوروبا واميركا؟
يلعبون القمار بها هناك؟
يشترون بها فلل وقصور؟
يصرفونها على المشروب والقمار في النوادي الليلية؟
اليس هؤلاء ملزمين بمعالجة واحد مثل حكيم ؟
طفل عربي مسلم ضحية حرب ظالمة؟
أين أغنياء وأمراء الخليج عما يحدث من كوارث في العراق وفلسطين وافغانستان؟
ملايين الارامل والأيتام في العراق وفلسطين وافغانستان ندور لنشحد لهم من يكفلهم بخمسة وعشرين دولار لليتيم؟
هل شحت الاموال في هذه الأمة ؟
لا أبدا , كلنا يرى الفنادق والقصور التي يبنيها اغنياء الامة هنا وهناك , والاموال تنصرف دون وجع قلب على اللهو والتسلية, وقنوات فضائية بملايين الدولارات يملكها امراء عرب لتنشر الفساد والضياع بين شباب الامة , وحين نتكلم عن جرحى وايتام وارامل ,
يتعكر مزاج السامعين ..
هل هذه اخلاق مسلمين ؟
ماذ تبقى من الاسلام؟
ولماذا تظهرون مسيرات غضب على الجريدة التي تستهزأ بالنبي محمد عليه الصلاة والسلام ؟
اظنه ينظر الى معظم المسلمين ويقول : يا منافقين, ما أبقيتم من تعاليمي وسنتي؟
ماذا فعلتم من بعدي؟
ماذا حفظتم من دينكم وما ضيعتم ؟
كل الإهانات التي تتعرضون لها لأنكم تغرقون في الذنوب,
وابتعدتم عن دينكم وتعاليمه ونسيتم الرحمة من قلوبكم , ولن يغير الله حالكم حتى تغيروا ما بانفسكم من عيوب وتشوهات
والله لو بقيت اتكلم ساعات حول هذا الموضوع , ما خف المي ولا غضبي
ولكننا امة تستحق الرحمة ما دام فينا تائب او مستغفر
وأتأمل ان يتوب ويستغفر أغنياء هذه الأمة عما قصروا في مساعدة اخوانهم
وسوف يسألون عن كل فلس أين أنفقوه, وسوف يعلمون...
من ضمن السيدات القادمات من بغداد والمدعوات للمشاركة بيوم المراة في اميركا , اثنان من الامهات العراقيات ,
ليتكلمن عن تجربتهن الشخصية في الحرب..
واحدة اسمها فيفيان , وهي مسيحية , كانت مع زوجها واولادها وام زوجها واخوه , في سيارتهم يوم 7 اذار 2003 , يعني قبل سقوط بغداد رسميا في 9 اذار , كانوا في سيارتهم يمشون في احد شوارع بغداد, قرب ساعة بغداد المشهورة , حين فاجاتهم دبابة امريكية فيها جنود حبابين بدأووابإطلاق النار العشوائي باتجاه سيارة هؤلاء البؤساء, فانقتل الزوج وامه والاولاد الثلاثة , وهربت الزوجة من السيارة واخو زوجها , الى الشارع , واختبؤوا خلف الاشجار واستمر اطلاق النار عليهم , ثم توقفت الدبابة واكتشف الجنود الامريكيين الابطال ان هذه عائلة , وهؤلاء مدنيين عزل من السلاح , وطلبوا من الزوجة واخو زوجها ان يغادروا المكان ويتركوا الجثث
تقول مشينا في الشارع حتى وصلنا منطقة امنه فيها سيارات مدنية اخذونا للبيت , وبعد اسبوع من المفاوضات مع الجيش الامريكي, سلمونا الجثث, غسلناها في الكنيسة وصلينا عليها ودفناها....
كيف لا تنزل دموعي وينعصر قلبي وأنا احكي لكم القصة ؟
كنت كلما ارى تلك المرأة اتساءل في قلبي كيف بقيت عندها قدرة ان تتكلم او تبتسم ؟
الرصاص دخل رؤؤس اولادها كما تقول , ورأت الطلقات تدخل جبين ابنها الذي يجلس جنبها , اثنان منهم في المدرسة المتوسطة, والصغير في الابتدائية..
والان عادت لتسكن مع امها وابيها العجوزين..
كانت ام وزوجة ولها عائلة, وفجأة تبخر كل شيء...
نظرت اليها, شابة ترتدي السواد , سألتها عن عمرها , قالت 45 , شكلها أصغر من عمرها...
