On March 17th, after ten months of negotiations, the Fatah party won six minister seats; Hamas, twelve and seven went to independents and members of small, centrist parties.
"Fatah became infamous for diverting foreign aid into the private offshore accounts of its leaders, while Hamas built its reputation funding education and healthcare. More than its militant Islamic fundamentalism, success in providing social services helped Hamas beat Fatah in parliamentary elections in January 2006, a crucial step in becoming the dominant force in the territories.
"An incident in the Gaza Strip shows how Hamas rallies popular opinion by steering help directly to the impoverished Palestinian public -- but also how the fortunes of any one faction are often only marginally relevant to the average citizens who bear the brunt of the ongoing conflict in Gaza and the West Bank."http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2007/04/05/gaza/?source=newsletter
During the last days of 2005, this reporter attended Holy Land Trust's Celebrating Nonviolent Resistance Conference. One of the speakers was, Dr. Mohammed Abu-Nimer from the Salam Institute of Peace and Justice: http://www.salaminstitute.org stated:
“The first twelve years Mohammed spent in Mecca he practiced nonviolent resistance. He was persecuted but always prayed: ‘God forgive them, they do not know what they are doing.’ “Mohammed taught against the killing of innocents, the desecration of the environment and for the humane treatment and respect towards one’s enemies. Suicide bombings are not justified and those who try to justify it negate the early principals and teachings [which include]: nonviolence, the pursuit of justice, doing good, universality and human dignity, equality, that all life is sacred, be forgiving, be a peace maker, practice patience, and personal responsibility."As with Christianity the ideals and the reality are a million miles apart.
To explain the gap, Dr. Abu-Nimer reiterated, “We are quick to blame the external factors such as colonialism, war, humiliation, Zionism and economic dependency. But what we lack is looking internally for we Muslims love authority, bureaucracy, loyalty and our core government system is based on nepotism not ability. There is corruption, co-optation of religious leaders, the patriarchal structure and hierarchy, the authoritarian control system, and the tribal mentality.
“We are not raised in our culture to question authority and if you engage in nonviolence you must resist authority. Our first step is to challenge our own presumptions...We have 5,000 sayings attributed to Mohammed and 700 authentically traced. The politicalization of his teachings began the corruption of his teachings.
St. Paul expressed the same sentiment: “Do not judge the nonbeliever, but provoke one another, onto good works.”
Dr. Abu-Nimer continued, “Islam was revolutionary at its time but it went backwards. There is no lack of values the lack is in interpretation. As Reverend Ateek stated Christians need to reclaim the authentic message of Christ, so must Islam reclaim what Mohammed put down. It is a myth to believe that the conflict between Israel Palestine can be fixed by secular methods.”
Professor Mohammed Dajani 0f Al-Quds University held a meeting in Ramallah of the founders of a new moderate Islamic movement and party based on al-Wassatieh in Islam. Professor Dajani firmly believes that in the next three years by the time the next general elections will take place by the end of 2009, the new movement will be able to run in the elections and attract enough votes from Hamas and Fateh, to become the third largest bloc in the political life of the Palestinian people. Wassatieh is based on the Holy Koran, and on moderation by taking the middle road."-Hanna Siniora, Co-CEO of IPCRI, the Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information. www.ipcri.org
On this Good Friday, I find fellowship with cousins.
"Blessed are the Peacemakers: They shall be known as the children of God."-Jesus Christ, Matthew 5:9