Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Abbas speaks for the grown-ups

At MEMRI, a video of the speech in which Mahmoud Abbas announces that he is going to call an early election. What's interesting is the way he frames the basic debate. The vision that Palestinian leaders have nurtured and proclaimed for almost 60 years deceiving their followers into ever greater folly is branded for what it is: an illusion, a lie. And then he rounds on Hamas, those who fly the banner of righteousness, the pure, the enacters of God's word. I'm sure you can imagine the rhetoric they use against the less holy, the less exalted. The word he uses for their actions is surely significant: terrorism (I'm relying on the translation here). Then he calls for the separation of 'church' and state, and says that relision is for "Allah in the mosques, the churches and the synagogues". I can't help noting that his audience sounds less than enthused.

In the past, they said: "Under no circumstances will we accept a state, unless it includes all of Palestine, because Palestine is a land of Islamic endowment." Fine. This doesn’t work. I can say: "We demand all of the land," and you will applaud me. This doesn’t work. This doesn’t work. This doesn’t work. There is a reality – either you acknowledge it, or you will get crushed...

These are illusions. I hope we will be dealing with facts rather than living in illusions, believing in our own lies and start chasing these lies, like the village fool Juha...

They began to say that the government operates by Allah's decree, and that this is divine will. In other words, you are not allowed to oppose it, because nobody opposes the will of God. Does any of you oppose the will of God? Nobody opposes Allah. Don't tell me your government represents the divine will and that I cannot oppose it. Don't we have a democracy? What is democracy? There is a majority and a minority. Some support the government and others oppose it. If you want to terrorise me and tell me this is the will of God, this is unacceptable. People who go on strike are traitors, and so are people who oppose or criticise the government because they criticise the will of god. What is this? This terrorism is unacceptable and is not allowed.

They should not use the religion. The religion is for God. Religion is for Allah in the mosques, the churches and the synagogues. We all repsect it. We are all religious, by the way, and nobody should patronise us.

We have been praying and fasting since before many of them were even born. It is a disgrace to accuse others of heresy and whatever.. a guy who, two days ago, was still wearing shorts, says, 'This is an infidel'. This is a disgrace.
(via Harry's Place)

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