September 16, 2003 Special Dispatch No. 574

Palestinian Authority Friday Sermons

September 16, 2003
Palestinians | Special Dispatch No. 574

Three Friday sermons broadcast on Palestinian Television during August and September 2003 focused on issues such as the praising of Shahids (martyrs) and Shahada (martyrdom) and the description of the U.S. as the primary enemy of the Palestinians. The following are excerpts from the sermons:

I. Friday Sermon by Sheikh Ibrahim Mudeiris at the Sheikh Ijlin Mosque, Gaza City, August 22, 2003, Broadcast on PA-TV

"…Muhammad, Allah's Messenger, heralded to those killed for Allah that they are Allah's most preferred people. When a man comes to the Messenger of Allah and says, 'Who is the man most preferred by Allah?' [Muhammad] says: 'A believer who participated in Jihad with his body and his money for the sake of Allah.' These are the people most preferred by Allah.

"Blessings to those who wage [Jihad] with their body and are killed for the sake of Allah. Blessings to those who fight by means of their money and spend it for the sake of Allah…

"This is the fate that Allah has bestowed upon us, people of Palestine, that we be worthy of struggling and giving our souls on this good and blessed land… Blessings to our Shahids. Blessings to our Shahids who sacrifice their souls easily for the sake of Allah. Blessings to our Shahids who were burned yesterday in their cars, at the same hour as the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque was burned 34 years ago…

"Blessings to the Shahids, blessings to the happy Shahids within the entrails of the green bird in Paradise. Blessings to the Shahids whose sins are forgiven with the first drop of their blood, the first for the sake of Allah. Blessings to the Shahids who fell on the blessed land, for whom the struggle for it is better than this entire world and all that is in it. Blessings to the Shahids who are happy and exult in the pleasures of Paradise…"

II. Friday Sermon by Sheikh Ibrahim Mudeiris at the Sheikh Zayed Al-Nahayan Mosque, Gaza City, September 5, 2003, Broadcast on PA-TV

"…Oh believers, shall I guide you to a [commercial] [1] deal that will save you from severe torment? [Koran 61:10]

"I maintain that… a [mosque] preacher or sermonizer must begin his sermon by saying words of blessing for the Shahids, the wounded, the detainees, and those expelled from Palestine…

"If we go back in the time tunnel 1400 years, we will find that history repeats itself. Here the Messenger of Allah calls to do justice, and he holds on to it by willpower, by determination and by faith in Allah. He calls to do justice, but he is besieged by members of his own tribe, the infidel Arabs in the Arabian Peninsula. Likewise, he was besieged by two powers – Persia in the east and Byzantium in the west. They have besieged him, and they exactly represent today's USSR and America. Persia represents Russia in the east, and Byzantium represents America in the west. And indeed, Persia [collapsed] first in the east, as Russia fell first here in the east. And thus, if Allah wills it, America will collapse, as Byzantium collapsed in the west.

"The struggle between truth and falsehood continues, and it is ancient. There is no escape from [the fact] that victory goes to the men of truth, even if it takes a long time. This is a matter of belief to which we hold, because victory belongs to the men of truth, as long as they cling to their truth, holding on to their unity and their unity of action. The men of truth will be victorious, with Allah's help. We will be victorious here in Palestine, as long as the men of Palestine hold on to their Islamic and national principles, and to unbroken ranks and their unity of action…

"The Prophet [Muhammad] could, by means of unbroken ranks, conquer Byzantium, the greatest power compared to today's America – and this without a single martyr falling from among the Muslims… The men of Byzantium fled their posts and cities when they heard of the army of the Prophet, and this is without a single Muslim Shahid falling. The Prophet could, by means of the unity of the Muslim ranks and its awakening, defeat the America of that time, as we will defeat America as long as it supports our enemy, as long as America insists on being against our people and against our cause and our holy places, and against our people and our leadership. As long as America holds these criminal opinions, we will defeat it with Allah's help.

"Indeed, we consider America to be our No. 1 enemy, as long as it supports our enemy. Must we be killed by only American planes? [Must] our homes be destroyed only by means of American tanks? Must our enemy control us only by means of American support? America is our No. 1 enemy, and we see it as our No. 1 enemy as long as we learn from the lessons of the Battle of Tabouk [which took place in October 630 AD] :'Make ready for them whatever you can of armed strength and of mounted pickets.' [Koran 8:60] We are prepared and ready, but victory is from Allah…"

III. Friday Sermon by Sheikh Ibrahim Mudeiris at Sheikh Ijlin Mosque, Gaza City, August 15, 2003, Broadcast on Palestinian Television

"…Oh believers, oh beloved of Allah's Messenger, you who hold fast in the good, pure, and blessed land, on this very day, the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque was set afire treacherously by treacherous and oppressing Zionist gangs. On August 21, 1969, Al-Aqsa Mosque was set afire by a Zionist gang. [2]

"When the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque was burned, on that day a worn-out old hag ruled the government of the Zionist entity. Her name was Golda Meir. She ruled this Zionist entity. When she heard that a gang of Zionists had set the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque afire, she wrung her hands and began to lament on the bitterness of the fate of the State of Israel, since she imagined that the Muslims and Arabs would awaken all at once, immediately, in order to liberate Al-Aqsa Mosque from the Zionist entity. But as the first day passed, and in the middle of the second day, when she saw the idleness of the Muslims and Arabs towards what had happened to their holy of holies, what did she say? She said: 'If only they [the Jews] had destroyed it.' Thus said the prime minister of the Zionist entity after she thought that the State of Israel would disappear, on the day the Al-Aqsa Mosque was burned.

