Wednesday , February 20 2019

Battle of civilizations

Ahmad Al-Sarraf
Ahmad Al-Sarraf

Israeli Knesset plans to enact a law to ban the call for prayer over loudspeakers in the mosques of Jerusalem, I repeat: ban to call for prayer over loudspeakers. The bill has met the opposition and rejection inside and outside Palestine.

But what is frightening and disturbing in the subject is all who have denounced the bill strongly have focused on the prevention of Muslims from calling for prayer, the measure is against Islam and Muslims, and against the freedom of belief, and against human rights … and this is the first time I know that loudspeakers are banned in violation of human rights and religious beliefs.

Considering the bill as an aim to prevent the call to prayer — which is not included in the text — is fraud and amounts to trading in religious feelings and inciting the public. This act cannot be morally accepted.

Our battle with Israel, if there is any so to speak, is not military, after we put all our weapons on shelves to collect rust. However, it is ultimately a cultural battle. The ethics is the pillar of any civilization to make use of lies to discredit the opponent will have adverse effects when the truth emerges.

This is not the first time to use the ‘weapons’ of exaggeration in our battles with others. Moreover, this act in exploitation of religious enthusiasm, or sectarianism whatever you may call it, is not limited to one group but to all. As soon as the raging fanaticism appears, minds fade, ignorance prevails and logic disappears.

Strange enough, the ultra-religious people believe in the proverb ‘Every innovation is misguidance, and all misguidance is in the Hellfire’. Are loudspeakers innovation or Sunnah?

Do we all agree that the use of loudspeakers, especially in mosques facing each other, as is the case in the market, where more than 50 loudspeakers are used at one time, within an area of not more than one kilometer, acceptable, for example?

We repeat: Islam emerged and lived and spread without all these clichés, and loudspeakers, and religion has remained as it is. Why the fuss then?

It would be much better for those who reject the Israeli draft bill to focus on the law that calls for Judaization of the city of Jerusalem, and the Judaization of all of Palestine.

Consequently, the focus on this, would contribute to gaining international sympathy, instead of resorting to untrue allegations that will damage the reputation and rights, in the event they were discovered?

In a positive and civilized reaction to the Israeli decision, which later turned out that it will apply only to the use of loudspeakers during the call for the Fajr prayer, the Christian pastors of churches in Jerusalem, and other Palestinian cities, personally used the loudspeakers of their churches, or with the help of Muslim muezzins in defiance of the Israeli draft resolution.

This is a beautiful human behavior, but painful to the majority of us who do not understand this kind of tolerance, and cannot even imagine Muslims would react similarly, if the situation was the opposite.

We say that the battle is humanitarian and cultural, and the credibility in any civilized behavior is very important, don’t you understand?


By Ahmad Al-Sarraf

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