The opinions expressed by students do not represent the views of Ramallah Friends School (FBS) and Friends United Meeting.
Religion in Politics

Would you like to have an Islamic state? – Heather Wittum (Michigan, USA)

Palestine should never be an Islamic state, because I think that religion and politics should never be mixed together. People all over the world have the wrong perception of Islam and always connect it with Terror; therefore if we made Palestine an Islamic country it would have more enemies. Palestine doesn’t consist only of Islamic people but it also includes many Christians and for that reason an Islamic state doesn’t work. Many people don’t agree with some of the Islamic rules, such as for women to wear hijab and many other rules. Many people would protest an Islamic government and it will collapse at the end.
By Yasmeen

I would like for my country to be an Islamic state, but at the same time I would like it to be an uncomplicated and normal Islamic country, not complicated and fanatic. And we have to respect and value the other religions just like my religion. The religion must not be obligatory.
By Waleed

Well, the Islamic religion is very conservative. Sometimes I think having an Islamic state is good, to avoid the fights between the Muslims. And sometimes I think if we have an Islamic state it is too bad because we won’t live freely, won’t wear whatever we want, won’t hang out with our friends in public places. I also think that the government must include many religions because the people in Palestine aren’t just Muslims, so the Islamic religion won''t understand other religions and thinks that the Islamic religion is just the right one.
By Hanin

No, I wouldn’t like to have an Islamic state. I believe that the governments of any state should not have to deal with religions. If a state was following a religion, then the rules of that state would also follow that religion. So if the state was an Islamic state, then we would live under Islamic beliefs and rules. Our freedom would be taken from us, and we would live under rules and things we don’t believe in.
By Janan

I don’t like the idea of an Islamic state. The reasons for that is, first, if my country was ruled by Islamic rules, the people with other religions would not be ruled fairly. Also, the country would not reach the development that other countries have. This is because the country would then ignore everything and be concerned only about implementing the Islamic rules.
By Bashar

People are born to live together, otherwise no one can live. In my opinion a state means a big land with different types of people. As all of the people know that it''s not fair to discriminate between white and black people; so too, Islamic, Christians or others must live on the same land, sharing all the traditions, celebrating with different occasions and relating with their own rights.
By Marian

Personally, I do not believe that I would be able to tolerate an Islamic state. I feel this way solely due to the fact that I was raised in a society that I feel is completely the contrary of an Islamic society. I have adapted to my way of life; this way of life includes going out, visiting friends, partying, and going about my life not wearing a head covering. I am against the idea of an Islamic state because I feel we, as a society, are not prepared for the changes that will come with the Islamic state. I fear that an Islamic state will shock our society, and may also cause more chaos than it will resolve.
By Atheer

Long ago, when Arabs were united and had an Islamic state, they used to treat non-Muslims well, but they had to either pay taxes (for protection), or join Muslims for wars. Now, in Palestine and most other Islamic countries, Muslims and Christians are like brothers, but some Muslims have problems with Jews.

I don’t want an Islamic state because it would be so strict. But I would love to have a united Arab state because I don’t think that we need boundaries between us. We all came from the same place and are from the same race.
By Ahmad

Most of the people in Palestine are Muslims. However, there is a large number of Christians. It’s a country that shows understanding toward everyone in it. That’s why I think it shouldn''t be Islamic country, because it may forget about people with other religions. This country must treat everyone the same because they are all Palestinians. So why should we let it become an Islamic country? It should just stay our lovable country Palestine.
By Ahlam

I think that having an Islamic state is a big mistake, because this will cause internal fights between the Islamic people, and with other people who have a different religion in other countries. Now, if we have a mixed religion state this will make us a better country, and a more confident country.
By Basil

No, I think we shouldn’t have an Islamic state, because Palestine consists of three religions; also it can''t be an Islamic state because it''s different than Iran in its way of control, and religion is something personal that each one can follow or do his homework by himself, and we can''t determine the relation between the person and his God. So, our government should not be related or connected to the religion because there are many people in different religions.
By Fahmi

1.What do you think about Islamic states like Iran? – Calvin College

In my opinion, Iran is considered a well developed country. If you look deeply, you’ll find it to be successful socially, economically and militarily. So, why shouldn’t Palestine be successful like Iran? On the other hand, we should not adopt extremist rules like Iran has. If we don’t adopt an Islamic system, we should choose some other system that will help Palestine become a successful and independent country.
By Pillar

People deserve to live in a system that guarantees their freedom to think, to move, and to live as they wish. Therefore, I don''t think Palestine should be like Iran. Palestine is a multi-religious country, where Moslems, Jews, and Christians live. So the political system should be based on democracy and should tolerate all different religions from all over the world.
By Joy

