Fear.

Fear.
It gnaws at my throat, gripping, grabbing, ripping and clenching.
Tightening my wind pipes, squeezing my breath, I look round hoping it won’t come to collect.
Collecting my hopes, my dreams, my love for you; it never left, it’s residue lingering on the fringes of my faith, I cry in anxiety, calling out to God. Free me, hold me, keep me close, don’t let him take me and don’t let him collect.
The dark place.
That place where the soul lingers, gasping for light, seeking its might.

Don’t let it collect; remaining fragments of love, hope and years of ache, the small pieces of glass, broken, some mended, always cracked.
Don’t collect.
Fear, how real a transformation of the abstract.

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Rumi: Come, Come…

I-know-youre-tired-but

“Come, Come,

Whoever you are,

Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving.

It doesn’t matter,

Ours is not a caravan of despair.

Come. Even if you have broken your vows a thousand times.

Come, yet again, Come, Come.” – Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi

Aside

The RADICAL:Brigitte Gabriel A.K.A Noor Saman : Biography by NomadAlphard (The Truth As I see it)

I first stumbled across Noor Saman a.k.a Brigitte Gabriel, while working at a stuffy call centre for a housing association, during the summer of 2012.

During one of the long and crammed afternoons in our small office, a colleague of mine and a devout Christian, Mr Edmond, asked me in between taking calls about my views on a particular public speaker and activist.

Her name was Brigitte Gabriel and I had never heard of her before.

As usual I perked up at hearing this. My eyes lit up at the thought of intelligent conversation and a chance to learn from Mr Edmond once again. He was very interesting and always made the boring call taking more entertaining!

But more so than anything, I loved hearing about the work of activists. It felt to me that in this day and age with war always at the brink, religious discomfort and calamity, there weren’t many people who were recognised in their efforts. It seemed they were usually shot down before they could even speak, usually by government officials and the radicals of today or glazed over by the superficial creations of this world.

Mr Edmond informed me of Gabriel and said he had seen a recent YouTube clip of this women, who had lived through “Islamic Terror” at a young age and was now an active public speaker and author.

I was confused. “Islamic Terror”?

I’d never heard of Gabriel before and was intrigued as he was always one to throw questions my way regarding religion and politics, in our usual banter sessions regarding the World, Politics and Religion. This was our way of passing the mundane hours of being customer services advisors.

While telling me about this character, he gave the impression that this individual had gained a lot of recognition both nationally and internationally; due to her actively speaking out about the threat of Islam to the West and her traumatic childhood during the Lebanon civil war which she seemed to fundamentally blame on Muslims.

Through conversation, it came across to me that Gabriel’s main aim in life, both professional and personal was to eliminate the threat of “Radical Islam” [1] from the USA. It seemed she was an active public speaker and a general expert on terrorism and what she terms “radical Muslims”[2]. While listening to Mr Edmond I realised, however, her view on Islam was a negative one, which was highly mixed with her own interpretations and opinions on Muslims and our religious beliefs.

I was surprised, initially when he had said Activist, I thought he meant someone who cared about all of humanity, not someone who was pointing the finger at just Muslims, Islam and well ME…

Mr Edmond himself asked me many questions about Muslims and whether we believed it was okay to kill Christians and Jews in the name of Allah (swt) and whether we all viewed them as infidels and us superior to them. Completely flabbergasted and quite upset about hearing this, I informed him that this was definitely not the case; in the words of our Prophet (pbuh):

 “Whoever wishes to be kept away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise should have death overtake him while he believes in Allah and the Last Day and should treat people the way he wants them to treat him.” [Sahîh Muslim][3]

**

Upset, but genuinely intrigued I embarked upon the search to find out more about Brigitte Gabriel.

I was not going to allow my colleague who i geniunely thought highly of, to have such a negative view about Islam and my community.

**

My search took me back to the Lebanon of the 1970’s; Gabriel’s birth name was not Brigitte Gabriel but Noor Saman. A born Arab, she was an only child to her Maronite Christian parents and was born twenty yrs into their marriage. Her parents were then 55 and 60. Born in the district of Marjayoun in South Lebanon, Saman and her family would later experience the Lebanese Civil War, lasting from around 1975-1990, around ten years after her birth on the 21st of October 1964[4].

