Forced Displacement: A Historical Fundamental Overview

آحمد صبحي منصور Ýí 2017-04-04

Forced Displacement: A Historical Fundamental Overview


Published in March 25, 2017

Translated by: Ahmed Fathy

Firstly: a historical fundamental overview of forced displacement:

Forced displacement in Egypt:

1- An unknown journalist in a State-owned newspaper desired to get known; fame typically comes, during eras of degeneration, to big and small corrupted ones, hypocrites, and criminals. This unknown journalist never knew the art of writing an article; he got his job by corrupt mediators, and he could not possibly compete with famous hypocritical journalists. He got an idea to gain fame and leadership within his journalism milieu; Gamal Abdel-Raheem, for that was his name, seized the chance that the head of Al-Azhar at the time, Dr. M. Sayed Tantawi, declared that Baha'is insult Islam, and this journalist knew that in his governorate, Souhag, in Upper Egypt, lived about 182 Baha'is, and he incited violence and forced displacement against those peaceful Baha'is. The masses among his Upper Egyptian relatives and others burned houses of Baha'is in a village in Souhag named Al-Shuraniyya, and the terrified Baha'is fled the village and left their houses. This journalist appeared on a TV show that hosted the spokesperson of Baha'is in Egypt, Dr. Basma. Gamal Abdel-Raheem described her as an 'infidel' and addressed viewers that such a Baha'i woman must be put to death! After this forced displacement of peaceful Baha'is, this journalist wrote an article in the State-owned Al-Gomhouriya newspaper to encourage such a crime as laudable deed! Later on, this same man wrote virulently articles attacking Quranists, describing them as 'disbelievers', as he desired to gain more fame and attention, as a result, Egyptian Quranists suffered persecution (amidst weird silence of  M. Sayed Tantawi) and four waves of arrest. Gamal Abdel-Raheem was rewarded in such times of degeneration of the Mubarak regime by being promoted to be the editor-in-chief of Al-Gomhouriya newspaper and the secretary of the Egyptian journalists syndicate!

2- Until now, the Egyptian military failed to face the ISIS members in Sinai, and it had to impose curfews and to attack certain areas indiscriminately, causing damage and annoyance to Egyptians living there, and some citizens and children were killed accidentally with live ammunitions. It is purportedly said that to create a security barrier between Egypt and (Israel + Gaza), the ruling military regime made the army to demolish 800 houses within these borders. This led to forced displacement of more than 1000 families without giving them compensations or temporary or permanent houses; they are left in the desert in winter! This is in contrast to Article No. 63 in the Egyptian Constitution that makes forced displacement a crime punishable by law withoutstatute of limitation. Forced displacement is a crime against humanity also as per the International Law and as per International Criminal Court and the Rome Statute. The Egyptian government has committed that crime when most citizens within 13/5 km of North Sinai were forced to leave this area. Such measures did not help the Egyptian military dace ISIS; indeed, some reports assert that ISIS spread the more within North and Middle Sinai, massacring many soldiers and military officers. Later on, forced displacement occurred when Egyptian Copts in North Sinai were terrorized by ISIS members who aimed to murder them; 120 Coptic family left Sinai and settled mostly in Ismailia Governorate, indicating that the Egyptian army could not protect them.             

Forced displacement in other countries:

1- ISIS terrorists controlled Al-Mosul, Iraq, on 10th of June, 2014, and hey located houses of Christians to persecute them; on 12th of June, 2014, Iraqi Christians of Al-Mosul were given three options to choose from: to convert to 'Islam', to pay a tribute of money, or to be massacred. On 17th of June, 2014, they were given two choices: to leave the city within 24 hours or to be put to death. Christians of Al-Mosul left the city hurriedly, and ISIS terrorists turned churches of Al-Mosul into mosques, and houses of Christians of Al-Mosul were demolished and exploded. The trauma of Christians of Al-Mosul ended when Al-Mosul was liberated from ISIS terrorists. When such terrorists have expanded in more lands in Syria and Iraq, they invaded the Iraqi city of Sinjar, where Yazidis lived, in August 2014, and 4000 Yazidis were massacred, and the rest were rendered homeless and slaves; 400 thousand Yazidis fled to Kurdistan.

2- The Rohingya people are a minority of Muslims that are being severely persecuted in Burma/Myanmar (which has a majority of Buddhists); they were forced by Burma to flee within many consecutive waves to Bangladesh and Thailand, and Thai people are beginning to persecute them too. The Rohingya people suffered massacres that the about which the whole world speaks rarely, because Wahabis have caused the world to hate Muslims, a phenomena known as Islamophobia.   

