This five-lesson course on propaganda is based on Sheikh Dr Yasir Qadhi's "Five Questions" that render the State of Israel "illegitimate".
The aim of this course is to help lay Muslims see how their "scholars" and sheikhs manipulate them and keep them ignorant. To be a proud Muslim, it is necessary to be ignorant. This works, if the Muslim only ever interacts with Muslims. In the modern world, ignorance is a distinct handicap. But the lay Muslim's ignorance is the only way the "scholars" can maintain their social power over ordinary Muslims. So they keep Muslims ignorant despite Muslims now having access to alternative information to that which their sheikhs tell them to memorise. It is for the Muslims to recognise how they have been played, and to say, enough!
In the course so far:
Thank you very much for sticking with me. In Part 3, I asked you to think about or discuss with another Muslim, the question: Yasir Qadhi is lying to you for the same reason that the Arab rulers and Arab armies lied to the Arabs in Israel in 1948. What do you say to that?
Perhaps you have come to a different conclusion than me. That would be interesting. It is also possible that you found the question bizarre. There is no connection between you listening to Yasir Qadhi, and Arab armies telling Palestinian Arabs to leave their homes. If you spent some time just trying to make sense of it, then that's good too. Here's what I was getting at:
Yasir Qadhi knows very well that the video of the 1948 interviews is easily accessible, yet he brazenly tells you the exact opposite without the slightest fear of contradiction. The Arab armies knew that Palestinian militias, as well as the Arab Liberation Army (Arab Salvation Army) had been losing badly against the Haganah, the backbone of what was to become the IDF, and that, since the Holocaust and role of the Mufti of Jerusalem in it, had rapidly become an irrepressible fighting force. The Arab Muslim population knew this, too, since these were their jihad armies, or at least, that is how they were seen. The Arab armies would each have their hands full just wrenching a piece of Palestine from the Jewish militias and holding it for themselves, the last thing they needed was for Palestinian Arabs to get wind of their plans and turn on them instead of the Jews! Yet they managed to get the Palestinian Arabs to leave.
What these two successes in lying, that of Yasir Qadhi to you, and that of the Arab armies to the Palestinian Arabs, have in common is that both victims wanted to be lied to. Both you now and the Palestinian Muslims then hold the unshakeable belief that the Muslims are entitled to win and therefore will win. How that certain victory is to come about, Allah has already ordained and insha-Allah. In other words, how it is to come about is irrelevant, even blasphemous; Allah knows. Remember those Christians at Hattin? And if you lose, well, the will of Allah will have come to pass, solid proof of Allahu-akbar. Muslims can celebrate victory!
The reason leaders lie to Muslims without fear of contradiction, is that they and you operate in the same universe, the Muslim universe, where cause and effect are, well, a bit more complicated than in a rational universe. In both cases it was leaders lying to Muslims knowing that those Muslims wanted those lies to be true, but if they turned out not to be true, then they confirm a bigger lie to be true — the will of Allah prevails — leaving everyone happy. Please do not complain when rational people take you for fools. They do not want to, but you leave them very little choice.
So, onto Yasir Qadhi's next question:
Yasir Qadhi's fourth question:
What gave the Zionist apartheid regime the right to launch yet another attack, yet another war, the 1967 war, known as the Six-Day War ...in which their greed knew no bounds, in which they conquered the Gaza Strip, and they took over the entire West Bank, and they invaded Jerusalem, and they marched on the Aqsa complex with their weapons, with their boots, with their machine guns, they killed people in the masjid, and they took over, physically?
