Randy's Corner Deli Library

16 November 2003

Los Angeles Times: Blasts Rock Synagogues in Turkey, Killing 20

Blasts Rock Synagogues in Turkey, Killing 20
The two car bombings in Istanbul also injure hundreds, most outside the targeted buildings.
By Amberin Zaman and Tracy Wilkinson
Special to The Times

November 16, 2003

ISTANBUL, Turkey -- Nearly simultaneous car bombs tore into two crowded synagogues during Shabbat prayers here Saturday, killing at least 20 people and laying waste to neighborhoods where Jews have lived easily for generations among Turkey's Muslim majority.

More than 300 people were injured, many critically, officials said.

The government quickly blamed "international terrorists" for the attack, the latest in a string of bombings of civilian targets in Muslim countries.

One bomb detonated outside the Neve Shalom Synagogue, the city's largest, as congregants celebrated a bar mitzvah. The second blast heavily damaged the new Beth Israel Synagogue in the affluent district of Sisli, three miles away.

Most victims appeared to have been people struck down outside the tightly guarded synagogues, but numerous bloodied, burned worshipers were also pulled from inside one of the synagogues, and officials with one organization, the Jewish Agency, identified five Jews among the dead.

"I was praying when suddenly there was an explosion under us and all the windows blew open and I was left standing in shock in the middle of a great cloud of heavy smoke," the chief rabbi of Turkey, Isak Haleva, told Israeli radio.

His son was among those wounded at Beth Israel and was undergoing surgery in a local hospital, he said.

The dead included a Turkish police officer and a security guard posted at one synagogue, Turkish officials said.

The twin blasts, coming within moments of each other, sheared facades from 19th-century buildings, shattered windows for miles and hurled people and debris into the air.

At the Neve Shalom Synagogue in the historic Galata district, the bomb left a mammoth crater in the street.

Inside, a visiting American rabbi was leading services when the bomb exploded. He was not hurt.

Gulen Hurley, a film producer who lives near the Neve Shalom Synagogue, heard the huge explosion, felt her building shake and then rushed to her balcony to see masses of bleeding victims and others running about in panic.

"At first I thought it was an earthquake," she said. Then she saw a wounded rabbi clamber onto the roof of the synagogue, lift his arms to the sky and scream: "We will not leave! We will not leave!"

It was not immediately clear whether the explosions were the work of suicide bombers or were activated by remote control or a timing device. Footage from security cameras showed a red Fiat being parked in front of Neve Shalom and the driver walking away before the vehicle exploded, reported the Turkish Anatolian news agency, citing police.

A small group immediately claimed responsibility, but officials were uncertain whether to take the claim seriously.

Islamic fundamentalist groups associated with the Al Qaeda terrorist network have threatened to attack Jewish and Western targets, especially in countries seen as supportive of the United States, as Turkey is.

Both the apparently coordinated bombings and the extent of damage echoed recent attacks attributed to Al Qaeda-linked groups in Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and elsewhere. Jewish sites were targeted in attacks blamed on Al Qaeda associates in May in Casablanca, last November in Kenya and April 2002 in Tunisia.

"It is clear that this is a terrorist event with international links," Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul told Turkish television.

The casualty toll rose steadily through the day. The Istanbul health directorate said at least 20 people were killed.

"Obviously, an act of this scale suggests an organization [outside] Turkey," Interior Minister Abdulkadir Aksu said as he arrived to inspect the destruction. "We are considering every organization, both internal and international."

Turkey is a predominantly Muslim country, and the government is led by an Islamic party, but it remains strictly secular and has unusually good relations with Israel, including strong military ties.

It is one of the few countries in the region where Israelis feel comfortable vacationing and where they go in droves, with Israeli travel agencies offering regular charter flights.

At least at the official level, Turkey prides itself on the generally peaceful coexistence of its Muslim majority and its 27,000-strong Jewish community.

Jews flocked to Turkey, then the center of the Ottoman Empire, after expulsion from Spain and other parts of Europe in the 15th and 16th centuries.

Turkey was the first Muslim nation to recognize Israel after its founding in 1948.

A member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Turkey is also a close ally of the United States.

Although bilateral relations have been strained recently, Turkey supported the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq and offered to send troops to postwar Iraq. Those plans have been abandoned, however, in large part because of Iraqi opposition.

