A Leap Of Faith

I am not one to speak openly about my religion due to prejudice or my family since I am a private person so please consider yourself rather privileged in this sense and respect this personal post of mine.

When I was born, my parents could not agree on whichever religion they wished to introduce me to and bring me up by since my paternal grandmother originated from Italy but resided in Egypt, which meant my father was automatically Roman Catholic. My maternal grandmother was a Christian and quite a righteous person at that. My parents soon became weary of arguing so they decided to let me grow up and choose myself, which of their religion I wished to follow.

Growing up, I was aware of the different yet similar religions but it was not until I left school that I started to develop a keen inquisition, to find answers regarding who we are and why we are here. I could not understand at the time why people were calling Jesus, the son of God and the wearing / use of a cross. I could not understand why the Jews were so stubborn and seemed to use stratagems. I could not understand why the number of Muslims seemed to be growing so fast. I decided to let my heart decide during the course of seeking further knowledge, for answers.

There was a time during my childhood while I was in Italy visiting family, I knew they were Roman Catholics but this plague on their wall caught my eye since it was in Arabic. Intrigued, I asked my cousin what it said and why they had it. He told me that it said “Allah” and they had brought it back from where they lived in Egypt. Noticing I was still perplexed and not yet satisfied, he went on to explain that Catholics have one God and the Muslims have one God and that “Allah” was the Arabic name for their God. It did not matter what language or religion, there is only one God… That memory and defining emotion has stayed with me ever since then. Based on this experience, my heart seemed to be more inclined towards seeking answers from Islam than the older religions before it.

I wrote to the nearest mosque to me at the time, for any leaflets they could provide me with and to my surprise, I received a book along with a letter from the Imam. I could not believe the level of such kindness and generosity that I immediately wrote back thanking them so.

This book became the very first book I thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated. It all started to make a lot of sense, logically and scientifically. It was not just a hippy, peaceful religion for sandal wearing people. This fuelled my desire for more knowledge, and even more answers. Twenty years on, I am still reading books and sometimes, I even correct my husband who is a devout Muslim. They say converts tend to make better Muslims since they seek information in order to quench their thirst for knowledge and to be the better person they could possibly be.

One late evening, there were two young men who were trying to chat up my friend and I, in passing as we made our way to catch the last tube home. I could tell from experience, which country in North Africa they came from. I asked one of the men who was trying to pay me some attention, if he was a Muslim. Whether he lied or spoke the truth would only determine his character. He chose to speak the truth so I asked him in all honesty, why he was consuming alcohol and looking for attention when it was forbidden to him. He took a moment to reflect on his would-be answer but knowingly smiled instead. At that precise moment, he had every respect for me, for reminding him of whom he is, where he came from and to do good. I too relatively had respect for him as I sensed he would potentially cherish that moment, to help him become a better person.

Every being is born a Muslim but family life and peer pressure dictates otherwise so paths tend to deviate. If only people were able to realise the hand of Satan in all the engineering of situations and lures to increase ones desires. All of which is a test, of faith and character.

With Christianity and Judaism, the bible and Torah has been edited accordingly to fit around their ways of life, to make what was not permitted to them, permissible. The bible even more so. Each time certain people try to elevate themselves, they are actually debasing themselves. Not even one word has been changed in the Quran since it was first spoken, memorised and prescribed for the people to follow. When I first started to read the Quran, bits of it made sense and others not, of which I knew I would understand with time and patience. Upon reading the last page of the Quran, I cried a river! I did not want this unique experience and relationship to end. I then took to praying five times a day.

Within a month or so of praying, whenever I prostrated there was a dull pain in my stomach and I would remark on this pain to my husband. The pain continued for another month – especially each time I prostrated. Certainly, my body (and faith?) was trying to tell me something – that I was seriously unwell. My husband came to realise this too when he was told by the hospital over the phone that I had a ruptured appendix of which my body managed to seal off and turned into a mass, causing an abscess also. This meant an invasive surgery to clean up, drain and separate the organs from inside my stomach.

Leap of Faith (& Character.)

