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Today is known in Islamic tradition as ‘Youm Arafah’ Or ‘Waqfet Arafah’ . What it means is that all Muslims who are able to make the Pilgrimage, ‘Al-Hajj’ to Mekka, a main tenet of Islam will gather on top or around Mount Arafat cloaked in their white unstitched shrouds in total subjugation to their faith and maker. They will spend the night there and tomorrow is, of course, Eid Al-Adha or the feast of sacrifice.

Mount Arafat is the place where the Prophet of Islam, known also as the Messenger of God, Muhammad, delivered his last sermon to his followers 1400 years ago declaring that Islam is The Faith of all mankind. This sermon is known as ‘The final farewell’.

It’s believed that those lucky enough to do this ritual will be absolved of all their sins as if they were just born.

When I sat down to reflect on today’s significance to us all I didn’t mean it be a lesson in Islam. Not at all. As you know I was born a Muslim but am now a declared Agnostic and devout humanist.

The hypocrisy of Muslims around the world and the misleading messages (Fatwas) by the so-called scholars of Islam today have reached a very low ebb. This in not how I remember the Islam I grow up in. Their neglect of duty and the murdering of their fellow Muslims, at their own hands, from Iraq to Syria to Libya and now Yemen is condemned utterly by the teaching of The Faith. There are some 1.5 billion Muslims around the world. They are supposed to come to the aid of their fellow Muslims and protect them. They are told in no uncertain terms that Jerusalem is ‘Ola Al-Qibleteen’. In other words Jerusalem takes preference over Mekka.

Have the 1.5 billion Muslims around the world not noticed the slaughter over the last 100 years of their Muslim brothers and sisters in Palestine, and in particular, Jerusalem?

Have they not noticed the suffocating siege for the last eleven years of 2 million of their Muslim brothers and sisters in Gaza, imposed not only by Israel but also Egypt, supposedly a Muslim country?

Have they not noticed the continued brutal occupation for the last 50 years of the West Bank, where their Muslim brothers and sisters are being degraded, humiliated, imprisoned and tortured by the Zionist occupation forces?

Have they not noticed the incursions and desecration by the zealot Zionist squatters on Al Aqsa Mosque and Al Haram Sharif?

Have they not also noticed the continuous closure of Al Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam, and the forbidding of Muslim worshippers from entering the compound. Obviously not.

Such closure took place only this last Friday.

And how did the Muslims of the world react to this most provocative closure in the middle of the Hajj season? This is a statement from the supposed custodians of the holy places in Jerusalem.

The Jordanian Minister for Media Affairs and Government Spokesperson, Jumana Guneimat said “such condemned and rejected practice violates the sanctity of the holy site”. She warned that it would “touch off the passions of Muslims around the world.”

Are you touched?

Jafar M Ramini is a Palestinian writer and political analyst, based in London, presently in Perth, Western Australia. He was born in Jenin in 1943 and was five years old when he and his family had to flee the terror of the Urgun and Stern gangs. Justice for the people of Palestine is a life-long commitment.

One Comment

  1. K SHESHU BABU says:

    While rituals are being practiced as a religious fervour, actual messages of humanity are being sidelined. Every religious fanatics are killing their own brother and sisters who do not agree with their views. Basic human values are being lost and cruel behaviour is on the rise