Leaving Islam




So, with Islam as its main unifying and driving force, Arabs could get non-Arabs like the great Kurdish leader, Salah al-Din, to jump on their bandwagon in furthering the Dar ul-Islam. Recall that these are the people whom Arabs would later massacre, gas, culturally subjugate, and so forth--now, fellow Muslims, mind you--for daring to assert their own identities and demand rights as such. Before Saddam's gassings in "Arab" Iraq , the Kurdish nationalist, Ismet Cherif Vanly, wrote The Syrian (Arab) 'Mein Kampf' Against The Kurds ( Amsterdam 1968). The title of the book says it all. 

     With the 19th century reawakening of dormant ethnic/national identities accompanying the beginning of the collapse of major empires, Arabs saw themselves as sole heirs to most of a region ruled largely by the Turks for the previous five centuries. While diplomats would soon speak of Arabia for the Arabians, Judea for the Jews, Armenia for Armenians, and Kurdistan for Kurds, in Arab eyes, there could be no division of "their" pie. There was no justice in the region other than Arab. And in relation to our discussion about Iran and Israel , it had all started this way... 

     The Arabian general, Khaled ibn al-Walid, conquered the land of Israel in 634 C.E. from the Byzantines, and not long afterwards, Abu Musa al-Ash'ari led the invasion of Iran from Basra via its current, oil-rich, southwestern Khuzestan province. 

     By Roman times, the land of Israel had been renamed Judaea . After the first major revolt of the Jews for independence against their mighty conquerors, Rome issued Iudaea Capta coins, found in museums all over the world today. After the second revolt in 133-135 C.E., Hadrian got fed up with the Jews' persistence (and Roman losses) and tried to stamp out their hopes for freedom once and for all. He renamed the land itself after the Jews' historic enemies, the Aegean or eastern Mediterranean, non-Semitic Philistines-- Syria Palaestina. 

     Like vultures wanting their share of the kill, some neighboring Arabs joined the Romans in their assault on the Jews.  

     Arabs like to claim that they were the aboriginals in the land. In reality, while the coastal region was sometimes identified by the Greeks with Philistine invaders, there was no country or nation known as " Palestine "...ever.  

     The land was known as Judaea and its inhabitants were Judaeans... Jews. 

     Tacitus and Dio Cassius were famous Roman historians who wrote extensively about Judaea 's attempt to remain free. They lived and wrote during, or not long after, the two major revolts of the Jews mentioned above and make no mention of the land being called " Palestine " or its people "Palestinians." And as can be seen below, they knew the differences between Jews and Arabs as well. 

     Listen to this quote from Vol. II, Book V, The Works of Tacitus: 

     Titus was appointed by his father to complete the subjugation of Judaea... he commanded three legions in Judaea itself... To these he added the twelfth from Syria and the third and twenty-second from Alexandria ... amongst his allies were a band of Arabs, formidable in themselves and harboring towards the Jews the bitter animosity usually subsisting between neighboring nations.

     So much for Arab "aboriginals"...And remember that it was Ahmadinejad's Iran which was the chief ally of the Jews in their fight for freedom against Rome .

     Back to the future...

    As we have seen, along with the Arab colonialization of Judaea/" Palestine " (along with many other places), Arabs spread into Iran as well. For Arabs, imperialism and colonialism are only nasty when they themselves aren't doing such things.

     While Khuzestan traded back and forth between Arab and Iranian rule, it became basically linked to Iran despite repeated Arab invasions over the centuries from southern Iraq . But, despite this link, Khuzestan, according to the Encyclopedia Iranica (p.216), became "extensively Arabized" to the point that in Safavid times (16th-18th centuries C.E.) the province was known as Arabistan.

     The Arabs have long remembered this, and Iraqi Arabs under Saddam's banner launched the long Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s that was largely fought over this oil-rich and strategically important area.

     Earlier, to deal with this problem, Iran ruthlessly suppressed any manifestations of Arab nationalism. By the early 20th century, a proposal had been put forward to even outlaw the Arabic language.

     Now think about this a minute...

     Like in Iran , Arabs entered the land of Israel/Judaea/Palestine as settlers, imperial conquerors, and colonizers. While this fact of life is true for others as well, Arabs only see in others what they themselves have truly perfected as they conquered and forcibly Arabized over six million square miles of mostly other, non-Arab peoples' lands. 

     As for their claim to "Palestine," when the United Nations Relief Works Agency--UNRWA--was set up to assist Arab refugees (after a half dozen Arab states invaded a nascent Israel in 1948 to nip it in the bud and their attempt backfired), the very word refugee had to be redefined to assist those allegedly "native" people.

     So many Arabs were recent arrivals themselves into the Palestinian Mandate that UNRWA had to adjust the very definition of "refugee" from its prior meaning of persons
normally and traditionally resident to those who lived in the Mandate for a minimum of only two years prior to 1948.


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