Lies, half-truths and cynical interpretations (underlined): ...Up until '67, Masjid al-Aqsa was not under the control of the Zionist entity. It was independent, as the United Nations had initially asked for. In 1967, in the Six-Day War, the apartheid regime invaded simultaneously. This was again a meticulous plan. Their airforce, their military and their IDF simultaneously attacking multiple fronts. And they conquered the Sinaï Peninsula. They took over what is now the Gaza Strip and they took the entire West Bank ...an entire region with many key cities: Ramallah, Nablus, Jericho, Bethlehem, Hebron, ...These are historic cities; these are Palestinian cities. And in 1967 still, there was some independence of that entire region. But Zionism knows no bounds when it comes to greed. And they invaded, and they took over and acquired and now they control who comes in and out. They control the demographics and they control the citizenship of those regions, along with Gaza and along with East Jerusalem, the Muslim quarters of Jerusalem. They took over that. Just grab, just invade, just take. That is why history is so important for us to learn. Anybody who has an open mind will see the plight of the Palestinians. Anybody who understands what is justice, will side with that of the Palestinians. You cannot side with Zionism if you know even the basic understanding of history of that region. So in 1967, another nakba, the second nakba. In 1967, another large group of Palestinians, perhaps around another 600,000, were expelled in the second nakba. From these two nakbas, 1948 and 1967, Palestinians spread around the globe. We currently have roughly seven million Palestinians around the globe in the diaspora, roughly seven million people who cannot go back to the land of their ancestors because they were forcibly expelled. Across the globe, why? Because they don't have a land of their own. They were forcibly expelled. The don't have a place they can call home. They were forced to flee.
The trap you're walking into
That is why history is so important for us to learn. Anybody who has an open mind will see the plight of the Palestinians. Anybody who understands what is justice (sic), will side with that of the Palestinians. You cannot side with Zionism if you know even the basic understanding of history of that region.
Sheikh Dr Yasir Qadhi at his best:
- "History is so important for us to learn." — Yasir Qadhi neither expects, nor wants, you to learn anything. He needs you to memorise and regurgitate. He is telling you how it is. Your role is to memorise, and you will do exactly that because memorising what someone in authority says is what you think learning is.
- "Anybody who has an open mind." — An open mind does not memorise and regurgitate. Yasir Qadhi does not want you to have an open mind. Those with open minds will take what someone says as only the starting point. There is then examining what's been said in the context what else has been said, both by the same person and by others, and the wider context. Someone with an open mind then throws everything together and sees how they interrelate. What rises to the surface; what sinks to the bottom. What coheres; what falls apart. What are truths, half-truths, cynical interpretations and outright lies. Then they ask: why did this person tell me this? Then the person with an open mind has a basis for accepting, accepting with conditions, or rejecting. Yasir Qadhi isn't even asking you to accept. He is telling you to memorise, that means without the slightest bit of critical judgement on your part at all. A photocopy machine engages with what it photocopies exactly to the same extent as Yasir Qadhi expects you to engage with what he tells you to memorise. Every sheikh expects this.
- "Anybody who has an open mind will see the plight of the Palestinians." — If the Palestinians have any plight at all, an open mind will certainly see it. That is what open minds do. But this is a trap. This assertion is not about the open mind, but about which plight you are meant to see. The open mind, having gone through the process described in 2 (above), can come to see any number of plights. Yasir Qadhi must make sure to immediately close this open mind down...
- "Anybody who understands what is justice," — Now Yasir Qadhi shifts you away from the open mind and its enquiries, and sidetracks you onto morality backed by the pressure of numbers (everybody knows), in other words, the threat of isolation. "What is justice," is no longer a matter for the open mind, but is self-evident, rendered so by mass conviction from which dissent, for most people, is extremely difficult. He is taking advantage of your vulnerability.
- "Side with that of the Palestinians." — Ah, so now the open mind is abandoned. It has become a matter of whose side are you on, and if you subscribe to mass opinion, which you must, then there is only one side to pick: "that of the Palestinians". And now for the boot:
- "You cannot side with Zionism," — Yasir Qadhi tells you, firstly, that this is a matter of picking sides; secondly, of which there are only two; that these sides are 'the Palestinians' versus 'the Zionists', and finally, that you have no choice but to side with the Palestinians.
- "If you know even the basic understanding of history," — Having set you up with "history", "learning" and "open mind", in the first two sentences, in the third sentence he tells you to forget about all that stuff, and to do what everybody else does. In the final sentence of the paragraph he spells out for you exactly what to do, but then — this is where his propaganda skills come in — in that same final sentence, he ties the whole thing back "understanding" and "history". And if you are a good Muslim, then you will not have noticed that you have just been played. Its what you sheikhs and your "scholars" have always done.