Prior to the operation, I did not think I would survive so I privately said my goodbyes albeit mentally, leaving my life in Allah’s hands by saying “Insha Allah” repeatedly until I was under the effects of the anaesthetics. This verse and my faith, gave me the courage I needed, to face the operation. An operation that saved my life, gave my children back their mother, my husband his wife. The doctor told me that I am extremely lucky to be alive today – I should not be here. At times, I very much struggle with that fact alone and I have to remind myself how I felt before that life changing experience and how much I trusted Allah with my life when I trusted no one else. In particular, it was not yet my time. Yet most importantly, my faith was reconfirmed.

As always, there is a reason for everything, behind every nature’s designs. Only those in a similar situation will come to understand my reasons for writing this and I can only hope that I have helped guide another by sharing how and why I became a convert. My conversion progressively occurred over a number of years as I researched, asked questions and experienced life and psychology from an Islamic perspective.

I would like to thank you for your patience and for sparing a moment of your valuable time to read something so personal.

Furthermore, extremism, terrorism, transgression of the limits and exaggeration, is not permitted in Islam.

“People of the Book, do not go to excess in your religion.” (4:171)

“These are the bounds set by Allah, do not overstep them.” (2:229)

“Do not waste by excess, Allah does not like wasteful people.” (6:141)

“Call on your Lord humbly and privately, He does not like those who transgress His bounds.” (7:55)

The Prophet Muhammed said:

“Avoid going to excess in religion. The people before you were destroyed by their exaggeration.”

Ahmad (1/215, 347), Nisa’i (3057, 3059)

He also said:

“Do not be harsh to yourselves, lest Allah be harsh to you. It happened to some people who adopted the harsh way and Allah treated them badly.”

Abu Ya’la (2427, 2472), Tabarani in Kabir (12/156)

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It Is Not A Laughing Matter.

I condemn all acts of terrorism especially where innocent people have to die.

Muslims seem to lose either way. They are constantly asked to apologise for crimes they did not commit nor supported. They are stuck between the extremists and fanatics on either sides. Most Muslims want to work providing for their family and get on with life in harmony, just like the police officer, Ahmed Merabet wanted to, who was also killed yesterday. I am certain not many people know that he was a Muslim because the media did not mention this until much later on but there was no news of what religions the others were. It does not matter to the media because it is not sensational enough and does not go with the narrative of their headlines. This police officer paid with his life trying to do his job as a just person. The far right are striving in France and this will be an opportunity for them to milk this sad situation to their advantages. Sadly the bigots will jump on the band wagon of hatred without any thoughts to the consequences.

Charlie Hebdo was founded in 1970 and since then they have been relentless in mocking everybody in a very aggressive manner. They have a long history of provoking a wide range of people based on their choices and beliefs. Many of their satirical cartoons are tasteless, violent and sexually explicit – depicting many religious figures and politicians.

In 2012 the French government condemned Charlie Hebdo for publishing caricatures depicting Prophet Mohammed. They even urged the magazine to reconsider their decision in publishing the material but they refused. As a result the French government decided to take security measures to protect their embassies and consulates around the world. They also increased security around Charlie Hebdo’s offices. The magazine was determined in pursuit of what they believed is their right to mock others through “Free Speech”. While they are free to publish what they like with the exception of any anti-Semitic content, the law could not stop them or any of their provocative material but there is an unwritten rule to be respectful to others in every walk of life – regardless, in my opinion. You might be walking down an extremely narrow path and someone walks up towards you so you decide to step aside in order to let them go through first. This is what humanity is all about. Why do we have to be so nasty, oppressive and/or so hurtful towards one another?

There are those who will poke fun at disabled people – does anyone still remember Glenn Hoddle? When he remarked disabled people had been punished for their previous life (not very clever) and as a consequence he was sacked from his position as an England football manager. While there is nothing set in law to prosecute him with, the FA still acted and sacked him to show such opinions will not be tolerated.

