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Palestine, an Islamic issue?

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The recent news that a group of Muslim Americans – which is the way they’ve identified themselves – assaulted a Palestinian activist and writer in Jerusalem was particularly upsetting. Coming in the wake of the murders in Paris the issue of “Islamic” identity has attained a heightened degree of obnoxiousness. In France, many native-born French people of North African descent lead secular lives – yet they’re “immigrants” and “Muslims.” In Palestine, Christians, Muslims, Jews, and atheists all come together to reject apartheid. Yet, a group of “Muslim Americans” is somehow privileged on the issue. Made into a prophylactic fig leaf wrapped protectively around the Islamophobes who sponsored their visit.

The idea that Palestine is a Muslim issue is one that a lot of people believe in. It’s something that even some Palestinians, who ought to know better, believe in. They regard what’s happening to them in their homeland as a stage in God’s history; the assaults on their holy places are firmly understood in that context.

The problem with that view is that Palestinian society is not Muslim. And Palestinian history never developed within an Islamic context, although aspects of it have. The rise of the Islamic political players is partly attributable to the failure of pan-Arabism and end of Nasserism. That’s true. It’s an interesting social history but it’s not the end of history. Secular parties founded by Christians and Muslims preceded Hamas – which has lasted long enough to see BDS inherit its resistance mantle. BDS, it’s worth noting, is a non-denominational, non-sectarian, non-ethnic call for justice. And the “Muslim Americans” are being pilloried for violating the tenets of the BDS movement (and for assaulting a Palestinian), not those of Islam.

So why is the Palestine-is-a-Muslim-problem line so destructive? Who are the people who seek to offer it as a credible structural description?

Even before 9/11 members of the Zionist establishment in Israel had a strong incentive to identify their conflict with something colossal: The Clash of Civilizations. Describe the war on the Palestinians not as the latest expression of colonialism or apartheid, but as the war on an “Islamofascist” ideology. Situate oneself in the warm heaving center, the radiant source of global opprobrium and high-minded finger-wagging. Where Leopold II, Churchill, De Gaulle (and Salan) stand tall and declaim, proclaim and otherwise lecture.

But the romantic global war is only one part of why Shalom Hartman is buying people who purport to be Muslims – ultimately an irrelevant identifier. From the perspective of operational effectiveness, the apartheid machinery’s gnashing mechanism works best when things are sifted. Like paper and plastic, Muslim and Christian refuse is best sorted before processing. Anything that reinforces that separation – different treatment for Christians for example – enhances the effectiveness of the apartheid regime. In this case, efforts made at “healing” between the “Muslim” and “Jewish” communities enhance the perception that the challenge is radical Islam, not the apartheid regime that destroys all Palestinians alike.

Any yet, there are Palestinians who insist that their struggle is a religious one. Some members of Islamic Jihad and Hamas for instance. Why would they participate in the elaborate lie presented by Shalom Hartman and others? Well, mainly, because there’s genuine diversity in Palestinian life – just as with other societies. That diversity, which enables one to consider competing ideas at the same time also enables Edward Said, George Habash, and Hanan Ashrawi to rest easily in the same matrix as every other Muslim/Christian/atheist Palestinian. One that holds each of them as equal – especially in their spirit of resistance to apartheid.

So, will Muslims around the world continue to identify with Palestine because of their faith? Yes, it seems likely that they will. And Christians and Jews may as well. But should that provide any of them with a privileged voice? No. Rather, people of conscience everywhere ought to be united on Palestine through a commitment to global justice. And if a few “Muslim Americans” falter on that score, well that’s mainly their own, moral failure.

