Wednesday, March 26, 2014

As a Muslim, the burden is on us to thoroughly investigate information before passing it on

Courtesy: Facebook social media

Rabbi Ben Abrahamson responded with facts to a news clip shared by Manihar Abdul Aziz :- 

News clip: JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli bulldozers demolished a Palestinian-owned building that housed a mosque, a medical center, and apartments in East Jerusalem early Wednesday, witnesses told Ma'an. []

Ben Abrahamson:  Here is a picture of Jerusalem in 1917, looking from the south towards the "Dung" gate. Empty fields can be seen to the north and east of the city where East Jerusalem now exists. To the right is where At-Tor is now.

Jerusalem in 1917
Jerusalem in 1917

Ben Abrahamson: Here is a picture of that same area in 2014. There have been thousands of houses built in this area. The Dome of the Rock and Masjid Al Aqsa is on the left. The Mount of Olives, Jewish cemetery is the white space in the lower half of the picture. The green area above the cemetery is the Garden of Gethsemane. The cemetery has been destroyed and built over in many places. The Road "Derekh Yerikho" was built through the middle of the cemetery by Jordan in 1967 when it controlled the area. The houses of the At-Tor neighborhood on the eastern side are slowly encroaching.

Ben Abrahamson : I do not know the details of the case that you describe here. Unlike good journalism, the article does not give the other side a chance to defend themselves. Nor does the article give context, history, or legal information, or even a street address. From the picture in the article it can be seen that the house was built on the edge of the right hand side of the Mount of Olives cemetery. It would be sad, but not surprising that it was not given a permit. If it was built anyway against municipal orders it would be destroyed.

This is not a common occurrence, unlike what the article implies. About 250,000 people have built houses and live in East Jerusalem.

Ben Abrahamson:  For two generations we have suffered wartime propaganda. Each side in the Middle East tries to demonize the other, making them less than human. This is being done by the secular non-religious and sometimes anti-religious media. They benefit when believers fight against each other. We need religious judges, who fear God more than politics or the media, to call witnesses, examine facts, and come to a true conclusion. We cannot rely on the TV to bring us a balanced view of the truth.

How can one know what is a "fact" without a proper trial, with God-fearing justices? How many religious courts have ruled on this? Where are the verdicts of religious, God fearing courts who have call witnesses, examine
facts, and come to a true conclusion? 

A proper Muslim, and a proper Jew, is forbidden by religious law to go to a non-religious court. How much more so, to decide something based on what amounts to - by religious law - gossip. Verdicts of guilty or innocent must be issued by judges, not journalists.

Ben Abrahamson: ..... as a Muslim, the burden is on us to thoroughly investigate information before passing it on. Otherwise we will be liable to Allah SWT for any consequences. 

"You who believe! If a deviator [the media: newspapers, television, the internet] brings you a report, scrutinize it carefully in case you attack people in ignorance and so come to greatly regret what you have done." 
(Surat al-Hujurat 49, 6)