PMW calls on the Pope to condition meeting on a retraction
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. Speaking a different time in the Al-Aqsa Mosque, he taught that Jews were “enemies of Allah,” and another time 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:Â “Our war with the descendants of the apes and pigs (i.e., Jews)Â is a war of religion and faith.
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 reliableHadithÂ (tradition attributed to Muhammad),
in the two reliable collections, Bukhari and Muslim, says:
[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.”
WhenÂ Palestinian Media WatchÂ publicized thisÂ hate speech, the Mufti’s words wereÂ condemnedÂ byÂ Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu, the British Foreign Office, theÂ European Union and many others.Â (See condemnations of the Mufti’s hate speech below.)
The Mufti has also issued religious rulings presentingwomen 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 hasÂ no right to deny him this right, especially during the permissible time, which is nighttime.”
Â [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 Jews’ inherent stigma as it isÂ taught 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 ChairmanÂ Mahmoud Abbas did not remove the Mufti from his office as the highest PalestinianÂ religious figure, nor did he demand a retraction.
Palestinian Media WatchÂ is confident that the Pope, a symbol of peace and tolerance, will not knowingly give honor to 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 to retract his promotion of genocide of Jews by Palestinians and impress on him the abhorrent nature of those opinions.
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.”