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The Mask Slips in Gaza By: Hugh Fitzgerald
FrontPageMagazine.com | Wednesday, April 14, 2004

All the hard work, all the bribes to diplomats and members of the media, all the subventions to public relations firms, all the enrolling in the Jihad against Israel even of “Christian” Muslims among the “Palestinian” Arabs such as Hanan Ashrawi, Naim Ateek, and Archbishop Sabbah, may now come to naught. With the Palestinian Authority (PA) inviting Hamas into its government, and with the Christian population among the “Palestinian” Arabs now so small (it was once over 20%, and now hovers under 3%, for they are all fleeing the thoroughly Islamized PA), the true nature of the Palestinian nationalist movement has become clear to all. The mask that hid the Jihad has now slipped.


No Krazy Glue will keep it in place. It is clear that even under the assorted, transparently implausible suggestions, for example that of a “bi-national state” (of which the late unlamented Edward Said used to prate), Jews in Israel would inevitably be assigned their historic role as non-Muslim dhimmis – the same one that they endured for nearly 1300 years under Islam, and as those Christian communities that remain now endure: the Copts in Egypt, the Chaldeans in Iraq, and others. (The Maronites are a self-confident, self-contained exception—though the Taif Treaty, which forced Lebanon to declare itself an “Arab nation,” has done great damage to the Christian Lebanese, who  -- especially the Maronites -- correctly see themselves  as “users of Arabic, “Arabic speakers,” but not as Arabs.)


As non-Muslims, Jews under Islam lived lives that were extremely difficult. Whether it was the outright slave-status of rural Yemenite Jews (as documented in an essay by  R.S. Serjeant, himself a quasi-apologist for Islam, who described how, when a Jew owned by Arabs of Tribe A was killed by an Arab of Tribe B, then the members of Tribe A would retaliate by killing a Jew belong to Tribe B), the extreme poverty of Moroccan or Tripolitanian Jews, or even the relative prosperity, for a few decades under late-Ottoman, British, and early-Hashemite rule, of the Jews of Baghdad -- a prosperity-punctuated-by-pogrom (e.g. the Farhud, or Pogrom, of June 1-2, 1941) -- it amounts to the same thing. Humiliation, degradation, and insecurity for all non-Muslims.


The desire to ensure that all non-Muslims who are not killed, or who do not convert, suffer the same fate — as the shari’a dictates — is not limited to the Jews under Islam. Obstinate Infidels are now noticing that Al Qaeda is only the most prominent and mediagenic of the many groups intent on destroying Infidels if they oppose Muslim aims, including the world-wide spread of dar al-Islam: Laskar Jihad, Jaish-e-Toiba, Abu Sayyaf, Lashkar Jihad, Gemaaa Islamiyya, Jemaa Islamiah, Jaish-e-Mohammad, and so many others.


The difference between Hamas and the P.A. is like that between “extremist” and “moderate” Muslim spokesmen: the “extremists” tell the truth about the teachings of Islam, and have considerable, indeed overwhelming, textual authority, in Qur'an and hadith and the sira, or life of Muhammad, on their side. It is the “moderates,” so brightly and repeatedly invoked, and yet so ill-defined and under-analyzed and poorly understood, who have almost no textual authority on their side, and are, to the degree that they abjure Jihad and dhimmitude, incomplete or bad Muslims. Why do they remain silent? Out of embarrassment, filial piety, or something else — perhaps taqiyya or kitman, deliberate religiously-sanctioned deception.


The goals of the PA have always been the same as those of Hamas. It will be fascinating to see if those who dole out the American and European largesse to the PA will now be quite so willing to continue. By supporting the PA, Western Infidel taxpayers are now clearly supporting one front of the worldwide Jihad -- the one which has for decades been wearing its increasingly threadbare disguise of a nationalist “liberation” struggle — just enough of a disguise, apparently, to continue to satisfy the extremely modest demands of Eurabian donors.


Europeans seemingly incapable of recognizing the Jihad, of understanding Islam or the demographic threat to their own societies, may at last find the diseased sympathies evoked in them by that alliterative and meretricious phrase, the “plight of the Palestinian people” no longer quite so forthcoming. Hamas or Hezbollah or Al-Aksa Martyr's Brigade, Arafat or Shukairy, it scarcely matters. From Abu Sayyaf in the distant Moro Islands, to the preachers at the Finsbury Mosque, to the Lackawanna Five, in upstate New York, to Mike Hawash of Intel and Portland, Oregon, setting out to join the Jihad, so that he might help his fellow Muslims kill his fellow Americans, in Afghanistan — they are all in the same boat.


Alas, so are we.

Hugh Fitzgerald is a lecturer on the manipulation of language for political ends. 

Hugh Fitzgerald is a lecturer on the manipulation of language for political ends.

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