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PA urges top cleric to annul Jerusalem fatwa
Published Tuesday 28/02/2012 (updated) 29/02/2012 17:08
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PA minister of religious affairs Mahmoud al-Habbash.
(MaanImages/Mouid Ashqar, File)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Authority minister of religious affairs on Tuesday urged a top Muslim cleric to annual his recent fatwa which ruled that non-Palestinian Muslims should not visit Jerusalem while it remains under occupation.

Sheikh Yousef al-Qaradawi, a respected Sunni Muslim cleric, gave the decree after President Mahmoud Abbas urged Arabs and Muslims worldwide to visit the city at the Jerusalem conference in Qatar on Sunday.

Egyptian al-Qaradawi reiterated a previous fatwa on Monday which states: "The Palestinians have the right to enter Jerusalem whenever they want, but for non-Palestinians it is prohibited to enter the city.

"The reason behind prohibition is to avoid legitimization of occupation. Those who visit the city are actually legitimizing an entity which is controlling Muslim lands by force, and are forced to deal with the enemy’s embassy to obtain a visa."

But Minister of Waqf (Islamic endowments) and Religious Affairs Mahmoud al-Habbash stressed that visiting Jerusalem is a religious duty in Islam, and described Qaradawi's fatwa as "bizarre."

Quoting the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad which commend visiting al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem's Old City, al-Habbash stressed that the Prophet was speaking while the city was under the control of the Roman Empire.

He referred to comments by Abbas in Doha: "Visiting Jerusalem can never be seen as normalization with Israeli occupation, but rather a means for maintain contact with Jerusalem and its people. Visiting a prisoner in his cell doesn’t mean recognition of the jailers or normalization with them."

Al-Habbash added: "When Muslims and Christians visit Jerusalem, they are actually challenging the Israeli policies aimed at isolating the holy city. Such visits represent material and moral support to the Jerusalemites who insist on remaining in Jerusalem so that they will not feel they were left alone to defend the Arab and Islamic identity of Jerusalem and its Islamic and Christian holy places."

Qaradawi, who is head of the international union of Muslim scholars, is respected as a long-time supporter of Palestinian resistance, and spoke out in favor of Arab Spring revolutions in Syria and Libya after returning to Egypt as former president Hosni Mubarak was overthrown. He had been imprisoned in Egypt several times, and was living in Qatar until February 2011.

Al-Habbash has clashed with Qaradawi before, after he criticized the legitimacy of the Palestinian Authority government in light of the continuing occupation, and warned that the PA and Palestine Liberation Organization were leading the Palestinian people into great danger.

The PA minister said the Shiek's comments in early 2011 were "disappointing and unacceptable."
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1 ) rahman / ftr
28/02/2012 17:19
Qaradawi is a stooge of the gcc.and by default the zionists

2 ) Tibi / Tubas
28/02/2012 17:46
The recent fatwa of the Muslim cleric should have gone even further,
where even Palestinian Muslims should not visit Jerusalem, or any other Israeli controlled regions, while they remain under occupation.


3 ) southparkbear / usa
28/02/2012 19:25
hehehe, talk about cleansing

4 ) Chimo / USA
28/02/2012 21:16
What #2 doesn't realize is that most of the jewish population of Jerusalem would agree with you 100%. That way, there wouldn't be anymore rock throwing at the jews praying at the Western Wall The only difference is that to them and alot of others including yours truly, the city is occupied by it's rightful owners. When it was occupied by Jordan, the jews were mercilessly driven out and their houses of worship destroyed, under Israel everyone has the right to pray, but not to throw rocks.

5 ) Palestine prosper / Britain
28/02/2012 21:26
I wonder how visits of Muslims to the holy city would challenge the occupation. Aren't these people going to obtain visas from the Israeli embassies. Aren't they going to be tourists to Israel, legitimize the its occupation, and support its economy. Additionally, Palestinian Jeruslemites are being harassed, exiled, and deprived of their basic right in their own holy city. How such visits would alleviate their horrendous sufferings. I guess he is right! We should listen to our Muslim scholars!

6 ) Nour / Sweizerland
28/02/2012 23:16
Talk about an idiot who will gain the radicals.Move this sorts from the politics.

7 ) Itzchak / Israel.
02/03/2012 01:39
Yes, please stay away.

8 ) southparkbear / usa
02/03/2012 03:15
hehehe nour, on each one there are thousands worse them him in line. i wonder how many arab springs it will take for you to understand this?

9 ) Mel / USA
02/03/2012 17:22
I've got it! Get the Wahabi al-Saud's to declare,that ALL Muslims who make pilgrimage/Haj next time round,will NOT BE GOING to Mecca only? But through EGYPT,to Jerusalem,TOO,to honor the 3rd Holiest site,aswell?Make the next Haj a 2-STOP pilgrimage....Mecca & E.Jerusalem,to RE-OCCUPY Al-Quds? In fact,do the whole TRIANGLE of Islamic sites? The USG & Israel couldn't possibly object,because they are democratic & PLURALISTIC?? I'm sure Riyadh would donate a huge pot of petro-bucks,for it?Right?

10 ) Israel is prospering / Israel
03/03/2012 06:45
At current rates of growth, Israel will be richer per capita than the uk in a few years, and tourism is a part of that, qaradawi or not.

11 ) MBY / EU
03/03/2012 19:43
@9: haj is not something you can define as you want. You cannot tell Muslims how to make Haj and where Haj will be. You cannot change city of Haj. Does anyone tell you christmas will be in July? Why dont you mind your business?
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