Turkey's private NTV television quoted police as saying they had intelligence recently that Al Qaeda might have been preparing attacks in Turkey.

The Anatolian news agency reported receiving a telephone call from a person claiming to be from a radical Turkish group, the Great Eastern Islamic Raiders' Front, who took responsibility for the attack. The caller threatened "to prevent the oppression against Muslims," Anatolian said. Officials were evaluating the claim.

Lamp vendor Can Kurt, 49, whose shop is across the street from the Neve Shalom Synagogue, said he rushed outside after a deafening explosion filled the street with white smoke.

"The scene was horrific," he said. "Dismembered limbs, fingers, even ears were strewn across the street as bloodied people fled in panic, screaming in pain."

Huge shards of glass fell "from the sky" to slice people, he said, "like Judgment Day." Five of his friends were killed in the bombing, he said.

At the Sisli Etfal Hospital, not far from the Beth Israel Synagogue, scores of Turks queued to donate blood for the bomb victims.

"This is my way of helping in the war against terrorism," said Sefika Eroglu, a 43-year-old homemaker waiting in line. "I want to save lives — Jewish, Muslim, it doesn't matter."

The Neve Shalom Synagogue was also the site of a bloody attack 17 years ago. Gunmen linked to radical Palestinian militant Abu Nidal shot and killed 22 worshipers during a Sabbath service.

In 1992, Hezbollah detonated an explosive at the synagogue, but no one was seriously injured. Security has been tight since, with heavy metal barriers erected in front of the temple and access restricted.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a devout Muslim, condemned the bombings as "an attack against the humanity."

"This is a bomb aimed at the stability and peace in the Turkish Republic," he said in Cyprus, where he was on an official visit.

Israel, which was sending a team to Turkey to assist, condemned the blasts as "criminal terror attacks."

Israeli Foreign Ministry official Daniel Shek said his country empathized with the victims in Istanbul, who were experiencing "a feeling we know all too well."

Israeli media closely followed the attacks with television and radio offering nonstop coverage. TV footage repeated scenes of frantic rescuers, bleeding victims and smoldering rubble with narration from somber-faced news anchors. Radio stations played melancholy music typically reserved for the aftermath of bombings by Palestinians.

In Istanbul, Ivo Molinas, a spokesman for the Istanbul rabbinate, said Turkey was being punished for its friendliness to Jews and to Israel.

"There are two reasons why this attack took place," he said. "One is to kill as many Jews as possible. The other is to show the government of Turkey that if you have good relations with Israel this is what will happen."

Times staff writer Wilkinson and special correspondent Zaman reported from Istanbul. Staff writer Laura King in Jerusalem contributed to this report

15 November 2003

An Island of Hope Across An Ocean of Uncertainty
The Growing Alliance Between Israel and India
By Sima Borkovski

Upon first glance, there seems to be an ocean of difference between India and Israel. The first is a country so vast that it covers an entire subcontinent and encompasses 16 official languages and numerous cultures and religions–a variety that would take a lifetime to explore. The second, a country established explicitly as the homeland for one particular people under one language and culture, is so small that it can hardly be detected when looking at a globe.

India is a country steeped in tradition and in an ancient caste system that is, for the most part, still adhered to religiously. A man is born into his place in society and there is little room for him to escape it should he wish to do so. In her book, "Arranged Marriage" (1995), the Indian-American writer Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni describes the relations between the sexes in India today. Marriages, she writes, are still arranged, even among those who otherwise fully participate in modern ways of life or who have spent years abroad in the West. The match is made to reflect the wealth and social standing of the two families involved, and the woman is usually expected to become a part of her husband’s family. A divorced woman must give up her possessions and return to her parental home in shame.

Israel, by contrast, is a young country created on the notion of starting over with a new identity for its people, one that would distinguish itself from that of the suffering, victimized shtetl Jew formed over centuries of persecution in the Diaspora. The early settlers who came to Palestine from Eastern Europe at the beginning of the 20th century wanted so much to resemble the land’s native habitants that they dressed like Arabs. Slowly, the image of the "New Jew" took hold: one who possessed physical strength and knew how to work the land and to fight his enemies.