"Oh Muslims, we are not exaggerating when we say that the Palestinian people defends the honor of the entire Muslim nation… Blessings to you, [sons of] the Palestinian people. Blessings to you, people of Jerusalem, you who sacrifice Shahids [martyrs] in order to preserve the identity of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, and its Islamic and Arabic identity. Indeed, the presence of the people of Palestine and the people of Jerusalem is what will protect the existence of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, because the Al-Aqsa Mosque is subject [to destruction], since that same worn-out old hag said: 'If only they had destroyed the Al-Aqsa Mosque.'

"They are planning to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The Al-Aqsa Mosque is subject to acts of destruction, planned and organized in advance. Oh Muslims, Al-Aqsa is in real danger. Tunnels have been dug underneath Al-Aqsa on the pretext of uncovering the false Temple of Solomon. Oh Muslims, Al-Aqsa is subject to planned and organized acts of destruction. It is the people of Jerusalem and Palestine who protect the existence of Al-Aqsa Mosque, and we are not exaggerating. We bless you, we bless everyone whose blood flows upon this good and pure land. If a prayer at Al-Aqsa Mosque is worth 1,000 prayers at another mosque, then know that a Shahid [who falls] on this land is considered more than one Shahid someplace else. Yes, there are traditions that a Shahid here [in Jerusalem] is worth 70 Shahids in a place other than this good land… Every wounded person on this land is comparable to hundreds of wounded [elsewhere]…

"The Palestinian people today need an Omar bin Al-Khattab, whose soul was inflamed every time he read Surat Al-Israa [in the Koran], Omar, who, every time he read [the verse]: 'Praised be He who took his servant by night from the Sacred Mosque to the Distant [al-aqsa] Mosque [Koran 17:1].

"Omar felt that Al-Aqsa Mosque was calling for help. He felt that Al-Aqsa Mosque was seeking his help. And then he amassed his army and turned from there [Medina] to here [Jerusalem], to Al-Sham [Syria] and to Jerusalem, with the most prominent of the Prophet's companions, in order to liberate the Al-Aqsa Mosque. He liberated it from the Crusaders who had defiled it, he liberated it, but gave them [the Crusaders] security, through what was later called The Pact of Omar.But, notice, oh worshippers of Allah, the Jews, they are the most wicked creatures on the face of the earth, while the Crusaders, despite their wickedness, asked of Omar bin Al-Khattab one condition from among four – not to permit the Jews to live in Palestine. We want people like Salah Al-Din Al-Ayyoubi, we want Salah Al-Din to liberate the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Al-Aqsa Mosque, that Salah Al-Din liberated when he heard the cries of the people of Palestine and the people of Syria, when they were massacred and abused…

"Since Salah Al-Din liberated the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the land of Palestine, this land has been subject to the greed of invaders, until the imperialist attack came and Palestine was conquered. It was conquered by the British, with whom we have relations of blood-vengeance. Between us and Britain, there is a lengthy reckoning of blood vengeance which we will never forget, even though politics requires it. Was it not Britain that gave what it did not possess to those who had no right to it? Was it not Britain that gave the Jews a right to establish a state on the land of Palestine and at the expense of the Palestinian people? There is a lengthy reckoning between us and them. "Palestine and its holy places are under constant aggression, and if we have words of reproach, they are directed at the Arabs and the Muslims… Hasn't the world heard that the Palestinian prisoners suffer in [Israeli] jails, because yesterday they were served poisoned meals, which may cause the death of dozens of our imprisoned sons? Your brothers in the prisons are subject to the ugliest of Zionist attacks. They are subject to the ugliest of tortures and abuses. You have heard, and all the world has heard, that two days ago our brothers in the prisons were served poisoned meals, and more than 50 prisoners are in serious condition because they were given poisoned food. Indeed, they are subject to the ugliest of tortures and abuses, but they are steadfast in solitary confinement. We say to them: Answer the call of your God, oh believers, gird yourself with patience and adherence to your land, and fear Allah, so that you will succeed…"

[1] Referring to the Koranic concept of martyrdom in which in return for sacrificing one's life for Allah, one goes to Paradise; i.e. 'the profitable deal.'

[2] The arson attempt on the Al-Aqsa Mosque was carried out by Dennis Michael Rohan, an Australian national and a member of the fundamentalist-Christian Church of God, based in Australia.

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