[FOUNTAIN]The unforgiving“Fight against the enemies of God that challenge you, but do not attack them first.” The Koran teaches that “God does not love those who attack.” This is why the Jihad, the sacred war against the oppressors of Islam, is strictly limited to only defensive actions. “There will surely be rewards from heaven for this holy defensive battle.”
Early morning on March 22, 2004. Israel’s Apache helicopter fired three missiles. The 68-year-old Sheik Ahmed Yassin, who was returning home after an early morning religious service at a mosque nearby his house, disappeared without a trace with his wheelchair. He was the spiritual leader who founded Hamas, the Islamic Resistance Movement, a radical Islamic group. He had proclaimed Jihad saying, “There should be God’s flag waving in every single part of Palestinian land.” He meant that they should totally erase Israel from the map. He did not hesitate to carry out suicide bomb attacks, using the brigades of Ezzedin al-Qassam, a military group.
Israel continuously went after Sheik Ahmed Yassin, once even sending F-16 fighters to kill the Islamic leader. Israel’s hostility toward Yassin turned into fear in 1998. That year, Yassin visited several neighboring Muslim countries for four months and was welcomed as a hero. During his trip, Yassin was able to collect 300 million dollars. Using the money, Hamas built schools and hospitals in Gaza City and the West Bank and received broad support from the poor living in Palestinian areas. When Israel started targeting Hamas for its terrorist attacks, Yassin predicted two things. “My death will bring many Islamic warriors to the world.” And “By 2025, Israel will disappear from the Earth.”
Recently, Hamas had an overwhelming victory in the Palestinian parliamentary elections. Two years have not yet passed since Yassin’s predictions, but they are already half realized. The reason for the victory in this election was actually the schools and hospitals Hamas built, not the bloodshed and terrorist attacks it perpetrated. America’s Newsweek magazine concluded that by concentrating on public welfare, Hamas was able to steadily increase its appeal to voters. However, the problem is that Hamas, which now has ruling power, is refusing to disarm. Israel also pledges, “We will not stop targeting Hamas to kill.”
Saladin, who protected the Islamic Holy Land during the Crusades, spoke his last words to his successor, Jawher. He said, “Act according to the will of god. That is the road of peace. For the price of shedding blood, you should win others’ hearts. Do not depend on blood.” However unlike the Crusades, Saladin’s Jihad, the holy war, still continues even until today, after 900 years. The saying “Hominis Possunt Historiam Condonare!” or “only humans can forgive history,” seems vain.
by Lee Chul-ho
The writer is an editorial writer of the JoongAng Ilbo.