Ahmed Moor

Ahmed Moor is a Palestinian-American who was born in the Gaza Strip. He is a PD Soros Fellow, co-editor of After Zionism and co-founder and CEO of Twitter: @ahmedmoor

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24 Responses

  1. jd65 on January 21, 2015, 1:04 pm

    Reasonable article. I do agree that the “Palestine Issue” is centrally a human rights and colonialist/territorial issue and trying to solve the problem should focus mainly on those aspects. But an article that tries to explain why the Palestine Issue is not mainly an Islamic/Religious issue, while not once specifically mentioning the Islamic significance of Jerusalem, the “Prophet’s Night Journey,” the al-Aqsa mosque, The Temple Mount, or The Dome of the Rock is, I believe, significantly incomplete. Briefly mentioning those issues within an article like this, so as to refute their centrality, would give this article more weight (mentioning “…the assaults on their holy places are firmly understood in that context,” is not enough imo). Instead, not explaining them at all, unfortunately, creates the appearance of a “willful omission” in my opinion. No offense intended…

  2. OyVey00 on January 21, 2015, 3:24 pm

    It’s essentially an ethnic conflict between Jews and Arabs, with some minorities mixed in for good measure.

    • just on January 21, 2015, 9:56 pm

      No it is not. That is what Isr has created with the ongoing Nakba and Occupation. All 3 faiths lived together fine in historic Palestine.

      By the way, they are Palestinians.

      • OyVey00 on January 22, 2015, 12:45 am

        Palestinians are Arabs in the same way that Russians are Slavs.

        It was a conflict between Jews and Arabs from the very beginning. It’s just that the majority of the Arab world has pulled out by now as they figured they couldn’t beat the Jews. So the only ones left today are the Palestinian Arabs.

      • biggerjake on January 28, 2015, 2:13 am

        Palestinians are not necessarily Arabs. Arab ethnic identity does not include Christian and other ethnic groups that retain non-Arabic languages and identities within the expanded Arab World.

        The conflict was not between Jews and Arabs from the beginning. It was and is a conflict between Zionists and Palestinians.

        The “majority of the Arab world” has not pulled out of anywhere. There are hundreds of thousands of Palestinians still in refugee camps waiting for their right of return.

  3. hophmi on January 21, 2015, 4:27 pm

    LOL. Looks like another uncorroborated EI story. There’s no assault on the video.

    And by the way, Ahmed, Muslims are allowed to go to Israel, whether you or the EI mafia want them to or not.

    • just on January 21, 2015, 6:52 pm

      What video did you watch, hophmi? I saw an assault. You might want to get new glasses.

      “Muslims are allowed to go to Israel, whether you or the EI mafia want them to or not.”

      Sure. The GoI approved ones are just fine…gotcha. What is ‘the EI mafia’, anyway?

    • talknic on January 22, 2015, 6:35 am

      “LOL. Looks like another uncorroborated EI story. “

      Like Memri ?

    • annie on January 22, 2015, 11:00 am

      the video i saw there was an assault.

    • JLewisDickerson on January 23, 2015, 2:30 am

      Assault – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
      In common law, assault is the act of creating apprehension of an imminent harmful or offensive contact with a person. An assault is carried out by a threat of bodily harm coupled with an apparent, present ability to cause the harm.
      SOURCE –

  4. Les on January 21, 2015, 5:07 pm

    The US media’s racist anti-semitic depictions of swarthy looking Palestinians dressed as Middle Eastern mullahs would have us belive that Islam is the problem.

  5. just on January 21, 2015, 6:48 pm

    FANTASTIC article, Ahmed! Thank you!

    I put an enormous amount of blame on the GoI for repeatedly attempting to link/conflate Hamas with ISIS ~ it was/is completely insane and false, of course. Yet many in the MSM and elsewhere ran with it to my utter disgust.

    All of my recollections and impressions of Palestine are of Palestinians, first and foremost. Then there were the beautiful mosques and churches and language. They all care about one another as humans. They don’t differentiate at all. They stand in solidarity with one another as a united Palestinian people. That’s part of their essential strength and resilience. Outside forces would dearly love to break that~ they cannot.