A second look at both countries, however, will reveal commonalties that may run deeper than is at first obvious. Both India and Israel today are modern nation-states that were created out of British imperialism. Though the experience of exile is unique to the Jews, the peoples of India and Israel share a deep connection to their respective countries. The peoples of India have continuously inhabited the subcontinent, while Jewish roots in the Land of Israel hark back thousands of years, the connection to the land having been maintained in the imagination through centuries of prayer and poetry. The traditions that shape Judaism today are as ancient in their origins as those that shape Indian culture. The Ultra-Orthodox are no strangers to arranged marriages and the role of patriarchy.

Since its founding in 1948 the struggle between traditional and secular in Israel has grown. So too, the Israeli farmer has given way to the Thai or Chinese laborer who works the land for him. Yet, agriculture has become an area in which Israel has developed great expertise. And due to years of fighting hostile neighbors, Israel has developed a second area of expertise: national security and defense. It is in these two areas that the modern states of Israel and India have today found common ground and around which they have begun to build an alliance.

Moti Amihai, director of the South Asia department in Israel’s Foreign Ministry describes relations between India and Israel as a success in three key areas: commercial, diplomatic and political. The current blossoming in relations is the result of slow growth and convergence that has taken place over the past 11 years when full diplomatic relations between New Delhi and Jerusalem were first established.

The formation of a "new world order" after the collapse of the Soviet Union made India more open to the values and political agenda of the western world as defined by the U.S., Amihai says. One of the signals of this was India’s new policy of economic liberalization which opened many opportunities for Israel’s business sector. According to Amihai this year’s commercial trade between the two countries totals $1.6 billion. Just last year it was still less than $200 million. An Israeli experimental farm, where various agricultural experiments are being conducted and Indian agriculturists are being introduced to new methods of growing crops and working the land, has been set up in New Delhi. More such farms are planned for the future.

Cultural and intellectual exchanges are also flowering between the two countries. According to Amihai, this year a delegation of four Israeli intellectuals will spend the year on an exchange program in India and next year a group of Indian intellectuals will spend the year on exchange in Israel. The number of Israeli tourists to India has grown to 25,000 per year.

The strongest basis for the alliance between Israel and India is cooperation in military and intelligence matters. After Russia, Israel has become the second-largest supplier of arms to India, which sees Israel as a key ally in fighting terror. Since the division of the British Raj into Pakistan and India, India has been battling terrorism along its northern border with Kashmir. In this, India feels a kinship to Israel’s struggle with Palestinian terrorists. Of late, the rise in radical Islam has loomed as a threat to Indian stability, as it has to the security of Israel. The military alliance does not consist of arms supplies alone, but of an exchange in intelligence and military know-how.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s visit to India on September 2003 was a recent high point in the growing alliance. Sharon’s delegation included three cabinet ministers: Minister of Education, Culture and Sports Limor Livnat, Minister of Justice Yossef "Tommi" Lapid and Minister of Agriculture Israel Katz. These were joined by 30 businesspeople representing various sectors of the business community. Sharon received a royal welcome both from the Indian government as well as the Indian media, which covered the visit in very favorable terms. In his speech at the Indian president’s 340-room Abdul Kadam palace, Sharon expressed the hope that his visit would contribute to the strengthening of Israel’s relations with India, stating that, "we regard India to be one of the most important countries in the world; we share its belief in democracy."

In a tragic irony, Sharon had to cut his visit short by a day and head back to Israel because of another terrorist attack: this time on the Maxim restaurant in Haifa.

If "terror" can be said to be the term governing the developing political ties between Israel and India, then–in odd juxtaposition–it is "tranquility" which governs the draw Israelis feel in travelling to this large, culturally diverse country. Most of the 25,000 yearly tourists want nothing more than to escape the pressures and tension of life in Israel.

According to Nir Kafri, a photographer who has just returned from his second trip to India, Israelis traveling to India can be divided into three groups: The "junkies" who travel in huge groups, picking their destination according to the seasons: northern India in the spring, western India in the winter and so on. They can be spotted by the cheap motorcycles they often ride and their main pursuit is drugs that are illegal and more difficult to obtain in Israel. Kafri says these Israeli tourists resemble swarms of locust taking over a village. And when they arrive it seems as if the entire village has been "taken over." Local shops and restaurants cater to their needs and wishes with such Israeli foods as humus and falafel. Hebrew signs are put up for the duration of their visit and some of the locals have even learned some of the Hebrew language.

