The Main Reason for the Present Middle East Conflict: ISLAM and not
by Jan Willem van der Hoeven, Director
International Christian Zionist Center
Because of the humanistic and mainly secular mindset of the West, also
of the major part of Israel’s population, the following will be difficult
to accept and digest, and that is: The chief reason for the Middle East
conflict is not so much a secular political one, but a religious Islamic
Because the West nor Israel, generally speaking, does not want to be
seen as being against another man’s religious beliefs there is a widespread
reluctance to face up to this problem. It is not done in our so-called
tolerant society to criticize the tenants of a whole religion which comprises
one billion adherents, and yet it is impossible to really solve the present
Middle East conflict without facing up to this overall problem.
This is what this essay is purportedly trying to do. It will be
in some ways difficult, but it is highly necessary. Because Islam
believes that it is the final revelation of Allah, superseding all previous
ones, it has a high built-in characteristic of intolerance.
From the main religions it is indeed the youngest and thus the latest
one and therefore it can easily claim without too much fear of contradiction
that it is the final and more superior revelation of God. This being
so, Islam has conveniently divided the whole world into two spheres:
‘Dar al-Harb’ and ‘Dar al-Islam.’ Dar al-Islam
being the house or region of peace that means all lands and peoples already
conquered by Islamic forces; and Dar el Harb being those lands and people
in the world that still need to be conquered by Islam which is therefore
the whole remaining world.
In The Dhimmi Bat Ye’or writes (page 45):
The jihad is a global conception that divides the peoples of the
world into two irreconcilable camps: that of the dar al-Harb, the “Territory
of War,” which covers those regions controlled by the infidels; and the
dar al-Islam, “the Territory of Islam,” the Muslim homeland where Islamic
law reigns. The jihad is the normal and permanent state of war between
the Muslims and the dar al-Harb, a war that can only end with the final
domination over unbelievers and the absolute supremacy of Islam throughout
Once the forces of Islam conquer a land or territory, it is to remain
under Islamic dominion forever (‘for generations’), and it is a mortal
affront to the supremacy of Islam when such territories would ever be lost
to the dominion of Islam and revert to previous - infidel - ownership as
was the case in Palestine. It was a Muslim controlled territory (under
the Muslim Turks and later the Muslim Arabs) and reverted by the decree
of the U.N. resolution back to its previous owners: the Jews.
This is how the Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement spells it
out in several passages:
“Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will
obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.” (The Martyr,
Imam Hassan el-Banna)
“The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine
is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Muslim generations until Judgement
Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered; it, or any
part of it, should not be given up. Neither a single Arab country
nor all Arab countries, neither any king or president, nor all the kings
and presidents, neither any organization nor all of them, be they Palestinian
or Arab, possess the right to do that. Palestine is an Islamic Waqf
land consecrated for Muslim generations until Judgement Day. This
being so, who could claim to have the right to represent Muslim generations
till Judgement Day?
This is the law governing the land of Palestine in the Islamic
Sharia (law) and the same goes for any land the Muslims have conquered
by force, because during the times of (Islamic) conquests, the Muslims
consecrated these lands to Muslim generations till the Day of Judgement.”
(The Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement, 18 August 1988, Article
The Arab League Secretary General Azzam Pasha, said on 1 May 1948
thus even before the Jewish State was born:
If the Zionists dare establish a state in Falastin, the massacre
which will ensue here will dwarf anything which Genghis Khan and Hitler
Therefore, the acceptance of Jihad or ‘holy war’ comes easy to
Islam. From its inception Islam has been a warring and very bloody,
subjugating religion, which has not blushed at the use of war and terror
but glorified it as the absolute will of Allah.
This then is the main problem. As long as Islam remains intolerant
of really accepting any other group of people on an equal basis - rather
than as dhimmies to be subjugated by Islam - there can never be a real
peace with an Islamic power. Only a ‘submission’ (which is what Islam
means) to its stated superiority and dictates. This awaits the whole
world including the secular, often irreligious, West.
