Muslim cleric says intifadah is contrary to Islam
Candadian Jewish News | 5/9/02 | JANICE ARNOLD
Posted on 5/10/02 11:46 AM Pacific by swarthyguy
MONTREAL - There is no basis in Islam for anti-Zionism and the current intifadah is, in fact, contrary to Islamic law, says an outspoken Italian Muslim scholar, who publicly condemns the Palestinian Authority and its chairman Yasser Arafat for distorting the teachings of Islam for their own purposes.
During his recent visit to Canada, Sheikh Abdul Hadi Palazzi said in an interview with The CJN that the Qu'uran recognizes the Land of Israel as the heritage of the Jews and that the modern State of Israel is the fulfillment of the prophecy that, before the Last Judgment, the Jewish people will return to dwell there. Those who rise up against Israel in the name of Islam are committing "fitnah," meaning apostasy and sedition, Palazzi said, and those who encourage the ignorant to do so are "terrorist criminals." .
He is a harsh critic of Palestinian suicide bombers and what he sees as the sacrifice of children in the current intifadah. No "paradise" awaits those who die this way, Palazzi said. "Islam forbids suicide for any reason." He accuses "pseudo-Islamic" organizations, like Hamas, of cruelly exploiting the impoverished in refugee camps. "Unfortunately, it is true that their only opportunity for a better future lies in sacrificing their children as suicide bombers, for which they will be paid by these organizations.".
The only justification for a Muslim to rebel against the government he or she lives under is if that authority prevents them from abiding by the laws and practices of Islam. That is definitely not the case with regard to Israel and Arabs under its jurisdiction, said Palazzi, who is emphatic that Muslims actually have more freedom in Israel than they do in many Arab states. Palazzi says there is no need for a Palestinian state and that a nationality known as "Palestinian" never existed before 1967. .
"A Palestinian state is inconceivable√Ö¬ It would simply be a time bomb under Israel, Jordan and the whole Middle East," he said. "In two to five years, it would become a basis for terrorism like Afghanistan under the Taliban." Palazzi thinks the only "realistic" solution is to give the Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza autonomous administration, similar to that now extended to the Tyrolean region of northern Italy, where German is the official language. But first the PLO, Hamas and other terrorist groups should be expelled from the area and "not one weapon" should be allowed to remain..
"There are already two "Palestinian' states: Israel and Jordan. What is being suggested is a third Palestinian state," Palazzi said..
He also dismisses the notion that Jerusalem, because it is the traditional site of Mohammed's ascension to heaven, must be the Palestinian capital. "A city's religious status is not necessary connected to its political role... Mecca, for example, was never the capital of Saudi Arabia. At the time of Mohammed, Jerusalem was, in fact, under Persian administration." Palazzi said a "Palestinian" people has never existed in history. .
Before 1967, the Arabs in the West Bank were Jordanians and those in Gaza were Egyptians, he said. Arafat himself, Palazzi claims, is really an Egyptian. Palazzi, a Sufi, is the chief imam of Italy's approximately 500,000 Muslims and is director of the community's Cultural Institute, which seeks dialogue with Jews and Christians. His mother's family is originally from Syria..
He has strongly condemned Islamic fundamentalism and the dictatorial regimes in much of the Arab world, and has upheld Israel's right to use military force to defend itself..
He charges that if there had been an uprising "one-tenth" the strength of that which Israel is confronting in any Arab country, it would have been "met with an order of 'open fire' and be over in a week." Palazzi believes many Palestinians realize they would be better off under Israeli administration than in a PLO-ruled state, but they cannot speak out, fearing for their lives or those of their children. "At least in Israel, an Arab can have a new car and be sure he will not be stopped by the police and told to hand it over because it is needed for the state. That happens under Arafat.".
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been "artificially created" to focus attention away from the lack of economic and social progress in most of the Arab world, Palazzi argues. "The Palestinian people have been scapegoats to justify everything that is wrong in the Arab world," he said..
Palazzi is also unsparing in this denunciation of the Saudi Wahhabi regime, which he calls "evil" and accuses of spending millions of "petro-dollars" to support those who commit terrorism against Israel. His visit to Canada, his first, was sponsored by the Montreal-based Canadian Institute for Jewish Research and the Asper Foundation. He spoke in three synagogues in Montreal, Toronto and Winnipeg. .
Palazzi was denounced by the Canadian Islamic Congress as an "anti-Islamic campaigner." The Waterloo, Ont.,-based organization accused the Asper Foundation of "playing with fire by using Canadian synagogues as platforms√Ö¬" for his views..
"These are very emotionally charged times," Mohamed Elmasry, the congress' national president, said in a press release. "To bring [Palazzi] into Canada is bad enough, but using synagogues to give [him] public voice during these tense times is simply irresponsible... It is dangerously inappropriate for anyone to exploit such a volatile situation.".
Palazzi is unfazed by those who discredit him and says he does not fear for his safety. "Even those who criticize me cannot put into question my religious authority. I have a license to teach from the late Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabi [Sheikh Abdul Aziz Ibn Baz] and I am still invited to the general assembly of Muslim scholars called during the pilgrimage to Mecca."