    (I hope that this makes sense)

  6. Walker on January 21, 2015, 8:57 pm

    35 years ago at the height of the ascendency of Arafat and the PLO, the notion that Palestinian resistance to Israel was a Muslim/Jewish conflict would have been laughed out of town. Historically the Palestinian Christian and Muslim communities reacted exactly the same way to Israeli aggression. Some of the most radical Palestinian groups fighting Israel were either communist (like the DFLP) or led by Christians, like George Habash’s PLFP. Very prominent Christian nationalists who were not part of the guerrilla movement include Edward Said and Hanan Ashrawi.

    This notion that the Palestinian conflict is fundamentally a struggle between Jews and Muslims is untrue. It’s very helpful, however, to Israel and its American supporters, as well as to promoters of the War on Terror generally. Therefore Netanyahu and his cheesy friends promote the hell out of this meme.

  7. JLewisDickerson on January 21, 2015, 9:53 pm

    RE: “The rise of the Islamic political players is partly attributable to the failure of pan-Arabism and end of Nasserism.” ~ Ahmed Moor

    MY COMMENT: And, the failure of pan-Arabism (i.e., the end of Nasserism) and the rise of the Islamic political players had a little (or more) help from the CIA! ! !*

    * SEE: “The CIA and The Muslim Brotherhood: How the CIA Set The Stage for September 11” (Martin A. Lee – Razor Magazine 2004)

    [EXCERPTS] The CIA often works in mysterious ways – and so it was with this little-known cloak-and-dagger caper that set the stage for extensive collaboration between US intelligence and Islamic extremists. The genesis of this ill-starred alliance dates back to Egypt in the mid-1950s, when the CIA made discrete overtures to the Muslim Brotherhood, the influential Sunni fundamentalist movement that fostered Islamic militancy throughout the Middle East. What started as a quiet American flirtation with political Islam became a Cold War love affair on the sly – an affair that would turn out disastrously for the United States. Nearly all of today’s radical Islamic groups, including al-Qaeda, trace their lineage to the Brotherhood. . .
    . . . For many years, the American espionage establishment had operated on the assumption that Islam was inherently anti-communist and therefore could be harnessed to facilitate US objectives. American officials viewed the Muslim Brotherhood as “a secret weapon” in the shadow war against the Soviet Union and it’s Arab allies, according to Robert Baer, a retired CIA case officer who was right in the thick of things in the Middle East and Central Asia during his 21 year career as a spy. In “Sleeping with the Devil”, a book he wrote after quitting the CIA Baer explains how the United States “made common cause with the Brothers” and used them “to do our dirty work in Yemen, Afghanistan and plenty of other places”.
    This covert relationship; unraveled when the Cold War ended, whereupon an Islamic Frankenstein named Osama bin Laden lurched into existence. . .

    SOURCE –

    • JLewisDickerson on January 21, 2015, 10:16 pm

      P.S. ALSO SEE: “How Israel Helped to Spawn Hamas”, By Andrew Higgins, The Wall Street Journal, 01/24/09

      [EXCERPT] Surveying the wreckage of a neighbor’s bungalow hit by a Palestinian rocket, retired Israeli official Avner Cohen traces the missile’s trajectory back to an “enormous, stupid mistake” made 30 years ago.
      “Hamas, to my great regret, is Israel’s creation,” says Mr. Cohen, a Tunisian-born Jew who worked in Gaza for more than two decades. Responsible for religious affairs in the region until 1994, Mr. Cohen watched the Islamist movement take shape, muscle aside secular Palestinian rivals and then morph into what is today Hamas, a militant group that is sworn to Israel’s destruction.
      Instead of trying to curb Gaza’s Islamists from the outset, says Mr. Cohen, Israel for years tolerated and, in some cases, encouraged them as a counterweight to the secular nationalists of the Palestine Liberation Organization and its dominant faction, Yasser Arafat’s Fatah. . .
      . . . When Israel first encountered Islamists in Gaza in the 1970s and ’80s, they seemed focused on studying the Quran, not on confrontation with Israel. The Israeli government officially recognized a precursor to Hamas called Mujama Al-Islamiya, registering the group as a charity. It allowed Mujama members to set up an Islamic university and build mosques, clubs and schools. Crucially, Israel often stood aside when the Islamists and their secular left-wing Palestinian rivals battled, sometimes violently, for influence in both Gaza and the West Bank.
      “When I look back at the chain of events I think we made a mistake,” says David Hacham, who worked in Gaza in the late 1980s and early ’90s as an Arab-affairs expert in the Israeli military. “But at the time nobody thought about the possible results.” . . .