With the internet at hand I had access to many articles, biographies and also had discovered that Saman was the founder of a right wing organisation called ACT!(the American Congress For Truth) which promoted her views, regarding Islam as being a backward religion and something to be feared and eliminated.  On the website and in her published books, I found many false accusations and taken out of context information and verses from the Quran. I remembered Sheikh Abdurrahman from a recent course I had attended, talking about “Cut and paste scholars” and in my opinion this is exactly what she seemed to be.

Going through many speeches and articles on Saman, I realized that Samans activism was more of a vicious, hate campaign, against Islam and Muslims. She says Radical Islam is her concern; however there are radicals in every religion, race, community and country. I wondered if they were all her concern as well?

According to Saman we are all radical Muslims; her definition of a radical Muslims is as follows:

            A practising Muslim, who goes to mosque every Friday, prays five times a day, and who believes that the Koran is the word of God, and who believes that Mohammed is the perfect man and… is a radical Muslim.”[5]

I found it fascinating, how one individual could indirectly say that the 2.1 billion[6] Muslims in the world are all radical and terrorist because we follow or attempt to follow our religion.

Going back into work the next day, I explained to Mr Edmonds in a not so rational manner that I thought she was well vile. I was disappointed and upset. I couldn’t believe that he of all people would have given this person any interest or attention.

I questioned after the above speech;

“Does it make it right to say that all the Christians in the world who go to church or that the whole of the Vatican and the pope and his bishops and the rest are all pedophiles?”

Seeing as there have been recent headlines informing us of such disgusting atrocities committed by some of the God fearing monks of the Vatican.

He was silent. I answered for him.

“It did not make it right. Why? Because, this would be a lie and a disgusting accusation on all Christians worldwide. One cannot paint everybody with the same brush. We can’t say all the Irish are Terrorists due to the IRA?”

He agreed with me.

However, he said to me that I was still being biased and not looking at the overall picture or taking her childhood into consideration. I was completely disgusted but respected his viewpoint and promised I would look into the matter more before making my judgement.  I suppose he was being neutral.

**

It appeared that Mr Edmond was not the only one who seemed to have gotten blinded by Saman’s persuasive preaching.

Delving in deeper into the life and world of Noor Saman I uncovered her childhood story. It touched me, but also confused me furthermore.

As the civil war began in Lebanon, Saman explains her experiences and encounters with Radical Islamists in the following words, When the war began in Lebanon, we, the Christian minority, were surrounded by the radical Islamists in southern Lebanon.”[7]

She claims that, she had been left lying injured in rubble after Muslims mercilessly bombed her village.”[8]

Saman says that her and her family had to live in an underground bomb shelter for several years during the war and had to go without running water, heating and not much food. She informs the world that she had to crawl to a water spring in an underground ditch to obtain water. She was in fear of not coming back alive and would always say her prayers before. [9]

She tells in an interview, how this went on until the Israelis came to their aid and helped the Christian towns bringing them food and aid during the nights and then eventually invading Lebanon in 1982.

Saman explains how she loved the Israelis and their support and help through the civil war made her realize that whatever the Arab world was told about Israel was a lie and she wanted to move there and adopt their values and ways; Saman did indeed eventually move to Israel in 1984 and established a career as a news anchor for World News in Jerusalem; [10]she immigrating to the USA in 1989 through marriage with a US citizen.

It seems Saman had gone through many traumatic and life changing experiences which cannot be stressed or done justice in such a short biography with a limited number of words. Living through and surviving a war let alone being able to tell your story internationally to the public is an act which in my view is commendable. I for one know how hard it is to speak about personal traumatic experiences.

I suppose my disgust in her began to be replaced more so with pity at her narrow minded perceptions.

I shouldn’t have been surprised people who had traumatic experiences did tend to go either way. Saman seemed to have gone down the path of hate and ignorance. The only shame being she took others with her.

**

I couldn’t decide whether I had read enough or not.

