As my readers know I am what many religious would call a heathen, I am also an infidel, and, to some Christians I would be a heretic, there is (I am sure) a long list of other names which would also apply to me. I acknowledge the historic men and women of various religions and respect the stories of their piety and charity and how their teachings have made many contributions to humanity in God’s (and gods’) name(s) but I don’t worship the Divine through them. My relationship with God is direct, all-encompassing and loving, there is no damnation, there is no sin to atone for; there is only love and healing in my relationship with God. A personal ethos to leave the room lighter than it was when I came into it and yes, I view the entire world as the room I just mentioned. No, sacred places do not fall down when I enter them, and my being fills with a pure white light around my heart when I do (which I call ‘getting the passions’) and I, generally speaking, cry tears of gratitude for being so connected to the elemental. I am very much like the saint for whom I was named in my connection to God – just without being a Bride of Christ. Oh, and as some of what follows is ‘controversial’ least anyone accuse me of being anti-Semitic my father’s sister converted to marry so all of my first cousins are Jewish.
Today is the last day of Ramadan, and the three day festival of Eid al-Fitr begins. For all my Muslim friends – regardless of where you live:
May today be one of delight, and lightness. May each moment be filled with a special joy which you and your whole family can share and always treasure. May the year ahead be fruitful for you and your family and may your home always be blessed.
After 30 days of prayers and fasting (nothing to drink or eat from dawn until sunset – period) today should mark the beginning of a celebration of joy and of renewal, and in some parts of the world it still will be. This post is not about those places. Sorry. This is about Gaza, and increasingly the West Bank. This is about what greed, hatred and holding a faith contrary to your neighbours does to your normal religious celebrations – it turns them to mourning and funerals.
From the Qu’ran, [7:199], “Hold to forgiveness, command what is right; but turn away from the ignorant.”
Here’s my truth, as an outside observer to so much that is ugly in the Middle East right now, as a compassionate being, as a humanist and pantheist; forgiveness is what keeps us from killing the Divine’s beauty within each of us. And ignorance (and my readers will also know this, I have a very low threshold for stupid) is frankly unacceptable in our globally connected world. Don’t be rigid in your views based upon the tenets of your faith, your education (or lacking) or the pressure of your peers – use a search engine and find 10 vastly different responses to the point being made, read them – and then, make an informed decision. Do not hold a lack of knowledge as an excuse for spewing hatred and committing violence. And so, why should I quote the Qu’ran?; because the death toll of Israel’s excuse for its attacks on Gaza now stands at over 840 with over 5400 injured and frankly I am humbled at the level of forgiveness which the average Palestinian is able to offer their oppressors in the face of this siege of terror and destruction. Because Hamas is as guilty as Israel, and if Hezbollah gets involved as it is indicating it will then Nostradamus’ prophesies about World War III are about to be all too real and played out in real time on social media.
“The recompense for an injury is an injury equal thereto: but if a person forgets and makes reconciliation, his reward is due from Allah.” Qu’ran [62:40]
So forgiveness, and prayers for reconciliation are both necessary, and we, those in the West, need to get off our backsides and create a two state solution out of this dispute that should have been foreseen in 1946 as the planning for the establishment of Israel was being hashed out. One only need look at a map of Palestinian lands lost to Israel and the location of Gaza to understand the ‘why’ behind the Apartheid, and what this is all really about – that last bit of prime ocean front real estate. Throughout history it has always been about land and who possesses it. And that’s why when I read a piece written by Stephen Pizzo on Alternet I thought – he has absolutely gotten to the heart of the matter!
I have long maintained that in the absence of hope man will do anything to survive – including kill (others and themselves) – desperation drives this madness because all religions value life. We, the West, culpable for the bloodshed for reasons ranging from military aid to oil speculation, for standing by while an Apartheid state exists for Palestinians, for not being willing to say NO! to a population of people who once were oppressed and are now the oppressors, for CIA meddling, for profiteering of our businesses, we who are responsible for every single death stand by, safe in our homes, largely ignorant of the scope of the circumstances because our lives are good. They aren’t and, believe this – they won’t be. I read a fascinating piece this morning and have been mulling it over all day – if we think that there won’t be repercussions for ‘all of our sins’ we are sadly mistaken.
He is the One GOD; the Creator, the Initiator, the Designer. To Him belong the most beautiful names. Glorifying Him is everything in the heavens and the earth. He is the Almighty, Most Wise. Qu’ran [59:24]
It doesn’t matter what Prophet you might follow, the words about God above resonate with each one of us, creation formed of physics an element of the Divine is found in everything. At a time when (all) Muslims should be celebrating their holiest days, honouring the same exact God all monotheistic faiths believe in, mayhem instead of joy because some is not enough for Israel, or for Hamas. I pray that the wisdom of the Almighty can prevail before it is our end of days.
As a postscript, this dramatic shift in US foreign policy – this gives me hope.
As another postscript – Jon Snow of Britain’s Channel 4 has just returned from Gaza with this video editorial. Please watch and share, demand your government (wherever you live) have the United Nations intervene.
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