Religion must play less than a small part in politics. Having an Islamic state will make no difference. People should rule themselves, not religion. Religion should play a role in passing some laws but it shouldn’t lead the country. If Palestine became an Islamic state, laws would and should respect, consider, and take care of minorities.
By Saji

I think that Iran is somehow a developed country. Iran has a democracy and allows the people to express their opinions. Also, there is an election in Iran for choosing a president. A problem in Iran is that there are not enough political parties. This causes a deficiency in the democracy.
By Bashar

I think that modern states should separate between religion and politics. I think that clergies belong in mosques and priests belong in churches. The state should represent all of its people equally. Therefore, I don’t support Islamic states as I don’t support states that adopt religious ideology to justify their politics. There can be no democracy or freedom when a religious sect is ruling a state.
By Ahmad M

Palestine should have an Islamic state. That doesn''t mean there shouldn''t be any other religions. I don’t know much about the Islam in Iran, but what I know about it is enough for me to say that the religion there is overdone. A Palestinian Islamic state would give logical rules for the people. People of other religions won''t have any problems in this state. They will live with the Muslims happily.
By Abbas

Hamas is a political organization that started in the 1980s. After it won more than half of the parliament seats, people are confused and are asking: What''s Next?
Some people think that Hamas will make Palestine a "Moslem country" similar to Iran. They think that Hamas will make Christians pay for the government and force women to wear the "hejab" and other things. Others think that the world will stop helping us and will not give us any money or support because of Hamas'' way in dealing with the conflict. Others say that Hamas will change its ways and be a part in the peace process just as Fateh did when they reached the government.

Personally I''m not in agreement with any of these people. But I think that Hamas will change its way in dealing with the conflict similar to what happened to Fateh, but they will be harder to deal with and will not give up in many areas. When I say that, people think that I''m dreaming, but if you go back to the history you''ll find many organizations that changed their strategies. You will also discover that the Israeli political organization that started the peace process was the Lecude organization.
By Sami

Palestine has lived for thousands of years in peace among its religions, especially Islam and Christianity. Therefore, I would prefer to have a secular state, where everybody can practice freely his or her own religion and faith.

I support separation between government and religion. The government should represent all people from different parties, religions, and thoughts. Although I am a Muslim, I think having an Islamic state may not be fair for those who do not want to be ruled by Islamic law or for those who have a different religion. Finally, I do not think all Islamic states should be like Iran; this question can bias negative answers.
By Taleen

Iran is a strong Islamic state. I think that an Islamic state being one of the strong states in the world is good for us, because it will let every non-Islamic state think carefully before taking any step toward invading an Islamic state. And that, maybe, will help us as Palestinians in taking our freedom back from the Israelis.
By Ameed

No, I don’t think so because nowadays the entire world is against the idea of the Islamic state and we Palestinians want to free our land, so if we were to have an Islamic state the entire world would be against us and our progress in freeing Palestine would not continue.
By Omar

I am a religious person, and l would love to see Palestine an Islamic state. But this can''t work. Palestine is different than Iran. In Palestine, we have Christians, and many other people (including some Muslims) that don’t believe in Islam. I think the best thing for Palestine at this time is a communist government.
By Yazan

I think that Palestine is the Holy Land for all religions, especially the Jewish, Christianity, and Islam. I do not think that Palestine should have an Islamic state, because by doing so, you are limiting the religions to one instead of three. By doing so, I think it disrespects the other two religions. Thousands of people from around the world visit Palestine just to see all the holy sites and pray. Therefore, it will decrease tourism and affect the economy.
By Canaan

I think that Islamic domination is not such a good idea. In every country, there is always a variety of religions. So, why dominate the country by the majority of the religion? A country with various religions should be dominated by a fair political government, rather than an Islamic or Christian one. If a country were to be dominated only by Islam, then Christians and other parties would feel left out and neglected. To avoid this, a united government would be applicable.
By Chris

An Islamic state is a democratic state. It also combines the communist’s economic way and capitalism. An Islamic state always worked excellently, and it had so much power, but right now, the big powers are trying to stop any rising Islamic state because it can threaten them. In the end, I have no problem if Palestine were to become an Islamic state.
By Ahmad N

I like the new Islamic democratic elections in their state, more and more. I like their planning for the future; however, I can''t forget their demonstrations to support the Palestinian cause.
By Salman

No, I don’t think that we should have an Islamic state, because that would show no respect for the other religions. What’s the point of doing that anyway?! To show other’s that we have faith? I believe that everyone’s faith in God comes from the inside.
By Athar

