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News I am with Terrorism

  1. Nov 28, 2004 #1
    "I am with Terrorism"

    I think it is important to translate from Arabic to English some will known poet and literature to show how really ‘’the others are thinking). Qabbani is one of the most popular Arab peot in modern age:



    ((Nizar Qabbani was buried today in his hometown of Damascus. Nizar Qabbani is one of the Arab most influential poets. His poems about women and women rights in the Arab world won him both praise and condemnation. He also attacked the Arab regimes as well as the rape of Palestine.
    After the death of his wife (Balkis - a rose) in Beirut in a car bombing of the Iraqi embassy where she worked, he wrote a devastating poem that expressed his love and longing for his wife and condemnation of the state of the Arab condition. (For those of you who are Star Trek fans, do you remember that entity that was married to a human women and when aliens attacked the planet and killed his wife, in a moment of rage he destroyed them all? Not just the attacking ships but all of them.))

    I am with Terrorism

    We are accused of terrorism:

    if we defended rose and woman

    and the mighty verse ...

    and the blueness of sky ...

    A dominion .. nothing left therein...

    No water, no air ..

    No tent, no camel,

    and not even dark Arabica coffee!!

    We are accused of terrorism:

    if we defended with guts

    the hair of Balqis

    and the lips of Maysun

    if we defended Hind, and Da`d

    Lubna and Rabab ..

    and the stream of Kohl

    coming down from their lashes like the verses of revelation.

    You will not find with me

    a secret poem

    or a secret logos

    or books I put behind doors.

    I do not even have one Qasidah

    walking down the street, wearing Hijab.

    We are accused of terrorism:

    if we wrote about the ruins of a homeland

    torn, weak ...

    a homeland with no address

    and a nation with no name

    I seek the remnants of a watan

    none of its grand poems is left

    except the bemoans of Khansa.

    I seek a dominion in whose horizons

    no freedom can be found

    red .. blue or yellow.

    A homeland forbidding us from buying a newspaper

    or listening to the news.

    A dominion wherein birds are forbidden

    from chirping.

    A homeland wherein, out of terror [ru`b],

    its writers got accustomed to write about


    A watan, in the likeness of poetry in our lands : It is vain talk,

    no rhythm,


    Ajam, with a crooked face and tongue:

    No beginning

    No end

    No relation with people's worry

    mother earth

    and the crisis of man.

    A dominion ...

    going to peace talks

    with no honor

    no shoe.

    A homeland,

    men peed in their pans ..

    women are those left to defend honor.

    Salt in our eyes

    Salt in our lips

    Salt in our words

    Can the self carry such dryness?

    An inheritance we got from the barren Qahtan?

    In our nation, no Mu`awiya, and no Abu Sufiyan

    No one is left to say "NO"

    and face the quitters

    they gave up our houses, our bread and our [olive] oil.

    They transformed our bright history into a mediocre store.

    In our lives, no Qasidah is left,

    since we lost our chastity in the bed of the Sultan.

    They got accustomed to us, the humbled.

    What is left to man

    when all that remains

    is disgrace.

    I seek in the books of history

    Ussamah ibn al-Munqith

    Uqba ibn Nafi`

    Omar, and Hamzah

    and Khalid, driving his flocks toward Sham . I seek a Mu`tasim Billah

    Saving women from the cruelty of rape

    and the fire.

    I seek latter days men

    All I can see is frightened cats

    Scared for their own souls, from

    the sultanship of mice.

    Is this an overwhelming national blindness?

    Are we blind to colors?

    We are accused of terrorism

    If we refuse to die

    with Israel's bulldozers

    tearing our land

    tearing our history

    tearing our Evangelium

    tearing our Koran

    tearing the graves of our prophets

    If this was our sin,

    then, lo, how beautiful terrorism is?

    We are accused of terrorism

    if we refused to be effaced

    by the hands of the Mogul, Jews and Barbarians

    if we throw a stone

    at the glass of the the Security Council

    after the Ceasar of Ceasar got a hold of it.

