Reading a news item on Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Israel/Palestine Facebook, "Noushin Framke, Israel Palestine Mission Network: a divestment ballot initiative for California," I discovered there is a campaign to put an initiative on the ballot in California to require that “California's public retirement systems, the State Teachers' Retirement System (STRS) and the Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS),” “sell stocks held in companies that support Israeli settlements or provide military equipment and services to the State of Israel.”
The paper linked to by the IPMN is a weird alternative news paper, The Smirking Chimp, and it seems obsessive for a Presbyterian Middle East organization to link to such an outlet. However, the link does bring up multiple issues such as questions about where such funds really go. But the bigger problem I see is the list of individuals and organizations that are attempting to put the divestment initiative on the ballot.
The list of individuals includes at least six ministers. Three of them are Presbyterian. There is at least one Rabbi. But what I find somewhat offensive is the many Islamic organizations backing this campaign. Several of them are quite practical and helpful to both the Muslim community and probably the larger community. But one in particular bothers me immensely. The Muslim Student Associations of the West offers resources about Islam, some from Saudi Arabia.
Writing about the misconceptions about Islam MCA states:
“Islam is the name of a way of life which the Creator wants us to follow. We avoid the word religion because in many non-Islamic societies, there is a separation of "religion and state." This separation is not recognized at all in Islam: the Creator is very much concerned with all that we do, including the political, social, economic, and other aspects of our society. Hence, Islam is a complete way of life.”
In writing of human rights they refer to 4:59 in the Qur’an and then write:
“From this verse, it is clear that the state's obligation of obedience to the Creator is as important as the obedience of the individual. Hence, the Islamic state must derive its law from the Qur'an and Sunnah. This principle excludes certain choices from the Islamic state's options for political and economic systems, such as a pure democracy, unrestricted capitalism, communism, socialism, etc. For example, a pure democracy places the people above the Qur'an and Sunnah, and this is disobedience to the Creator. However, the best alternative to a pure democracy is a democracy that implements and enforces the Shari'ah (Islamic Law).”
I left the links in the above paragraph since they refer to the government of an Islamic state and show how violence is considered an acceptable way to spread Islam.
On the list, aligned with this type of Islamic organization, are many other organizations that are involved in extreme socialism. No novelist could imagine a more diverse alliance of potential enemies, potential enemies to each other that is. But then one thinks of the past and an emperor who was supposed to be god matched with a failed painter who imagined that he would begin an empire that would last a thousand years (they didn’t like the Jewish people either) and one sees that history is often full of evil/ tragic characters.
Even in California, I believe this push to divest from Israel will fail. God forgive us if it does not.