The questions which kept nagging at my mind were why someone who has seen such a life and experienced such traumatic events would be sending out such a vengeful and hateful message to the world about Muslims and Islam.

She seemed to blame everyone else around her and didn’t look at the picture in front of her. “But no one really noticed or cared…With my life on line, I really cared, while the rest of the world just watched.” She explains in her book ‘Because They Hate’.[11] The “They” here being Muslims.

I once again couldn’t understand her mind process. Civil Wars had been going on since the beginning of time. Muslims as well as Christians died in the Lebanon civil war. It was also true that Muslims fought Muslims and Christians fought Christians.

An article I came across published the following:

 “THE BIGOT OF MARJAYOUN: … Joining with the US- Israel lobby, she has been organising perhaps the most vicious hate campaign against Islam, Arabs and Muslims ever witnessed in America.

There is no shortage of people in Marjayoun with varying views of “what happened to Miss Brigitte” and how she became so hateful towards her countrymen and became an Israeli collaborator. “She always loved the Israeli occupation of Marjayoun and over time just came to dislike Arabs of all types, even though as a Lebanese she is totally Arab,” one of her former neighbours explained.

Another disagreed, “Brigitte never really thought of herself as an Arab at all; rather she fantasised that she was ‘Phoenician’ and pointed out to her Arabs neighbours that ‘Phoenicians were in Lebanon long before the Arabs invaded and it belongs to us!'” According to a former classmate, when she was in middle school, Brigitte preferred French and would announce to classmates in Arabic class, “I don’t speak Arabic, I speak Lebanese!””[12]

This changed things even further for me. I was once again surprised and confused all over again. I wondered what Mr Edmond would make of this?

**

It appeared that Saman’s constant attack on Radical Islam was not just against radical Islam or terrorism. Reading “They Must Be Stopped”[13]the New York Times bestseller, I couldn’t help but notice racism in her tone of voice.

Gabriel states that America is at war, “We are at war whether we wish it or not” against “radical Muslims”[14].

She believes that Islam is infiltrating the west and is hell bent on taking over the USA.  Her take on Islamic history is manipulated and highly offensive in the whole of chapter two in “They Must Be Stopped” she resorts to picking and choosing Quranic Verses to support her argument, that Muslims lay a firm belief in encouraging violence, war and want to take over the western world with Islam and Sharia Law; due to the teachings of the Quran and the Prophet (pbuh).[15]  She definitely was a “Cut and paste Scholar.”

What was more surprising than anything I had come across for me was her view on Arabs; a born Arab she views the Arab world to have no soul:

            “The difference, my friends, between Israel and the Arab world is the difference between civilization and barbarism. It’s the difference between good and evil [applause]…. this is what we’re witnessing in the Arabic world, They have no SOUL!, they are dead set on killing and destruction. And in the name of something they call “Allah” which is very different from the God we believe… [applause] because our God is the God of love.”[16]

Claiming that as Muslims we view others to be “infidels” was astonishing considering the above statement she had made.

It seemed Gabriel termed herself and the non-Muslim world as “Infidels” more so than any Muslim I know ever did. In my own reading and learning of the Quran and the Prophet (pbuh) teachings, I had hardly ever come across the word “Infidel”[17], but her books and speeches seemed to be filled with it.

She could not surprise me anymore it seemed, calling Arabs Barbarians? Her own people? Her contradictory, hypocritical statements and narrow minded Islamphobic, racist view was too much for me.

This lady was indirectly attacking not just what she terms “Radical Muslims” but was attacking ME, my loved ones, my Ummah and my Nations. As Muslims we are united.

But, Forgiveness and Mercy is what my religion tells me should take precedence over all.

**

I pitied her Noor. Only God could pass Judgement.

I didn’t believe my God was any different to her God. I know that it was God who sent down the Bible. If she claims to be a Christian she would know that as Muslims we do not discriminate against the Bible or Torah. All the Believers are to us the Believers of the Book and our brothers and sisters, we are told this in the Quran. And the ‘Believer’ is not even just termed as a follower of a book.