جاءت ام اخرى من بغداد , ومعها قصة اخرى..
السيدة اسمها أنوار..
يوم 8 أب , 2003 يعني بعد سقوط بغداد بشهور , كانت مع زوجها واولادها في السيارة , وجاءت الدبابة الحلوة كالعادة , واطلاق نار عشوائي , انقتل الزوج وثلاثة من اولادها وانجرحت هي وواحدة من بناتها ..
كانت هذه الام حاملا, والان بقيت تعيش مع اهل زوجها وعندها طفل عمره حوالي 3 سنوات, وبنت عمرها 17 سنة, هذا الطفل جاء للحياة بعد ان رحل ابوه واخوته...
ذهبت السيدات الأربعة للسفارة لطلب الفيزا, القنصل قابلهن واحدة واحدة, واللواتي يلبسن السواد نظر اليهن بشك , وسألهن متى توفى ازواجهن وكان الجواب : أثناء الحرب..
النتيجة , لم يعطهن فيزا , واعطى الاخريات اللواتي لم يفقدن عوائلهن في الحرب...
لماذا ؟
ظل الجميع يتساءل ....
ثم عادوا الى بغداد ...
لماذا لم يعطهن فيزا؟
هل هو خائف ان يواجهن الشعب الامريكي ويتكلمن عن تجاربهن ويحرجن الحكومة والجيش الامريكي؟
لا ادري...
هو يعرف الجواب.
بقيت أفكر بهن ..
من سيعوضهن عما حصل من خراب لحياتهن ؟
من يعاقب ويسائل عما حدث لالاف العوائل العراقية من قتل وتهديم بيوت قبل سقوط بغداد ولحد الآن ؟
ما زالت العمليات العسكرية مستمرة وما زال الضحايا يتساقطون كل يوم , وما زالت الأسئلة معلقة بلا اجوبة ....
قلبي يملؤه الحزن والمرارة والغضب على ما يحدث في العراق , فلا تلوموني


Wednesday, February 01, 2006
Good morning….
Yesterday was the beginning of the Hijri New Year; I wish this year would be a new year full of all the means of welfare, power, and victory for Muslims…
And this doesn’t mean I wish ill for others, but the Muslims are passing through critical circumstances and difficult challenges, and of course they have a special consideration in my heart; being a Muslim, proud of my Religion, and I do not find this a reason to be hostile, or for despising the others… never, for the heart of a true Muslim is full of good wishes for all humans, asking guidance for them to the correct path, and Mercy and Forgiveness from GOD, the Lord of all creatures, the GOD of heaven, earth, and all that is between them, the Creator of everything.
We call the Islamic New Year a Hijri Year (Hijri= Immigration), because the Prophet Mohammad (May prayers and peace be upon him), immigrated from Mecca to ALmadina Almonawara (formerly Yathrib), he immigrated to save the new religion and its followers from the oppression of the rich, the powerful, and the merchants of Mecca, who were annoyed by the speech of the new religion; which announced all people equal- the rich and the poor, the old and the young, the black and the white, while the former speech in Mecca was that of Merchants, and the controlling class at that time being the rich class, controlling the fates of people by what earthly wealth they have, so, as this new religion pulled the rug from under the feet of this arrogant class, they fought the new religion, the leader-Mohammed (May prayers and peace be upon him), and all those who joined ranks behind him, the Believers, who were mostly the weak and poor in the Mecca society.
The Immigration of the Prophet Mohammed (May prayers and peace be upon him) was a turning point in the course of the call for Islam…
Islam itself was a turning point in the life of the Arabs, at first, and then in the lives of the people who took it up as a religion later on…
Islam and the Immigration divided the society of the Arabian Peninsula then; into supporters on one side, or fighters against them. They divided the one family into members who belonged to the new religion and faith, and members who clung to the old faith.
But by the passage of time, after some years, the Prophet (May prayers and peace be upon him) went back to Mecca, victorious, as the new religion prevailed and proved the ability to survive and face challenges. Islam gained more supporters, more believers, and most of the people of Arabia entered into Islam, while the non-Muslims (the Christians and the Jews) were not forced to enter into the new religion. The point was, and still is; that belonging to Islam is a freewill act, not by compulsion. And the Holy Verse came down: (There is no compulsion in religion, for the sane act is distinguished from the reckless one.).
I used to hear a lot of people wondering: why is the word "culture" connected for us with the word-religion? In the west, perhaps it isn’t a word connected with religion, so, why do we connect the two words?