Kafri reports that the Indians in these villages don’t seem disturbed by the arrival of these huge groups of Israelis and they haven’t developed hostile feelings toward them, as have local residents in other places, such as Thailand.

The second group of Israelis that Kafri distinguishes are those who come to see the country and experience the culture. They come looking for educational excursions, special sites and interesting people. These Israelis usually travel in ones and twos or threes and avoid large groups. They make use of local means of transportation and try to experience India first-hand in every possible way: by talking to the people, seeing the sites and partaking of the culture.

The third group which, Kafri estimates, probably constitutes the smallest group are made up of what he calls "spiritualists." These are Israelis who hope that India will offer them answers to their spiritual quest. They find refuge in the ashrams and temples that dot the Indian landscape, seeking out instruction in yoga and various forms of meditation. Many of these travelers make a point of going to Daramsalla, a small village in the north of India where the Dalai Lama lives in exile.

Twenty-seven-year-old Noga, who asked that her full name not be used, had some time off after quitting her job and so she decided to visit India. She describes India as a sequence of experiences, all very powerful and sweeping. "Your feelings work overtime when you’re in India" she says. "Every experience is so strong: the tastes, the colors, the smells. There are great amounts of spirituality, especially in Varancy near the Gangas River which is the holiest river in India where dead bodies are burnt and its water is considered holy. When you are so swept up and overwhelmed with stimuli you can truly connect with yourself," she adds. For her, India was a place where the extremes were much more apparent: extreme wealth and abject poverty, great kindness and pure meanness. This, she says, is something one needs to learn and accept with the same tranquility that Indians do.

Noga, who was in India during Sharon’s visit, found that people were very positive about the prime minister’s visit. Describing a sense of common destiny between the two countries, especially in the face of terror, Noga said "We are twin countries; we are like brothers."

A dilemma for Moroccan Jews: Leave amid terrorism fears, or keep alive an
ancient heritage?

ANGELA DOLAND, Associated Press Writer

Saturday, November 8, 2003

CASABLANCA, Morocco (AP) --

Harry Amar worries his little sister will never know the Morocco he grew up
in, a land where Jews and Muslims lived comfortably side by side.

Three-year-old Audrey's Jewish preschool was evacuated a few weeks ago in a
bomb scare, and she has to cross a police barrier every day just to get to

"I'm afraid about what it's going to do to her psyche," Harry, 26, says
during a break at his office supplies import business. "It's tough ...
especially if you're just a child."

This kingdom on Africa's northwestern shoulder was long held up as an
example of Jewish-Muslim coexistence, a sign of hope that peace was possible
between Israelis and Palestinians. But Morocco's ancient Jewish community --
the largest in the Arab world -- has become a target.

Suicide bombers killed 45 people -- including 12 attackers -- in Casablanca
on May 16. No Jews were killed, but three of the five bombs targeted symbols
of Morocco's Jewish presence: a cemetery, a community center and a
Jewish-owned restaurant.

In September, two Jewish men were murdered, one stabbed on his way to
synagogue, the other shot point-blank by masked assailants. Police believe
one killing was carried out by extremists, but say the motive for the other
is unclear.

The attacks have stunned Moroccans, who pride themselves on tolerance and
had been largely spared from terrorism.

Now, Jews are pondering whether it is safe to stay. Many are determined to
stick it out, saying it would be a disaster for Morocco -- and for history
-- if the few remaining Jews packed their bags.

After decades of emigration, there are only 3,000 to 5,000 Jews living in
Morocco, down from 280,000 in 1948. Many went to Israel. Others fled
Morocco's poverty to find a better life in France or Canada.

Harry Amar says only a few of his childhood friends are still here. All his
aunts and uncles moved to Israel or France.

"If I had the choice, I wouldn't be here," says Amar, who has spent time in
Britain and Israel. Now he dreams of New York.

Joe Kadoch, who runs the restaurant targeted in the May bombings, says
Morocco's Jews have lost their lightheartedness since the attacks.

"There is a before and after," he says. "Before, it was Morocco. We had
confidence in the future ... I think all that has collapsed."

With the dwindling of the Jewish community, Muslims have less and less
contact with Jews, Kadoch says, so there are fewer chances to break down
stereotypes and hate.