My point being, freedom of speech is important but we need to hold back at our own discretion if we feel what we might say or do is hurtful towards others. There will always be people who want to push the boundaries and there is nothing wrong with that but freedom of speech cannot be used as an excuse to hide behind from when their actions has consequences and they should expect the same level of freedom of speech back especially when in a democratic state.

My main worry at this point in time is how society is reacting based on what the media wants us to see and believe regarding the cartoons. First it was Denmark, now France – next it will be the UK. When the World Trade Centre was targeted on the 11th of September (9/11), we suspected London would be next but not when. We also knew that the London public transport system would be targeted as that is what would have hurt the city most. If the media continues to retaliate to this sad state of affairs regarding the cartoons with the same kind of mockery that provoked all this, their offices could be next.

Any perceived anti-Semitism would be handled straightaway and the offenders promptly dealt with. Yet for any other religions, any anti views are sadly casually tolerated which I find very unfair because the same law should apply to all religions. By being respectful and mindful of others at all times would nip any anti views in the bud and would avoid that cataclysmic chain reaction of events spiralling out of anyone’s control. As for censorship? Do not even try to hide behind that excuse because no one ever sees what actually happens to the people of Palestine and other war torn countries: Waging a dirty war.

Is the Ku Klux Klan a representative of Christians? So why do many think Terrorists are representative of Muslims? Fanatics or extremists does not define their religion come what may except distorts the truth behind it – all religions which asks for submission to the one and only same god is about peace and humanity. A true believer would not stoop so low to harm another because their religion (should) forbids it. Unfortunately people not in the know or are well informed regarding a particular religion will accept that distortion all too readily. It is those who are the most sincere in their hearts that suffer the most from all this due to fanatics and others attributing excuses.

Thank you for allowing me to practise free speech – with respect comes peace.

~ SJ

 

Waging A Dirty War

Sadly too many people are ill informed regarding the Israeli-Palestinian situation, the governments and the politicians of the West DO know the truth but because of their agendas, they will not act upon it to resolve anything.

No matter what you say about this issue, people will always accuse you of being bias one way or the other, only ignorant people would see it from one side of the fence and show bias with a closed mind and follow their friends just like sheep.

I came across Miko Peled’s very honest speech on YouTube which tells his side of the story about Israel:

(It is an hour long but it is worth watching if you really want to know the truth. You can turn on the captions but bear in mind they are automated subtitles so they naturally have a few mistakes. However the automated subtitles have many errors but with a bit of help and patience I have managed to compile a list of the errors alongside the corrections. This list can be found at the end of this article.)

Miko Peled who is an Israeli Jew and was born into a prominent Zionist military family, his father was a well-known Army General and Miko himself served in the Israeli Army. His sister who lost her daughter to a Palestinian suicide bombing was a friend of Netanyahu (the current Israeli prime minister) and this incident happened while Netanyahu was also the prime minister then.

My introduction of Miko would have you assuming that I am biased already because how can I pick an Israeli Jew to shed a light on the issue of Israeli /Palestinian conflict? Never assume!

Far from it, Miko tells it like it is. Nothing deterred him from telling the truth, telling the truth was his mission and I am sure in the process he must have lost many friends. When you speak out, you have a lot to lose and life can become a lot harder for you and this why I feel he has nothing to gain apart from telling the truth.

Here is a summary of Miko’s book by LUDWIG WATZAL

Miko Peled, The General’s Son, a journey of an Israeli in Palestine.

Mika Peled.

In 1997, a tragedy struck the family of Israeli-American Miko Peled. His 13-year-old niece Smadar was killed by suicide bombers in Jerusalem. Born into a prominent Zionist military family, his father was a prominent general, who turned after the Israel’s “war of aggression” in 1967, into an advocate of peace with the Palestinians, the real owners of the land of Palestine. The tragic death of his niece served as an “eye-opener”. His personal journey from a Zionist by education, family and societal socialization into an outspoken critic of Israel’s colonial and aggressive policy is convincingly documented in his extraordinary book: “The General’s Son”.

