October 23, 2023 Special Dispatch No. 10896

Senior Saudi Journalist Tariq Al-Homayed In Message To Khaled Mash'al, Hamas's Leader Abroad: 'You Ask The "Ummah" To "Play With Fire" And March To The Borders' – As You Live 'A Comfortable Life... In Doha'

October 23, 2023
Saudi Arabia, Palestinians | Special Dispatch No. 10896

In his October 22, 2023 column in the London-based Saudi daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, titled "A Message to Khaled Mash'al,"  Tariq Al-Homayed, former editor of the paper, criticized the Hamas leader abroad for "ask[ing] the 'Ummah' to 'play with fire' and march to the borders" from his safe haven in Doha and for citing the Quran and of the Prophet Muhammad in doing so. He went on to accuse Mash'al of fighting the Palestinians, not the Israelis.

Below is Al-Homayed's column, in the original English.[1]

"I Have Witnessed... Your Misleading And Inciting Discourse – Our Experiences Have Taught Us That These Lies Have Misled Youth Into The Abyss Of Terrorism And Extremism"

"To Mr. Khaled Meshaal, I will address you as Abu Al-Walid. In your interview with Al-Arabiya broadcaster, you touched on several issues, political, historical, and religious. Your rhetoric was neither coherent nor consistent, but like that of a messenger. I will not dwell on the political matters you discussed, as they are well established.

"Abu Al-Walid, I will focus on your religious rhetoric and your citations of the Holy Quran and the words of the Prophet – peace be upon him. I am not a preacher or a sheikh, but a father who fears that religion could be manipulated to misguide his children. I am worried that they might listen to you and believe that you are being truthful when you are not.

"I say this because I have witnessed the various stages of your misleading and inciting discourse. Our experiences have taught us that these lies have misled youth into the abyss of terrorism and extremism, becoming fodder for failed battles. This has happened from Afghanistan, which you take as a reference, to Palestine, whose cause you have tarnished.

"Abu Al-Walid, you speak about the Prophet striking with the spade in the Battle of the Trench, forgetting that he stood spade in hand on the battlefield, surrounded by his Companions; he was not living a comfortable life in another country like you are in Doha.

"You ask the 'Ummah' to 'play with fire' and march to the borders, while you are far away. Why don't you march to the borders of Gaza – even just to hand water out to those who have gone? Go and do it. If the Egyptian authorities prevent you; I promise to write an article condemning them for doing so.

"And you cite the verse: 'Permission has been granted to those being fought, for they have been wronged' – a Makkan-Medinan verse revealed to the Prophet in Medinah after he had spent 13 years in Makkah without calling for the use of force. The Prophet did not call for battle until after he had the support and strength of the Ansar (Supporters) in Medinah, and he did not recklessly send the Muslims to their demise. This verse was revealed in Medinah.

"We are taught that the Prophet refused, when asked for permission to do so, to allow the killing of those who had harmed the Muslims in Makkah before the Hijrah (migration). The Almighty revealed the following verse to address this question: God does not love any of the treacherous, ungrateful ones.

"When the family of Yasir was tortured, and Ammar witnessed the killing of his parents, the Prophet did not ask for revenge. Rather, he behaved like a great leader who sees the greater good. To prevent bloodshed, saying: 'Patience, O family of Yasir! Your meeting place will be Paradise.'

You "Did Not Fight The Israelis But The Palestinians Themselves – The First Thing You Did After The Gaza Elections Was To Throw Members Of Fatah And The Palestinian Authority Off The Rooftops"

"And you, Abu Al-Walid, did not fight the Israelis but the Palestinians themselves. The first thing you did after the Gaza elections was to throw members of Fatah and the Palestinian Authority off the rooftops; this is a documented fact.

"These are the facts, Abu Al-Walid. Nothing can be more dangerous and harmful than taking matters out of their context in moments of passion, especially since honest people sympathize with the innocent people of Gaza not with you or Hamas.

"Nothing is more dangerous than citing the Quran and the Prophet to mislead, especially through populist rhetoric that harms the reputation of Muslims and Islam, as Al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden had done.

"I am not a sheikh but a father who worries for his children. I always teach them that the noble Prophet had set terms and ethics even for conflict. My advice, Abu Al-Walid, is thus that you focus on your adventures. Engage in them however you want, but do not throw the Quran, religion, and the Prophet into these discussions.

"In conclusion, Salam."


[1], October 22, 2023.

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