If the hadith were written today, then we could expect to read something like this:
Narrated Mustafa Bargouti (radi-Allahu-blah-blah): 'Narrated Jimmy Carter, the king of a great nation, "I travelled east to Masjid Al-Aqsa. There I beheld with my own eyes a wall so mighty that I bethought myself I was looking upon the wall behind which dwell Ya'jooj and Ma'jooj, and that I had arrived at the place where the sun sets in a muddy spring. But when I enquired of the people there, 'What is this wall?' they replied unto me, 'We have asked this question of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) and the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, "This is the apartheid wall."' I learned in that moment that Israel is an apartheid state'." Sahih Qadhi 1442.
Narrated Mahmoud Abbas (radi-Allahu-blah-blah): "Narrated Nelson Mandela, a great sultan of the black people, 'I travelled north to Masjid Al-Aqsa. There I saw with my own eyes many disturbing things. My heart tells me that talk of peace remains hollow if Israel continues to occupy Arab lands. Yet I understand completely why Israel occupies these lands. There was a war. But if there is going to be peace, there must be complete withdrawal from all of these areas. Yet, I cannot conceive of Israel withdrawing if Arab states do not recognise Israel within secure borders. In the meantime, Israel must avoid becoming an apartheid state'." Lurking in the shadow of the Western Wall, I noticed was the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him). I asked the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), "Oh Messenger of Allah, what is the meaning of this strange speech?" and the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, 'That man is possessed by a djinn and Israel is an apartheid state." Sahih Qadhi 786.
Narrated Hanan Ashrawi (radi-Allahu-blah-blaha), "Narrated Desmond Tutu, the caliph of the black Nasara, 'I travelled north to Masjid Al-Aqsa. There I saw with my own eyes a wall and fences of sharp metal thread and people living on small pockets of land and bethought myself I was looking upon my land at the end of Africa. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), who was lurking in the shadows of the Western Wall muttering, "A buraq, a buraq; my ummah for a buraq," was startled when I interrupted his monologue. Yet the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), immediately saw that I bore something on my heart. When the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) enquired as to what I bore on my heart, I said, "I am reminded of apartheid South Africa." Thereupon the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, "Israel is an apartheid state".' Sahih Qadhi 1001.
What the Palestinians are doing to themselves is much worse than apartheid ever did to blacks. Under apartheid, we only started losing respect for ourselves from the mid-1970s with the school boycotts; only from the mid-1980s did our self-destruction reach Palestinian levels of depravity, with gangs of youths terrorising the poorest, most downtrodden people into further poverty and misery. People who needed to work their fingers to the bone every day to feed their children and keep them in school, were hounded off buses and out of taxis for daring to go to work when a general strike or a boycott had been called. Anyone accused of not supporting the struggle, the frenzied mob burnt alive right there in the street in a particularly gruesome form of murder called a "necklace"—a tyre doused in petrol slipped over the victim's body and set alight—a form of execution that brought Winnie Mandela to notoriety and downfall: "With our boxes of matches and our necklaces, we shall liberate this country."
If this sounds familiar, it's because it should. "With our souls and with our blood we will free you, Palestine!" Depravity, brutality and inhumanity; that's how, stripped of propaganda, I and other critical thinkers see the Palestinian contempt for life, for themselves and for their own children. So when you regurgitate the "Israel is an apartheid state" mantra, we might ask you to comment on two things: firstly, this picture:
and, secondly, on the following words (it does not matter who spoke them):
We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children. We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children. We will only have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us.
The point about apartheid is not what they did to us, that is too easy, but what we did to ourselves. Evil as apartheid was, the apartheid regime did not burn people alive in the street. We did that to ourselves. The snapshot verdict condemning Israel for apartheid by President Jimmy Carter is little more than self-righteous moral indignation void of substance, while Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela describing or hinting at Israel as something akin to apartheid is a disgrace. They, of all people, ought to have been forever afraid of pre-ordained judgements. It was at a 1986 political rally that Winnie Mandela issued her barbaric manifesto, "With our boxes of matches and our necklaces, we shall liberate this country." Apartheid had made Winnie Mandela into a monster. We study history to lay bare its inner workings and to better understand ourselves.