3- Jews and forced displacement: the Jewish people suffered persecution in Middle-Ages Europe, and in modern times when Hitler and Nazis killed some of them in gas chambers. Yet, when some Jews established the modern state of Israel, they committed many massacres to force Palestinians to leave their lands and houses. Some Palestinians sought revenge by killing some Jews. After 1948, some Jews immigrated to Israel from Iraq, Egypt, Tunisia, and Morocco. Few Jews remained in Egypt and Iraq as they loved their countries and preferred to live in them. Yet, the Egyptian and Iraqi regimes persecuted Jews who remained, forcing them to immigrate to Israel and to elsewhere. In 1951, Jews in Iraq represented about .1 % of the Iraqi population. The number of Jews in Egypt in 1948 was about 90 thousand people who were active Egyptian citizens living in harmony with the rest of Egyptian communities and religious sects, but in 2009, there were less than 200 Egyptian Jews who were mostly octogenarians.         

4- forced displacement within the former Russian Tsardom and the former USSR: history tells us how the Russian Tsardom expanded its land in Central Asia and defeated the Muslim countries there, and by the 18 century, Russians committed genocide in those countries and imposed conversions (i.e., to Orthodox Christianity) and the Slavic tongue instead of Arabic, Turkish, and Persian languages. The Muslims helped bring about the downfall of the Romanov dynasty, but the Bolshevists and the USSR went on within the crime of genocide against Muslims, and six Muslim republics were invaded by the USSR, and their cultures were effaced to Russianize these countries, and then millions of the native people were forced to leave their countries to make Russians live in these lands. Forced displacement of people of Chechnya: Stalin established the republic of Chechnya in 1944 and its people enjoyed self-rule, but its people (about one million) were forced to relocate in Siberia in 1954 and to other countries (including Turkey), after their being accused of helping Nazis during WWII. People of Chechnya were allowed to return in 1957 to their republic under the domination of Russia, within a scheme to make them lose their identity. About 50% of the people of Chechnya died, mostly children and women, of starvation imposed on them, as their cruel forced displacement included gathering them by force without luggage, money, water, or food and at gun point into trains, and those who protested were killed directly in most brutal ways to terrorize the rest. As for the strong stubborn people who lived in mountainous areas, they were forced to gather in empty horse stables, to be soaked in oil to be burned alive. Countless number of people of both genders and in all age-groups died that way. At one point, dwellers of one village (more than 1000 persons), were burned alive in one day. Forced displacement of the Circassians: they lived in North-West of the Caucasian region, but Russians in 1864 defeated them and occupied their lands, forcing the Circassians to leave their land by giving them two options to choose from: to relocate either in the Ottoman Empire or to live in Russia away from their original lands. Few Circassians chose to live in Russia.                    

5- The USA and forced displacement of the Red Indians: in 1835, the people of the Cherokee tribe signed an agreement with the American government to leave their lands in the East in return for having other lands in Oklahoma plus 5 billion $. Most of the people of the Cherokee tribe did not want to relocate, but they had no other option before them. In 1838, the American military forced the people of the Cherokee tribe to relocate to the west of the Mississippi. Forced displacement was also imposed on about 100 thousand Red Indians from five tribes who had to leave lands of their ancestors (Trail of Tears), and about from 4 to 15 thousand persons of them died of hunger, cold, and diseases. In 2008, the Congress issued a formal apology to the Red Indians for such 'unstudied policies'.     

6- The Ottomans and the forced displacement and the massacre of Armenians: such heinous crimes occurred during and after WWI, as Ottomans massacred many Armenians and forced them to leave their lands in ways that would lead to the death of those forced to move away; about 1.5 million persons died as a result. This massacre of the Armenian people is the first genocide in modern history, the second in importance after the holocaust, and the term (genocide) was used for the first time to indicate such heinous crimes, and the term has been used by the International Association of Genocide Scholars to describe Turkish persecution of Christian minorities in the Ottoman Empire between 1914 to 1923. April 24th is designated as the Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day; on that day more than 250 Armenian rich people in Istanbul were arrested, and later on, the Ottoman army imposed forced displacement on Armenians, forcing them to walk mile in the desert until the Syrian borders, deprived of food and water. Indiscriminate killings and massacres were suffered by the Armenians of all age groups and genders, and many of their women were raped and sexually assaulted. The Armenian diaspora is the result of such genocide; Turkey until now denies that such heinous crimes occurred, while they are asserted by the UN.         

7- History tells us also about forced displacement Muslims of Andalusia during the reign of King Philip II (1527 - 1598).


Secondly: Islam and forced displacement:

1- To threaten others by forced displacement is a sign of utter disbelief in God; in the Quranic stories of prophets and messengers in every era, we read the same dialogue between them and their foes, i.e., the polytheists, as the latter threatened prophets and believers to drive them out (i.e., forced displacement) unless they returned to polytheism: "Those who disbelieved said to their messengers, "We will expel you from our land, unless you return to our religion."..." (14:13). People of Madian uttered the same threat to their messenger Shuaib and believers with him: "The arrogant elite among his people said, "O Shuaib, We will evict you from our town, along with those who believe with you, unless you return to our religion."..." (7:88).     

