Welcome to the Ghazu Strip: Gross Behavior [PBUH]!

by Steve Finefrock – [scriptwriter]

To the winner goes the spoils, and now the spoilage of the Gaza Strip brings international ‘humanitarian aid’ advocacy to this place not far from Al Aqsa. How did this begin? Why can’t they just all get along? Is there a Kumbaya Chorus at the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem?

Two years after the death of the Prophet [PBUH] began the reign of Umar, the second of the Rightly-guided Caliphs. Armies were swarming northward, under Umar’s shrewd scrutiny. When the Holy Land was conquered – yes, children, it was CONQUERED – a ceremony was scheduled to formally turn over the keys to Umar, by the city’s leaders. It is celebrated annually to this day by Arabs of Jerusalem, centered around Al-Aqsa, the so-called Far Mosque visited by Muhammad [PBUH] one fateful evening when he awoke in Mecca, told by the angel Gabriel to ride an awaiting winged horse, the Buruq, on a night flight to Jerusalem.

There was no mosque there, but eighty years later, Al-Aqsa was constructed on the Temple Mount, and stands as the justification for Jerusalem to be a Holy City of Islam. Along with Baghdad, Damascus, Cairo and potful of conquered lands extending at one time into Portugal and the gates of Vienna. Umar was perhaps the shrewdest of successors to Muhammad [PBUH], dubbed by the Prophet [PBUH] as so stern a taskmaster that if the Devil himself knew he’d be passing a pathway converging with Umar, the Devil would divert to avoid the unpleasant confrontation.

Said jokingly, of course, by the Prophet [PBUH] – whose name or title cannot be uttered without immediately tagged with the Arabic of “Peace Be upon Him” or written with a bracketed PBUH immediately following. Imagine saying Jesus or Christ or Moses or Buddha or George Washington with a PBUH following each and every utterance or writing!

Muhammad [PBUH] met several prophets of the Old Testament and also with Jesus [PBUH?] as he ascended heavenward upon a beam of light to ultimately receive instructions from Allah, including requirements for Muslims to pray fifty times daily. Just before this ascension to heaven itself, the Prophet [PBUH] met with Moses, and returned for a courtesy call, noting the 50-prayer mandate. Moses insisted, as the chief Jew, that the new chief Arab go back and ‘jew down’ God, for Moses knew well – from brutal experience with the folks of Goshen – that humans did not have the discipline to pray that often each and every day.

Muhammad [PBUH] returned for this phase of The Miraj, got the number cut to 25 – and Moses again insisted the holy traveler on the light beam make another appeal. So it became Allah’s mandate for five prayers daily, which Moses again said would be too demanding for the weak humans. Muhammad [PBUH] decided three visits with the Big Guy himself was enough for one celestial elevator ride, and returned to the Buraq, and back to the Ka’aba mosque in Mecca.

Imagine the joy for Umar, an elderly conqueror of an ever-growing piece of the declining Persian and Byzantine empires, getting feted by the prelate of Jerusalem, as all declared their conversion to Islam and gave the key to the city in a wild ceremony! It was the ultimate, but not the last, ghazu – a “raid which had long been a sort of national sport in Arabia and an accepted way of making ends meet when times were hard,” according to Karen Armstrong’s “Muhammad.” She is the British apologist for Muslims, featured in the PBS series on the subject.

Armstrong notes that the new religion was essentially socialist in its intent, to redistribute the wealth via the ghazu and also via religious persuasion to give the zakat – a tax to support the needy. One could engage in the ghazu if needy, so long as done so without serious injury to the ‘contributors’ to the raid’s recipients. Otherwise, the crucial blood-feud, that kept Arab society somewhat civil, would come to bear bloody consequences.

Now, fourteen centuries later, who can remember what blood-feud led to the violence in the Holy Land? One thing to note, for Muslims, is that nothing prior to the Hegira – the Muslims’ journey out of Mecca to relocate in Medina – is counted as ‘history’ worthy of any note. Thus, Jesus, Moses, Abraham, Noah, et al, and the long-established holiness of the Holy Land to Christians and Jews, just DON’T COUNT in their historical mathematics.

Muhammad [PBUH] made the ghazu and the blood-feud into critical central elements of Islam, converting traditional family-clan-tribe loyalty to that for the umma – the religious community of Muslims. Thus, a major reason he was driven from Mecca, under a murder contract issued by other clans – so many Meccan families were seeing relatives join this ‘cult’ of the period, abandoning loyalty to mom and dad and siblings and cousins, and bonding with the umma instead. He also made the Ka’aba part of Islam, the cubic structure growing over the centuries from its more modest dimensions, when it was the center of many surrounding pagan religious groups.

