Search:
From the Archive
Wake Up, Arabs! Your Enemies Are Your Rulers, and Not Israel and the USA
A Message from a Low-Rank Police Officer
"They Had Found their Parents Astray." (Quran 37:69)
The Baha’i s
Our Strive against the Culture of Slaves
Our Analysis of Events Taking Place in The Saudi Kingdom Now
On the Ordeal of Changing Oneself to the Better
The False Penalty of Apostasy, (killing the apostate).
Is There A Contradiction between These Two Verses: "...do not say to them "Fie on you!"..." (17:23) "Fie on you!..." (21:67)?
Tears of FBI Agent
Envy Is a Dangerous Heart Disease
Quranic Terminology: Conceal (2)
Concerning the Angels, Adam, Satan, and the Quranic Term (Call)
The distortion of the image of Islam P 1
HOW SHARIA LAW PUNISHES RAPED WOMEN
The Farce Called: The Good Ancestors
Center for Democracy & Human Rights in Saudi Arabia Newsletter Message
About the Quranic Stories and the Quranic Chapter Twelve
Fatwas: Part Forty-Nine
Rashad Khalifa, the American Covenant Messenger
Our Journey to Israel and Palestine (2)

 

Our Journey to Israel and Palestine (2)

Published in March 30th  

Authored by: Dr. Ahmed Subhy Mansour

Translated by: Ahmed Fathy

Fifthly: intellectual encounters in Jerusalem:

1- As per the schedule planned by professor Singer, the time for the speech we would deliver at a higher-studies institute in Jerusalem was on Wednesday, 21st of March. Our son Mohamed accompanied us; we saw professor Singer for the first time waiting for us at the gate along with the director of the institute (we are sorry as we forgot his name). We entered into the hall which was filled mostly with Israeli students and some professors; the director of the institute asked us to speak in formal, classical Arabic; he began by informing the attendees of our CV and career in a way that flattered us and appealed very much to our person; he talked about the Quranists who adhere to the Quran as the only source of Islamic legislations and refuse fiqh, traditions, interpretations, and hadiths, and he said they resemble the Karaite Jews in their school of thought who adhere to the Tanakh as the only source of religious laws and refuse the Midrash, the Talmud, and oral traditions and interpretations. And then came our turn to deliver our speech; at first, we have said that Quranists believe in peace, religious and political freedoms, justice, and human rights. We have asserted the fact that Islam means the adherence to peaceful behavior with all people regardless of their religious denominations and faiths. We have said that we care very much about restoring peace in the Middle East so that the Israeli children and the Palestinian children would live and thrive within a safe and secure environment as this is their basic right. We have talked about our methodology of pondering the Quranic verses and researching heritage books of traditions and the fact that we reject hadiths written and ascribed to Prophet Muhammad two centuries after his death to justify the caliphs' violation of Islam (i.e., the Quranic teachings). Having delivered our speech, it was time to hold an open discussion. Strangely, this 'eternal' question typical of Salafists was repeated: if we reject Sunna and hadiths, how come we would learn how to perform prayers?! This time, Israeli researchers posed this question to our person. As we leave the place, a male youth wearing a very long beard caught up with us along with a female colleague (and he talked in formal, classical Arabic adopting the dialect typical of Salafists/Wahabis) and he asked us very politely about prayers; he was not convinced that prayers are inherited from the monotheistic religion of Abraham; he insisted that the so-called Sunna hadiths are the only source to get to know how to pray. Our son, Mohamed, asked him if he performs prayers, and the bearded youth answered in the affirmative; this means he was a Sunnite Salafist Israeli Arab. Our son asked him about the one who taught him how to pray; the youth said that his father taught him about prayers. Mohamed told him that surely his father did not learn how to pray by reading Al-Bokhary-book hadiths. The bearded youth fell silent. Mohamed told him that people performed prayers before Al-Bokhary was born and even before other hadiths-fabricators like him were born. Again, the bearded youth remained silent. Mohamed told him further that Al-Bokhary book distorts prayers; the bearded youth looked terrified but remained silent. After we have explain this further to him, he showed a mixture of being convinced and being terribly annoyed; he excused himself very politely and moved away. An Israeli professor remained looking at our person while smiling as we delivered our speech; when his turn came to pose a question to us, after other professors and students posed their questions, he narrated this laughter-inducing story: he once invited a 'moderate' Pakistani sheikh to his house in Jerusalem, but before entering the house, he heard the barking of the dog of the professor; this Pakistani sheikh refused to enter into the house, as dogs are abomination to God as per hadiths and angels never enter into locations that contain pictures and dogs. The Israeli professor was smiling as he narrated this story and asked for our view; we have told him that this silly hadith of Abou Hurayrah aimed at expressing his hatred towards dogs as he loved and preferred cats; it is against the Quran to deem any creatures or animals as abomination or as impure. We have told him further that God says in the Quran that there are two angels for each of the human beings to record deeds and words; if the silly hadith about angels never entering into locations with pictures and dogs were true, sinners may fornicate or commit other sins while having pictures and dogs in their houses to avoid such sins being recorded by the angels who would be terrified of pictures and dogs. The Israeli professor smiled and his eyes gleamed with joy as he was convinced by what we have said to him; all hadiths are mere lies and falsehoods.                               

