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My Response to Geert Wilders - Part 1
by Dr. Habib Siddiqui
2011-07-05 09:38:22
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In his website, Geert Wilders, the Dutch politician, posted an article – My message to Muslims, which deserve some response. Here below is my response to him.

Mr. Wilders,

In your message to Muslims you mentioned about your unpleasant experience visiting Egypt in 1982 as an 18-year old almost penniless student. Any wise person would have advised you not to undertake such a journey into a foreign land when you can’t speak the language of the people you visited and don’t have any local guide or acquaintance to help you, let alone being penniless. It was a stupid decision. And yet, as your first impression you were ‘overwhelmed by the kindness, friendliness and helpfulness of its people.’ Doesn’t it say a lot about the defining character of these warm-hearted people who in spite of their dire poverty and living under one of the worst despots of our time made you feel so welcome?

You were surprised to see how frightened people had felt when it was announced that the Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak was coming to visit Sharm el-Sheikh. Is it difficult to understand how this western puppet was perceived in his country? You wrote, “It was a weird experience; Mubarak is not considered the worst of the Islamic tyrants…” Mubarak was a tyrant who did not follow the dictates of the Qur’an. If he had, he should have known that tyranny is one of the worst sins in Islam. [See my books - Islamic Wisdom, and Wisdom of Mankind - for many citations on this subject.] And yet, like a brain-dead moron who has learning disabilities, you equated the attitude of the Egyptian people towards Mubarak with those of ”the 7th century Arabs … in the presence of Muhammad, who, as several verses describe, “cast terror into their hearts’ (suras 8:12, 8:60, 33:26, 59:12).” Bravo! What a discovery!

You may like to read my book – Muhammad: the Messenger of Allah – An Exposition of His Life for Curious Western Readers – (available in the Amazon.com) to judge how Muhammad’s (S) contemporary Arabs felt about him. The poem below from poet Hassan ibn Thabit (R), an erstwhile ardent enemy of Islam, is sufficient to belie your allegations.

By God, no woman has conceived and given birth
To one like the Apostle, the Prophet and guide of his people;
Nor has God created among his creatures
One more faithful to his sojourner or his promise
Than he who was the source of light,
Blessed in his deeds, just and upright.
(Sirat Rasulallah by Muhammad Ibn Ishaq)

As a diehard friend of Israel, you should know that one of the great Rabbis once advised a charlatan: “Don’t get too excited about the Talmud unless you are a believing Jew who leads a kosher life.”  Any student of the tafsir and tawil (interpretation) of the Qur’an would likewise tell you that the Qur’anic verses are not to be cherry picked to suit one’s whims. They have a Speaker, an audience, time, place and context.

The verse 8:12 was revealed in the context of the Battle of Badr when the pagan (Mushriq) Arabs from Makkah came to attack the nascent community of believers in the outskirts of Madinah. In the said verse, Allah inspires the Angels saying: “When thy Lord inspired the angels, (saying): I am with you. So make those who believe stand firm. I will throw fear into the hearts of those who disbelieve.”

The verse 8:60, cited by you, likewise is all about making necessary preparations to defend against the attack of enemies. If it had not been for the defense of the faith put up by those early Muslims, there would not have been any Muslim today. The verse 33:26 and the preceding ones are about the Battle of Khunduq when a section of Jews living in Madinah violated their treaty of peaceful coexistence with Muslims and committed treason by aiding the Arab Mushriqs. It reads: “And those of the People of the Book who aided them - Allah did take them down from their strongholds and cast terror into their hearts.” They were punished for their treason.

Your reference to verse 59:12 again shows your dismal ignorance. It says, “If they are expelled, never will they go out with them; and if they are attacked (in fight), they will never help them; and if they do help them, they will turn their backs; so they will receive no help.” Here Allah is talking about the hypocrites amongst the Muslims who aligned themselves with the enemies of Islam. If a fight broke out, these hypocrites true to their innate nature would even abandon their clients.

So, I fail to see the connection of those verses in relation to how Egyptian Muslims felt about their tyrant ruler – Mubarak, who behaved like the Pharaoh. They were terrorized by Mubarak, much like how the German Jews must have felt about the visit of Hitler and his Nazi henchmen to their towns.

During your visit to Cairo, you found the city dirty and its inhabitants poor compared to Israel. Your instincts told you that ‘it had something to do with the different cultures of Israel and Egypt.’ Comparing any Israeli city with a mega city like Cairo that is inhabited by more than ten million people is silly and naive. In spite of all the wealth that America enjoys, a visit to any major city, including my own one in Philadelphia, would show gaping holes of poverty, crime and filth. There are places you won’t like to walk into and then there are places you would rather avoid driving through even during the daytime. There are many homeless people here in the USA that sleep on the footpaths and who eat out of trash cans near restaurants and grocery stores. Never mind the high unemployment situation these days, even in the early 1980s while living in California I noticed such sad incidents first hand. If these be the reality inside the most prosperous nation on earth, do these failings speak about American culture or some other more obvious indicators? I am sure Holland is not immune from such problems either.

If you are thinking about the economic aid that Egypt receives from the USA, you ought to know that the annual aid is equivalent to a per capita share of a meager $2.60 (2009) in a country with a Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) of $5,400 (in 2008). That is less than 0.05 percent. In contrast, the per capita share that Israel received from the USA – governmental and non-governmental - is more than a hundred times. While ordinary Egyptians remained jobless and hungry, the puppet regime of Mubarak was selling natural gas to Israel at less than a fair market price, let alone charging too little for use of the Suez Canal. It was simply too convenient to have this brutal and anti-people dictator stay in power, a process that was to continue for nearly three decades, thanks to the material support provided by Israel and other western governments.  It does not take a genius to understand why ordinary Egyptians felt betrayed by the so-called bastions of democracy. Yes, there was that ‘conspiracy’ to keep Mubarak in power.

You mentioned that as a dirt poor traveler, you drank untreated water which caused diarrhea. You went to a hostel and rented a spot on the floor for two dollars a day. You complain about the miserable state of the hostel, but forget that at that paltry sum, you should have considered yourself lucky to have found a roof over your head. I doubt if you could rent any space in 1982 for that cheap price in Holland. You audaciously complain: “Once Egypt had been the most advanced civilization on earth. Why had it not progressed along with the rest of the world?”

One can only pity a foolish penniless traveler like you who goes to visit a foreign country and then complains about his miserable condition! Granted that Egypt has not ‘progressed’ much, but can you honestly say that under similar conditions a visitor to your native Holland would have received better service?

Whom are you kidding?


Part 1 , part 2 , part 3 

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Get it off your chest
 (comments policy)

Tim Bus2011-07-13 05:27:59
Dr. Habib Siddiqui, on Asian Tribune is blocking comments about his rambling diatribe, with its strange grammar and punctuation. But the worst aspect is the ad nauseam stream of ad hominem attacks.

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