A mere fifty years after the death of Muhammad [PBUH – the last time!] the Ka’aba burned so intensely during a military assault on pious Muslims who felt the religion’s political-military leaders had wandered from the faith’s core beliefs, that the Black Stone was shattered by the heat, into three pieces. Though this stone is no formal part of the faith, it was so imbedded in the worship at the Ka’aba prior to Muhammad’s birth – centuries, eons even – it was adapted and adopted into the practices of pilgrims making their obligatory hajj to Mecca at least once in their lifetime.

The Black Stone’s shattering into three pieces – since welded with silver solder, and on display to this day at the Ka’aba – is symbolic of the imbedded fears of Muslims, that another fitna will break out. This fitna is a civil war among the Faithful, often erupting over the centuries. Thus, no disagreement, dissent or challenge can be allowed, for fear it will exaggerate already serious schisms.

So, the recourse is to BLAME THE JEWS and Christians also, of course, and even a Buddhist or two [conquest extended eastward to present-day Afghanistan and Pakistan and India]. And trapped in the Gaza Strip is a collection of poor souls, kept poor and angry by deliberate design by their oil-rich ‘brothers’ in other lands, boiling and teeming on a gross of miles – 146 square miles to be exact – engaging from the Gaza in a historical ghazu that will not be ameliorated by Kumbaya by the French, or Germans, or Russians, or anyone. For the face of Umar presides over this ghazu-strip of hate, and intensity, and determination to conquer all, to convert all, to rule with a sternness that befits Umar’s intimidation of the Devil.

Ya think short-pants negotiators from wimpy Europe will impress Umar’s descendants in the Gaza Strip? Ya think Hamas is something new and different? Ya think there will peace so long as all ‘history’ began only in 622, with the Hegira? Ya think Umar’s ghazu-strip enforcers will relent and ever admit that there were prior claims on the Holy Land by prior religious groups?

Prior to 622? Which is Year One in the Muslim calendar? A calendar which is lunar – changing out-of-sync with the yearly calendar observed by the rest of the world. Each holy month shifts backward in the Julian calendar, so Ramadan is in the midst of winter, then early winter, then late fall, then mid-fall, and so on around a backwards slippage in the seasons. Try planning a modern world around that mechanism – also adapted by Muhammad from pagan religious practices. He was an early ‘triangulator’ with shrewd political and military and cultural skills beyond his Koranic revelations.

Thus this world-acknowledged New Year ain’t no stinkin’ new year to Muslims.

The violence in Gaza is an ongoing ghazu, built around Al Aqsa as the far-mosque which did not exist for Muhammad’s spiritual, dreamy visit. But Muslims believe with all their heart and soul and sword that Al Aqsa was there for that Miraj. And must be defended, and all idolators and infidels either driven out, or made subjects to shariah – religious law based on the Koran and Muhammad’s personal life and the ‘traditions’ thus worshiped almost as much as the Koran itself.

There ain’t no peace in the GHAZU STRIP –won’t be in our lifetimes. After all, the elderly, aching Umar undertook that agonizing camel ride so many centuries ago, to receive the keys to Jerusalem, that all who praise his name know that the Devil himself would not challenge Umar’s conquest of the Holy Land’s territory. Gaza is a mere strip in an empire, none to be surrendered. Muslims to this day dream of reconquering Andalus – Arabic for Andalusia, the entire Iberian peninsula that is Spain and Portugal. From that distant piece of the empire they were ejected by Ferdinand and Isabella, in the same year Columbus sailed the ocean blue.

They have long memories, these ghazu-warriors. Arab oil masters are assuring the continued hate with all the agitation they can muster. If they were ‘humanitarian’ Muslims, instead of Umar-like manipulators, the Arab oil regimes would fund an economic conversion of Gaza into a heavenly paradise. But then, there’d be no anger. No rage. No hate. No motivation to fire rockets into the Jews’ Holy Land.

Welcome to the Ghazu Strip—open for business, for a few more centuries yet to come.

PBUH indeed…..Happy New Year, non-Muslims. ExileStreet copyright 2008 Steve Finefrock Finefrock is founder of Hollywood Forum, a speaker-bureau and panel-discussion vehicle to “Bring the Potomac to the Palisades” on issues that overlap politics and culture with the Hollywood film-TV influence on such national concerns. His scripts have addressed politics [including a TV series pilot/bible package about state political combat, called “A State of the Union”], hazardous materials [from twelve years in emergency management, including six years managing FEMA’s Superfund curriculum for hazmat], terrorism, equestrian reincarnation, serial murderer killing journalists in the nation’s capitol, and fantasy about time-wasters. Finefrock is proprietor of PhoneBooth: The Smallest Space in Hollywood…

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