Dr Ikram Azam
THE news item about this issue appearing in the Pakistan Observer (Daily), Islamabad, of Saturday 16th December, 2017, set me thinking creatively, in search of the silver lining to the topic, reproduced relevantly below: “Saudi Arabia to have full diplomatic ties with Israel”:(Rayadh – Agencies) which report that: “Amid widespread reports of behind the scene cooperation between Riyadh and Tel Aviv, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel el Juberi says the kingdom has a “roadmap” to establish full diplomatic ties with the Tel Aviv regime’ “Speaking to France 24 television late on Wednesday, Jubir said Riyadh has a plan for normalisation with Tel Aviv if an agreement is reached between Palestine and the Israeli entity”.
The silver lining is the proviso starting with the “if” highlighted by me in bold print — the conditionality of the “agreement between Palestine and the Israeli entity”. In need of explication, does the term “agreement” imply mutual recognition as two sovereign states and friendly neighbours committed to Peaceful Coexistence under the related – relevant UN Resolutions? It is, indeed a consolation that the two sides would first try to work out a solution to the “Israeli Palestinian conflict” …. But what follows is rather disquieting: The Dark Cloud: “Leaked”: Saudis have ‘plans for official ties with Israel’. A secret, undated letter from the Saudi FM to the Crown Prince (which) “sets out plans for the establishment of ties with Israel’. Why? Because: “In mid – November Labanon’s al Akhbar daily published” –– the afore – said letter to the Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. “After getting rid of the Palestine issue, the two regimes could then focus on their common goal, which is forming an alliance against Iran” –– (‘according to the report’).
The wordings of the news story are regrettable: (i) “Significantly sideline the interests of the Palestinian nation”. ii) After getting rid of the Palestinian issue”, Apart from these linguistic flaws, faults or foible –– call them what you will ––“the common goal of forming an alliance against Iran” –– is most startling –– whatever its geostrategic constraints like: “Their mutual concerns over Iran’s growing regional influence”. It is fervently hoped prayerfully, that: (i) Saudi Arabia will heed the lessons of history, to avoid Egypt’s hasty recognition of Israel with tragic results. (ii) Work vigorously for Muslim unity and thereby normalize its relations with brotherly Muslim Iran. (iii) While recognising that the Jews and Christians are ‘ahl-al-kitab’ –– `Brothers of the Book’ Allah’s Monotheistic Book, Iranis are fellow Muslims, (even as Shias). (iv) While Islami Modernization – as defined by Islam, itself – is good for the Muslim World it needs to be distinguished from alienating sensate –– secular materialistic Westernization. (v) Speaking futuristically, Islam is the Muslim – Islami Ummah’s Identity as well as Destiny.
It is gratifying to note, as reported by the Pakistan Observer of Sunday 17th December, 2017, that the initiator, exemplar and pace-setting: “Turkish President Recep Tayyib Erdogan has stated that: “The US Jerusalem recognition is (a) ‘bomb’ in the ME”. Indeed, President Trump’s American Security Council veto of the latest near-unanimous resolution on the Al-Qudus critically sensitive issue, has exploded like a nuclear bomb-thanks to his Jewish son-in-law, and the US Jewish lobby. The latest is Turkey’s decision to establish an Embassy in the Palestinian East Jerusalam. Other Muslim States need to follow suit — instead of sidelining the issue, and thereby, stabbing the Palestinian nation in the back. Sadly, there is a divisive distinction between the contemporary Muslim Ummah –– which is self-split and splintered –– and the ideal Islami Ummah which is united and one under Islamic Unison –– “Tauheid –– Wahdat”. The challenge to the current Collective Leadership of the Muslim World today is to strive unitedly in a Perpetually Peaceful Just and Justified “Jihad-al Akbar” to convert /revert the presently split Muslim Ummah into the ideal Islami Ummah, before it is too late. Jerusalem is the God-granted opportunity to initiate this –– Jehad for justice in sovereign fraternal freedom for all and forever! Conclusion: “Say: O people of the Scripture: Come to a word that is just between us and you that we worship none but Allah and that we associate no partners with Him and none of us shall take others as lords besides Allah. Then, if they turn away say: “Bear witness that we are Muslims.” (Al Quran, 64:3). “Mankind was one community and Allah sent Prophets with glad tiding and warmings and with them He sent down the Scripture in truth to judge between people in matters wherein they differed. And only those to whom (the Scripture) was given differed Concerning it after clear proofs had come unto them, through hatred, one to another. Then Allah, by His leave guided those who believed, to the truth of that wherein they differed. And Allah guides whom He wills to the Straight Path. (Path Al-Quran 213 – 2)
— The writer is co-founder Pakistan Futuristic Institute, Islamabad.