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May 24, 2012 Special Dispatch No. 4751

Former PA Mufti Sheikh Ikrima Sabri: Jerusalem Is Not Holy To The Jews; 'For Many Years, They Have Been Digging For Archaeological Remains, But They Haven't Found Anything'

May 24, 2012
Special Dispatch No. 4751

In a May 11, 2012 interview on the Saudi channel Al-Arabiya TV, former PA Mufti Sheikh Ikrima Sabri said that despite their many archaeological efforts, the Jews had been unable to find any Jewish holy sites in Jerusalem and thus the city was not sacred to them. He also called on Muslims not to visit Jerusalem using an Israeli visa "or through security coordination with Israel." Sabri, it should be noted, was appointed as PA Mufti in 1994 by Yasser 'Arafat but ousted in 2006 under Mahmoud 'Abbas, and is known for his support of "martyrdom" operations.[1]

The Jews Have No Holy Places In Jerusalem: "For Many Years, They Have Been Digging... But They Haven't Found Anything"

Interviewer: "Do you agree that in Jerusalem, there are places that are holy to the Muslims, the Jews. and the Christians?"

Ikrima Sabri: No, not to the Jews. I didn't say to the Jews. 'Omar ibn Al-Khattab didn't find any synagogues of the Jews. There weren't any."

Interviewer: "So in your opinion, today there are no places whatsoever in Jerusalem that are holy to the Jews?"

Ikrima Sabri: "No, none. They build new synagogues, but there are no archaeological remains [pertaining to the Jews]. For many years, they have been digging for archaeological remains, but they haven't found anything.

"How can we acknowledge something when they themselves admit that they have found nothing?..."

"Nobody Should Enter Jerusalem On An Israeli Visa Or Through Security Coordination With Israel"

Interviewer: "It was PA President Mahmoud 'Abbas who called upon the Arabs and Muslims to visit Jerusalem, in order to emphasize its Arab nature and to support its Arabs, wasn't it?"

Ikrima Sabri: "I ask you to stop. That's enough."

Interviewer: "But I'm asking you whether he said this."

Ikrima Sabri: "I don't want [to answer]."

Interviewer: "Fine."

Ikrima Sabri: "Mufti [of Egypt] 'Ali Gum'a said that his visit... I'm moving on to another subject. He said that his visit was held after arrangements were made by the Jordanian authorities, right?"

Interviewer: "Go ahead, Sheikh Ikrima."

Ikrima Sabri: "My dear brother, I'm expressing my own view, and I have nothing to do with other people or countries. I already answered your question, and you posed it differently.

"I say to you: Nobody should enter Jerusalem on an Israeli visa or through security coordination with Israel. That's my answer to you..."

Endnotes:

[1] See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 132, "'...The Only Way to Impose Our Conditions is Inevitably Through Our Blood,'" October 6, 2000, '...The Only Way to Impose Our Conditions is Inevitably Through Our Blood'; Special Dispatch No. 151, "PA 'Mufti of Jerusalem and Palestine' Discusses the Intifada," November 9, 2000, PA 'Mufti of Jerusalem and Palestine' Discusses the Intifada; Inquiry & Analysis Series Report No. 61, "The Joy of the Mothers of Palestinian 'Martyrs,'" June 27, 2001, The Joy of the Mothers of Palestinian 'Martyrs'; Inquiry & Analysis Series Report No. 74, "'72 Black Eyed Virgins': A Muslim Debate on the Rewards of Martyrs, " October 31, 2001, http://www.memri.org/report/en/print538.htm;

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