This is why the Muslim children chant, especially during the Middle
East Wars: “We shall fight on Saturday and then on Sunday”
In other words, first the Jews and then the Christians. Make no mistake
about this. When Israel will be swallowed up by the sea of Jihad, soon
to be armed by weapons of mass destruction acquired by Muslim Iran and
Muslim Iraq and others, the Muslims will believe that Allah has brought
them to this point that they can finally reoccupy their Muslim Palestine
and drive the Jews, the infidels as they would call them - into the sea
as they have said and screamed many times in the name of their Allah.
We only need to look at the genocide by Muslims of over a million Christians
in Southern Sudan, the massacres of Christians in Indonesia by Muslims
and elsewhere not to mention the genocide of Armenian Christians in the
past by Muslim Turks - to know that this chant is no empty threat.
But when Israel is no more their hands will be free to turn yet again
to the West as they did in the sixth and seventh centuries when they were
finally stopped in their Islamic invasion at Tours and Poitiers in the
middle of France having conquered all areas of Europe from Istanbul to
Vienna and from Morocco to the middle of France, including Spain.
This time after Israel has been dealt with in true Islamic fashion they
will try again.
Through their oil, wealth and the enormous spread of their religion
through thousands of Mosques and millions of Muslim adherence all over
the world, Islamic leaders believe the day has come to wipe out the humiliation
of that defeat in Europe by the armies of Charles Martel and now re-conquer
Europe and all the West for Allah thus adding also these territories Europe
to become ‘Dar al-Islam’: part of the house and possession of Islam.
This however, is not seen or understood by the vast majority of the
Western leaders, nor in that sense by most of the leaders of Israel.
Therefore the West with all its diplomacy and myriads of trips to help
find a solution to the Middle East conflict were unable to do so because
of an unwillingness to face up to this central reason for the conflict.
This essay tries to put the finger on this overall problem without which
no solution will be found to this Middle East conflict.
Because of this its very nature from the beginning Mohammedans have
believe that is their holy duty - to subject the whole world - even be
it by force of Jihad - to the teaching of Islam.
The word ‘Islam’ as has already been noted, expressed this very
connotation: to submit. Therefore, there is little restraint if any
with the fanatic adherents to this faith about using force, terrorism,
war and cunning to attain this goal. Actually all of this is sanctified
and rewarded by Allah.
As John Laffin writes in his book, The Arab Mind:
The fundamentalism and fanaticism of the Islamic revolution have
affected Arab thinking and especially that of Shi’a Arabs … as well as
that of those Palestinians who are members or supporters of the PLO.
They have embraced terrorism and violence as normal expressions of political
opinion. (Page 169)
Thus if the Jews or Israelis finally see one of their members snap and
kill Muslims in an exasperation of fury - as Dr. Baruch Goldstein did in
the Mosque at Hebron - practically the whole Israeli society blushes for
three days, incrementing themselves for having allowed such an atrocious
deed, apologising to the whole world.
There is hardly any such blush or incrimination on the Muslim side only
maybe a faint apology mainly for political purposes towards the West that
they, the Muslims, are against all acts of violence. But none of
the self-incrimination seen at the Israeli and Western side for similar
General Ariel Sharon, now Prime Minster, was not directly involved in
the massacre of Muslim Arabs in Shatilla and Sabra in Lebanon by Phalangists.
Nevertheless, Israel took to the streets in massive self incriminating
demonstrations not against the Phalangists, the perpetrators of this cruel
deed, but against their own leaders for not having foreseen it and thus
allowing it to happen.
There is no such self-criticism even for acts and massacres much worse
on the Muslim side. There the worst kind of terrorists are praised
- not condemned - as being true and courageous martyrs for Allah who will
be rewarded in heaven by beautiful damsels and wine.
This then is the difference we are dealing with and unless we are willing
to confront it head on it will continue to dictate the gruesome realities
of wars and violence still to come all in the name of Allah and Islam.
Take for instance the gruesome lynching and murder by Muslim Arabs in
Ramallah seen on television sets worldwide. Was there any credible
outcry of disgust by Arab or Muslim leaders at the sight of this heinous
crime? No. For the built-in provision for violence and degradation
of the non-Muslims or infidels in such a part of the philosophy and sadly
practice of Islam that unless condemned in the strongest ways possible
by those still courageous enough in the West it will not go away or cause
ad true reversal of such practices in the Middle East.