I remained hesitant, between accepting this idea, or rejecting it… but when I read the history of Europe in the last few weeks, then brought on the books of the Arab-Islamic history, I understood the difference completely.
I saw that Islam was a true turning point in the life of this nation. I saw that it was the backbone in formulating the culture of this nation; for it has brought a new fate, new laws, and the people believed in them in a way that made them determined in issues like believing in GOD, ONE and only HIM, believing in no other gods beside HIM, believing in Prophets and the Holy Books, believing in Angels, and believing in Fate; whether it was good, or bad…
And when these issues are settled, a new look at the world is formulated…
There are the rituals performed when joining Islam, and these are: Al-Shahada (announcing that there is no god but the One GOD, and that Mohammad is the Messenger of GOD), Al-Salla’a (Prayers), Al-Sea’am (Fasting), Al-Zaka’at (charity Donations), and Al-Hajj (the pilgrimage to Mecca).
Both the Prophet (May prayers and peace be upon him) and the Holy Quran made it clear that there is a difference between believing in the faith, and Islam.
Islam is a first stage, in which these rituals are performed…
Believing is a higher stage, not necessarily reached by all Muslims.
And blessed are those who ascend from the stage of Islam to believing, I think the major element in this evolvement is being honest in worshiping, being truthful, and fearing GOD, in public, and in private…
After Islam spread in Arabia, the Muslims moved out to spread the calling in the neighboring lands, perhaps the first encounters were by the force of the sword, like encountering the army of Persia in Iraq, and the Roman army in Al-Sham (present day Syria), but the call kept spreading to the east and the west, even after the spread of the Islamic Empire stopped, and like Toynbee, the historian, says: (The political laceration of the Islamic state started, some states appeared in Morocco, Egypt, and Andalusia, separate from the rule of the Caliphs in Baghdad, but Islam kept spreading to the lands of the Bulgur, and to the east like Indonesia, Malaysia, China, and India in a slow, quiet way…).
And in some other books I read, the people of these lands say: that trading with the Islamic merchants, and experiencing their good manners and honesty was one of the main reasons in the spread of Islam among the people of these far lands.
The life of people turned a new color, and got a clear identity: the identity of Islam; from the Arts and Architecture, to the Literature, Culture, Poetry, and Thought. Even Philosophy in Islam has different guidelines, for everything now passes through an Islamic view of the Universe- the relation between the human and his Creator, between people themselves, between the ruler and the ruled, the buyer and the seller, between man and woman; before marriage and after marriage, between children and parents, all have rules to control the feelings of people and adjust them, to make them moderate- there is no Monasticism in Islam, and no Liberality to the limit of foolishness and falling in sin and fault, in spite of the Prophet’s saying: ( All the children of Adam are prone to faults, and the best of those are the repentant… ) meaning- GOD created all of us with a streak of weakness, so we make mistakes, but HE opened the door of Repentance for us, so we can go in, time and again…
Being moderate in everything is the manner of Islam; in eating and drinking, in spending money, and in viewing the other issues of life… Islam forbids the adultery and indecency, what was evident, or hidden, meaning- publicly and privately, so the dignity of the human and his self-trust would be kept safeguarded…
Islam forbids the usury, monopoly, and accumulating money, so there would be no exploitation or the formation of a state for the wealthy, meaning- there would be no rich, powerful, unjust class controlling the people’s destiny and the state’s fate. Islam legislated the system of Al-Zaka’at, so some obligatory donations should be taken from the rich, so the state would employ it in projects helping the poor families to live with dignity…
Islam forbids the fighting between Muslims, deeming the killer and the killed both in hell. And the Prophet (May prayers and peace be upon him) said his famous words: ((All are forbidden for a Muslim - to be taken- from another Muslim- his blood, his money, and his honor…)).