    We are accused of terrorism

    if we refuse to negociate with the wolf

    and shake the hand with a whore


    Against the cultures of the peoples

    with no culture

    Against the civilizations of the civilized

    with no civilization


    a mighty edifice

    with no walls!

    We are accused of terrorism:

    if we refused an era

    Amrika became

    the foolish, the rich, the mighty

    translated, sworn

    in Ivri.

    We are accused of terrorism:

    if we throw a rose

    to Jerusalem

    to al-Khalil

    to Ghazza

    to an-Nasirah

    if we took bread and water

    to beleaguered Troy.

    We are accused of terrorism:

    if we raised our voices against

    the regionalists of our leaders.

    All changed their rides:

    from Unionists

    to Brokers.

    If we committed the heinous crime of culture

    if we revolted against the orders of the grand caliph

    and the seat of the caliphate

    If we read jurisprudence or politics

    If we recalled God

    and read Surat al-Fat-h

    [that Chapter of Conquest].

    If we listened to the Friday sermon

    then we are well-established in the art of terrorism

    We are accused of terrorism

    if we defended land

    and the honor of dust

    if we revolted against the rape of people

    and our rape

    if we defended the last palm trees in our desert

    the last stars in our sky

    the last syllabi of our names

    the last milk in our mothers' bossoms

    if this was our sin

    how beautiful is terrorism.

    I am with terrorism

    if it is able to save me

    from the immigrants from Russia

    Romania, Hungaria, and Poland

    They settled in Palestine

    set foot on our shoulders

    to steal the minarets of al-Quds

    and the door of Aqsa

    to steal the arabesques

    and the domes.

    I am with terrorism

    if it will free the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth,

    and the virgin, Meriam Betula

    and the holy city

    from the ambassadors of death and desolation


    The nationalist street was fervent

    like a wild horse.

    The rivers were abundant with the spirit of youth.

    But after Olso,

    we no longer had teeth:

    we are now a blind and lost people.

    We are accused of terrorism:

    if we defended with full-force

    our poetic heritage

    our national wall

    our rosy civilization

    the culture of flutes in our mountains

    and the mirrors displaying blackened eyes.

    We are accused of terrorism:

    if we defended what we wrote

    El azure of our sea

    and the aroma of ink

    if we defended the freedom of the word

    and the holiness of books

    I am with terrorism

    if it is able to free a people

    from tyrants and tyranny

    if it is able to save man from the cruelty of man

    to return lemon, olive tree, and bird to the South of Lebanon

    and the smile back to Golan

    I am with terrorism

    if it will save me

    from the Ceasar of Yehuda

    and the Ceasar of Rome

    I am with terrorism

    as long as this new world order

    is shared

    between Amrika and Israel


    I am with terrorism

    with all my poetry

    with all my words

    and all my teeth

    as long as this new world

    is in the hands of a butcher.

    I am with terrorism

    if the U.S. Senate

    enacts judgement

    decrees reward and punishment

    I am with terrorism

    as long this new world order

    hates the smell of A`rab.

    I am with terrorism

    as long as the new world order

    wants to slaughter my off-spring.

    and send them to dogs.

    For all this

    I raise my voice high:

    I am with terrorism

    I am with terrorism

    I am with terrorism ...

    - Nizar Qabbani London, 15 Nisan (April) 1997.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 21, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 28, 2004 #2
    I read it. Is he encouraging all Arabs to be terrorists?
  4. Nov 28, 2004 #3
    It depends on the definition of terrorism..

    If you define the terrorism as resisting the occupation, imperialists, dictators ... then he support that.

    But if you define the terrorism as targeting civilians, surely he against it ... especially he lost his wife in terrorist attacks against the Iraqi Embassy in Beirut ... he cried a lot for her.

