Middle East Roundtable
Leider fehlen in diesem Interview die
wichtigsten Fragen, z.Bsp. nach der religiösen Rechtfertigung
massenmörderischer Selbstmorde, nach der Rechtfertigung der Ermordung
Auch finden wir keine Begründung der Verneinung des auch im Koran
erwähnten Rechts der Israeliten auf das Land Israel.
Viel zu oberflächlich wird die Frage nach der palästinensischen
Selbstverantwortung für das eigene Unglück abgehandelt; welche Schlüsse sind
denn daraus zu ziehen, wenn Yassin den Palästinensern sagt "Euer Unglück
resultiert aus Euren eigenen Fehlern".
Lesen Sie selbst, wir wollen Ihnen dieses Interview nicht vorenthalten.
An Interview with Ahmad
Human misery comes from human mistakes
Sheikh Ahmad Yassin is the spiritual leader of the
Palestinian opposition group Hamas. He is 65 years old, lives in Gaza City
and spent 8 years in Israeli prison before being released in a prisoner
exchange in 1997, under the
Government of Benyamin Netanyahu.
BI: How important is religion in providing justice and
solving the political problems of the Arab world?
Yassin: The basic difficulty here is a misunderstanding of the true meaning
of the word "religion". In the Islamic belief, "religion" refers to every
system on earth that human beings abide by to run their lives. In general,
"religion" might come from God or be manmade by humans to run their own
lives. Life can't continue without religion to protect and maintain the
In Islam in particular, religion is made by God to protect and maintain
itself as religion and maintain property, thought, humanity, and progeny.
Islam is an ideal and practical system that was implemented and applied for
hundreds of years through Prophet Mohammed, his caliphs (Prophet Mohammed's
successors), the Umayyad Islamic state, and then the Abbasid Islamic state.
History has proven Islam as a successful system at building and maintaining
good societies. The system that succeeds once can succeed many more times.
BI: How does Islam explain Palestinian misery and unhappiness? Is this the
work of God or man?
Yassin: First of all, [in the Western world] there is some ignorance towards
the true Islamic doctrine. When God sent his messengers and holy books, it
was to solve the problems of human beings, but not to end them, because
these problems are basic. Periodically, God sent his messengers and holy
books to resolve and find solutions for these problems.
The misery that occurs in the lives of humans is a result of their behavior
and their mistakes. But the welfare that human beings are offered comes from
God. Allah said in his Holy Quran, "And whatever affliction befalls you, it
is on account of what your hands have wrought."
Therefore, the misery that inflicts human beings is due to their
non-commitment to the system that God sketched for them, and the result is a
life of misery and unhappiness.
BI: Hamas has set its goal as an Islamic state in Palestine. How would that
state include ideas often associated with modern statehood: democracy, equal
rights and religious freedom?
Yassin: Islam gave every human being the right to worship, and rights in
matrimony (personal affairs like marriage, divorce, and so on) and this will
not be an obstacle in shaping international relationships.
Islam also opened all the gates and borders between the various nations and
peoples and led them to the way of goodness and human happiness. In other
words, in Islam it is forbidden for Muslims to drink alcohol, but
non-Muslims (Christians and Jews) were allowed [to drink] so that Islam was
not an obstacle in their lives. Also Islam allowed non-Muslims to make their
own internal arrangements according to their own personal status laws so
that Islam didn't interfere in their personal lives.
If we have our Islamic state, we will have our own laws to control and
standardize our society. I want to ask these modern countries, if the
individual breaks the law of the state, would they not punish him or would
punishing him be considered a violation of his rights?
Accordingly, in our Islamic state there will be Islamic law that will punish
anyone who breaks or violates the law--as in any country. We, as Muslims,
have absolute freedom for all people to be creative and to learn. We also
have political, economic, social, and personal freedom, but deriving from
Islamic law if the individual is Muslim and from the laws of Christianity or
Judaism for Christian and Jewish individuals.
BI: What has more effect on the Middle East today, divisions among Sunnis,
Shi'ites, Christians and secular Arabs or political divisions over power and
Yassin: The real suffering in the Middle East and the problems that the
Middle East faces are colonialism and occupation--American, Zionist, Jewish
and Christian problems. Shi'ites and Sunnis are both Muslims, but the
occupiers and colonizers are those who evoke sectarianism: either between
Shiite and Sunni or between Muslim and Christian. The colonizers have
adopted a policy to divide and conquer, and accordingly, they are doing
their best to separate between the various Arab and Muslim groups to make
them easier to control and colonize their countries.
BI: What does Islam teach about reconciliation and making peace and what
does that mean in the Middle East today?
Yassin: Islam's basic principles are to make peace and reconciliation, not
only among human beings but also in the world of animals and plants. But
Islam does not teach Muslims to make reconciliation with aggressors or
occupiers that kill innocent people and ravage the land. Allah said in his
holy Quran, "And there is life for you in (the law of) retaliation, O men of
understanding, that you may guard yourselves."
Or there is the verse "And if you take your turn, then retaliate with the
like of that with which you were afflicted; but if you are patient, it will
certainly be best for those who are patient."
So, you must defend yourself, your land, your dignity, your property, and
your country. One cannot simply tolerate that an aggressor stole one's land
and murdered one's people. To do so is not reconciliation or tolerance but
surrender, defeat and a trouncing. These days, the Israeli and American
enemies are trying to confuse the terminology of "reconciliation" and
Islam is a world system calling for tolerance and reconciliation with all
religions. It deals with them in the spirit of brotherhood, but it also does
not accept aggression. God said in the Holy Quran, "Allah does not forbid
you respecting those who have not made war against you on account of (your)
religion, and have not driven you forth from your homes, that you show them
kindness and deal with them justly; surely Allah loves the doers of
The aggressors want us, in the name of reconciliation and Islam, to give up
and surrender our occupied lands. If we were to apply the true Islamic
system in the Middle East and the world, Islam would create a global
civilization and produce enlightened thought and build bridges of friendship
and cooperation between the various nations in all aspects of life, science,
society, and economy. Islam breaks all barriers between countries concerning
commerce and trade.
But in the current situation, the colonizers and occupiers want to open all
the gates of the Middle East on behalf of Israel. These gates haven't opened
yet, and therefore they are doing their best to damage relationships between
the Arab countries. This will maintain and support Israeli existence at the
expense of the Palestinian, Arab and Muslim nations.
Published 31/7/03 ©
aspires to engender greater understanding about the Middle East region and
open a new common space for world thinkers and political leaders to present
their viewpoints and initiatives on the region. Its
Editors Ghassan Khatib and Yossi Alpher can be reached at