By Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik.. The PA Mufti Muhammad Hussein repeatedly denied yesterday that he intended to teach Palestinians that their destiny is to kill Jews when he spoke at a Fatah celebration that was broadcast on PA TV earlier this month. His denial follows Palestinian Media Watch’s exposure of the PA Mufti’s speech in which he cited the Islamic tradition attributed to Muhammad, saying:
“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.”
However, the Mufti explained to AP, Reuters and Israeli radio and TV that he simply quoted Islamic tradition and therefore he is not responsible for its content. When interviewed on Israeli radio Reshet Bet, the PA Mufti claimed:
“We are not calling to kill Jews and we did not call to kill Jews, we never said ‘kill Jews.’ The Hadith says [it]. I am not responsible for the Hadith. The Hadith is in the book. The Hadith is a noble Hadith, it is not my Hadith.”
[Reshet Bet (Israeli radio), Jan. 22, 2012]
The PA Minister of Religious Affairs, Mahmoud Al-Habbash, also defended the Mufti, saying on the same radio program:
“This is not incitement to kill Jews. We cannot change the historical religious writings and we don’t want to change them. However, we are talking now about the reality. The reality is that we want to achieve a just peace.”
PMW rejects PA Mufti’s and Minister of Religion’s claims:
The statements of the two highest religious authorities in the Palestinian Authority are misrepresentations of what the Mufti said. In fact, the words he chose to provide a context for the Hadith show that he quoted this Hadith that anticipates Muslims killing Jews, to make it relevant for the current Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
The Mufti introduced the Hadith by referring to the “47 years” of Fatah’s and the Palestinian “revolution,” thus placing the Hadith in today’s context. He then added that this is a “reliable Hadith” from the reliable collections and part of accepted Islamic law and belief. After citing the Hadith, the Mufti claimed that Israelis are planting the “Gharqad tree surrounding the [Israeli] settlements and colonies,” thus suggesting that Israel is preparing for when the Muslims fulfill this Hadith and come to kill them. According to the Islamic tradition the Gharqad tree will be the only tree that will not call out to Muslims to kill the Jews hiding behind them. By saying Israelis are already planting Gharqad trees around their cities, the Mufti was explicitly relating the Hadith about the killing of Jews to the current time. He was not merely citing “historical religious writings,” as claimed.
AP, Reuters, and Israeli radio and TV all cited the Mufti’s quote and his denial that he did not present the Hadith as relevant today. However, none of the media quoted the context in which the Mufti cited the Hadith, which shows his denial to be a misrepresentation and that he did relate it to today’s conflict.
In addition, the Mufti claimed to MENA [Middle East News Agency] that “possibly some sentences or phrases were cut from his speech, which were interpreted incorrectly.” PMW affirms that we have the entire 5-minute speech as was broadcast on PA TV and that this is the authentic context.
Israeli PM responds
Israeli PM Netanyahu responded to the PMW report on the Mufti saying: “These are grave words that the world needs to condemn,” and asked the Attorney General to start a criminal investigation to determine if this violated Israel’s incitement laws, the Jerusalem Post reported. [Jan. 22, 2012]
The following is the Mufti’s words at the Fatah event that show the context in which he cited the Hadith, followed by excerpts from AP and Reuters’ reports:
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.”
PA Mufti Muhammad Hussein comes to the podium and says:
“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), [found] 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. This is Palestine, when we talk about it, from the beginning of the Jihad, with the continuation of the Jihad, with the struggle, and with the way of the Martyrs.”
Article from Palestinian Media Watch