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UK condemns mufti's 'inflammatory' remarks
Published Monday 23/01/2012 (updated) 25/01/2012 16:12
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Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, the Mufti of Jerusalem
(MaanImages/Fadi Tanas, File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- UK Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt condemned on Monday "inflammatory words" used by the Palestinian Authority's Mufti of Jerusalem at a recent event in Ramallah.

Preaching on Jan. 9 at a rally marking the 47th anniversary of the founding of Fatah, Mohammed Hussein read out a Hadith saying the "hour of judgment will not come until you fight the Jews." Hussein and the PA said the religious quotation was a prophesy, not a call to arms.

"To refer to the Jewish people in such a way and to talk of killing Jews is anti-semitism, pure and simple," Burt, Minister for the Middle East, said in a statement.

"The UK is against any comments that could stir up hatred and prejudice in a region that needs a culture of peace and mutual respect. Jerusalem is a city sacred to three religions and all religious leaders should be working for dignity and justice for people of all faiths."

US group Americans for Peace Now also released a statement on Monday condemning "belligerent anti-Jewish comments."

"We are appalled by these comments, coming from the most senior Muslim cleric on the Palestinian Authority's payroll," said Debra DeLee, APN's president, in a statement.

"What we find particularly disturbing is that these vile comments were broadcast on the Palestinian Authority's official television channel," amplifying their "inciting" effect, she said.

"People in positions of religious authority, on all sides, bear a heavy responsibility of avoiding incendiary rhetoric. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a dispute between two national movements with conflicting claims to the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean. Clerics on both sides must prevent this conflict from being perceived as a religious conflict and from becoming one."

Video of the rally, circulated by an Israeli NGO, showed a man introducing the mufti by saying: "Our war with the descendants of the apes and pigs is a war of religion and faith. Long live Fatah!"

The Quran retells the Exodus story of some Jews rebelling against Moses after their deliverance from bondage, and says God punished them by turning them into pigs and apes.

Not a call to action

Hussein has described the Hadith as an end-of-times prophesy, not a political precept.

"There is nothing in my speech that calls for killing," he told Reuters TV. "I was speaking about my people, its steadfastness and its existence in this land until the hour (of resurrection)".

PA religious affairs minister Mahmoud al-Habash said: "Our political position remains unchanged. We believe in peace. He (Hussein) was simply quoting a Hadith that talks about destiny, about what could happen in the future."

The condemnation from APN came a day after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked Israel's attorney-general to open a criminal investigation. The Justice Ministry had no immediate comment.

APN is the American arm of Israel's Peace Now movement, a leftist Zionist group.

Its website describes incitement against Israel and Jews as a "serious problem that must not be ignored or dismissed, particularly in light of the Jewish people's painful history."

It also says the Palestinian Authority deserves credit for its "extensive and ongoing efforts" to prevent incitement, and says anti-Arab and anti-Muslim incitement must also be rejected.

Israeli police last year detained two West Bank settler rabbis on suspicion they had encouraged the killing of Arabs. A Justice Ministry spokesman said a decision on prosecuting them was still pending.

Reuters contributed to this report.
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1 ) Emily / USA
23/01/2012 19:14
Arrest him and throw away the key. He's calling for genocide as Hitler did.

2 ) southparkbear / usa
23/01/2012 19:32
it is sad that the UK wakes up once in a blue moon upon hearing calls for jewish blood. I wish they were more forcefull when jewis people are attacked by muslims

3 ) Business / Israel
23/01/2012 20:28
Apes and pigs - that is nice. Does anyone actually believe that? No wonder we are so far ahead of our neighbors.

4 ) Chimo / USA
23/01/2012 20:32
Gee, ya think the PA will open up a criminal investigation of the this Mufti? Yeah right. And people wonder why Israel won't just leave the West Bank and take their people with them. Just like Jerusalem, they will never relinquish Jeruslem or the parts of the West Bank that are already settled because of the history of violence and the further inflammatory remarks and total rejection of the jews right to any part of the land. That is why.

5 ) Tony B? / ME
23/01/2012 21:06
The shock and horror expressed by these people is pure hypocrisy. Britain contributes to the billions handed to the PA, who in turn use it to indoctrinate kids with this racism via its schools and media. Alistair Burt and successive British governments have been aware of this fact for years. It is only antisemitic racism within the British government that has allowed it to continue being paid for by British tax payers. Withdraw funding from this apartheid bunch of terrorists now!

6 ) Jihane / Palestine/France
23/01/2012 21:28
The Israeli NGO who's been circulating the speech is 'Palwatch', directed by settler extremist Itamar Marcus, known for incorrect translations from Arabic. On their website, the headlines introducing this speech are a total manipulation: a sentence not even pronounced by the Mufti and the translation of 'q?tala' (to fight) is translated to 'kill', only in the headlines, but correctly translated in the subtitles. Go figure ...

