Saturday, October 17, 2009

RE: Wall Street Journal - Islam, Israel and the United States

Leslie Sacks has sent an editorial response to an article published in the Wall Street Journal by Sheik Ali Gomaa, Grand Mufti of Egypt.

A brief synopsis of Gomaa’s article runs something like this:

Gomaa gives the impression he is a moderate Muslim. He categorically calls radical Islamic promoters a violent few that do not represent Islam as a whole. He calls the attacks in America on 9/11 “the most egregious of their attacks”.

Gomaa goes on to mirror that Islam has been addressing a reform to engage the modern world for years.

Yet there is still a hint of Islamic Supremacism for calling Israel an occupier of land which is the propaganda the West has fallen for. The reality is ALL the land acquired by Israel after 1948 was the result of wars of aggression or preemptive self-defense. Not to mention most of that land was supposed to be a part of the original Palestinian Mandate that was usurped by the 1948 invading armies.

Well that is enough of my synopsis Gomaa’s WSJ article. Below is Leslie Sacks’ presentation to

JRH 10/17/09

RE: Wall Street Journal, Oct 7, 2009, Islam, Israel and the United States by Sheikh Ali Gomaa (Egypt's Grand Mufti)

By Leslie Sacks
Email sent: Fri 10/16/2009 1:50 PM

To the Editor:

By pointing to Islam's respect for law, peaceful co-existence and human rights, Dr. Gomaa elegantly answers the West's preoccupation with the question "Where are the [Islamic] moderates?" A number of questions loom, however. First and foremost: has this important statement been published widely in Arabic? I doubt it, and I wonder if the sheik's current status - and perhaps even his personal safety - explain why. If so, therein lies an essential problem: the West is hungry for accommodation, while the Arab world excoriates those who deviate from the fundamentalist interpretations of Islam that dominate the regions' religio-political landscape.

Furthermore, he reasonably seeks an end to the "occupation" of Palestine and the withdrawal of foreign forces from Iraq and Afghanistan. However, the sheik ignores the potentially tragic consequences of those propositions - namely, rule by the same radical fundamentalists he so eloquently opposes.

Imagine if a Muslim of Dr. Gomaa's stature came out boldly and spoke the following so-far-forbidden yet simple words: 'Israel has an irrevocable right to exist as a Jewish country in peace and safety, while Iraq and Afghanistan's successful independence requires the exclusion of radical elements like the Taliban, Al Qaeda and Iran from their political, legal, and military arenas.' Imagine further that the sheik declared all of this in Arabic. That would truly be a gift to rapprochement; that we could truly take to the bank.


Leslie Sacks
Los Angeles, CA

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