    • JLewisDickerson on January 21, 2015, 10:24 pm

      P.P.S. AND SEE: “Secret Affairs”, By Mark Curtis, Reviewed by Kim Sengupta, The Independent, 7/30/10

      [EXCERPTS] For years, violent Islamist groups were allowed to settle in Britain, using the country as a base to carry out attacks abroad. This was tolerated in the belief that they would not bomb the country where they lived and that, as long as they are here, the security service would be able to infiltrate them. At the same time mosque after mosque was taken over through intimidation by the fundamentalists. Police and others in authority refused pleas from moderate Muslims with the excuse that they did not want to interfere.
      There was even a name for this amoral accommodation: the “covenant of security”. We now know that jihadists will indeed blow up their home country and that the security agencies signally failed to infiltrate the terrorist cells while they had the chance.
      The part played by officials in the growth of terrorism in Britain is a relatively small-scale affair compared to what went on abroad. Successive UK governments had nurtured and promoted extremists for reasons of realpolitik often at a terrible cost to the population of those countries. Mark Curtis, in his book on “Britain’s collusion with radical Islam”, charts this liaison. He points out how reactionary and violent Muslim groups were used against secular nationalists at the time of empire and continued afterwards to back UK and Western interests.
      The price for this is now being paid at home and abroad. I am writing this review in Helmand, where a few days ago I went on an operation with British and Afghan troops against insurgents whose paymasters, across the border in Pakistan, have been the beneficiaries of US and British largesse.
      Curtis points out that two of the most active Islamist commanders carrying out attacks in Afghanistan, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and Jalalludin Haqqani, had particularly close contacts with the UK in the past. Hekmatyar met Margaret Thatcher in Downing Street when he was a favourite of MI6 and the CIA in the war against the Russians. Haqqani, while not the “Taliban’s overall military commander fighting the British” as Curtis says (he runs his own network parallel to the Taliban), was viewed as a highly useful tool in that conflict.
      The Western use of the Mujaheddin as proxy fighters is well documented. It resulted in the spawning of al-Qa’ida, the spread of international terrorism, and the empowering of ISI, the Pakistani secret police, who became their sponsors. Curtis examines the lesser known by-products of this jihad: the dispatch of Afghan Islamist veterans, with the connivance of Britain and the US, to the wars in the Balkans and the former Soviet republics in central Asia, and ethnic Muslim areas of China. Vast sums of money from the West’s great ally, Saudi Arabia, helped fund the Reagan administration’s clandestine war in support of repressive military juntas in Latin America while, at the same time, buttressing the aggressive Wahabi faith embraced by many terrorist groups.
      The use of hardline Islam by the West was particularly prevalent at the time of the Cold War. In many instances, however, the targets for destabilisation were not Communist regimes but leaders who had adopted left-wing policies deemed to pose a threat to Western influence and interests.
      The UK attempted to combat “virus of Arab nationalism”, after Gamal Abdel Nasser came to power in Egypt and nationalised the Suez Canal, by forging links with the Muslim Brotherhood, an organisation involved in terrorism. The nationalisation of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company by the democratically elected Iranian government of Mohammed Mossadeq led to a British-American organised coup which was facilitated by Ayatollah Seyyed Kashani, one of whose followers was the young Ruhollah Khomeini. In Indonesia, the removal of Ahmed Sukarno in another military coup by the UK-US was carried out with the help of Darul Islam. Its followers went on to massacre socialists and trade unionists.
      In each of these cases the clandestine backing of Britain and the US strengthened Islamist groups at the expense of secular bodies and moderate Muslims. These groups then went to form terrorist groups whom the West would later have to confront in the “War on Terror”. . .


