Upon awakening, prior to Fajr prayer, opened my Inbox to find an email from Al Rashid Mosque in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. It contained both good news and bad news. First the good news. Its subject line: Ceasefire NOW. National Day of Action for Palestine Show Your Solidarity.
The content: National Day of Action 10 K March for Gaza. Edmonton, Saturday, November 4, 2023 2 pm Churchill Square
END CANADIAN COMPLICITY: CEASEFIRE NOW; LIFT THE SIEGE ON GAZA NOW.
Complicity is the perfect word (and it was not even mine) A noun; the state of being involved with others in an illegal activity or wrongdoing. Sinister synonyms: involvement, collusion, collaboration, connivance, abetment; conspiracy, being in cahoots.
Canada is in collusion, collaboration and in cahoots with Israel, the United States as well as other minor and insignificant Western (and some Arab) countries.
I am so proud of those Canadians who will march on Saturday, November 4 at 2 pm. But here is the bad news. The list of Important Guidelines is ominous, if you read between the lines. A photo of the Guidelines will be included at the conclusion of the blog so that you can see it in its entirety. But here is a brief summary: Protect yourself and others. Wear face masks if you want to protect your identity. Ignore any attempts to provoke or antagonize you. What will these ‘protestors’ be facing? It is rather frightening. At least one admonition is not at all frighting: No climbing on public property. Who would want to anyway???
I spoke of this to my Saudi Grandson at breakfast. I began to cry for those Canadians who share my value systems – not just Muslims, but everyone who respects knowledge and the truth. I feel most helpless from afar. I did send an email response to Al Rashid Mosque.
Me: I wish I were there to protest with you. Instead I am in Medina and shall pray for you. Alhamduillah. I shall try to coordinate the times and pray at the Prophet’s Mosque in solidarity. I am perfectly safe here. Someone could carry a sign saying Alexis McBride is with us praying in Medina. One more person would be named and counted. I am blessed to be a Muslim and so proud of your brave efforts. Alexis McBride
Dried my tears, telling Grandson of my time zone discovery.
Me: Edmonton’s time zone is minus nine hours. I did the math, I can pray Fajr prayer in the Prophet’s Mosque in solidarity. I usually pray in private but this is calling on me to publicly declare my faith.
He: Your Grandson is proud of you!
Me: Thank you. Allah (SWT) is the One I must please, but having a proud Grandson is a joy.
My November 1 blog promised a discussion of Arab Unity – here it comes.
Let us begin, back in 1943. The final question asked in the Interview of His Majesty the King with LIFE Magazine’s Representative, Mr. Busch Read, March 21, 1943.
What does your Highness think of Arab unity?
There are no differences between the Arabs and I believe, with Allied aid, they will be united after the war. (Signed) Head of the Royal Cabinet
The entire interview can be found on the blog. Go to the Free Palestine banner heading and read the assembled materials. It will take some effort, but what are you doing with your time anyway in this hours of turmoil and need.
What happened with Arab Unity both then and now?? There was no Allied aid, the Arab countries were not united after the war. Israel’s presence prevented Arab Unity. There are reliable sources revealing that Arab unity was actively and secretly undermined. The Zionists were encouraged, in every way possible, to settle in Palestine and disrupt Arab Unity. It definitely was effective. Those Zionists are determined, no one can doubt that.
These are tragic and troubled days. The world is in a total uproar, worse than anyone can imagine. There is hope, however.
Alter Ego: How can you say that Alexis?
Me: His Majesty the King’s grandson can bring Arab Unity. He is definitely the man for the job. He got a bit distracted running around the world trying to influence world leaders – like France’s Macron and other heads of state in Europe. But it seems he might be back and focused on this incredibly important matter.
What I am doing in the midst of all this is highly unusual to say the least. To start with, it is extremely unlikely that I would have the May 31 1943 Life Magazine in my possession, finding it shortly after I became a Muslim. Improbable that I should go to Dubai but then taking the treasured magazine with me,‘lending’ it to a strange Arab man who did not return it. Then becoming obsessed with its return – returning to Saudi Arabia twice. Finding two copies of the treasured magazine and the identity of the man during my July 2023 visit. I suppose the perfect person to have such an adventure because I write a blog with worldwide attention. Think of the probability of it all particularly since, as I love to say: “I was born in Saskatchewan!;. It boggles the mind. .
There is even more to scratch your head over, placing me, in the right place, at the right time. Edmonton’s Khrome Nails moved their location to the South Side. Having time to spare went to an amazing used book store the Alhambra. The store is perfectly organized – there was a special area for religious books – two shelves crammed with books of the Islamic Faith. I purchased many written years before, during the 1980s- before 9/11 when Muslims the world over were forced into defensive, protective, more narrow definitions. Gone were thoughts of expansion, looking to break down the strict rule bound strictures.
One book purchased was Island in Transition: Muslim Perspectives, a collection gathered in 1982. It is crammed with the thoughts of wise scholars, speaking of many matters. One chapter, written by Sati al-Husri (1880-1964) grabbed my attention months ago when it was first discovered. Many words are underlined, its margins filled with my scribbles. It shall be impossible to share in its entirety, but hopefully its message will be conveyed. The author begins his discourse by repeating questions often asked of him.
“Why, it is asked, are you interested in Arab unity and why do you neglect Muslim unity? Do you not see that the goal of Muslim unity is higher than the good of Arab unity, and that the power generated by Muslim unity would be greater than that generated by Arab unity? Do you not agree that religious feeling in the East is much stronger than national feeling? Why, then. Do you want us to neglect the exploitation of this powerful feeling and to spend our energies in order to strengthen a weak feeling? Do you believe that the variety of languages will prevent the union of the Muslims? Do you not notice that the principles of constitution, socialism, Freemasonry, and other systems unite people of different languages, races, countries, and climates; that none of these differences have prevented them from coming to understanding, from drawing newer to another, and from agreeing on one plan and one creed?? Do you not know that every Muslim in Syria, Egypt, or Iraq, believes that the Indian Muslim, the Japanese Muslim, or the European Muslim is as much his brother as the Muslim with whom he lives side by side? Whence, then the impossibility of realizing Muslim union. Some say that Muslim unity is more powerful than any other and that its realization is easier than the realization of any other. What do you say to this? Some pretend, mistakenly, that the idea of Arab union is a plot the aim of which is to prevent the spread of the idea of Muslim union, in order to isolate some of the countries of the Muslim world and facilitate their continued subjugation. What is your opinion of these allegations? (Pp. 65-66)
The author begins the answer in the following manner.
I think that the essential point that has to be studied and solved is deciding which to prefer, Muslim unity or Arab unity may be summarized as follows: Is Muslim unity a reasonable hope capable of realization? Or is it a utopian dream incapable of realization? And, assuming the first alternative, easier or more difficult than the realization of Arab unity? Does one of these two schemes exclude the other? And is there a way of realizing Muslim unity without realizing Arab unity? When we think about such questions and analyze them, we have, in the first place, to define clearly what we mean by Muslim unity and by Arab unity and to delimit without any ambiguity the use of these two explanations.(p.67)
The author goes on to, first of all, define and explain the two – Muslim unity and Arab unity. Stay tuned. He ends eloquently with great fervor.
Fervor is intense and passionate feeling. Here are some of its exciting synonyms: intensity, zeal, warmth, sincerity, earnestness, avidity, animation, vigor, energy, spirit, zest, dedication.
There is a photograph of the Guidelines for the Edmonton march. Photographs of the cover of the May 31,1943 Life magazine, the book cover of Islam in Transition and one of its title page.