    By the way, Qabbani had hard time with Arab dictators and some Islamic groups, he was called ''the poet of women '', because most of his poem about supporting women rights.

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 28, 2004
  5. Nov 28, 2004 #4


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    I wonder

    If you could bring yourself to pretend--just for a few seconds--that the deity of the Koran is merely a fiction that The Prophet falsely believed was real, would it drastically change the impact that Qabbani's writing has on you?
  6. Nov 28, 2004 #5
    Qabbani is not religious, even many Muslims rejected to pray on his body in the mosque after his death. This means they did not believe he is Muslim.

    He is one of the leaders of the liberal Arab who fight against dictators, occupation and imperialist and fight for freedom and women rights in Arab world.

    It is strange that you chose just few words mentioned Koran from such long poem!!!! He also mentioned some words about Christian:

    I am with terrorism

    if it will free the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth,

    and the virgin, Meriam Betula

    and the holy city

    from the ambassadors of death and desolation

    I think ‘’tearing the Koran’’ is symbolic refer to external imperialists forces who want to destroy our culture …. The same as he talked about Jesus and Mary .. who represent the Christian part of Arab culture …. Such symbolism is well known in Arabic poem

    The importance of this poem is to prove that the conflict is not ''pure religious'' as many American think. Arab liberals (many among them are from christian background : Edward Saeed, Azmi Beshara, Elias Khouri ...) were the leaders of anti dictators and anti imperialists resistance for decades .. till the rise of Islamic groups in last 15 years.
    You can see Qabbani in the American University of Beirut :


    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 28, 2004
  7. Nov 28, 2004 #6
    Another poem
    Qana is town in South of Lebanon was under UN control. The Israeli murdered 120 civilians in this town in 1995. USA used Veto to protect Israel after the report of UN shoed that Israel is completely responsible about this massacre ... this report was main reason that USA kicked out the former UN secretary , Butrus Ghali.
    More information about Qana massacre ….

    http://www.future.com.lb/qana/ [Broken]


    The face of Qana
    Pale, like that of Jesus
    And the sea breeze of Nisan
    Rains of blood.. and tears..
    They entered Qana stepping on our charred bodies
    Raising a Nazi flag in the lands of the South
    And rehearsing its stormy chapters..
    Hitler cremated them in the gaschambers..
    And they came after him to burn us..
    Hitler kicked them out of Eastern Europe
    And they kicked us out of our lands
    Hitler did not find the time to destroy them
    And relieve earth of their mischief
    They came after him..
    To destroy us

    They entered Qana
    Like hungry wolves
    Putting to fire the house of the Messiah..
    Stepping on the Thob of Hussain..
    And the dear land of the South

    Blasted Wheat, Olive-trees and Tobacco
    And the melodies of the nightingale
    Blasted Cadmus in his bark
    Blasted sea and the gulls
    Blasted hospitals
    Nursing moms
    And schoolboys..
    Blasted the beauty of the Southern women
    And murdered the gardens of the honeyed eyes

    WE saw the tears in Ali's eyes
    We heard his voice as he prayed
    Under the rain of bloody skies..

    Who ever will write about the history of Qana
    Will inscribe in his parchments
    This was the second Karbala

    Qana unveiled what was hidden
    We saw Amrika
    Wearing the old coat of a Jewish Rabbi
    Leading the slaughter
    Blasting our children for no reason
    Blasting our wives for no reason
    Blasting our trees for no reason
    Blasting our thoughts for no reason
    Has it been decreed in her constitution,
    She, Amrika, mistress of the world,
    In Hebrew.. that she should humble us all-Arab?

    Has it been decreed that each time a ruler in Amrika
    Wants to win the presidency that he should kill us..
    We all-Arab?

    We waited for one Arab to come
    Pull this thorny prick from our necks
    We waited for single Qurei****e
    A single Hashemite
    A single Don Quixote
    A single Qabadaya, for whom they did not shave the moustache
    We waited for a Khalid.. A Tariq.. or Antara..
    We were eaten Tharthara (while engaged in vain talk)
    The sent a fax
    We read its text
    Way after paying tribute
    And the end of the Majzara (slaughter)..