      ■ FINALLY, WATCH “Secret Affairs: Britain’s Collusion with Radical Islam” written by Mark Curtis-Epilogue-10-03-2011 [VIDEO, 24:41] –

      • JLewisDickerson on January 21, 2015, 10:30 pm

        “Secret Affairs: Britain’s Collusion with Radical Islam” written by Mark Curtis-Epilogue-10-03-2011 [VIDEO, 24:41]

      • Walid on January 22, 2015, 2:11 am

        JLD, the video begins and ends with the British involvement with Islamists but the story continues with the Americans after the British dropped this strategy. The British began the collusion with radical Islam in the early 40s to pit Moslem against Moslem in Egypt, where it actualy financed the Muslim Brotherhood to Saudi Arabia and India. In the early 50s when the British decided they no longer wanted to pursue this strategy, the US moved in and took over with the collusion to use it in fighting the Soviets and have never stopped using it since back then; the latest success was in Libya where Islamists were used to topple Gaddafi and are now using it against Assad in Syria.

        There’s a great short essay on this subject of collusion with the Islamists first by the British and then by the Americans in Mondoweiss by Nu’man Abd al-Wahid on September 10, 2011 :

        Some excerpts:

        “… Needless to say, this alliance or collusion between the West and Islamist did not originally arise with the invasion of Afghanistan by Soviet troops. Its provenance can easily be traced back to the challenges faced by British Imperialism in the earlier part of the twentieth century.

        As we shall see, in Egypt, India and in what became known as “Saudi Arabia”, the British Empire, when faced with challenges to its occupations or policies fell back on Islamism or Islamic sectarianism to hold back the tide of independence and unity against its presence.

        … The Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt was founded by Hasan al-Banna during his teaching stint in Ismaliyya, a town generously populated by employees of the then British owned Suez Canal Company, in 1928.

        One of Hasan al-Banna’s admirers was a James Heyworth-Dunne, an employee (and future scholar) of the British Embassy in Cairo. His admiration, even hero-worship, for Mr al-Banna is contained in the first book (in the English language) on the Muslim Brotherhood, “Religious and Political Trends in Modern Egypt”. [2]

        … In 1942, the Britain began officially financing the Muslim Brotherhood. [9]

        … It is in the Middle East where Britain had greatly assisted the Saudi tribe to power. The head of this tribe, Ibn Saud was an exiled figure in what is now “Kuwait” in 1899. Upon meeting the British in Kuwait, Abd al-Aziz Ibn Saud managed to capture Riyadh in 1902 with British weapons and his fanatical Wahhabi allies. –

        … All three strands of Islamism, the Egyptian, Saudi and Indian came to modern political formation during the British imperial reign in the Arab World and South East Asia. It is these three strands of Islamism that the United States “inherited” from Britain. “

      • JLewisDickerson on January 22, 2015, 2:28 am

        P.P.P.S. DIANA JOHNSTONE (JANUARY 20, 2015):

        [EXCERPT] . . . France like the United States designates Islamic terrorism as its great enemy, while doing everything possible to favor its growth and extension. Constant support for Israel, even during murderous bombings of helpless Gaza, even when Mossad assassinates scientists in Iraq or Iran, or even when Israeli warplanes deliberately sink a U.S. Navy ship, the USS Liberty, makes the United States appear to be manipulated by Israel, while France appears to be manipulated by both Israel and the United States.

