Pope to visit PA Mufti who preached Jews are enemies of Allah destined to be exterminated by Muslims.
Palestinian Media Watch calls on the Pope to condition meeting on a retraction
by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik / PalWatch.org
In the course of his visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority next week, as a matter of protocol, Pope Francis, the most senior figure in the Catholic Church, is scheduled to meet with Israel’s two chief rabbis as well as the most senior religious figure in the PA, the Mufti Sheikh Muhammad Hussein. What Pope Francis may not be aware of is that the Mufti has an ongoing record of vicious Antisemitic hate speech, which has been condemned internationally. In 2012, the Mufti preached that it is Muslim destiny to kill the Jews. On a different occasion, in the Al-Aqsa Mosque, he taught that Jews were “enemies of Allah,” and in another speech he said that the souls of suicide bombers “tell us to follow in their path.”
In his 2012 speech at a Fatah celebration in East Jerusalem, the Mufti linked the extermination of Jews to “Palestine,” and claimed that Israelis know this religious war, “Jihad,” is coming and are trying to protect themselves by planting a special tree that will hide them from Muslims when they come to kill them.
Moderator at Fatah ceremony: “Our war with the descendants of the apes and pigs (i.e., Jews) is a war of religion and faith. Long Live Fatah! [I invite you,] our honorable Sheikh.”
Palestinian Authority Mufti Muhammad Hussein: “47 years ago the [Fatah] revolution started. Which revolution? The modern revolution of the Palestinian people’s history.
In fact, Palestine in its entirety is a revolution, since [Caliph] Umar came [to conquer Jerusalem, 637 CE], and continuing today, and until the End of Days.
The reliable Hadith (tradition attributed to Muhammad), in the two reliable collections, Bukhari and Muslim, says:
‘The Hour [of Resurrection] will not come until you fight the Jews.
The Jew will hide behind stones or trees.
Then the stones or trees will call:
“Oh Muslim, servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.”
Except the Gharqad tree [which will keep silent].’
Therefore, it is no wonder that you see Gharqad [trees] surrounding the [Israeli] settlements and colonies. [Gharqad trees] surrounding, surrounding and surrounding. That’s the Palestine we are talking about, with the beginning of the Jihad and the continuation of the Jihad, with the struggle and the procession of the Martyrs.” [PA TV (Fatah), Jan. 9, 2012]
It is unknown whether the Mufti knew in advance that the moderator would refer to the Jews as “descendants of monkeys and pigs,” and that Islam is at war with the Jews. However – as can be seen in the video – he did not hesitate, retract or condemn these statements, asserting instead that Palestinians are destined to exterminate the Jews.
When Palestinian Media Watch publicized this hate speech, the Mufti’s words were condemned by Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu, the British Foreign Office, the European Union, and many others. (See condemnations of the Mufti’s hate speech below.)
In another speech the Mufti praised numerous suicide bombers who had murdered Israeli civilians as an “elite group of Martyrs.” He added an explicit call to murder: “The souls of the noble Martyrs envelop us, and their souls tell us to follow in their path.” [Official PA TV, May 31, 2012]
In another sermon, the Mufti called the Jews “enemies of Allah” who “have even deviated from their humanity.” [Al-Aqsa Mosque forum, June 25, 2010]
The Mufti has also promoted hatred by rejecting Jewish rights in Jerusalem and denying that a Temple ever existed in Jerusalem:
“In truth, there never was a Temple in any period, nor was there, at any time, any place of worship for the Jews or others at the Al-Aqsa Mosque site (built on the Temple Mount, 705 CE).”
[Official PA TV, Jan. 5, 2012]
In addition, the Mufti has denied Christian tradition and has taught at least twice that Jesus was not a Judean, but a Palestinian who preached Islam.
The Mufti calling Jesus “a Palestinian par excellence” and claiming that Jesus and his mother Mary were Palestinians:
The Mufti has also issued religious rulings presenting women as subservient to their husbands, declaring on PA TV that “in general, a woman must [only] leave home at the discretion of her husband,” and that a woman must not refuse her husband’s request to have sexual relations. He said:
“It’s his right [to have sex]… it is his right. This woman may not and has no right to deny him this right, especially during the permissible time, which is nighttime.”
[PA TV (Fatah), Aug. 12, 2012]
Clearly, the Mufti’s preaching of Antisemitic and genocidal ideology will destroy any chance for peace. As long as Jews are portrayed as Allah’s enemy destined for extermination by Palestinians, peace talks are irrelevant. Adjusting a border or signing a peace treaty will not erase the stigma attached to the Jews by the PA’s most senior religious leader.
In spite of the Mufti’s call to exterminate Jews and the subsequent international condemnations of the remarks, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas did not remove the Mufti from his office as the highest Palestinian religious figure, nor did he demand a retraction.
Palestinian Media Watch is confident that the Pope, a symbol of peace and tolerance, will not knowingly honor a Palestinian religious leader who promotes hatred and intolerance. PMW is confident that should Pope Francis choose to meet with the PA Mufti, he will do his utmost to impress on the Palestinian religious leader the necessity of retracting his promotion of genocide of Jews by Palestinians and the abhorrent nature of those opinions.
EU statement condemns hate speech by Jerusalem Mufti:
“The EU missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah condemn the Mufti of Jerusalem’s inflammatory speech on January 9 at a rally marking the 47th anniversary of Fatah’s founding…
In line with Article 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the EU firmly rejects ‘any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence’.”
[http://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/israel/press_corner/all_news/news/2012/20120131_en.htm, Jan. 28, 2012]
British Minister for the Middle East Alistair Burt condemns Mufti’s hate speech:
“I condemn the inflammatory words used by the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and others at a recent event marking the 47th anniversary of the Fatah movement. To refer to the Jewish people in such a way and to talk of killing Jews is anti-Semitism, pure and simple.”
[https://www.gov.uk/government/news/foreign-office-minister-condemns-grand-muftis-inflammatory-words, Jan. 23, 2012]
Excerpt from the Associated Press on the Mufti’s statements:
“The Palestinians’ top Muslim cleric faced sharp Israeli criticism Sunday for a speech in which he quoted a religious text that includes passages about killing Jews in an end-of-days struggle.”
[Associated Press, Jan. 22, 2012]
Excerpt from Reuters that includes a condemnation by PM Netanyahu:
“Israel condemned the Palestinians’ top cleric on Sunday for reciting, at a meeting of the dominant U.S.-backed Fatah faction, a passage from Muslim scripture that called for the killing of Jews….
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has argued peacemaking has been blighted by incitement against the Jewish state from some Palestinian officials, said of the mufti’s sermon: ‘This is a very serious offence that all the countries of the world must condemn.’
He said he had asked Israel’s attorney-general to open a criminal investigation.” [Reuters, Jan. 22, 2012]