Tags: ramadan | palestinians | statehood

Evidence Suggests a Palestinian State Wouldn't Be Secular Democracy

Evidence Suggests a Palestinian State Wouldn't Be Secular Democracy
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Thursday, 06 June 2019 11:59 AM Current | Bio | Archive

At the end of Ramadan, the month-long daily fast observed by Muslims, is a three-day celebration called Eid el Fitr. Eid means festival and Fitr means the breaking of the fast.

The Muslim calendar is a lunar calendar. It is based on the cycles of the moon, not the sun as does the Gregorian or Christian calendar. Jews also follow the lunar calendar, but they have corrected, or standardized, their version of the calendar so that, year after year, holidays fall within prescribed seasons. Muslims have not made that correction. And because their calendar has not been fixed or standardized, the month of Ramadan and celebration of Eid el Fitr vary from year to year. The lunar year is 354 days not 365. Last year the Eid was June 15 and next year it will be May 25 losing 11 days every year.

This year, most of the Muslim world began their celebration on June 5, but some chose to begin celebrating on June 4. The cause of the disagreement centers on the question of how various Muslim leaders calculate and see the new moon. The date of the Eid is dependent on local leadership and their declaration of when the Eid begins.

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, and the UAE celebrated the start of the Eid on Tuesday June 4. Whereas Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, Pakistan, and Australia and others observed Wednesday, June 5 for their first day of celebration. 1.6 billion Muslims around the world celebrate Eid el Fitr. The Palestinians began their celebration on June 5.

That brings me to the photo I saw of Palestinian police beating a Muslim Arab. The victim chose to celebrate the Eid on Tuesday, June 4 instead of Wednesday, June 5. They beat him with heavy four-foot wooden batons. The victim was on the ground.

This was a horrific act — and not simply because of the beating. It demonstrates just how intolerant the Palestinian system is for people who disagree. Where is religious freedom? Where is the protection of this man's rights? Whom did he hurt? Who will be held accountable for this gross violation of human rights?

The beating this man received — not for violating Ramadan but for celebrating the Eid according to his tradition. He was publically feasting on a fast day.

It brings into question the issue of Palestinian governance. This is a far more relevant, more overarching, and even more significant issue than human rights.

What will be the nature of a Palestinian state?

For years, even decades now, Palestinian leadership and advocates for Palestinian statehood have consistently proclaimed that their state will be a secular state. And yet, in the current precursor to that state where the Palestinian Authority has police power and the responsibilities of governance, that seems not to be the case.

Under Palestinian Authority rule, when a Muslim Arab varies even only slightly from the standard accepted Muslim view, he is allowed to be beaten in public by the police.

The delusion that a Palestinian state would be secular and would mimic a Western parliamentary democracy is, plainly put, ludicrous.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas assumed his position in 2003. Even a simple second election for presidency has not happened under present Palestinian Authority leadership. The proof is right there before our eyes.

Micah Halpern is a political and foreign affairs commentator. He founded "The Micah Report" and hosts "Thinking Out Loud with Micah Halpern" a weekly TV program and "My Chopp" a daily radio spot. A dynamic speaker, he specializes in analyzing world events and evaluating their relevance and impact. Follow him on Twitter @MicahHalpern. To read more of this reports — Click Here Now.

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At the end of Ramadan, the month-long daily fast observed by Muslims, is a three-day celebration called Eid el Fitr. Eid means festival and Fitr means the breaking of the fast.
ramadan, palestinians, statehood
616
2019-59-06
Thursday, 06 June 2019 11:59 AM
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