His sister, Nurit Peled-Elhanan, reacted very unusually to the tragic death of her daughter. She did not blame the suicide bombers but the occupation policy of the Israeli governments. At that time, Benyamin Netanyhu served his first term as Israel’s Prime Minister. As a mother, she did not call for revenge because Israel’s long lasting mistreatment of the Palestinian people created people like them. Miko Peled makes it also very clear that Israeli policy has to be blamed. His sister, Nurit Peled-Elhanan, is a well-known professor for language and education at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Her latest book “Palestine in Israeli Schoolbooks” (or video) shows how Israeli school children are indoctrinated by outright racism and Zionist ideology. This manipulation occurs at different fields like images, maps, layouts and use of language in History, Geography and Civic Studies textbook, The manipulation by education aims at the marginalization of Palestinians and reinforces Jewish-Israeli identity.

The author himself was a victim of Zionist indoctrination that stigmatized a whole people to enemies he has had no opportunity to really know. This insanity ended when Miko Peled met for the first time Palestinians in San Diego. With these meetings began a journey from darkness to enlightenment. Step by step, he stripped himself of the taught ignorance of the so-called “other”.

Forty years later, Miko Peled followed into his father’s footsteps, General Mattiyahu (Matti) Peled. He was the first famous member of the Zionist military establishment who “violated” the esprit de corps. Courageously, he debunked the Zionist mystique about the Six-Day War of June 1967. Everybody, who is not a partisan, knows that it was a war of aggression, planned by the military establishment, the second generation, against the will of the political leadership, the immigrant generation. One should read the statements by Israeli politicians like Menachem Begin or other top brass of the military elite. But neither the US nor European academics incorporate their statements into their analysis because it would destroy the myth about the Six-Day War that Zionist Hasbara (propaganda) has created.

The author combines the exceptional history of his family, the political development of the State of Israel and his personal conversion to a fundamental critic of the policy of the different Israeli governments. As a former soldier he knows what he is talking when it comes to the Israeli army: It is the “best trained, best equipped, best fed terrorist organization in the world”, so Miko Peled in his speech on October 1, 2012 in Seattle. “Their entire purpose is terrorism.” What will the “Israel Lobby” and its fans in the US or Western Europe says against this realistic characterization? They will yell out: “self-hating Jew”; “Anti-Semite” would not work well against a former Israeli soldier, or their other ridiculous accusations. Presumably, they will just hush up. Nevertheless, should it occur to the public that their only argument against Peled’s very convincing arguments might be character assassinations? What Peled writes cannot be confounded by the Zionists all over the world. Even the universal weapon of “anti-Semitism” would go unheard.

Not the so-called anti-Semites or the so-called self-hating Jews have to justify their legitimate criticism of the brutality of the Israeli government policies against a defenseless people but the Zionist crowd in the US and all over the world. Peled stresses that the “Israel Lobby” and their cheerleaders have to explain why a so-called “Jewish and democratic state” colonizes against international law, human and real democratic rights a people and destroy systematically their existence by house demolitions, expulsion, torture, settler and military terrorism, uprooting trees, build Jewish-only roads, establish a different law systems, one for Jews and the others for “barbarians”, or the massacre in the Gaza Strip in 2008/09 that caused the death of more than 1400 people, most of them women and children. How the “Israel Lobby” does explain more than 30 laws that discriminate against Israeli Palestinians who live in Israel proper and are citizens of the State of Israel? More and more Jews with conscience in the US turn their back on Israel. They are fed up that Judaism is taken hostage by Zionist ideology. Norman Finkelstein’s book “Knowing too much” and Peter Beinart’s book “The Crisis of Zionism” are evidence for this theory.

Either the whites in South Africa or the whites in the south of the US did not like equal rights for “blacks”. Both racist regimes were not dissolved “by consensus”, writes Peled and he continues saying: “But Zionism like racism has to go. The Zionist state has to be replaced by a democracy.”

– LUDWIG WATZAL

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13540289-the-general-s-son

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Generals-Son-Journey-Palestine/dp/193598215X

These are just some of the reviews left by readers of this book.

