According to a hadith attributed to the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.A.S), "One drop of faithful Muslim blood is more valuable than the entire Kaaba." However, as far as the Palestinian national religious leadership is concerned, the words are meaningless. In their unclean hands and with their perverted agenda, Muslim blood has become a political pawn in the game of "attack the Jews."
The recent bloodshed in the Palestinian territory and inside Israel, particularly Jerusalem, based on the claim that "Al-Aqsa mosque is in danger" -- and the fatal stabbings of Jews by knife-wielding Palestinians -- are cruel examples of how Hamas and the Islamic Movement's clerics distort the words of Allah (S.W.A.T.) and the Prophet, and present Islam as a hideous religion bent on murder and paganism. They seem to care more about the stones of Al-Aqsa mosque than about the lives of faithful Muslims.
Under cover of the slogan "Al-Aqsa mosque is in danger," the Palestinian Authority (PA), Hamas and PLO leaders, as well as Israeli Arab Knesset members and the Islamic Movement in Israel, send innocent young Palestinians to murder Jews at a time when we all know perfectly well that Al-Aqsa mosque is not danger. Ironically -- I am ashamed to admit it -- thanks to the Israel Police, Al-Aqsa is the safest mosque in the Middle East.
We all remember how, during the war last summer, the Hamas leadership gave the order to fire rockets at Jerusalem. They might easily have hit Al-Aqsa mosque and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Hamas nevertheless ordered the rockets to be fired. And we all see how our brother Arabs and Muslims blow up mosques and churches full of worshippers throughout the Middle East, while the Israel security forces safeguard Al-Aqsa and the churches in Jerusalem. Not only that, but, unlike the rule of Jordan before 1967, the Israelis allow freedom of worship for followers of all religions at all the holy sites throughout the country, especially in Jerusalem.
The hypocrisy and politicization of Islam has led our sheikhs deliberately to misinterpret verses in the Qur'an, and in that way we disrespect the words of Allah. There are clerics who present Islam as a hideous religion bent on murder and paganism, and who care more about the stones of Al-Aqsa mosque than about the lives of faithful Muslims.
Palestinian Arab young men with masks, inside Al-Aqsa Mosque (some wearing shoes), stockpile rocks to use for throwing at Jews who visit the Temple Mount, September 27, 2015.
The Qur'an tells us the Jews are the chosen people and the inheritors of the land, so why do our religious leaders deny it and refuse to admit that the Qur'an does not name or even hint at "Palestine" or "Palestinians?"
The Qur'an promises the Children of Israel that they will return to the land of Israel from the four corners of the earth, so we should have greeted their return, especially during the first half of the last century, as living proof of the words of Allah and the realization of the prophecies of Muhammad. Instead, we fight the Jews, which means we fight the wishes of Allah while killing our own children and denying the miracle of the return of the Jews to their country. Our feeble claim is that they are not the Children of Israel because those spoken of in the Qur'an do not exist. How can we expect any intelligent person to believe that?
If the Jews had come after the ravages of the Second World War -- starving refugees, weak, alone, frightened -- without divine intervention, they would not have been able to overcome the Arab armies that attacked them after the declaration of the State of Israel and during the wars after that. Their victory was proof that Allah was on their side. By denying it, we turn Muhammad into a liar (Allah forbid!) and say he was not a true prophet, and that the Qur'an's prediction of the return of the Jews was not the word of Allah.
Denial of the existence of the Temple of the Jews on the Temple Mount is the height of Muslim hypocrisy and a distortion of both Jewish and Muslim history. We forget that, according to our historians, when the Second Caliph, Omar bin al-Khatab, conquered Jerusalem, he and his advisor Caab al-Akhbar (a Jew who converted to Islam) both affirmed that the location of the Temple of the Jews had been on the Temple Mount, next to today's Al-Aqsa mosque.
When we Palestinians deny that the Jews are the descendants of the Children of Israel in order to deny Allah's promise to give them the blessed land, we turn ourselves into the descendants of the Canaanite and Jebusite who lived in the land of Israel at the time of Moses, may he rest in peace. He and Joshua bin Nun conquered the land and killed them, down to the last one. They were infidels whose deaths were ordered by Allah. Our attempt to claim them as our forefathers, and therefore as assets, is shamefully nothing but stupidity.
We know that some of those who live in our villages are Jews who converted to Islam after the Muslim conquests beginning in the 7th century, and most of us are the descendants of foreign workers who came to British Mandate of Palestine from the various Arab countries in the wake of the Zionist enterprise. By trying to trace our "ancestry" to the Canaanites, we lie to ourselves and demonstrate our silliness and self-deception to the world. And when we try to claim that Jesus was a Palestinian, we make ourselves an international laughing stock.
In that way we return to the days of the jahiliyya, the time before Islam, when we buried our female babies alive in the sand lest they become whores. Today we sacrifice both our sons and daughters on the altar of empty slogan -- lies such as "Al-Aqsa mosque is in danger," in the vain, blasphemous notion that omnipotent, omniscient Allah needs us to die as shaheeds [martyrs] for his sake. Muhammad's hadith says one drop of Muslim blood is more valuable than the Kaaba in Mecca, so the same must be true for the stones of Al-Aqsa, which is less holy to Islam than the Kaaba.
The attempt by Hamas and the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel to incite another intifada based on the nonsense that "Al-Aqsa mosque is in danger" has two objectives: one is to fire up a religious war of Muslim against Jew, like ISIS; the other is the Qatar-funded Muslim Brotherhood's desire to create public unrest that will lead to the overthrow of the Palestinian Authority.
The Islamists have also been stupid in their timing, creating an unnecessary and unreal crisis at a time when the entire Arab world is engaged in destroying itself, as Shi'ites kill Sunnis and Sunnis kill Shi'ites, creating millions upon millions of refugees to top off the hundreds of thousands of Arabs killed during the so-called Arab Spring. The people of the Middle East do not have the time to deal with the useless fabrications of Sheikh Ra'ed Salah, leader of the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel.
Mahmoud Abbas and the rest of the Palestinian Authority's upper echelons have been blind to Hamas's cunning plots to end Fatah's hold on the West Bank. What happened to the PA in Gaza when Hamas took over in 2006-2007 will happen again in the West Bank; Mahmoud Abbas and his crew will be thrown off the highest buildings in Ramallah or executed with a bullet to the back of the head.
If in fact Hamas does take over the West Bank, our lives will become nightmares because like the Gazans, we will have to obey the orders of the Hamas Islamic Emirate. Then the dream of a Palestinian state will evaporate forever -- because a terrorist Islamic emirate, a twin to the one in the Gaza Strip, will be universally unacceptable.
As for the Jews, once again we have played into their hands. They again destroy the houses of killers who are too stupid to understand anything beyond the incitement and hatred they absorb from the mosques, the Palestinian media and the social networks. By following ISIS, all they are doing with their knives is cutting the future Palestinian state to shreds. The time has come for us to realize that using knives (shibrie) against the Jews will not yield us even a sliver of land (shiber), and we have to change our strategy. We need to talk to the Israelis and get our Palestinian state by peaceful means. They will give it to us: they have offered to do so many times already -- otherwise we will not get it at all.
Bassam Tawil is a scholar based in the Middle East.