7 ) John / USA
23/01/2012 22:22
Enough to make a person want to become an atheist. Whether Muslim, Christian or Jew, these religious nut cases are making life miserable for even GOD himself. I think its time for GOD to send us the worlds largest broom and dumpster for these idiots. Yes I left the O in GOD, I don't think he will mind.

8 ) John / USA
23/01/2012 22:26
Prophesy is prophesy, why not just leave it to GOD? When you have people advocating prophesy, then you are creating a situation where it could become a self-fulfilling prophesy...having nothing whatsoever to do with GOD and maybe more to do with Satan. Case in point: Israel.

9 ) John / USA
23/01/2012 22:32
Even if you believe in the prophesy nonsense of each religion, don't you think GOD might have changed his mind? Did he not weep after the great flood and promise a rainbow after each rain? Why not just take the common good from of all the holy books rather than bad? Wake up people, even assuming GOD promised this or that to this person or that person, I am sure he has changed his mind after seeing our behavior. Enough already.

10 ) southparkbear / usa
24/01/2012 01:19
to jihad #6, we know that you are master of speaking in 360 where you say murder to those sitting facing you turn around to the prospect victims and say the meaning of a hug was lost in translation

11 ) Colin Wright / USA
24/01/2012 02:58
I don't recall the British government issuing any similar condemnation of the far more vicious exhortations of the IDF rabbinate ahead of 'Cast Lead.' Maybe I missed it.

12 ) Colin Wright / USA
24/01/2012 03:00
To Emily #1 'Arrest him and throw away the key. He's calling for genocide as Hitler did.' No, he's calling for fighting the Jews, who have violently seized his homeland and are expelling his people as we speak. If you want to compare him to a historical figure, Charles De Gaulle would be a better fit.

13 ) Business / Israel
24/01/2012 03:40
@6: and was the correct translation this time, "heroes and philanthropists" and not "apes and pigs"? Why don't you tell us if it was mistranslated? Go ahead, tell us.

14 ) MK / Sweden
24/01/2012 03:49
Allaho akbar! May Allah bless the shaykh! Palestine will never be liberated by the westerners. We need to wake up to reality. What was stolen by war, will only be freed by war. And with war I mean real war. Not the futile resistance (although it is important until the time for an all out war has come). In other words the rescue lies with the muslim ummah to wake up and help their brethren.

15 ) Business / Israel
24/01/2012 15:50
@14: you living in the west, enjoying it's freedom, while you despise it, do not know the meaning of "real war". You just pose and imagine blood, but you will never see blood. You offer the blood of others so you can have a thrill. But we are here and real. We are waiting, ready, and unlike for you, it is no fantasy of a school boy who thinks he is a general. It is our families, our wives and children. We are waiting, ready.

16 ) and there goes / 14
24/01/2012 16:00
lol

17 ) Firas / Amman
24/01/2012 16:06
great political message from fatah.

18 ) southparkbear / usa
24/01/2012 16:09
ok now we will build the temple..

19 ) alan sumoud / cyprus
24/01/2012 16:17
it sounds silly . if palestinians are the decendents of the original jews,then it may be a self fulfilling prophecy on the part of the 'mufti' and the p.a. announcer..whatever the context ,who knows?

20 ) omar / usa
24/01/2012 18:49
tel the UK to go to hell. they created the mess in the middle east and africa. They split countries based on religion, tribes and ethnicity. As far as I'm concerned the UK is an evil empire.

21 ) EE / UK
25/01/2012 02:34
Ten of this year Nobel Prize winners are Jews and 5 of them are Israelis. Please, remind me how many Arab received Nobel Prize this year, last year, ever? How many of those Arab winners are Palestinians? I think everybody knows the answer.

22 ) Islam / ?
25/01/2012 10:11
like all religions, Islam is very diverse and have many sides to it, some less peaceful then others! by choosing which hadith to read this mufti chooses which message to spread! it is his responsibility and saying "He (Hussein) was simply quoting a Hadith that talks about destiny, about what could happen in the future." is just being naive and making Islam as a whole look bad!!!!

23 ) Tony B? / ME
25/01/2012 10:56
19) Good observation Alan. It reveals Palestinian claims for what they are. A load of Jew-hate crap! #11) You didn't miss anything divvy boy. We supported Cast Lead because we had seen the thousands of rockets fired at Israel. And if it had been the UK they were firing them at. We would have buried the lot of them. Your terrorist mates are lucky they are dealing with such peace loving people as Israelis are.

24 ) @ Alan #19 & Islam #22 / Bible
29/01/2012 23:59
The Bible says that G-d's chosen people shall be a blessing to the people's of the world, and almost half (5/13th) of the Nobel Prize 2011 Awardees went to His People - A Blessing To All Mankind, and the Bible also says that those that curse His chosen people shall be cursed (like remaining "state-less and occupied" forever or ruled by dictators), and those that call for Jews to be killed should really watch out, like the Pharoahs of Egypt !!!
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