        For over half a century, the West has systematically opposed the secular nationalist states in the Middle East, starting with Nasser’s Egypt, vainly demanding a Western-style democracy that lacks the appropriate social roots. Israel was always most afraid of Arab nationalism, as it would potentially embrace Palestine. Religious fanaticism has seemed safer. Arab nationalism was the positive political hope of the region, and once that hope is destroyed, Islamic extremism rushes into the vacuum. This struggle continues in Syria, with France taking the lead in opposing Bachar al Assad, which means, in effect, supporting the Islamists just as it prepares to go to war against them. . .

        SOURCE –

  8. Neil Schipper on January 22, 2015, 1:19 am

    Benny Morris, writing in a book review [Army of Shadows: Palestinian Collaboration with Zionism, 1917-1948By Hillel Cohen~ed.], in 2008:

    Cohen’s learned book, especially its lengthy citations from Zionist intelligence reports and from Arab letters and memoranda, incidentally sheds light on a rarely illumined aspect of Palestinian nationalism (and one that indirectly “explains” at least some of the collaborators). From the first, the nationalism of Palestine’s Arabs was blatantly religious. Almost all the “nationalist” statements Cohen quotes were couched in religious or semi- religious terms. We are dealing here with an Islamic nationalism…..


    This Islamism colored the Palestinian national movement from its conception. When, in 1911, the Jaffa newspaper Filastin attacked land-sellers, it declared: “All land belongs to God, but the land on which we live belongs to the homeland [watan], at the command of God.” “Islam does not forgive traitors,” village mukhtars were told by urban nationalists in 1920. In 1925, the mufti of Gaza, Hajj Muhammad Said al-Husseini, issued a fatwa forbidding land sales to Jews. The Jews, he said, were no longer a protected people (as they had been in the Islamic world during the previous thirteen centuries). ..

    A more comprehensive fatwa against land sales was issued by the ulama (the authorities on law and religion) of Palestine in January 1935…..

    The founding declaration of the Higher Arab Committee, the executive body chaired by Hajj Amin alHusseini that was to lead the Palestinians both in the 1936-1939 Revolt and in the 1947-1948 war against the Yishuv, referred to the Palestinian National movement as “the holy national jihad movement.” The following year, in July 1937, those who supported the British Peel Commission recommendations–to partition Palestine into Arab and Jewish states–were denounced as heretics, whereas those destroying Jewish property would be declared saints.

    Ideologically, it is only a short leap from these utterances to those of the Hamas .. It would appear that the secularism of Fatah, the political party led by Yasir Arafat that dominated the Palestinian national movement from the 1960s until the turn of the century, was a cultural aberration, something of an illusion, an ideological patina in part adopted by Palestinian intellectuals and politicians to win over hearts and minds in the largely secular West. And yet, when looking at footage of Arafat on his knees in a mosque at prayer, five times a day, day in, day out, and of Fatah suicide bombers on their way to destroy a bus or restaurant in downtown Tel Aviv declaiming the certainty of meeting up with virgins in paradise, one may be permitted to conclude that the secular declarations of the 1980s and 1990s were mere window dressing, and did not really reflect the spirit of Palestinian politics. And no sooner had the grand old man of Palestinian politics departed the scene than Hamas won the first–and free–Palestinian general elections in which it participated.

    Cohen indirectly establishes a particular connection between collaboration and the nature of Palestinian nationalism, though he does not explicitly dwell on the matter.

    The Tangled Truth | The New Republic

    There are portions of the Morris article that are not flattering to the Zionists. The text I’m quoting pertains specifically to the thesis of the present article by Ahmed Moor.