Before the mass departures, "every Moroccan guy had a Jewish buddy. It's not
like that anymore," Kadoch says at his quiet Italian restaurant. The elegant
entrance hall, decorated with mirrors and chandeliers, was wrecked by the

Kadoch reopened two weeks later. He says he needed to get on with life, and
he plans to make that life in Morocco. "If the (Jewish) community
disappears, a history of thousands of years would crumble."

The first Jews settled in Morocco 2,000 years ago, about six centuries
before the Arabs brought Islam to North Africa.

While there have been dark chapters -- like the expulsion of Jews from some
Moroccan cities in the 18th century, and deadly anti-Semitic riots in 1948
-- the lot of Jews here was better overall than in Europe, community leaders
say. While the Inquisition raged in Spain, for example, Spanish Jews found
refuge in Morocco.

During World War II, when the Nazis came hunting for Jews in the then French
territory, Morocco's sultan told them: "There are no Jews, only Moroccans."

Morocco's government supported the Arab-Israel peace process from the
earliest stages. The late King Hassan II welcomed Israeli leaders for talks
when other Arab leaders shunned them, and the kingdom was the venue for the
secret talks that led to Egyptian President Anwar Sadat's historic visit to
Jerusalem in 1977.

Today, one of King Mohammed VI's most influential advisers, Andre Azoulay,
is Jewish -- unthinkable elsewhere in the Muslim world.

In Casablanca, a city of more than 3 million people, kosher butcher shops
sit on streets lined with Arab groceries. There are more than 30 synagogues
in a city where the call to Muslim prayers echoes over the dilapidated
rooftops from the minarets of several hundred mosques.

Many Moroccans are proud to have a Jewish community. Soon after the bombings
in May, hundreds of thousands of people demonstrated in Casablanca, waving
banners that read, "Say no to hate!" About 1,200 Jews, including children,
felt safe enough to join in.

"Everyone applauded us and kissed us," says Serge Berdugo, president of the
Jewish community's council. He believes Muslim extremists aren't targeting
Jews specifically, but rather Morocco's open and tolerant society.

There is a growing Islamic fundamentalist movement. It has won support by
distributing food, paying hospital bills for the destitute and teaching
reading in a nation where one of two people is illiterate.

When police staged a terrorism crackdown after the Casablanca bombings,
among those rounded up were extremist Muslim preachers who told followers
that killing a Jew is not a sin.

Simon Levy, who heads a foundation to preserve the country's Jewish
heritage, believes the Jews must stay in Morocco to provide a lesson in
tolerance that will fight the spread of Islamic extremism.

Levy's Foundation of Judeo-Moroccan Cultural Heritage restores crumbling,
abandoned synagogues. At those that cannot be saved, treasures like
hammered-silver chandeliers and ornate pulpits go into a museum.

Levy has a double mission: He's putting relics on exhibit to record Jewish
life in Morocco, in case the Jews disappear. At the same time, he's trying
to show people the value of that life to keep them here.

"As long as we have a small community here, we are not just history," Levy
says. "It's easy to leave; you just have to buy the plane ticket. It's
harder to stay. That's more beautiful and more meaningful."

Arsonists torch Jewish school near Paris

Michel Zlotowski
Nov. 15, 2003

Fire gutted the Merkaz HaTorah Jewish secondary school in the Paris suburb
of Gagny in the Seine-Saint-Denis region Saturday morning at 3am. There were
no injuries.

Fire started simultaneously in two separate places on the first floor of the
school where works were under way. A primary school and a kindergarten for
200 children were to be inaugurated there in January 2004. The arsonist or
arsonists broke into the building through a ground floor window.

About 100 firefighters were called in to put out the flames, which destroyed
some 3,000 square metres on the school's second floor.

France's Minister of Interior Nicolas Sarkozy and Minister of Education Luc
Ferry visited the charred remnants of the building on Saturday. They were
met by the head of the local Jewish community and by CRIF's (the umbrella
body representing French Jewry) Director-general Haim Musicant.

"The criminal origin of the blaze is more than strongly suspected which
gives, for this Jewish school, an anti-Semitic and obviously racist
connotation," said Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy.

"This shows that there is still lots of work to do to fight against all
forms of anti-Semitism," the minister added.

