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November 18, 2022 Special Dispatch No. 10325

Gaza-Based Islamist Preacher Nabil Al-Halabi Condemns Pope's Visit To Bahrain, Says Interfaith Dialogues Are Part Of U.S. Campaign Against Islam Aimed At Softening Islam, Stripping Muslims Of Their Religion, Identity

November 18, 2022
Palestine | Special Dispatch No. 10325

On November 12, 2022, Al-Aqsa Call YouTube channel published a video of Gaza-based Hizb-ut-Tahrir-affiliated preacher Nabil Al-Halabi giving a Friday sermon in which he criticized the recent visit of Pope Francis to Bahrain as part of the "Bahrain Dialogue Forum: East and West for Human Coexistence," saying that such dialogues are organized within the context of the U.S.-led campaign against Islam and Muslims. In the sermon, Al-Halabi accused Muslim clerics and scholars who participate in such dialogues of abandoning the concepts of reinstating the Caliphate, waging jihad, and Hudoud (i.e., the Islamic penal code). 

Following are excerpts from the sermon.

Al-Halabi started his sermon by describing the conferences that are "organized every now and then" to promote "interfaith unity," an "alliance of civilizations," or "religious rapprochement" including the conference recently held during the visit of Pope Francis to Bahrain, which was attended by the sheikh of Al-Azhar as part of "the assault on Islam and Muslims and within the context of the U.S. campaign targeting your religion and your Islam."

He criticized Muslim scholars who take part in these conferences for not inviting the priests and rabbis with whom they meet to leave their religions and convert to Islam. He said: "Instead, they convene under the banner of advancing coexistence and then those scholars would abandon the greatest aspects of Islam: the Caliphate, Jihad and hudoud, as being extreme concepts and they would accept democracy, freedom, and Western culture from their counterparts as concepts of tolerance and progress."[1]

Al-Halabi further explained that these meetings and conferences mean "accepting the existing regimes and their man-made constitutions. These meetings mean that Muslims should remain calm and unconcerned as they see the Jewish entity taking control over this blessed land. According to their terms, they are our cousins and they are the sons of Abraham; therefore, accepting them in the region should be normal. These meetings mean that we should not condemn those who commit apostasy as it is a freedom that they should enjoy. This means that we should not describe others as unbelievers, as they are Muslims and this is how the deception begins."

Countering the argument of those who consider the followers of Abrahamic religions to be Muslims, he argued that the revelations, which Allah stated in the Quran that he had revealed to other prophets as well as to Prophet Muhammad, do not mean that their religions are the same but rather that they are similar when it comes to their monotheistic foundations. According to Al-Halabi: "the shari'a of Muhammad is different from the shari'a of Moses, Jesus, Jacob, and other prophets and the word 'Islam' to which they referred in the verses they cited from the Quran means submitting to Allah and means compliance in the linguistic sense. After Islam was revealed to Muhammad, the word has come to mean that when we use the word 'Muslim' it would only mean those who believe in Islam, the religion whose prophet is Muhammad."

Al-Halabi then claimed that these types of conferences seek to accomplish three things: "They seek to equate Islam with the religions of unbelief and other abrogated religions. They seek to equate between truth and falsehood... Why do we equate those who call for the implementation of Allah's shari'a with those who call for the implementation of the rule of tyrants... This means that Muslims are not allowed to call other people to convert to Islam, as they are considered believers in a religion that is accepted by Allah. The second thing that they aim to accomplish from these conferences is the acceptance of others without labelling them. It would not be allowed to call Christians, Jews, Sikhs, and Hindus unbelievers. You should accept them the way they are. This goes against the teachings of the Quran... The third thing that they aim to accomplish and unfortunately, some clerics support them in that regard, is that they seek to find a common factor inspired by all the religions that would be called a human denominator that all people can accept... This is unacceptable in the religion of Allah. It is unacceptable that Islam be equated with these religions..."

Al-Halabi described interfaith dialogue as a "rejected concept... Unless they convert from their unbelief to Islam." He added that these types of conferences as well as calls for women rights, human rights, freedom, democracy, and children's rights seek to see Muslims dissolved into other communities and that they would not have any special status exclusive to their religion, which means equating Islam with unbelief."

In the second part of his sermon, Al-Halabi introduced his own version of dialogue, saying it should be based on calling on non-Muslims to convert to Islam and to engage in discussion with them all the while wishing that they would not be too arrogant to embrace Islam. He said: "They should not be too arrogant to accept the truth. They should understand that we are calling them to the truth and that they should leave the falsehood of which they are part and come to the truth, which is Islam... If they do not accept Islam, tell them: 'We are Muslims and you are unbelievers.'"

Al-Halabi concluded by stressing that dialogue should mean the empowerment and dominance of Islam, saying: "Islam should remain glorious... We should call people to embrace Islam and Islam should be implemented in people's daily lives in a state that would deliver the message of Islam to the world using da'wa [preaching, invitation to Islam] and by waging jihad like our Muslim ancestors who carried out their responsibility toward the religion... How would we be carrying out our responsibility toward Islam if you tell the unbelievers: 'Do not  leave your religions,' and if we tell the unbelievers: 'Come and let's coexist according to the current status quo'... How would we carry out our responsibility if we accept un-Islamic oppressive regimes that have ruled over us by force and are tools for the unbelievers in our countries? This is how dialogue should be. Dialogue should take place to highlight Islam and for Islam to dominate so that we would restore the legacy of the ummah to its normal place as the best nation that has emerged with its Islam and its religion, which should dominate over all other religions even if the polytheists hate it."

 

[1] Youtube.com/watch?v=3FjtpCaE_Zo, November 12, 2022.

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