The Big Show

In Islam we have a story about Satan and the day that God revealed to all the other created beings and entities the real content of Satan’s deceiving heart, and his plan to ruin Adam, and God’s creation. God convened the created beings in heaven, and commanded the angels to bow down to Adam, yet Satan refused. When God asked Satan, “Why did you refuse the command?” Satan answered, “Because I am better than him. You created him from mud, yet I was created from fire.” In other words, Satan felt that he was better than Adam because he believed that God had created him from superior stuff. Satan was the first racist, an inferior entity that thought he was superior to all others because he had decided arbitrarily, that fire was better than clay, much like many people today, those who have decided that Israel is better than Palestine, and that what ever Israel does is right, and what ever the Palestinians do is wrong, even if Israel is breaking the law, and Palestine is not. It didn’t take God very long to disabuse Satan of his wrong ideas. God granted him a period of respite until the day of Judgment, a period wherein he, Satan is allowed to test Adam’s progeny, God allowing each individual to determine upon his or her own, whether or not to obey God, or to follow Satan in his rebellion, and to disobey God, and there is no middle ground. According to the Qur’an, once Satan had disobeyed God, and pronounced his delusional supremacy over all other creation, God condemned Satan to hell with no hope of redemption. When asked why God went through all the trouble to convene this audience, to stage a big show, to issue the command, and to allow Satan to disobey, to be questioned and allowed to answer, most scholars have offered this simple explanation, “there must be witnessing before there can be judgment.” God introduced us to the idea of a due process before anyone can be convicted of a crime and sentenced to a penalty. Satan was condemned to hell based upon his own voluntary behavior. He was allowed to act out the content of his heart before all of heaven, witnesses to his disobedience, and his arrogance and racism, and his testimony. There was no longer anyway for Satan to hide his real intent, his disdain for God’s creation, including God’s laws, his hatred of mankind, and his desire to dominate, and to usurp God’s authority.

Of course God knew all along what was in Satan’s heart. The created entities did not know previous to the big show. God knew that Satan was a supremacist, that he hated and envied Adam, and that Satan had hoped to subvert all of heaven, misleading them to worship him instead of God. God knew that Satan had decided that he would seek to institute his own standards of justice, his own law, and his own rules, all counter to what God had already created, and instituted and deemed “good,” and “blessed.” God knew that Satan is a renegade and a liar, and most importantly, God knew that Satan was not capable of doing any of these things he plotted, yet God also knew that if Satan was left unchallenged and unexposed, Satan would destroy the world in his arrogant attempt to be God. If God had simply said these things, Satan, who is an arrogant liar, and propagandist, would have cried in heaven, that he only wanted peace, and that he could find no partner, and so instead he must break the law, kill, and plunder and spoil. Satan would have said, that whatever went wrong in heaven was all Adam’s fault, perhaps hoping to turn God and all of heaven against Adam, while secretly he was working, not only to destroy Adam, but to dominate all of the creation, because in his diseased mind and heart, he believed that because he was made of fire, that he could be God.

Today, we are all witnesses, and part of God’s due process. God has convened the world, and turned all of our eyes towards Palestine, and allowed each side to act out the content of its heart. We witnessed the US, EU and Israeli demands that Palestine embroil itself in a democratic process while yet suffering under the oppression of a brutal and illegal Israeli military occupation. They claimed that they wanted an election, that the Palestinian people should choose their own representatives, yet when the desired party wasn’t elected, they all conspired to undermine the election result, and to throw Palestine into chaos, because Israel did not get the “peace partner” it wanted. One that would pick up where the intifada had started, with the failed Oslo plan that had given Israel every advantage, and that had left the Palestinians with a series of isolated Bantustans to call Palestine, surrounded and separated, one from the other by roads that can only be used by Israelis, a plan that denied Palestinians a right to return to Palestine, even though they claimed that Palestine would become a sovereign state, managing its own internal affairs. The Palestinian people didn’t choose to continue with the failed processes of the past, the greed and the corruption of the past. Did we naively imagine that Hamas, which is described as the Islamic party in Palestine would be welcomed by the US, EU and Israel, to govern Palestine while these same parties, have undertaken an international war against Islam? Or was God setting the stage for the big show? The proof of this is also ever more obvious. The big show in Florida was proof of this. Five men were arrested for plotting acts of terrorism similar to 9/11 against the US. When it was believed that these men were Muslims, the media was giving us the big show. When it was discovered that in fact they were Zionists, no more media show. What does it imply? Are we only worried about Muslim terrorism, or are we only out to persecute Muslims? Is only Islamic terrorism to be feared, or is it that we were only out to vilify Islam? Is the war on terrorism against terrorism, or only against Islam? The world is a witness.

Now Israel has illegally re-entered Gaza militarily. They have cut off the electricity, and the water. This after months of denying the Palestinians humanitarian aide, and food and health care, exacerbating a humanitarian crisis as punishment because the Palestinian people elected Hamas to lead and to govern, and not Fatah. This is exactly the same thing that Israel did to Lebanon when it withdrew unilaterally without a peace treaty with Lebanon following years of illegal Israeli occupation in South Lebanon, and Israel has continued its illegal military attacks on South Lebanon, and the world says nothing. Even though the Western media sought to portray Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza as an act of benevolence on the part of Israel, and an act that was necessary due to the fact that Israel had no “peace partner” in Palestine with which to negotiate an equitable peace, we all knew that Israel was merely moving its Jewish population out of the line of fire, and that it had planned all along to re-enter Gaza under any pretense it could find to finish its destruction, begun shortly after the inception of the second intifada, which was provoked by Ariel Sharon, and the West Bank massacre in Jenin. The world is a witness. We are witnesses to the actions of Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah movement that splintered the Palestinian people, and that created an opening and justification for Israel’s reentry. The world is a witness.

Now God is asking each one of us to choose, whom to follow. Will we uphold God’s laws? Will we continue to allow Israel to kill at will, to violate every relevant international law and UN resolution without being called to account? How long will we continue to justify Israel’s illegal occupation, its wanton murder and destruction and its lies, and claims that it is only seeking peace as it works relentlessly to throw the Muslim world into utter chaos and to instigate a world war? Will we allow Israel to obliterate all the standards of humanitarianism, to undermine all the international laws and institutions, to diminish the United States and our standing in the world as a just society, and a society that is ruled by law, and that upholds the truth that all of mankind is equal and endowed by God with unalienable rights, which include life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?

We are all a part of God’s due process, and if the Holy Scripture is right, God’s judgment, and relief cannot be far behind.