Debbie Schlussel frequently makes unfounded assertions about Islam and Arabic. For example, she has alleged that Muslims weren’t allowed to pray in churches and synagogues. She gave no Quran or Hadith citation because none exists (hadith is a record of Prophet Muhammad’s words and deeds). In fact, there is a body of authority that indicates Muslims are allowed to pray in churches and synagogues. Jabir (a narrator of hadith) has reported that the Prophet stated “the earth has been made a mosque and a means of purification; therefore, if prayer overtakes any person of my community, he should say his prayers (wherever he is)”. It has also been narrated that Ibn ‘Abbas, the Prophet’s uncle, prayed in churches. In fact, the only evidence of caution regarding praying in a church or synagogue was Umar, the second caliph, who only avoided prayer in churches and synagogues in which there were pictures or statues, as there are no pictures in mosques.
Incidentally, she inadvertently makes an argument in favor of Palestinians’ remaining on their own land. She states:
Yes, the church was, centuries ago, a mosque until 1236. It came with the Moorish invasion, and it became a Church when King Ferdinand III captured that land back from the Muslims
By that logic, even if Palestine were occupied by Jews historically, the new residents, Arabs, get to own it. Schlussel is probably unaware that Malcolm X has made the same argument over 40 years ago:
Only a thousand years ago the Moors lived in Spain. Would this give the Moors of today the legal and moral right to invade the Iberian Peninsula, drive out its Spanish citizens, and then set up a new Moroccan nation … where Spain used to be, as the European zionists have done to our Arab brothers and sisters in Palestine?
Today Schlussel tells us that Muslims hate Jews so much that Israel is a country
whose establishment Muslims despise (they call is [sic] “nakba” or disaster)
Actually, the Nakba refers to mass displacement and ethnic cleansing of three quarters of a million Palestinians, not simply Zionist leaders signing a piece of paper declaring statehood. Arabs wouldn’t have cared to call it a Nakba had the indigenous population not been violently displaced by the colonial settlers.
Here, Schlussel distorts the truth again:
shehadah [DS: Islamic oath of martyrdom, the uttering of which makes one a Muslim]
Debbie either doesn’t know Arabic and Islam, or is taking advantage advantage of most of her readers’ ignorance of Arabic and Islam. “Shehadah” has two meanings; witness and martyrdom. When one becomes a Muslim, as when a Muslim performs many Islamic rituals, they say shehadah, which means bearing witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is his messenger. That has nothing to do with martyrdom, shehadah’s other meaning. Conflating the two is as misleading as confusing “Polish” the nationality and “polish” as in the act of shining objects. The first meaning of shehadah is no secret; if Schlussel had bothered to research it, she would’ve found it in full detail on a resource as easily accessible as Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shahada. This definition is more commonly used than martyrdom simply because it is used by practicing Muslims everyday. Martyrdom, on the other hand, is not a requirement, contrary to Schlussel’s bizarre claim.