In the world to come, I shall not be asked, 'Why were you not Moses?' I shall be asked, 'Why were you not Zusya?'
- Rabbi Zusya
- Rabbi Zusya
“O Allah, I seek Your counsel by Your knowledge and by Your power I seek strength and I ask You from Your immense favour, for verily You are able while I am not and verily You know while I do not and You are the Knower of the unseen. O Allah, if You know this affair, that I should go to Stirling to study Publishing Studies, to be good for me in relation to my religion, my life, and end, then decree and facilitate it for me, and bless me with it, and if You know this affair to be ill for me towards my religion, my life, and end, then remove it from me and remove me from it, and decree for me what is good wherever it be and make me satisfied with such.”When I awoke in the morning, barely sparing a thought about the words I had uttered the night before, I went downstairs and saw that the post had come. When I picked the envelopes up from the mat, I discovered a letter from the University of Stirling and in it I found that they had offered me a place. So now, whenever a matter arises for me, I do pray for guidance using these words, and I feel, for example, that I can rest assured if I don’t get a job from a certain interview when I have prayed in this manner.
So I sat on the carpet in my living room and watched all these heavily armed chaps at Heathrow protecting the British people from annihilation and then on came President George Bush to tell us that we were all fighting "Islamic fascism". There were more thumps in the darkness across Beirut where an awful lot of people are suffering from terror - although I can assure George W that while the pilots of the aircraft dropping bombs across the city in which I have lived for 30 years may or may not be fascists, they are definitely not Islamic.Of course, it is up to us to draw the conclusions. Methinks he has hit the bull's eye. Let's also look at Juan Cole's previous reaction to this bit of hate speech i.e. the phrase "Islamo-fascism" or "Islamic fascism":
And there, of course, was the same old problem. To protect the British people - and the American people - from "Islamic terror", we must have lots and lots of heavily armed policemen and soldiers and plainclothes police and endless departments of anti-terrorism, homeland security and other more sordid folk like the American torturers - some of them sadistic women - at Abu Ghraib and Baghram and Guantanamo. Yet the only way to protect ourselves from the real violence which may - and probably will - be visited upon us, is to deal, morally, with courage and with justice, with the tragedy of Lebanon and "Palestine" and Iraq and Afghanistan. And this we will not do.
It is hard to see the difference between the bigotry of anti-Semitism as an evil and the bigotry that [Michael] Medved displays toward Islam. It is more offensive than I can say for him to use the word “Islamo-fascist.” Islam is a sacred term to 1.3 billion people in the world. It enshrines their highest ideals. To combine it with the word “fascist” in one phrase is a desecration and a form of hate speech. Are there Muslims who are fascists? Sure. But there is no Islamic fascism, since “Islam” has to do with the highest ideals of the religion. In the same way, there have been lots of Christian fascists, but to speak of Christo-Fascism is just offensive.
A Christian stone mason received critical injuries, including dislocation of his after he was seen drinking water from a public facility, by a Muslim man on June 6 (Tuesday) just outside the eastern city of Lahore, the Pakistan Christian Post (PCP) has reported.Yes, we have to work for the human rights of non-Muslim minorities along with those of Muslims, and educate those who have been misguided. "Untouchability" is a racist casteism concept. Let's live together and join hands. No one is "dirty". Whether it be a Muslim, a Christian , a Jew, a Hindu -- there is only one God and one humanity. And by undermining this, we are destroying the inner universal beauty that links us. Let's drink from each other's cups more often.
Nasir Ashraf, the Christian mason was working at the construction site of a school. The trouble for him began while he was returning to the site. Confronting him with anger the Muslim man asked him as to why he drank water from the public facility by using a glass that was placed at the water tank.
“Why did you drink water from this glass since you are a Christian?” the PCP quoted the Muslim man as asking Nasir.
“The man accused the mason of polluting the glass and proceeded to destroy it. The Muslim man then summoned a crowd by shouting, “This Christian polluted our glass,” and encouraged them to beat him up,” the PCP report said.
“The crowd began beating Nasir, eventually pushing him off a ledge. The fall dislocated his shoulder, broke his collarbone in two places and knocked him unconscious,” it said.
Then there was Jassim. In the same ward as Ezra, he lay with his huge eyes and glossy hair, listlessly viewing the barren ward. He had been selling cigarettes on the streets of Basra to support his family until he became ill. “This is Felicity and she writes for a living,” said Dr.Haddad. Jassim was transformed; he glowed and showed me the poems he spent his days writing, when he still had the energy. He collected phrases, too, to incorporate where he thought appropriate. I told him all writers collect words and phrases, they are our tools. He glowed again, delighting that he was being understood and that his instincts were guiding him correctly along his passionate path. “I asked death, ‘What is greater than you?’ Death replied, ‘Separation of lovers is greater than me,’” was one of his collected phrases. He was 13."
One of his poems was called “The Identity Card.” In translation, it reads:
The name is love,
The class is mindless,
The school is suffering,
The governorate is sadness,
The city is sighing,
The street is misery,
The home number is one thousand sighs.
He watched my face for reaction. Lost for words, eventually I said, “Jassim, if you can write like this at thirteen, think what you will do at twenty.” I asked him if I could incorporate his poem in articles from that visit and said I would send them back to him, so he would see it in print. Some weeks later, I did just that and sent cuttings back to him with a friend and imagined him glowing again. He had fought and fought, but lost his battle just before my friend arrived. He never saw his poem in print and became just another statistic in the “collateral damage” of sanctions by the most inhuman regime ever overseen by the United Nations, which arguably condemned the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child - the most widely signed convention in history - to the dust, to the mass of graves of Iraq's children, resulting from the embargo years.