    What does Yisrael fear from our cries?
    What does she fear from our faxes?
    The Jihad of the fax is the weakest of Jihads..
    It is a single text we write
    For all the martyrs who left..
    And all the martyrs those who will come

    What does Yisrael frear from Ibn al-Muqaffa?
    Jarir and .. Farazdag?
    And Khansa throwing her poems at the gates of the Maqbara (cemetery)
    What does she fear if we burn tires
    Sign communiques
    And destroy shops
    And she knows that we have never been kings of Harb (war)
    But were kings of Tharthara (wild belching)

    What does Yisrael fear
    From the beating of the drums
    The tearing of clothes
    And the scratching of Khudud
    What does she fear when she hears
    The stories of 'Ad and Thamud?

    We are in national ivresse
    We did not receive
    Since the times of conquest..
    The Barid

    We are a people made of dough
    The more Yisrael increases in her killing and terrorism
    The more we increase in idleness and Burud (coldness)

    A Smothering Dominion
    A regional dialect that increases in ugliness
    And a green union that grows in isolation
    Summer trees, growing barren
    And borders.. whenever the whim strikes
    Erase other borders

    Yisrael should slaughter us, and why not?
    She should erase Hisham, Ziyad and ar-Rashid, and why not?
    Why not? And the Banu Taghlab lusting after their women
    Why not? And Banu Mazen lusting after their ghilman (slave boys)
    Why not? And Banu Adnan dropping their trousers to their knees
    Debating.. necking and .. the lips!

    What should Yisrael fear from some of All-Arab
    When they became Yehuda???


    The Fortune Teller
    By: Nizar Kabbani ( Translated from Arabic Language):

    She sat with fear in her eyes
    Contemplating the upturned cup
    She said "Do not be sad, my son
    You are destined to fall in love"
    My son,Who sacrifices himself for his beloved,
    Is a martyr

    For long have I studied fortune-telling
    But never have I read a cup similar to yours
    For long have I studied fortune-telling
    But never have I seen sorrows similar to yours
    You are predestined to sail forever
    Sail-less, on the sea of love
    Your life is forever destined
    To be a book of tears
    And be imprisoned
    Between water and fire

    But despite all its pains,
    Despite the sadness
    That is with us day and night
    Despite the wind
    The rainy weather
    And the cyclone
    It is love, my son
    That will be forever the best of fates

    There is a woman in your life, my son
    Her eyes are so beautiful
    Glory to God
    Her mouth and her laughter
    Are full of roses and melodies
    And her gypsy and crazy love of life
    Travels the world
    The woman you love
    May be your whole world
    But your sky will be rain-filled
    Your road blocked, blocked, my son
    Your beloved, my son, is sleeping
    In a guarded palace
    He who approaches her garden wall
    Who enters her room
    And who proposes to her
    Or tries to unite her plaits
    Will cause her to be lost, my son...lost

    You will seek her everywhere, my son
    You will ask the waves of the sea about her
    You will ask the shores of the seas
    You will travel the oceans
    And your tears will flow like a river
    And at the close of your life
    You will find that since your beloved
    Has no land, no home, no address
    You have been pursuing only a trace of smoke
    How difficult it is, my son
    To love a woman
    Who has neither land, nor home
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  8. Nov 28, 2004 #7
    I personnally think that the litteral "terrorists", i.e. the people who use bombs and violence to attack and terrorize civilians, use religion as a pretext to recruit people into their groups. By mixing religion and bombs themselves (especially with the concept of "Jihad") to convince Arabs of their "cause", the leaders of such groups also confuse Americans into being very skeptical of Islam. I don't think it's pure religious, although many probably do.