But she wouldn’t see this as all she did seem to see was what she wanted to see. “This book is in part my personal story and my observations”[18]. She was right these were exactly just her “Observations”. A pity they were so misguided and ignorant.

**

I had it set in my heart that I was going to inform Mr Edmond of all this. He had told me he had only seen the YouTube clip.

Well, he needed to see and know this. i felt It was my duty as a Muslim to set things right and defend my Deen.

However, I never did get the chance. By the time I had completed my research I had left my summer job.

**

As Brigitte Gabriel gave her observations I have given mine and i have not cut and pasted i have done my research;

In truth it seems man when led by emotions cannot see the rational reasoning. The facts when displayed are rejected without thought.

I suppose everyone only believes what they want to believe. Observes only what they wish to observe, feel only their pain and see only what they want to see.

Just like Noor Saman, a.k.a Brigitte Gabriel.

 

 

 

 

 

 


[1] Gabriel.B, They Must Be Stopped, Publisher: St Martin’s Griffin (2008), pg.2.

[2] Gabriel.B, They Must Be Stopped, Publisher: St Martin’s Griffin (2008), pg.2.

[4] Brigitte Gabriel from Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia, Wikipedia, viewed 4th November 2012. URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brigitte_Gabriel

[5] Mooneye, A case study in sincere hypocrisy: Brigitte Gabriel, Loon Watch. Viewed 28th October 2012. URL: http://www.loonwatch.com/2009/04/a-case-study-in-sincere-hypocrisy-brigitte-gabriel/

[6] Word Muslim Population, viewed on 4th November 2012. URL: http://www.muslimpopulation.com/World/

[7] Aronoff.R, Take AIM:Brigitte Gabriel, Accuracy in Media, viewed 4th November 2012. URL: http://www.aim.org/podcast/take-aim-brigitte-gabriel/

[8] Goodstein.L, Drawing U.S. Crowds With Anti-Islam Message, The New York Times, viewed 4th November 2012. URL: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/08/us/08gabriel.html?pagewanted=all

[9] Gabriel.B, Bio-Brigitte Gabriel, viewed on 28th October 2012. URL: http://ifogo.com/1Authors/Brigitte%20Gabriel/gabriel.html

[10] Aronoff.R, Take AIM:Brigitte Gabriel, Accuracy in Media, viewed 4th November 2012. URL: http://www.aim.org/podcast/take-aim-brigitte-gabriel/

[11] Gabriel.B, Because they hate, Publisher: St Martin’s Griffin (2006), introduction.

[12] Lamb.F, Lost from Lebanon, in Al-Ahram online, viewed 28th October 2012. URL: http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2008/887/focus.htm

[13] Gabriel.B, They Must Be Stopped, Publisher: St Martin’s Griffin (2008), (Book cover).

[14] Gabriel.B, They Must Be Stopped, Publisher: St Martin’s Griffin (2008), pg.2.

[15] Gabriel.B, They Must Be Stopped, Publisher: St Martin’s Griffin (2008), pg.29-51

[16] Mooneye, A case study in sincere hypocrisy: Brigitte Gabriel, Loon Watch. Viewed 28th October 2012. URL: http://www.loonwatch.com/2009/04/a-case-study-in-sincere-hypocrisy-brigitte-gabriel/

[17] Gabriel.B, Because they hate, Publisher: St Martin’s Griffin (2006), throughout.

[18] Gabriel.B, Because they hate, Publisher: St Martin’s Griffin (2006), introduction.

‘Contribute to the revolution of humanity from within’ – Sixela

Quote

“Knowledge is a tool, and like any tool, its impact is in the hands of the user” – Dan Brown

“You can’t separate peace from freedom, because no one can be at peace unless he has freedom”-Malcolm X

Fair Game?

    

“They lied” was an understatement. The invasion had taken place on March 20th 2003; promoted by the President by his famous phrase “weapons of mass destruction”.

Weapons of Mass Destruction? Where are these so-called weapons of mass destruction? Ten years since the horrific incident of 9/11, the soldiers are still on foreign ground fighting a war which they themselves know no reasoning behind. I am sure the mothers and families of these soldiers themselves do not understand why their children ran headstrong into this war. A war which was will never be justifiable.