He vowed that those who set the fire would be caught and punished "with the
greatest severity."

Musicant said he was worried by this aggression against a Jewish school. "In
the homeland of human rights, attacks against children and schools are
absolutely intolerable," he said.

"We know the French government's determination to fight anti-Semitism. We
would like the arsonists to be arrested, tried and condemned in the hardest
possible way to send a strong signal about France's commitment to fight

The Merkaz Hatorah school has some 160 junior high school students and 60
students in the high school.

With The Associated Press

BBC, Smarting From Criticism, Appoints Special Editor

15:54 Nov 13, '03 / 18 Cheshvan 5764

BBC has given in to continuous criticism of its allegedly pro-Arab bias
coverage of Middle East news, and has appointed a special editor to oversee
its Middle East coverage. Malcolm Balen, a former editor of the BBC's
central Nine O'Clock News edition, will assume the post, working from London
but in close cooperation with the BBC bureau in Jerusalem. A BBC
spokeswoman denied that Balen's appointment was an admission of anti-Israel
bias. She said, "We aim that his appointment will help us to build
relationships with all parties in the region. It's obviously a difficult,
sensitive area for all broadcasters to work from."

Israel's perception of BBC's bias was so strong that Prime Minister Ariel
Sharon barred the corporation from a press conference during his visit to
London earlier this year. Media watchdog association HonestReporting.com
awarded its Dishonest Reporting Award of last year to BBC, and said that the
British corporation had received "a slew of nominations again this year.
Members particularly criticized BBC for being caught altering a quote by
White House spokesman Ari Fleischer, substituting the word 'terror' with the
word 'violence' in reference to Palestinians."

One media watchdog group that concentrates on the European media is
Take-A-Pen, and can be visited at www.take-a-pen.org/english/index.html.

Iraqis Say U.S. to Cede Power by Summer (washingtonpost.com)

14 November 2003

Special Report - PA
November 14, 2003
No. 22

To view this Special Report in HTML format, please visit: http://www.memri.org/bin/opener_latest.cgi?ID=SR2203

A 2003 Palestinian Authority Textbook Calls for Jihad and Martyrdom

Following the Oslo Accords, the Palestinian Authority began to devise new schoolbooks that showed a relative change in content and direction. MEMRI's 2001 study of Palestinian schoolbooks, "Narrating Palestinian Nationalism," found that the Palestinian textbooks produced after Oslo reflected a general attempt to lessen the virulence of anti-Israel venom, as direct incitement significantly declined while a serious effort was made to enhance values such as democracy and freedom.(1)

By 2003, however, a newly-printed textbook produced by the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Education titled "Islamic Culture," intended for students in the 11th grade, shows a return to incitement for Jihad and martyrdom.(2) The following are excerpts from the textbook:

The Role of the State in Islam

(Page 98): "[One of] the State's tasks is to strengthen the ties between the people and their Creator... to defend the religion and protect it from [heretical] innovators and doubters... to prepare the nation for Jihad and to defend the country from its enemies... to increase the nation's level of knowledge... because implementing the religious duties and knowing the necessary religious commands requires some amount of knowledge and education."

(Page 104): "The nation should support the ruler in anything that prompts progress... In external matters [the nation should assist] through Jihad, while in the domestic arena it should help through... industrial, agricultural, moral, and social revival... and by adhering to the religious laws..."

Jihad and the Propagation of Islam

(Page 208): "Islam is Allah's religion for all human beings. It should be proclaimed and invite [people] to join it wisely and through appropriate preaching and friendly discussions. However, such methods may encounter resistance and the preachers may be prevented from accomplishing their duty... then, Jihad and the use of physical force against the enemies become inevitable...

"Jihad is an Islamic term that equates to the term war in other nations. The difference is that Jihad has noble goals and lofty aims, and is carried out only for the sake of Allah and for His glory... [By contrast] wars by other nations are mainly waged because of wickedness, aggression, love of domination, expanding influence, looting properties, murder, and the fulfillment of ambitions and desires, such as the war that the Western countries waged to exploit Islamic countries for imperialistic purposes, to control their Muslim citizens and to rob their resources and richness..."