    As of today, I believe the true purpose of the group leaders is to gain land, power, money and personnal respect. It's a conflict of poorer against richer, and their motivation is the fact that 1000 years ago, it is the Muslim/Arab world which was richer.
  9. Nov 28, 2004 #8


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    I realize that this may sound to you like it is off of your topic, but what is your evaluation, as a Palestinian, of this:

    which I found here:

    http://www.kqed.org/topics/news/perspectives/youdecide/pop/overpop/4yes.html [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  10. Nov 28, 2004 #9
    Jihad has many other meanings in Arabic. Even many Arab Christian are called ''Jihad'' , ( Jihad Khazen = well known Lebanese Christian journalist). Anyway , this is will be long topic , especially the Arab/Muslims understood it in different way than American show it.

    I do not know what you means by the leaders of these groups, but if you mean the Islamic groups, then you are incorrect.

    The main difference between Islamic groups and most of other groups, that the leaders of firs groups are willing to scarify their lives and money for their principles...

    For example:

    Hizbullah : The son of his leaders was killed in attack against the Israeli occupation army in south Lebanon.

    Hamas : Most of its leaders were killed by Israeli. They used to be on the fire lines fighting with their soldiers.

    Even OBL is very rich person who can live very wealthy life n, but he decided to use his money and his life for his ''ideas''.

    There is global resistance in the East after the end of the Anglo-French colonist era. This resistance directed against the corrupted dictators and puppet regimes and against the Zionism project in ME. In last decades, nationalists, liberals and communists used to be the leaders of this resistance ... it seems recently that Islamic groups got more power among these groups.

  11. Nov 28, 2004 #10
    Muslims since very early Islam used “birth control”, even some early scholars (7 th century) explained how they can control birth (by letting man sperm pour outside).

    (Opposite to catholic and Judaism, from Islamic point: Sex between husband and wife is considered as essential part of marriage and it is encouraged strongly, even if parents do not intent to get kids from the relation)

    Currently, in all Islamic countries there are Fatwa agree or even support ‘’birth control’’.

    There are misunderstanding with controlling ‘’birth” and encouraging having many kids. Islam encourages the family to have many kids ‘’as most of other religions’’, but it is up to the parents to decide the number of their kids.

    In other words, from Islamic views: it is not sin to make control birth, but it is better to have many kids if you have the ability for that.

    In Palestine, the average number of kids of the family was 10 kids before 50 years, currently the average around 6 kids (it is still from the highest in the world)

    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  12. Nov 28, 2004 #11
    Americans basically translate "Jihad" to "Holy war", which is, as far as I'm concerned a contradiction in terms with no credibility, it makes no sense. Nothing "holy" is associated with violence according to the other religions I'm familiar with. It may not be the best translation, but it is the one that runs around.

    Some counter this argument with the the Crusades of the Christians, well, first I probably don't understand them fully, second, they were a failure themselves : Christians and Muslims should have learned the lesson, and third, if all Muslim/Arabs do recognize that a (Holy) "War" against America is actually going on (I don't think every Muslims do), then America has quite a right to defend itself in any way it can, and since Islam has no borders, then whether the US goes after Afghanistan, or Iraq or any other countries where Muslims predominate almost becomes irrelevent. Either borders between countries matter, or they don't. The "terrorist" groups seem to think they don't (between the arab countries).

    The groups I had in mind are exactly those 3 :, Al Quaeda, Hamas, and Hisbullah.

    "The main difference between Islamic groups and most of other groups, that the leaders of firs groups are willing to scarify their lives and money for their principles..."

    I totally agree with that statement (except I don't think it's all Islamic groups). What I think most Americans don't agree with and frankly don't even respect much is "sacrify their lives". This crosses the line. I value life more than any principle. If someone suicides, it don't like it, it is sad, and I can manage to feel for that person. But if someone suicides and brings along people who wish to live, how can I possibly approve of that and admire that person? It defeats the purpose of having a principle. Even Hindus who belive in reincarnation don't do that. Those three groups cannot earn respect from the rest of the world if such actions are acceptable to them. No one wants people like that as their neighboor.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 28, 2004
  13. Nov 28, 2004 #12


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    Well, I could call "coffee" "tea", but that would confuse a lot of people. Definitions are supposed to be constant and consistently applied, otherwise the words truly are meaningless.