Justice and Righteousness are indivisible. It counts for all.
Listen to the rather courageous words of Zakariya Muhammad, a Palestinian
"I cannot understand the attitude of the Palestinian intellectuals
toward the abominable murder of the two [Israeli] captive soldiers in Ramallah....
When I see a Palestinian intellectual sinking his teeth into the flesh
of the Israeli intellectuals in his newspaper column without saying
even one word of truth against the murders committed on our side -
I sink into depression. Justice is one and cannot be divided. You cannot
use the part that serves you and cast off the other part, because in so
doing you destroy the very essence of justice, which is supposed to be
the intellectual’s principle weapon."
So what can we do if this all is such an integral part of the tenants
of the Muslim faith if we want to reverse it and so have a chance to bring
real peace to this trouble Middle East?
If it is true that the root problem of the Middle East conflict - or
the Arab-Israeli conflict - to be found in the tenants of Islam then we
have to address these tenants as the main reasons. Just as we in
Europe would have had to address the tenants of Nazi ideology as being
the main reasons and culprits for the terrible massacres and destruction
all over Europe. We cannot say - as some indeed have done -
that because people believe a certain ideology or even religion therefore
we have to accept and respect this. This is probably the gravest
error of our time. All in the name of this so-called tolerance the
wicked or fanatics then triumph.
Now bringing it right up to the point because of which politicians so
far failed to resolve this Israeli-Arab conflict - the burdensome stone
or problem of Jerusalem ‘claimed’ by both religious Islam and Judaism as
their ‘holy’ city and property. Islam hardly even recognizes any
sanctity of this city or Temple Mount in relation to Judaism whereas the
Jews bend over backwards to make room for the sensitivities and wishes
of the Muslims, by allowing them to conduct their religious affairs on
Judaism’s most holy hill.
How would we go about solving - this seemingly insolvable problem -
of Jerusalem? It is like the two mothers both claiming before King
Solomon to be the true owners of the disputed baby. But one was lying.
One of them was usurping her rights without any basis for she had stolen
the baby - replacing it with her own dead baby. And that is exactly
the story of Islam - they are the great usurpers - building their mosques
preferably on sites formerly belonging to other faiths and then
claiming it henceforth as belonging exclusively to themselves.
This needs to be addressed as a lie and falsification of history - if we
ever want to come to a righteous, true and just solution. One of
the mothers was lying before the wise Solomon - it was not her baby.
Until this very day we see this endeavor to rewrite and alter history
is perpetrated: MK Abdul Malik Dahamshe of the Democratic Arab Party stated
the following on 24 March 1997:
That the Western Wall is holy to the Muslims is not new.
We think, and also knowledgeable Israeli sources think, that the Western
all is not associated with the remains of the Jewish Temple. When
the Temple was destroyed not a single stone remained in place. The
Western Wall is part of the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex. When Muhammad
took his horse to Jerusalem - and it was a special horse - he tied it to
the Western Wall before he ascended into heaven. Also, Jewish sources
say that there is nothing connecting the Jews to the Western Wall.
Jerusalem is not, as is often held, the city of the three great monotheistic
faiths. At the most it is the city of origin of two faiths:
Judaism and Christianity.
Islam did not originate in Jerusalem, it originated in Mecca and Medina
on the Saudi Arabian Peninsula. Not once is Jerusalem mentioned in
the Koran, whereas the Bible mentions Jerusalem over 600 times. Therefore,
Jerusalem is not in the same sense important to Islam, as it is holy to
Judaism and Christianity.
The reason that Islam built the stunning golden Dome of the Rock on
the Jewish Temple mount was to express its repudiation of Jewish or Christian
claims of sanctity, thus usurping the right to call Jerusalem 'el-Quds'
- the holy city for Islam because Islam conquered it.
The interpretation of the Muslim legend that says that Mohammed on his
nocturnal journey through Sinai, Bethlehem and Hebron arrived at the place
of ‘the Farther Mosque” when there was as yet no mosque on the Temple Mount
- the time of that dream - was at a later date claimed by Muslims to have
been the Mosque on the Temple Mount. Therefore today the Al-Aqsa
Mosque carries that name: “The Farther mosque.”