2- Afterwards, professor Singer accompanied our person and our son to the house of Dr. Efraim Inbar, head of the Jerusalem Institute for Strategic Studies (JISS) who took us in his car in a tour to visit the highest site in Jerusalem where one can see all monuments and also the diggings at Roman monuments; he talked to us about the ancient monuments of Jerusalem. Later on, professor Singer took us to his house and we have been happy to meet his very polite and hospitable wife who engaged in a long talk with Mohamed, while we were busy talking with professor Singer.     

3- Soon enough, we had another encounter with several professors, including professor Frisch, in a restaurant and all of us had enjoyable conversations while having dinner. We and our son eventually returned to the hotel in the Old City.  

4- In the next day, Thursday 22nd of March, we had an appointment with the professors of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA). We have been accompanied with our sons Mohamed and Hossam. We were asked to deliver our speech only in English. Among the attendees were professor Singer and our friend, Dr. Harold Rhode whom we know in Washington, and Dr. Dan Diker. We began our speech by mentioning the fact when we talk about real Islam (i.e., Quranism), we never preach or proselytize it among non-Muslims; rather, we aim to reform Muslims themselves by Quranism. We have asserted how the Quranist reform is very beneficial to face and combat Sunnite Wahabi terrorism that massacre the innocent people and kill civilians indiscriminately; we have explained to the attendees our Quranist methodology of pondering and reflecting on the Quranic verses, while providing an overview about our Quranism website and about our fellow Quranists. Then came the time for questions posed by the attendees. Most of the questions have been logical, simple, and common, but a retired general who worked as an analyst in the central intelligence hurled many questions to our person; chief among them was about the Quranic verses that curse Jews. We have explained to him that the term "Jews" in the Quran is used in a different way from the modern usage of the term today; the Quranic term "Jews" denotes only the sinful, polytheistic, and disbelieving ones among the Israelites and not all Israelites in general. We have explained to him that the Middle-Ages authors of the heritage books of traditions of the Muhammadans deliberately misinterpreted the term to make it refer to all Jewish people in all eras. We have asserted to him that as per the Quran, all human beings will be divided as per their deeds and belief, at the moment of death and on the Last Day, into three categories: the better ones and the good ones in Paradise (i.e., as per the Quranic Chapter 56, the Forerunners and those on the Right, respectively), and the evil, disbelieving ones in Hell. We have mentioned the Quranic fact that the same division applies to the People of the Book, the Quran-believing people, and also to Muhammad's contemporaries (i.e., the so-called companions). This retired general asked our person about certain verses inside the Quranic Chapter Nine; we have asserted to him that some Quranic legislations are confined to the lifetime of Muhammad, as part of his story in the Quran, and some others continue to be applicable when the occasions arise for this. The ones confined to the time/place when the Quranic verses were being revealed gradually are exemplified by the legislations linked to Muhammad and his wives and Muhammad and his relations with the polytheistic aggressors who violated peace treaties/pledges and disturbed the peace in Arabia, as per some of the verses mentioned in the Quranic Chapter Nine. This retired general asked us about what Mahmoud Abbas has mentioned about fighting for God's cause and for His sake as per the Quranic verses 22:39-41; we referred him to our writings in English about the Quranic legislations regarding self-defense fighting and military endeavors to stop aggressors and to end religious persecution, as this is topic will consume the limited time in this meeting. This retired general told us that our words resemble those of the extremist Sunnite Wahabi sheikh Al-Qaradawy. We told him that Al-Qaradawy is a hypocrite who deceive the West-countries people by his empty words about the so-called 'moderate' Islam, which is a myth about the Sunnite Wahabism and its nonexistent tolerance, while he talks to his followers among the terrorist MB group members using the extremist, fanatical Wahabi ideology of violence, hatred, and intolerance, because he obsequiously serves Arab tyrants. In contrast, as a thinker, we adopt the same Islamic discourse with everyone else (Muslims and non-Muslims) despite our suffering persecution by the Arab tyrannical rulers and the death threats we receive from Wahabi terrorists via email; we go on within our path despite all hardships we face. Mohamed and Hossam had their chance to talk; Hossam talked about the Salafist/Wahabi method of picking and choosing decontextualized Quranic verses and phrases while deliberately misinterpreting them and twisting, warping, and distorting their meanings. Mohamed talked about the best way to combat Wahabi terrorism by the Quranist peaceful intellectual war of ideas. The retired general said that combating terrorists is possible only by killing them off before they kill the innocent people, as terrorists are suicidal and know they will not get away alive in most cases of terrorist operations; they decide in advance to die anyway. Mohamed told him that killing terrorists off will never solve the problem of Wahabi terrorism; thousands of terrorists will emerge with the ardent desire to exact revenge and draw the attention of the media worldwide, and they will not be defeated if those are killed off; more Wahabi terrorists will emerge again within an endless vicious circle. The retired general fell silent; we told him that clergymen and sheikhs of Wahabi terrorism typically launch an intellectual war as they brainwash and convince deluded youths to transform them into suicide bombers and terrorists who would aim at entering into Paradise after they die and have endless sex with houris. No power can defeat someone who has decided to die by committing suicide within a terrorist operation. The only possible and effective solution is to launch the counterterrorist, peaceful, intellectual war of ideas using Quranism; in fact, Quranism will address the minds of potential terrorists to convince them using the Quran (i.e., from within Islam) in which they are supposed to believe that the terrorist crimes they desire to commit contradict Islam and will make them among the losers in this world and in the Hereafter, as they will lose their lives and enter into Hell on the Last Day. This way, Quranism will save the lives of potential terrorists (who will adhere to peace when they embrace Quranism as the only true Islam) and the lives of potential victims. Eventually, this retired general said he believes indeed that our person and Quranists differ a great deal from sheikh Al-Qaradawy.                  