    Terrorism is a word that terrorists have to attempt to cloud because the objective definition isn't a positive one. Applying the real definition objectively means terrorists truly are evil.

    But hey, if you don't like the word, there are plenty of other ones that can describe those people and their actions: murderers, criminals, outlaws, savages, barbarians, evil, etc. Take your pick.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2004
  14. Nov 28, 2004 #13


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    Btw, what's the definition of "evil"?
  15. Nov 28, 2004 #14


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  16. Nov 28, 2004 #15


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    Well we can continue this for a while:
    What is "morally bad or wrong"?
  17. Nov 28, 2004 #16


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    As far as I know, the literal translation of "jihad" is not "holy war" but simply "striving", and as a religious doctrine indicates many kinds of sacrifices that a Muslim may make toward spiritual goals. While I think the specific meaning of ejecting the ungodly from Muslim society has been around since almost the founding of Islam, my impression is also that that has not historically been the most important definition. The terror groups obviously use the word as a spiritual justification for their violence, but how many Muslims accept this justification? Are there non-violent interpretations of what jihad against Western nations might mean? Or do Muslims who are angry about the actions of Western powers in the Middle East, but who would never countenance terrorism use a different concept?

    For a long time, European countries used the word "mission" in the sense of "mission to Christianize heathens" as a justification for colonialism. Bush has used the word "crusade" in reference to the current U.S. wars in the Middle East.

    All of these ideas have complicated histories, and there is certainly no consensus on how to interpret them.

    (I certainly invite Bilal to correct any misinterpretation of "jihad" I have made here.)
  18. Nov 28, 2004 #17


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    Did you really not read the next sentence of Bilal's post?
    I'm not sure how you justify that Bilal (or Qabbani in other than a literary fashion—and if you understand the use of metaphor in Islamic poetry, I'm a camel) is blurring the definition of terrorism. The most coherent interpretation I've been able to come up with for your post is the pathetically one-dimensional idea that anyone who wants to resist Western actions in the Middle East, and calls Westerners imperialists just wants to blur the meaning of terrorism (no matter what tactics they would or would not support).

    So, how much of this reflects your actual thinking and how much is just sloppy writing?

    And what do you call resisting occupation by imperialists and dictators?
  19. Nov 29, 2004 #18


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    Are you being purposefully obtuse? I won't play the game.
    Bilal says a lot of contradictory things and talks in generalities instead of specifics. The primary, specific tatic used by Hizbullah, Hamas, and Al Queada is terrorism. Period. You strap a bomb to yourself and blow up a bus station, that's terrorism. Period. The motivation is irrelevant obfuscation, rationalization, and misdirection.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2004
  20. Nov 29, 2004 #19


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    It doesn't look like he's contradicted himself (but it's not impossible). Come back when your Arabic is as good as his English. Accusing someone of obfuscation before you know what they're saying just looks like gratuitous hostility.
    And someone implied otherwise, um... where? (No, not there, read it more carefully.)
    If you can't distinguish between the anger and defiance and despair that most Palestinians (or Syrians—Qabbani was Syrian) experience and the will to commit terrorism, I'm not sure what I can say.
  21. Nov 29, 2004 #20


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    "I am with terrorism" —
    If this translation is remotely accurate, I can think of at least four meanings for this:
    • "I embrace terrorism" - it seems clear from the poem that this one is intended ironically
    • "I contain terrorism" - the fear that despair might lead to embracing terrorism
    • "I am counted as a terrorist" - the feeling of being seen as no different from the terrorists
    • "Terrorism is with me" - the sense of living in the shadow of terrorism and terrorists
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