    • annie on January 22, 2015, 10:25 am

      one would hardly speculate reading the overview of this book on wiki that it was the same book morris is reviewing.,_1917%E2%80%931948

      In this book, Hillel Cohen, a scholar at the Harry S. Truman Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem documents the thousands of Arabs, ranging from wealthy absentee landlords to fellahin smallholders, who sold land to Zionist organizations. He shows that everyone understood that control of land was a necessary precondition to fulfillment of national goals, both Jewish and Arab. Cohen explains the varied motives of sellers: Some wanted money, some sold land or acted as intelligence agents for the Zionists even while publicly denouncing land sales, but there were also non-monetary motivations. Some thought that cooperating with the Zionists would improve the life of their clans and villages. Others thought that it was impossible to defeat the Zionists and, therefore, wiser to cooperate with them. Others were committed nationalists who believed that staying on the land was paramount, and that working for and cooperating with the Zionists was the strategy that would enable them to stay on the land. Others were driven to collaborate with the Zionists or with the British out of their intense hatred for Hajj Amin al-Husayni.[2]

      Cohen sees the Arabs of Mandatory Palestine as split between two positions. There were those who agreed with al-Husayni that all of Palestine must remain Arab and the Zionists must be fought, and there were those who argued that the Zionists were too powerful to be defeated and that, therefore, the path of wisdom lay in some sort of co-existence.[2]

      According to Cohen, the Husayni clan tried to rid itself of opposition beginning in the 1920s. In 1929 Sheikh Musa Hadeib was murdered near the Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem. In the 1929 Palestine riots Husayni spread the falsehood that the Jews intended to tear down the Al Aqsa mosque and Dome of the Rock shrine on the Temple Mount. Over the course of the next decade, Husayni had a thousand Arabs murdered, 500 in 1938 alone. In 1939, the Husaynis were paying 100 Palestine pounds to assassins who murdered important “traitors”, 25 pounds for petty “traitors”, and 10 pounds for murdering a Jew.[2]

      Husyani’s methods drove many Arabs to side with and even to fight alongside the Zionists.[2] Perhaps the most shocking allegation in the book is that al-Husayni often put his own position in Palestinian politics above the interests of the Palestinian nation, most crucially so in 1939. The result was that Husayni rejected the British White Paper of 1939, reneging on the promise of a Jewish homeland made in the Balfour Declaration, and effectively promised the Palestinian Arabs majority rule and independence within a decade. According to Cohen, Husayni rejected the offer because Britain did not guarantee his position as ruler of the Palestinian Arab state it proposed to create.[2]

      however, at the end they do mention morris’s review.

  9. Neil Schipper on January 22, 2015, 1:40 am

    Claimed by Ahmed Moor:

    Palestinian society is not Muslim

    West Bank: Muslim 80–85% (predominantly Sunni; also nondenominational), Christian 1.0–2.5%, Jewish 12–14%
    Gaza: Muslim 98–99 % (predominantly Sunni), Christian 0.7%

    Demographics of the Palestinian territories (sourced to CIA)

    From Muslim Beliefs About Sharia | Pew Research Center’s Religion & Public Life Project:

    Support for sharia as the official law of the land among Muslims is 89% in the Palestinian territories (compare to 29% for Lebanon, 56% for Tunisia).

    Among those who support sharia as the official law of the land, support for its application to non-Muslims is 44% in Palestine, thus, .44 x .89 = 39% of all Palestinian Muslims; compare to Lebanon at (.48 x .29 =) 14% and Tunisia at (.40 x .56 =) 22%.

    Among those who support sharia as the official law of the land, support for the death penalty for leaving Islam is 66% in Palestine, thus, .66 x .89 = 59% of all Palestinian Muslims; compare to Lebanon at (.46 x .29 =) 13% and Tunisia at (.29 x .56 =) 16%.

    If you check the PEW report, you’ll find the Palestine numbers are fairly close to those of Jordan and Egypt.

    • annie on January 22, 2015, 10:37 am

      neil, do you know who sponsored this pew poll on sharia law? also, did you notice in the 2nd paragraph:

      Generally, supporters of sharia are most comfortable with its application in cases of family or property disputes…

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