5- Another scheduled appointment was at 4:30PM in the house of the Israeli orientalist professor Yohanan Friedmann, an appointment that he has requested; he is a professor specializing in Islamic studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and at Shalem College. The seminal book of professor Friedmann is titled "Tolerance and Coercion in Islam: Interfaith Relations in the Muslim Tradition", and it has been published by Cambridge University. He has received many prizes that included being accorded a prestigious prize by the Israeli government for his intellectual achievements. But because Mohamed has reminded us of the fact that the in-laws of Amir were waiting for us in Nablus and Amir has been impatiently waiting for us, we begged professor Singer to postpone our appointment with professor Friedmann to 4:30PM on the next Sunday; professor Singer phoned professor Friedmann who agreed to postpone the appointment. We and our son went to Nablus to attend the (henna-night) of the bride and the bridegroom and our son, Sherif, caught up with us after he was interrogated at the Ben-Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv.      

6- Next Sunday, we traveled from Nablus to Jerusalem; we met with professor Singer who accompanied us to the house of professor Friedmann, who received us with cordiality; he is an octogenarian like professor Singer, but he is more lively and leaner than we are. He insisted on talking to us all the time in classical, formal Arabic; he told us he had a gift for us; he gave us a copy of his book titled "Tolerance and Coercion in Islam: Interfaith Relations in the Muslim Tradition", and he wrote us a very touching dedication inside it. Our friendly conversation went on as we cared to listen to him more than we would talk; he spoke while quoting classical Arabic poetry, hadiths, and Quranic verses; he told us he learned the Arabic language from one of his teachers who was passionate about the Arabic tongue and heritage. Professor Friedmann told us he disapproves of the current Israeli government and saw no hope in it. He told us that a veiled female Israeli Arab student told him at one time that his writings are blasphemous, and he simply told her in Arabic that those who quote blasphemies of others are not blasphemers themselves and that she can disown his writings on the Last Day. Professor Friedmann told us that the number of veiled female Arab Israeli students has increased recently and this indicates that Salafism/Wahabism is dominant among the Arab Israelis. He told us about his Pakistani friend who lives in Acre who is the head-sheikh of Al-Ahmadiyya sect in Israel; he desired to proselytize his faith in the West Bank among the Palestinians as he does inside Israel with Israeli Jews, but this has proved to be too risky as he might get killed. Professor Friedmann told us he has written about the persecution and the case of apostasy against the Egyptian thinker Dr. Nasr Hamid Abou Zeid; when we returned home to VA, we found that he sent us via email what he has written about this topic.                 