I watched Fair Game today; and American movie about Valerie Plame who is a former CIA Operations Officer. I write this article today to try to find an understanding and to ask the public how and why we are at war with a nation who has never had any weapons of mass destruction, a nation which has now been destroyed. A nation which has become barren its people traumatized and scarred for life, but it is not only the citizens of Iraq that are my concern, but our soldiers, British Soldiers and American Soldiers alike, innocent souls who have been conditioned to fight… they fought and many have lost their lives, many have lost their minds, the pain which some hold will be forever..  But for what? We were all led to believe that the war was to restore “Peace” to create a “Democracy”, for the better. But who has this actually benefited? Where is the peace where is the democracy in Iraq; I’d like to know how we as an intelligent race were able to be brainwashed by people in power. These so-called bodies of the government who are out to protect their countries and their citizens could not even protect their own CIA agent.

Valerie Plame was shunned and turned away, her family threatened her career and livelihood at an end, America did not even attempt to protect its own, yet we were told this war was to protect the world from terrorist activities?

How can the world be protected when there is terror in one’s own country in one’s own life? By the same people who take an oath to protect their people, but if we cannot protect our own on their own soil, how can we hope to be protected by external threats?

7/7 another tragedy. Another loss, yet how can we even be sure who was behind it? I do not understand how we can all put suspicion on a certain group of people when the people who are in power to protect us have failed to do so. Osama Bin Laden they say, dead now but the most wanted terrorist in this world for ten years, as big as Hitler he may one day be in the history books. I find this amusing; I find it amusing how a man who was trained in a military camp in America could not be found in holes in caves in mountains in Afghanistan.

Satellite technology; we can now be traced to the exact location by our Smart Phones. Yet a man in a cave who is believed to have caused so much terror was not found for years? Hmmm… I disagree. If they wanted to find Bin Laden, they would have found Bin Laden unless he was not already found and killed. I mean we never did see his face.

Tony Blair’s some may say, only down fall was he stood behind Bush, for what? We followed blindly and believed every lie and snippet of the facts and all that’s happened in these ten years is destruction, bloodshed and an every lasting pain for each of those families on British soil on American soil and most importantly the families and innocent Iraqi’s who died for a lie. . Us the people, traumatized; we began to become suspicious of our neighbours, of the man walking to the mosque with his child; we began to question the woman on the underground who was covered, we began to once again question each other’s intentions, stereotype, discriminate and judge.

I wonder what happened to the Equality and Diversity Act on and after 9/11 and 7/11. We were all traumatized every race/religion began to question each other, we prided ourselves as a multicultural nation, a colourful country; there will always be a select few who will spoil it but on the whole we were ongoing a force to be envied.

Iraq and then Afghanistan, I wonder what is next? Is this a war on terror or a war on a race? Is this about protecting human kind from those select few who believe they are superior? Or is this a war for money and power.

How can we call people terrorists yet we do not call those in power terrorists, those who have invaded and allowed the innocent blood of thousands. I believe we will never know the full truth and I believe that there are many inter woven links which may never be unearthed.

But I do believe that it is time for a change, time for soldiers to come home, time for the world to stop being brainwashed, time for people to stand up and question. It is time for a change, to move on, to stop the hatred that has been forced I shall say into us to create fear and control, It is time for every individual to take control and for everyone to work us one.

It saddens me; I was brought up in a Muslim home, I was brought up to believe and respect every other person no matter their race, religion, and ethnicity. I myself grew into a woman who is proud to be British, to be able to have free will and freedom of speech; yet now I question this.

I am lucky as are most out there that I have not been a victim of bombings, that my family and friends are safe and do not every day have to be worried about the next firings, about seeing children fathers, mothers and brothers dead.

However, although I thank God for this, I ask myself, is this reality?

Could it be my family and friends one day?

Was I brought up in a lie?

There is no Fairness in this; No one is playing a ‘Fair Game’ , here.

“They lied”

A lie which has gone on for a very long time.

Lowkey, ‘Terrorist’: Listen and Think.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmBnvajSfWU&feature=related

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