(Page 209): "In Mecca, Allah's Messenger called [to join] Islam by using evidence and proofs... His weapons and those of his companions at that stage of spreading the message [of Islam] were perseverance and restraint. After the Prophet's migration to Al-Medina, and the emergence of an Islamic society in it, there was no escaping the fight against aggression and the polytheists... Following that, the duty of Jihad was imposed on all Muslims...

"Allah's Messenger practiced Jihad during his sojourn in Al-Medina, his companions and followers followed in his footsteps.

"However is Jihad a personal duty [Fardh 'Ein] that each Muslim is required to fulfill personally, or is it a collective duty [Fardh Kifaya]? It is likely a collective duty. If some Muslims fulfill it, then it is not required of the rest as long as [the acts of those who waged it] are sufficient... [however] if no one practices Jihad, then all Muslims are guilty of negligence.

"Jihad becomes a personal duty in the following three cases:

a. "When Muslims are attacked. When the enemy is present in a Muslim country, it is the duty of the [Muslim] citizens of that country to fight the enemy and chase them away. If they are unable [to do so], the personal duty [of Jihad] passes on to their neighbors, until the enemy is defeated and destroyed...

b. "In the case of a general call to arms. When a Muslim ruler declares it, or calls a specific group, it is the duty of Muslims to answer the call...

c. "Whoever attends a battle, it is his duty to fight the enemy and to partake in the battle and not to be delinquent..."

(Pages 210-211): "Types of Jihad:

a. "The physical Jihad - Participation [in battle] against the enemy. To fight him directly with weapons, and with actual participation in the battle and with self-sacrifice for the sake of Allah. This is the ultimate requisite from a [believer]. Allah promised anyone who participates personally in Jihad for His sake Paradise, or that He will return him safely to his family with great spoils.

b. "The material Jihad - He who wages such a Jihad gives some of his money in order to equip Muslim armies with various weapons, necessary supplies, land, sea and air transportation, and anything else that those who wage Jihad need in order to defeat the enemy, to glorify Allah's name, and to strengthen His faith. Included in the material Jihad is the construction of military installations, fortifications, strongholds, airports, and seaports, that are necessary for the Muslim armies, as well as health centers and hospitals for the soldiers of Jihad and their families, and granting money to those who implement Jihad and to their families.

c. "The Jihad of ideas - Jihad accomplished by mouth and pen and by providing irrefutable evidence against enemies and inviting them [to recognize] Allah. This Jihad includes preaching, writing, singing, etc.

d. "Jihad accomplished through... contact with Jihad participants and through participation in acts related to Jihad such as transporting soldiers and their provisions, serving them water and food, taking care of the wounded and guarding a [military] position.

"The Islamic nation today is in urgent need [of reviving] the spirit of Jihad in its sons, [by using] all types of Jihad and to concentrate all its resources on strengthening Allah's religion and to force His enemies [to surrender]."

(Page 213): "Jihad is one of life's needs. A nation cannot defend its religion and uphold its honor and its motherland if it does not have the power to do so. This is why Islam imposed [the duty] of Jihad on the Muslim nation when [a Muslim] society and state emerged in Al-Medina..."

Propagating Islam

(Page 214): "Allah instructed the Muslims to convince people [with the message of Islam] in a wise way, by appropriate preaching and friendly discussions, so that the spread of Islam is achieved through intellectual persuasion, inner gratification and serenity and not through compulsion as Allah said 'There is no compulsion in religion...' [Koran 2:256]

"[However], when the despots confront Islamic preaching, prevent the preachers from bringing the good tidings [of Islam] to the people, build roadblocks and obstacles in preachers' way, and prevent the word from reaching their people - then Jihad becomes the only means to remove these obstacles, which deprive people of their freedom of choice and prevent the propagation of Islam. Allah's Messenger instructed those who wage Jihad not to initiate war against their enemies [as a first option], but to offer them Islam, and if they refuse it - to suggest to them to pay Jizya [tax imposed on non-Muslims under Muslim rule]... and if they refuse again, to fight them.

"Jihad is considered a way to strengthen the nation and [to secure] its victory in an armed struggle when it uses all its resources, efforts and capabilities for its sake... Jihad is also considered a source of welfare and prosperity for the Muslims. After realizing victory, he who wages Jihad returns to his family high-aspiring with his head high up, thanking Allah for his grace. If he is blessed with Shahada [martyrdom] and honor, his soul returns to its Creator to live a different life, content with the rewards and honor bestowed upon it, a life of grace thanks to Allah, as the Koran says [3:169-170] 'Do not consider those who died in the cause of Allah as dead, rather as alive at their lord sustained...'"