Islam laid down a complete perspective to run the state, either through the Quranic stories, or the life style and teachings of the Prophet (May prayers and peace be upon him)…
But now the conditions of the Muslims are deteriorating, and they live in labyrinths that has no connection with their roots…
And perhaps this is why they are lost…
I pray to GOD to lead them back to the correct path, give them strength, and aid them to be victorious for the welfare of humanity…
Going back to the history of Europe…
I found that Europe used to live through a special view of life, having a specific intellectual speech, expressed by their philosophers like Socrates, Aristotle, Plato, and others, they were beautiful theories, but they weren’t without naivety and idealism suitable for the views of a human living in 500 B.C., while there were no religions, nor laws from heaven…
Christianity came from the East, the cradle of religions, and the three Religions, to spread to far off, strange lands, and the faith spread, but it took on a violent, strict character, and the overwhelming power of the Church and its men grew, to rival that of kings and feudal lords, then this strictness exuded war campaigns to the East, under the banner of the Cross, even though the calling of Jesus (May peace be upon him) was an example of mercy, not carrying any seed of aggressiveness, but the land on which this calling landed used violence as a way of life, to express itself…
The European societies suffered from the oppression of the church, its suppression of freedoms, and its rejection of scientific theories about Earth, the Sun, and the Universe. They used to burn, or threaten to burn whoever objects to the church's ideas…
I do not think there was such a violence or injustice in the Islamic societies, rather there was an acceptance of the scientific theories that were in the Holy Quran, and those didn't contradict with the newly discovered facts of each era in a way that caused whoever said them to be accused with infidelity. On the contrary, there was some calm response in most cases, which did not bring on a blatant contradiction between religion, science, and the state, like what happened in the Christian experiment in Europe….
At the end of all that, Europe decided to get out of the cocoon and the conflict, and separated religion from the state, so, religion remained as a personal matter; accepted or rejected, to be taken wholly or partially, according to the mood. While in Islam, the address warned: it is not allowed to take some of what came on in the Holy Quran, and leave the rest, you either believe in it as a whole, or reject it as a whole, and then be with the infidels. As for those who waver half way- they are lost, no doubt.
The ages of Renaissance, enlightenment, and the scientific theories came on to increase the people's remoteness from religion, and their adherence to the human mind, then the human rights, and the human liberty…
As if the human is him self's lord, and the lord of the universe, to do whatever he wants…
Then, the ages of expansion and spreading to the continents of the world around Europe began, without limits, without constraints… Europe occupied a lot of lands in continents like Africa, North and South America, and parts of far-off Asia, causing harm to the original inhabitants, plundering the wealth without mercy. They brought the wealth to Europe, to create a new class of the wealthy, and accumulate a lot of capital money, that evolved into modern industries, and to an imperialism to export those industrial products to new, external centers, while looking for new resources to enable the wheel to keep on turning. There were some slaves and poor people who worked to keep the wheel turning…
Poor people, colonies, riches, capital money, industries, trading, marketing, and unceasing conflicts… so the scene is repeated in the history of Europe, then the conflict flames between the European countries themselves, which ignited World War I, then World War II…The prevailing language is that of violence, greed, and the love of overpowering others…
By GOD, I am not inventing anything from my imagination…this is real history, filling the books…and the European people suffered a lot from unjust, tyrannical regimes, these regimes didn't only oppress the people of the colonies, the slaves from Africa, and the native Red Indians only, but they also took advantage of their people, imposing taxes, while there were some crushed, poor classes, a broken middle class, and a rich, high class of kings and their retinue, feudal lords, and rich merchants…
Then, the French revolution occurred, which was the first revolution in Europe to free man from the tyranny and injustice of the traditional Monarchy. But a chaos of violence prevailed in the country's situation, the revolution ate its children, and they killed each other. Then, Napoleon emerged as a strong, military commander. He wanted to prove to Europe that France deserves to be an empire to rival Great Britain. So, he occupied a lot of the European countries, like Italy and Spain, got involved in wars with Brussa, Austria, Germany, and others, and then he went in a campaign to the Mediterranean countries, occupied Egypt, but failed to occupy Syria…
I do not know what is the point of all this?
His speech was like that of President Bush nowadays: We carry liberation to the people of the world. But he performed odd things when he occupied Italy, for example; he plundered the museums, imposed taxes, and oppressed resistance. Hummm, doesn't this look like a familiar story for the Iraqis?
Anyway- after many grinding battles, and a madness- like violent state, Napoleon failed in his war against Russia, the strength of his army started falling back, and defeats started coming successively. Then, the European countries agreed to expel him, banished him to the island of Saint Helen to die there, and restored the Monarchy to France…
After WWI, the scene was repeated; as Germany was besieged, it was decided to punish her and make her pay big compensations to all the countries that were harmed in the war. The German people lived in a phase of humiliation and disgrace until Hitler rose. I didn't find him mad, he was rather a man of his era, who came to regain back glory for his nation, like what Napoleon did to France. And of course he took the same violent, aggressive path against his neighbors, until Germany fell again in WWII…
We usually say: the Arabs before Islam were nothing, just conflicting tribes conquering each other to plunder the wealth… then Islam came on to unite them, making them brothers, and because of the success of this brotherhood, they built an Islamic empire expanding from the East to the West. And when this brotherhood was torn, they went back to being weak, to be bitten by every passer by….
