Ikhras is pleased to announce the winner of the Muntadhar Zaidi Shoe of the Month Award for this January, 2012 is Imam Feisal Abdul-Rauf. Speaking during his visit to occupied Palestine Feisal Abdul Rauf, a self-declared supporter of Israel, called on Muslims world wide to follow in his own foot steps and take a pilgrimage to the Zionist entity.
“I’d like us religious leaders to call for a sacred month that that will allow people to go on pilgrimage,” he said. If Muslims – including Iranians, who are often keen pilgrims – “felt free to come here for part of their pilgrimage, you would have easily tens of millions of people coming to Jerusalem…The pilgrimage to Mecca has always been an occasion for Muslims to get to know Muslims from other parts of the world,” Rauf noted. “If Muslims could come here, you could create some activity on the sidelines between Muslims and Jews.”
This purely political gesture, complete with quotes of passages from the Quran and absurd analogies to feuding Arab tribes in pre-Islamic Mecca, is intended to serve the interests of the usurping Zionist entity in three ways.
First, it helps advance the false narrative that the struggle against Zionism is a religious struggle between Muslims and Jews, the current preferred framework through which Israel’s apologists pursue their propaganda campaigns. In reality, the struggle is between an invading colonial-settler population that has attempted to conquer a land through the application of mass violence, ethnic cleansing, military occupation, and continuous war and an indigenous Palestinian, Arab (Muslim & Christian) population that has resisted this onslaught, in one form or another, for the last 100 years.
Second, the call to visit Israel, under the cover of inter-faith initiatives, is an attempt to legitimize the Zionist entity. Even if we were to concede (and we do not) any potentially positive achievements can result from an inter-faith dialogue between Muslims and Jews, two centuries-old faiths, why would it need to take place in a racist, colonial-settler state created in 1948? Occupied Palestine should be the last place to host any such initiative. Abdul-Rauf’s call to take a pilgrimage to occupied Palestine is not intended to advance any Jewish-Muslim understanding but is simply another futile attempt to legitimize Israel in the eyes of the Arab world and Muslim-majority countries. Despite finding the entire notion rather silly, we’re not in principle opposed to any inter-faith initiatives between Muslims and Jews or any other religious groups, but such meetings should not be used to advance a sinister political agenda under the innocuous slogan of inter-faith meetings or dialogue. We would also expect, and hope, all religious groups, adherents of any moral tradition, and secular humanists to understand that recognizing Zionism as a racist, illegitimate colonial project is the natural and obvious starting point for any constructive discussion of the struggle in Palestine.
Finally, Abdul-Rauf’s cynical attempt to manipulate religion is designed to promote normalization with Israel. Six decades after the illegitimate birth of the Zionist entity it has failed to gain acceptance among the surrounding Arab people, faces a growing international campaign of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions, and is increasingly being viewed as a pariah state. Despite his best effort, Abdul-Rauf’s disgraceful political stunt in Palestine will not help reverse this trend or halt the impending collapse of the Zionist project. For both moral and pragmatic reasons, there can never be peace with Zionism. Peace will prevail AFTER Zionism. The Zionist entity is doomed, the sooner it collapses the sooner we can build a peaceful and just Palestine.
Abdul Rauf’s call to take a pilgrimage to occupied Palestine comes as Israel continues a war on the Arab world it began in 1948. It pursues a policy of ethnic cleansing in Palestine and still denies the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes. It occupies the Syrian Golan Heights, threatens Lebanon, and maintains a siege on 1.5 Million people in Gaza. It also continues to demolish homes, kidnap Palestinians, engage in extra-judicial assassinations, and incarcerates an entire population in open-air prisons.
For his shameless service to Israel and on behalf of anti-Zionists of all faiths, and the secular-minded alike, ikhras is pleased to award Imam Feisal Abdul-Rauf the Ikhras Shoe of the Month for this January 2012.
Every month Ikhras awards the Muntadhar Zaidi “Shoe of the month” to the House Arab or Muslim individual or organization whose behavior that month best exemplifies the behavior of what Malcolm X described, in the language of his own time, as the “house negro” (see video). The award is named in honor of the brave Iraqi journalist Muntadhar Zaidi who threw his shoes at the war criminal George W. Bush at a time House Arabs and Muslims were dining with him at the White House and inviting him to their mosques. Arab dictators and puppets of the empire are also qualified to enter the shoe of the month competition based on their own subservience to U.S.-led global imperialism. Contest guidelines prohibit any one individual or organization from winning the award more than 3 times a year.