(Page 215): "The Islamic nation needs to spread the spirit of Jihad and the love of self-sacrifice [Shahada] among its sons throughout the generations, and especially when materialism is uppermost in people's minds and they abandon Jihad while the enemy desires [to exploit] them... It is clear that the respect and power of the Islamic nation are linked to the preservation of a strong Jihad spirit. When this spirit declines and the nation has no power to help its weak elements and to defend itself from its enemies, then the nation is attacked from the outside, the aggressors desire it, they humiliate it, plunder its resources, kill its people, conquer its land and live there in immorality."

The Risks of Ignoring Jihad

(Page 304): "A. Enemies occupy Muslim lands, their resources are plundered, their blood is spilled, their honor tarnished and as a result they [the Muslims] live a life of disgrace and oppression. B. Losing the great reward that Allah promised those who wage Jihad and the Shuhada [martyrs]. C. Severe punishment on Judgment Day."

(Page 305): "Allah instructed the faithful to partake in Jihad in all circumstances, be it easy or hard, when they are few or many, at times of prosperity or need, when they are strong or weak. Their Jihad should be through self-sacrifice or material for the sake of glorifying Allah's name. This is the way to enjoy this world and to succeed in the Hereafter."

The Punishment for Abandoning Islam

(Page 155): "The logical reason for executing a person who abandons Islam is the following: There is nothing in Islam that comes in contrast to human nature. Whoever joins Islam after recognizing its truth and after tasting its sweetness and then abandons it - is in fact rebelling against truth and logic. Like any other regime, Islam has to protect itself therefore this punishment [execution] awaits the person who abandons it, because he is spreading doubt about Islam...

"Abandoning Islam is a crime that warrants a severe punishment... [The phases of punishment are]:

a. "Urging [the sinner] to recant immediately...

b. "Warning him of the implications of his persistence in abandoning Islam, namely warning him that he will be executed.

c. "Execute the sinner if he persists in [his decision to] abandon Islam..."

Christian Missionary Activities

(Page 252): "Missionaries are one of the Western institutions used for intellectual invasion of the Muslim world. They tried to get the Muslims out of Islam by weakening the faith in their hearts and accepting the Western way of life. Outwardly they call for adopting the faith of Jesus, but in reality they try to facilitate the Western intellectual invasion of the Islamic countries... The missionary organizations throughout the Islamic world tried to weaken the faith in the hearts of the Muslims, to spread secular ideas to replace Islamic ideology and to pave the way for the occupation of Islamic countries and strengthening Imperialism in them...

"The missionary movement left deep impressions in Islamic life, such as:

1. "Admiration and adoption of the Western way of life... Materialistic and exploitative Western criteria and values and their understanding of life was common to the point that many Muslims yearned for it and turned to Western culture and literature.

2. "Weakening the Islamic spirit of the young generation as a result of weakening the faith in their hearts and the acceptance of contagious Western ideas and principles. Capitalist, Communist, and atheist ideas spread among the Muslims...

3. "Giving the educational system in the Islamic countries a Western flavor. The missionaries, with the help of Imperialism, were able to turn their philosophy and culture into educational foundations in many Islamic countries. Western history and culture became the main source of education and science-learning for Muslim children...

4. "Defamation of Islamic history and the life-histories of the Muslim Khalifs, and presenting Islamic history as [a series of] wars, conflicts, civil wars, revolutions, battles over power, and repression of citizens...

5. "Faulting Islam, its Messenger, and the truth of his prophecies, and spreading misleading ideas, such as the claim that Islam expanded by the sword and by coercion. Also, faulting the divorce laws and polygamy and depicting Islamic legal punishments as inhumane."

(1) See MEMRI Special Report No. 6, December 2, 2001, http://www.memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page=archives&Area=sr&ID=SR00601 .
(2) Islamic Culture for Eleventh Grade, issued by the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Education and approved by the Jordanian Ministry of Education, 2003.

The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) is an independent, non-profit organization that translates and analyzes the media of the Middle East. Copies of articles and documents cited, as well as background information, are available on request.

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15 October 2003

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