This review is from: The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine (Paperback)

I expect like most I previously hadn’t thought too much about the history of Israel or as it turns out, the arcane, arrogant attitudes of the leadership of the Israeli people. This book through the personal story of Miko Peled gave me an insight to both and opened my eyes to the real situation in place today between Israel and Palestine and its people. My views are now more refined and lead me to believe that the Israeli government has serious questions to answer and much for which to atone.

 This review is from: The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine (Kindle Edition)

Miko Peled takes the reader on a journey across the divide of hate created by Zionism in both Israel and Palestine. In tackling the apocalyptic cruelty of extreme far-right statehood and racial supremacism, his touching humanity towards his Middle Eastern brothers shines through. Great read.

 This review is from: The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine (Paperback)

Miko Peled’s credentials are impeccable; he was a captain in the Israeli Defence Force, his father was a General in the IDF and his grandfather took part in the declaration of Israeli independence. Despite all of that he has now turned his back on Zionism and explains in the book, with humility and humanity his reasons for doing so. After conducting his own research he also discredits many of the Zionist myths, including the background to the 1967 war and the true circumstances behind the Palestinians leaving their homes and homeland. Probably because of its explosive contents, this book has had little coverage in the UK media, all the more reason to read it.

"From Israel with love"
“From Israel with love”

“I was 39 years old, I was here in United states and that was the very first time I ever met Palestinians, I grew up in Jerusalem, I was born and raised in Jerusalem a mixed city, the first time I ever sat with Palestinians in a normal setting as a completely equal people was here in United states because even though Jerusalem is you know so called united and so on it is completely segregated”

“This country (Israel/Palestine) has a FIFTEEN hundred-year old history of Arab and Muslim rule, it was an Arab and Muslim country more than anything else in history, so that has to be destroyed monuments have to be destroyed names have to be changed the history have to be rewritten to connect once again to King David to today’s Israel and completely disregard the fact that this is in fact an Arab country that is in fact in the centre of the Arab world”

– Miko Peled (extracts as spoken in his video above)

Map of Palestine.

I hope the madness of Israeli leadership will stop one day. They are generating so much hatred towards themselves from the Arab world; they are not doing themselves any favours. If the tables are turned one day and they find themselves pushed to the sea they will only have themselves to blame.

The Jews have hi-jacked the term ‘Semite’ to apply to them, when a ‘Semite’ is basically a definition of the Arab race, there is actually no such thing as the Jewish race, u can have black Jews, Indian Jews Chinese Jews ad nauseum infinitum. A shared belief in a specific religion or philosophy does not constitute a ‘race’, the Jews are in fact the biggest anti-Semites ever who are taking the pith by bombing the Arabs during their holiest month which only goes to show just how oppressive they are – in other words, “Bullies”.

What Israel is imposing is actually an act of crime which the world is turning a blind eye on. If we are bystanders to injustice, we invite injustice our way. Where are the Palestinian’s human rights?? Hitler tried ethnic cleansing on the Jews which is what the Jews are doing to the Arabs. Where is the support world over, for the Palestinians?!

UNITED NATIONS RESOLUTION 3013 from 1973:

“The struggles of people under colonial and alien determination and racist regimes for the implementation of their right to self-determination and independence is legitimate and in full accordance with the principals of international law”.

For live updates on Israel’s military offensive on the Gaza Strip, click “here“.

A mother and her child.
A mother and her child.

Each and every one of us is someone’s child – How many more can the world ignore? Where is the justice and peace? There is not a parent in this world who could ignore this.

~ SJ (Sara Jae)

 

 

The mistakes from the automated captions on Miko Peled’s video and the corrections alongside it:

Sinus = Zionist

Joomla = Jew

The design dist = The Zionists

Our fight = Arafat (Yasser Arafat)

Pillow = P.L.O (Palestinian Liberation Organisation)

Brock = Barak (Obama)

The arab eyes in = De-Arabising

The advising the country = De-Arabising the country

Sign ism = Zionism

And design a state = a Zionist state

Piano Master = P.L.O ambassador

The Picture my anus (LOL) = the picture of my niece  

Big nose = Big news