Here is how Eliyahu Tal describes this Muslim falsification of history:
Featured prominently in today’s headlines, Al-Aqsa, at the time
of Mohammed, was according to some Orientalists, an obscure mosque located
in Arabia distanced from the Ka’aba the most venerated shrine in Mecca.
It was a ‘stopover’ in the Prophet’s nocturnal flight to Heaven as recounted
in the Koran: “Glory be to him who transported his servant by night to
Heaven from the Sacred Mosque to the Farther One.” Al-Aqsa, in Arabic,
means the farther, the extreme one
(Ch. 17, Verse 1).
Jerusalem, of course, is not mentioned at all, because at the time it was
still under Byzantine rule.
The Prophet, who died in CE 632 (six years before the city surrendered
to the Muslims) could never have set foot in Jerusalem. The Arabic
name of Jerusalem Al-Quds (The Holy One) is derived from “Beit-el-Muqadas”
(e.g. ‘Beit H’amikdash’), the Hebrew name for the Temple mount. The
sanctity of Jerusalem was not enshrined in Islam at its inception, but
was introduced into it after the death of Mohammed.
Now if it is true as is here maintained that Islam’s so called ‘holy
rights’ to ownership of the Temple Mount and the Old City of Jerusalem:
‘Al-Quds,’ are mainly usurped rights - having replaced and driven out after
their Islamic conquest the claims and sensitivities of other religions
then they have not a just claim to this city in the way the Jews may have.
This is how I once expressed it in an article:
Therefore how would the nations of the world react if the people of Israel
would have invaded and conquered Saudi Arabia had built their most beautiful
synagogue over the Ka’aba stone claiming henceforth sole and exclusive
ownership over Mecca and the Muslim’s most sacred shrine, demanding before
the entire world what from henceforth is only a Jewish sacred place?
The entire world would rebel.
It is unbelievable how quickly the criticism has come, both from inside
as well as outside of Israel, against Ariel Sharon, as if he is the one
responsible for the wanton destruction and violence that has erupted all
over the land of Israel, just because he as opposition leader wanted to
visit the most holy place of Judaism on one of the high holy days of the
How would British people react if their Buckingham Palace or the St.
Paul’s Cathedral had been taken over by invading Muslims who by building
four Mosques around these places - as the Muslims have done on Israel’s
most holy and important place - would henceforth claim Buckingham Palace
as their sole property being unwilling to even allow the British to visit
their own historical royal residential site or bar them from even praying
at St. Paul’s Cathedral?
Would there not be an outcry in Britain especially when on a British
high holiday a leader of the Conservative opposition party would finally
muster enough courage to visit one of these sites at a moment that a present
Chamberlain-like British government would be willing to forfeit sovereignty
over these two historic British places in order to placate the increasingly
violent and dangerous Muslim population in England.
Would also then the BBC scold the British Conservative leader for even
daring to want to visit Buckingham Palace or St. Paul’s, as they did Sharon.
This is exactly what the Muslims have done. Should this be rewarded
as has been tried in Camp David and other venues of negotiations by pressurizing
the Jewish people to give up their unique historic and divine right to
Jerusalem and the biblical land of Israel for peace sake - a peace which
according to the prophet Mohammed’s example can be broken at will as soon
as it would suit the Muslim powers?
After having signed the D.O.P. agreement in Oslo, Norway with Israeli
leaders, Arafat said to an exclusive Muslim audience in a mosque in Johannesburg,
South Africa, that he viewed this agreement he made as ‘a despicable
truce’ which he said he would be able to break as soon as it suited
him - just as the prophet Mohammed broke his truce with the Kuraish Tribe
in Saudi Arabia centuries ago.
So if this is true - and it is - what kind of truce or peace is Israel
or the West expected to make with those who, even after the signing of
such a peace agreement, can break it at will and then obliterate their
opponent all in the name and for the sake of Islam and Allah?
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Willem van der Hoeven,
Director International Christian Zionist
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