2- The Quranic stories do not mention fighting in which past prophets and their followers engaged themselves except the Israelites, after Moses, with their king Talut after they asked their prophet to appoint a king over them to fight the philistines: "Have you not considered the notables of the Israelites after Moses? When they said to a prophet of theirs, "Appoint a king for us, and we will fight in the cause of God." He said, "Is it possible that, if fighting was ordained for you, you would not fight?" They said, "Why would we not fight in the cause of God, when we were driven out of our homes, along with our children?" But when fighting was ordained for them, they turned away, except for a few of them. But God is aware of the wrongdoers." (2:246). This prophet of theirs was afraid that they would not fight, but they asserted to him that they would, because were driven out of their homes; this means that they were to fight, in self-defense, an aggressive polytheistic enemy that imposed on them forced displacement; this Quranic story contradicts the Old Testament story about the Israelites fighting aggressively the philistines upon the Lord's commands.      

3- Thus, What God says about self-defense fighting allowed for those who suffered forced displacement in 2:246 is repeated in detail within other Quranic stories about Prophet Muhammad and early believers in Mecca and then in Yathreb, as they suffered persecution, forced displacement, and then military attacks against them; all such reasons caused the self-defense sharia legislations. The forced displacement was the reason of engaging into self-defense fighting against the aggressive polytheists during the sacred months, because forced displacement of believers (i.e., peaceful ones) is a more heinous crime more than fighting during the sacred months: "They ask you about fighting during the Sacred Month. Say, "Fighting during it is deplorable; but to bar others from God's path, and to disbelieve in Him, and to prevent access to the Holy Mosque, and to expel its people from it, are more deplorable with God..." (2:217).   

4- The Quranic verses mention historical facts about the story of Muhammad never mentions by inveterate liars like Ibn Ishaq (i.e., the Abbasid author to write the first biography of Muhammad, filled with falsehoods of course). These Quranic facts include the following ones.

4/1: After Qorayish tribesmen imposed forced displacement on Muhammad and the early believers, their military raids threatened their exile in Yathreb; at first, God's permission was not yet there to engage into self-defense fighting, and they were still too weak and feared annihilation. After they grew stronger and prepared themselves to fight in self-defense, permission of God came to them, and one of its reasons was forced displacement: "God defends those who believe. God does not love any ungrateful traitor. Permission is given to those who are fought against, and God is Able to give them victory. Those who were unjustly evicted from their homes, merely for saying, "Our Lord is God."..." (22:38-40).  

4/2: After the Meccans (and Qorayish) willingly 'converted' to Islam (or feigned it), they soon enough breached their pledge of peace and attacked Muhammad and the early believers and forced them out of Mecca again, as we infer from the Quranic Chapter 9 whose early verses give the polytheists the chance of the four sacred months to stop their aggression, or else, they would be fought and resisted after these months. God has said the following to the believers at the time: "Will you not fight a people who violated their oaths, and planned to exile the prophet, and initiated hostilities against you? Do you fear them? It is God you should fear, if you are believers." (9:13).  

5- Sunnite scholars of fiqh disregarded intentionally this Quranic sharia legislation about forced displacement (i.e., expelling and driving people out of their homes) as the reason for self-defense fighting legislations: "As for those who have not fought against you for your religion, nor expelled you from your homes, God does not prohibit you from dealing with them kindly and equitably. God loves the equitable. But God prohibits you from befriending those who fought against you over your religion, and expelled you from your homes, and aided in your expulsion. Whoever takes them for friends-these are the wrongdoers." (60:8-9). Hence, any peaceful non-Muslims who never commit aggressions against peaceful Muslims are to be treated kindly and justly, while the aggressive parties should never be made allies to believers. Sharia laws of the Sunnite Muhammadans contradict this; they fight all non-Sunnite peaceful people.  

6- Thus, those who suffered forced displacement are allowed to fight in self-defense if they are ready for it, and if they die as a result of self-defense fighting, they will be rewarded on the Last Day: "...For those who emigrated, and were expelled from their homes, and were persecuted because of Me, and fought and were killed-I will remit for them their sins, and will admit them into gardens beneath which rivers flow-a reward from God. With God is the ultimate reward." (3:195).

7- Hence, those who suffered forced displacement but cannot fight must not fight, and God will reward them for their patience and their reliance on Him: "Those who emigrate for God's sake after being persecuted, We will settle them in a good place in this world; but the reward of the Hereafter is greater, if they only knew. Those who endure patiently, and in their Lord they put their trust." (16:41-42). 

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