But the history of Europe wasn't like this…
The brothers there kept biting each other, then biting the near and the far of the countries around them, occupying and oppressing them as they like, until Europe got weak. Now, the dialogue between its countries became calmer, but it is still a language of interests more than that of principals, a common religion, or such…
America is back now to continue the March of the European heritage, repeating the same history, with the same speech, the speech of Napoleon and Hitler; that they are geniuses, the liberators of nations ruled by tyrants…
The American speech, since that country was founded, was that of expansion and spreading in the continent, then interfering into the affairs of the neighbors in the southern continent, then the far continents, until they finally reached Iraq, the latest of the victims, and we pray to GOD that Iraq would be the last victim…..
One sentence attracted my attention a lot, when I read the history of Europe: The political stability is the key to development in any country…
Meaning- after the concurring, expansion, and imperialism fever in Europe cooled down, the political stability began; looking into the internal conditions, and re-arranging the house from inside. This happened in England first, then other European countries followed, as parliaments and stable ruling system began…
And we, in non-American or European countries, need the political stability to start developing our countries, in all aspects- social, economic, and others… especially in countries like Afghanistan, Palestine, Iraq, and the rest of the Arabic countries… for these countries need political stability so the people would feel good. But what about the fingers of the occupiers?
Such countries need to kick out the occupation first, then start the process of political stability, secondly, and this comes when people choose their way, and not by the interference of exterior powers who have interests contradicting with the interests of these people….
The fingers of America and Europe are still there, in a visible or invisible way, in the countries of the non- European world, in Asia, Africa, South America, and our countries which the call the Middle East region. The biggest calamity threatening the political stability was planting Israel among us, so the region would remain hot, tense, and shredded without a hope in any real stability or progress, in the foreseen future…
This is the sad reality…..
Is the difference between the East and the West only in religion and culture? Or is it a difference in the speech, and the total view of the world?
In a time like this, the world is at the utmost need of peace…
The violence of the Western speech, its love of arrogance, and not respecting the feelings of the Other, all this created a violence in the Islamic speech, to defend the identity, and the substance…
Like what happened, for example, in the Danish newspaper scandal, when they announced a caricature competition to ridicule Islam, and the Prophet Mohammad (May prayers and peace be upon him), last September…
That was an ignorant, blind, and a foolish approach of speech… this is not the speech of civilized people, a civilized person knows how to address the Other, respect him, and open doors of dialogue, not the doors of spite and ridicule…
The world needs peace…
And it is time the people of the East and the West should work together to create peace…
We all want peace for our homelands, children, and families…
We all have the common wish…
But there are still some factions of the greedy, fanatic merchants in the West, who want to dominate the wealth of the world, and ignite the fires of wars, unrest, and hatrids among the nations. In the past, the riches were woods, cotton, tobacco, furs, iron, coal, gold, silver, tea, coffee, and such… the riches now, for which wars are waged, is oil, and there's a lot of that in the lands of the Muslims, and so they were targeted as an obvious enemy.
The same old story, the same greed, and the same personalities, unable-to-be satisfied.
Who will stop the greed of the war merchants, and the oil merchants?
The people in the past were isolated, and would not know what was happening beyond the seas. But today people realize every matter, big or small, and there isn't any excuse to justify this negative approach. Otherwise, they will be accused of being the partners of those greedy merchants in their aggressive, foolish speech, that is pulling the whole world into a bottomless chasm…..
It is time the people of the West should move, and speak their word to the people of the East… hoping this would be a good, fair word, and thus prove they are not satisfied with the policies of such rulers, and that they want to change them with rulers more loving to peace and justice…
We all need peace and justice on this Earth.........
And we should all work together to fulfill these noble dreams…..
In the East, or in the West…
There is a common advantage, no doubt…
Translated by May/Baghdad.


Monday, February 06, 2006

Good morning..
I got this email in my mailbox this morning...
I was so happy to see the flowers and hear the nice music ..
thank you very much my dear Brianna
wish you all a nice day
Brianna Flynn handpicked and arranged some flowers especially for you.
You can view the flowers at:

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