7- After we said goodbye to professor Singer and his friend professor Friedmann, our encounters with Israeli professors ended and we returned to Nablus.   

8- What about Nablus and the security checkpoints between Israel and the West Bank? We tackle this topic in the next article.

 

 

 

COMMENTS:

 

(1) Saeed Ali: Quranists are to a certain degree similar to the Karaite Jews; Quranism has a shared element with Karaism; both faiths rely on One Book as the only source of religious legislations, and both reject other writings that have nothing to do with the Celestial Scripture; e.g., Talmudic traditions and hadiths/narratives traditions. This is an intellectual, peaceful conflict; the main idea of vital importance here is adherence to peace and non-violence despite differences in faiths. It is no surprise that Rabbinical Jews are similar to the Arab Wahabis/Salafists in their extremism and their dependence on so many texts authored by some 'revered' men. I feel glad that such intellectual encounters might break the ice and lead peaceful people of different religious denominations to get to know one another away from the labyrinths of politics. Real Islam is monotheism preached by all prophets and messengers from Adam to Muhammad. Quranists believe that the Quran is God's Word preserved by Him so that people resort to it when they seek religious guidance; all human beings are to adhere to peace and leave their religious disputes and differences to be settled by the Almighty Lord God on the Day of Resurrection. May God bless and protect you, Dr. Mansour.       

(2) Rabeei Bouaqal: It is silly to assume that angels never enter into a house with dogs in it; dogs and any other animals are never impure or an abomination at all, unlike what is assumed by the clergymen of the strange Wahabi, Sunnite, Salafist religion; they assume wrongly that the Quran insults some animals like dogs, monkeys, donkeys, and pigs. The Sunnites grossly misunderstand the Quranic verses that mention these animals and they stick to silly hadiths and narratives fabricated by the polytheists of the Middle-Ages. This is the source of their obscurantism and backwardness.      

(3) Adel Bin Ahmad: The Israeli persons here have logic; I like very much your wise words and responses, dear Dr. Mansour, when good, logical questions are addressed to you. It is impossible that Al-Bokhary who died 256 A.H. had taught people how to pray! What about generations before him?! I like the fact that the Israeli persons accepted your words calmly without arguing uselessly against them or getting angry at all; Israelis are civilized people. It makes me sad that discussions in the Arab world typically take the form of battles where those endowed with higher voices are 'winners' even if they utter nonsense and illogical words.        

(4) Lotfiya Saeed: What the female Muslim student has uttered and the Israeli professor's response reflect the culture of both of them. The Israeli professor has a high moralistic level and is very polite; he did not feel angry when she told him his writings are blasphemous; she is an extremist person, whereas he loves the Arabic culture and literature. Extremists within the clergymen of the Muhammadans teach extremism, fanaticism, and lack of patience to their followers. Israelis apply human rights; the head of Al-Ahmadiyya sect can proselytize his faith and call others to join it inside Israel and never inside the Palestinian territories, lest he might get killed by extremists among the Muhammadans!      

(5) Dr. A. S. Mansour: We thank our dear fellow Quranists, and we assert here that most Arabs and Egyptians are taught that all Israelis are purely evil people; this is not true. We infer from the Quran that all groups of human beings are divided into three types: the forerunners, the repentant ones, and sinners. Our first shock inside the USA once we arrived there was when I knew that all noble people who helped our person and those whom we dealt with were American Jews; they are helpful, polite, and friendly with all people in general and not with our person in particular. Some of these noble, generous American Jews have the Israeli nationality and live and work while moving between the USA and Israel. Of course, we are not saying that all Israelis are angels; of course, not all of them are extremists or fanatics, and not all of them are moderates. Like any society, they are a mix of all types of people. We have only met with noble, generous  Jews inside Israel and the USA. We feel sad to say that the Israelis have a higher moralistic level than Arabs and Egyptians; this is expected inside the Israeli society that adheres to democracy, human rights, religious freedom, and freedom of speech. Some readers might be infuriated by our views here, but we must bear witness of what we have seen and experienced; we are responsible for our testimony here before the Lord God; we never care if others might get mad at our person because of our views.   


The views and opinions of authors whose articles and comments are posted on this site do not necessarily reflect the views of IQC.