Gideon Levy
Gideon LevyIsrael news photo: Flash 90

Journalist Gideon Levy published an article in the Haaretz newspaper on February 26 in which he criticizes the Israeli government for not leading an international campaign to help the rebels in Syria against Assad’s murderous repressing regime. To reinforce the message about the plight of the civilian population and the human tragedy it experiences daily, Gideon Levy used surprising language, which may seem like a direct blunt blow to Islam, Allah and the Islamic faith which calls its believers put their trust in Allah Almighty.

The title chosen for his article, “Allah is Not Great in Syria,” expresses the point of view of Gideon Levy, who claims that Allah reveals his weakness in the disaster of the Syrian society and cannot save it from the Assad regime and from the silence of the world, including Israel.

In the body of the article Gideon Levy constantly emphasizes this message about the weakness of Allah when he says, “As the shells hit their homes, the civilians are crying out helplessly: ‘Allahu Akbar (Allah is Great)’- and their Allah is not great at all.” Gideon Levy argues that the Allah of the Sunni Muslims in Syria has disappointed his followers, since in the absence of the mobilization of the world and Israel, i.e. national forces, he cannot save his believers.

Gideon Levy's articles are frequently translated by the Arabic press, as was this article. The translation, as published in Jordanian Al-Rai newspaper on February 27, was very different from the original Hebrew version. The title “Allah is Not Great in Syria" was translated into “There is No Savior in Syria” and the sentence “As the shells hit their homes, the civilians are crying out helplessly: ‘Allahu Akbar (Allah is Great)’- and their Allah is not great at all,” was translated as follows: “The masses of the citizens are begging for help by calling Allahu Akbar as the shells are falling on their homes, and there is no savior.”

The secular message which rises from Gideon Levy’s words is groundbreaking in the Israeli press’ relating to Allah and the Muslim faith in his unlimited power, issues that were previously considered taboo and which often brought about protests, threats of violence and sometimes violence. Believers (and not necessarily Muslim ones) demand in the name of democracy and freedom of worship to respect their right to hold racist beliefs and the faith which calls to harm those of other faiths. Gideon Levy's article opens the door, at least in Israel, to publicly dealing with Islam from a secular perspective.

This article was translated from Hebrew by Elad Benari and originally appeared in the Shalom Toronto newspaper.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)