"Israel is an apartheid state," punctuates every second sentence of Mustafa Bargouti's diatribes. The South African apartheid regime did not need intifadas to build thirty-foot walls topped with barbed wire around black South Africans. It did that anyway, right from the word go, because South Africa was an apartheid state. It took two intifadas before Israel built thirty-foot walls topped with barbed wire around Palestinians. That is because Israel is not an apartheid state.
If Israel were an apartheid state, then racist blacks got a really raw deal in South Africa; they should have had several glorious decades of murdering whites, but this did not happen. If Israel were an apartheid state, then blacks would have sat in the same Parliament as whites, and even joined coalitions with white parties to form governments. If Israel were an apartheid state, then South Africa would have had racially-mixed cities. If Israel were an apartheid state, then South Africa's indigenous blacks would have been South African citizens. If Israel were an apartheid state, then no South African detainees would have slipped to the deaths on soap in the shower, or jumped to their deaths from ninth-floor windows, or died falling down stairs. Finally, if Israel were an apartheid state, then the South African government would have mounted several, extremely daring and expensive operations to airlift whole populations of threatened blacks from distant African countries and brought them to South Africa to safety and a new life. It is shocking that men such as Desmond Tutu, who headed the ground-breaking Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and Nelson Mandela, who had instigated it, could have allowed themselves the flippancy of such remarks about Israel, even if only tangentially.
The Palestinians, however, have all along been conceiving children with the express aim of having those children blow themselves up killing Jews — creating life to achieve death, a key element in their manifesto, jihad. Monstrously deformed Winnie Mandela, coming along in the dying days of apartheid with her matches and necklaces, had nothing on the Palestinians, who hate Jews more than they love their own children. Apartheid did not do this to them; Islam did, and the Jews had nothing to do with it. Their air force aborts critical missions for fear of harming one child who is not their own. Both Winnie Mandela and the Nazis burnt other people's children. Palestinians rejoice when theirs blow themselves up. To call Israel an apartheid state is to be infected by the sick soul of the Palestinians.
Dear Muslim, you might object that I am trying to trick you with lies and big words, an objection I hear often enough. Never take my word for it. I will not treat you as your sheikh does. Always go back and check everything I say for yourself. Feel free to challenge me. This website has a Contact page. When I invite you to challenge me, this is very different to Yasir Qadhi or any sheikh inviting you to ask questions.
In the khutbah or talk, the accepted premise (and you also accept that premise) is that the sheikh has all the answers and you have the questions. When you ask a question, it is understood that you want the sheikh to explain his knowledge to you, so you can memorise it better, not that you engage in a discussion with him. Tell me that I, a kafir, a murtadd, a mulhid, do not have more respect for you than your sheikh does. Your shuyookh and your "scholars" are only interested in you as a Muslim, which is why you are treated so appallingly; I am interested in you as a human being. Such interest you will never get from another Muslim. Tragically, you too, are only interested in yourself as a Muslim.
This is where you become a victim of your own propaganda. You want to come away from the khutbah or talk feeling good about being a Muslim. If there is anything the sheikh said that does not sit right with you, or something that's bothering you that he did not address, then you might ask a question. But – and here I'm pointing my finger directly at you — you do not ask because you want to know; you ask because you want the sheikh to make you feel better about being a Muslim. You want to feel it's ok to be a Muslim, and not feel constantly bugged by it. Maybe feeling good about being a Muslim is too much to hope for these days. It's already too late for that; the image of Muslims is shot. Muslims did that, not "Islamophobes," Muslims.
