Sunday, January 11, 2009


Hamas Flag Flies in Berlin

Yesterday, I wrote on solidarity with Hamas and included reports from the West Bank, Cairo, London, and Vancouver. Below are a few excerpts from a report on a demonstration in Berlin on Saturday.
The demonstration was incredible. There were approximately 15 thousand people, nearly all Arab youth, broken informally and fraternally into sections that were more religious in chanting and signs or more secular-political in their chanting and signs. There were also mass sections of the demo made up exclusively of young women, whose chants tended towards the secular-political. I wandered through the crowd and witnessed the first arrest of many that happened through the march of a young man carrying a Hamas flag. Because Hamas is illegal and classified under the terrorism act, it is illegal to hold a Hamas flag in Germany. It is also (inexplicably) illegal to hold a sign or chant anything to the order of "God is God, there is only one God". The police had interpreters on hand to read Arabic signs for these messages and listen in on chants. ...

The police were a constant presence over every inch of the demo. Although the march stretched for five or six blocks, the police were visible on the sidewalk every inch of the way on both sides of the street; but their presence was most of the time ridiculous. The only time they could make arrests to charge Hamas flag carrying youth with terrorism was when someone was isolated. It was clear that they would pick out anyone who touched a Hamas flag to try to get them later when they were walking outside of a tight throng of marchers. At one such arrest when I was in the surge of the crowd that rushed forward to protest the arrest, I saw a woman who I had been walking alongside (with who looked like her elderly mother and her child in stroller), pull two oranges out of her bag and throw them over the heads of the demonstrators at the police line while shouting "Allah Akbar!" ...

In this case I was also struck by the absurdity of the "left" attitude that I noticed and that was also reported to me by the leftist Palestine solidarity activists I met that many leftists are not comfortable in marches like this one because "Allah Akbar!" is said too often and too broadly. In the context of this march, it is clear to me that "Allah Akbar" is simultaneously a religious statement and a statement of resistance. Especially given the borderline criminalized character of the Islamic faith in Germany, such religious statements take on an even greater meaning / signification of resistance against Zionism in specific and colonialism and imperialism in general. ...

It's been my observation that the left in Germany is divided on the question of Palestine, with the majority of the pro-Palestine section of that divide fairly paralyzed by apologia against accusations of anti-semitism. The result is that they are silent in practice and absent from demonstrations like today's. This is a tremendous failing. As I mentioned, the vast majority of this demo was made up of Arab youth who I found to be open to statements from the left in support of Palestine.

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At heart, secular leftists are atheist Jews or have absorbed this culture, that is why they are not truly in favor of Muslims being free to practice their religion as a society. Muslims are oppressed in China, slaughtered and living under occupation by Russia. Communists are not liked in Iran.

"Allahu Akbar" is a reminder to the evil doers that God sees their crime, and a reminder to the Believers that God is greater than their evil. Submission to nothing but Allah is the ultimate form of resistance because it means the person refuses to bow to a human master.
Great article, I'm re-posting it at
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