No, I think Palestine is known for its religious reconciliation, for there are three different religions that don’t fight; if Palestine becomes an Islamic state this property will vanish, and life would be hard for other religions to get along with in the land. I think that there shouldn’t be something called an Islamic or Christian state, because we are all alike—we all believe in one united God.
By Faris

Iran is a powerful nation; it has many recourses just as Iraq does. It has a nuclear reactor. I believe that the reactor shouldn''t be removed until Israel removes its reactor. People believe that Iran is a terrorist country but people don''t look at the Israeli actions and judge those in the same way. Israel destroyed Lebanon; it used phosphorus weapons in the war which are not allowed.
By Yazeed

I think that Palestine should not have an Islamic state; I think that religion should not be inside the government, because religion is the way that you can express yourself, and tell what your beliefs are, that’s why you can’t put what people believe and their relationship with God in one word that determines the country. And in this way you will forget that Christianity has a history in Palestine, and they were the first people who lived in this state and built it.
By Rami

I think that Iran is the only Arabian state that can face America and Israel. I like the policy of its president, Mr. Ahmadi Najad, and I like its competition with all of the strong countries in building the nuclear weapon. Iran can make a strong army with Hezbollah, and can fight any attempt to invade the Islamic and Arabic world.
By Ahmad M

What should I think about it? It is a state just like any other. It has rights and obligations. I think that the United States of America and Europe have a wrong idea about Islam; it’s a religion of peace, but because some terrorist organizations conducted some attacks under the name of Islam, doesn’t mean that Islam equals terrorism.
By Nejad

No, I don’t. We shouldn’t have an Islamic state because Islam is for the self only, not for the community. People shouldn’t force other people to go by the law of Islam. That is why in Islam God judges every person for himself. So in the end we shouldn’t get judged by the state, but by God.
By Salah

I’m against an Islamic state. We can’t make our country an Islamic one when half of it is Christian. We can’t ignore them. They are part of the community. They are part of Palestine and we can’t deny them whatever happens. We grew up together and we are bonded here, so we can’t have an Islamic state.
By Ahd

1.In Greece, our Identity cards state a person’s religion. Should this be necessary? – Spiros (Athens, Greece)

Here in Palestine, our ID Cards also state our religion. In many governmental procedures and issues, religion should be mentioned, such as marriage. Otherwise, I think that religion is based upon faith, treatment, and respect. Each person has his own thoughts and beliefs. That’s what makes him a good person. Mentioning religion in the ID card is something good, but it''s not necessary, because it helps in nothing except for the governmental issues.
By Mona

Identity cards should not state our religion, because in the end it is between you and your God, not between you and your identity cards; also, it is something personal to many people, so it is being disrespectful to some. In Palestine we did not have our religion written on our identity cards until the Israeli occupation took over responsibility for the Palestinian IDs.
By Samer

In Palestine our ID also states a person''s religion. I think that this is sometimes necessary and others time it’s not. It’s necessary when you use you ID for something important (such as when you want to marry); in this case your religion is important to be state. But in general it does not matter what your religion is; what matters is your personality and thoughts. Not your ID but your achievement and dreams; this is what is important to me and to other people.
By Saga

Religion shouldn’t identify any citizen in any country. All citizens should be equal before the law and the government policy. I also think that there must be separation between religion and politics. This follows therefore that there can be no discrimination against anyone on the basis of religion or faith. The basis for a secular society is the freedom of and from religion, the freedom of belief, and thus the freedom of choice.
By Ahmad

Identity cards should contain everything about a person. Religion on an identity card is not a problem, because it is to inform the one checking it that you are in that specific religion. If it leads to racism, then the religion on the ID might be removed for keeping justice and safety for the country’s residents. I still think that it is not a problem to have the religion of the person on an identity card, because the one who really believes in his religion shall not be affected by racism from someone from another religion. In the end, ID’s contain everything about a person to inform anyone who is supposed to check
them to know the things he/she needs about you.
By Saher

In my opinion, a person''s religion should not be written on his/her Identity Card. I think the Identity Card should only include basic information. It should include the person''s name, picture, nationality, place of birth, and date of birth. In Palestine a person''s religion is also stated on the Identity Card. I believe this is a method used by the Israeli occupation to separate Palestinians. In my opinion, this is a type of racism.
By Lena

People should learn to like each other for who they are, not according to their religion. In the past, Identity Cards had to state a person’s religion. However, today stating religion is not as important as mentioning the person’s nationality. I think that a person’s religion is between him and his God. Therefore, I believe that there is no need for the religion to be stated in Identity Cards.
By Nicole

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