What about that plight of those Palestinians, then? When you first heard Yasir Qadhi mention this, what plight came to mind, exactly? Did you think of the Palestinian leadership forever fighting amongst themselves, with their civil war ready to resume at any minute, and the Palestinians caught in the middle? Or did you think of the Palestinian leadership becoming millionaires and billionaires on the embezzled donations intended for the struggling Palestinian people? Perhaps you thought of the paid-for hospital that Hamas refused to build and of the PA refusing to issue permits for sick Palestinians to travel to Israel for treatment? Maybe you thought of the rubbish and squalor in which Palestinian children have to play. Is it that the town councils don't care to clean it up, or is it that the residents don't care that their town is filthy? It could be that you think about the levels of unemployment, the lack of investment and the $50 billion that somehow never materialised. Perhaps you were wondering how many generations more of Palestinian children will spend their summers in camps learning to hate and to kill Jews, and about how this deformation of children must traumatise their mothers. Maybe for you the plight of the Palestinians comes down to the pointlessness of endless nakba demonstrations, suicide bombings, rockets, refusal to learn meaningful skills, rejection of Covid-19 vaccines because they landed at an airport not to your liking, or because you only had a month left to inject patients before a vaccine batch expired, all of this while Christian Arabs and Druze Arabs are getting on just fine with being Israelis. Or perhaps you think that the plight of the Palestinians is about Zionist soldiers mowing down Palestinian children all over "the region". Maybe you thought of the Arab League instructing all Arab countries to refuse citizenship to Palestinian refugees on their territory, and the incredible hardships they suffer in the refugee camps where the Arab governments keep them trapped and deny them both services and opportunities, generation after generation. Whatever the plight of the Palestinians might be, their Arab brethren seem to have run out of patience with them.
Seven Muslim countries, six Arab and one non-Arab, have normalised relations with Israel, the latest four Arab countries with the blessings Saudi Arabia, which is gearing up to do the same, as is other Arab countries. The bad blood between Saudis and Palestinians is congealing into a single clot at Al-Aqsa. The writing is on the wall for the Palestinians, whether you or Yasir Qadhi or any other Muslim likes it or not. Saudi Arabia has had enough of the Palestinians and is telling them, "Read!" On the Al-Aqsa wall it says: "CANCELLED". The Palestinians rage and fume, "We will not read!" Delegitimising Al-Aqsa delegitimises the Palestinians. Sheikh Yasir Qadhi deems such knowledge not suitable for you.
In my opinion, de-legitimising Al-Aqsa is a prelude to the opening of a Saudi embassy in Jerusalem, the paramount signal that Israel is permanent, with Jerusalem its eternal capital, and that any dreams of Palestinian statehood are just that: dreams. If Israel should cease to exist, it will not be the doing of the Palestinians.
What is left for the Palestinians and the supporters of their cause? —rage; anger and impotence. Rage is where Yasir Qadhi needs to get you to. You are Muslim and you feel bad about "the plight of the Palestinians". Yasir Qadhi says, "Anybody who has an open mind will see the plight of the Palestinians. Anybody who understands what is justice, will side with that of the Palestinians." You are not alone in feeling for the Palestinians. Many around the world do. All that is needed is for Qadhi to turn that solidarity into anger, then to channel that anger and stoke it into rage against Israel. To accomplish this, he pulls out all the stops: "Palestinians around the globe"; "people who cannot go back to the land of their ancestors"; "they were forcibly expelled"; "across the globe, why?"; "they don't have a land of their own"; "They were forcibly expelled"; "The don't have a place they can call home"; "They were forced to flee," etc. This is not just aimed at getting you on the side of the Palestinians against Zionism — which you already are — it is a desperate bid crafted to stoke you to rage for a cause that is already lost. You are being used, yet again.
Of course, you are entitled to challenge me – you will not challenge your sheikh, 'a-uthubilla! Yasir Qadhi tells you that you must side with the Palestinians against the Zionists. Perhaps you understand Israeli Prime Minister Gold Meir when she says, "We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children. We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children. We will only have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us." I wonder whether you think that loving your children is too high a price to pay for peace. Maybe you think the stupid old bat got it all wrong: what higher love is there than to want your children to die in the cause of Allah? Yasir Qadhi tells you that you must support the Palestinians, and Yasir Qadhi is a sheikh. So it is very possible that you also think the first thing your young child should learn is how to kill people. I leave that one with you.
Things to think about, or to discuss with other Muslims:
How did the kufaar come to know Islam better than Muslims do, if they have no sheikhs and "scholars" to teach them?