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memri
June 27, 2003 No.
531

Sheikh Al-Qaradhawi: 'We Gave Up On Haifa and Jaffa;' 'I Am Opposed to Attacks in Islamic Countries'

Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi, one of the most influential clerics in Sunni Islam, recently delivered his first sermon in three months following his recovery from surgery. The sermon, given on Friday, June 13, 2003, was delivered at a mosque in Qatar's capital Doha and was broadcast on Qatari television. The following are excerpts from the sermon: [1]

'The U.S. is Acting like a God on Earth'

"…In the last three months, some events have happened from which we can learn lessons…"

"The first… is that might rules the world – not the force of law, but the power of might. It is the mighty one who imposes himself, dictates his will, and demands that everyone listen and obey. This is the first lesson. America decided to invade Iraq and conquer it together with its allies, [even though] the entire world opposed it. Even in the heart of America and Europe, demonstrations were held, [with] millions of people who said 'no' to the war on Iraq. But America shut its ears, persisted in its position, invaded Iraq, conquered it, and everyone could go bang their heads against the wall if they want [as far as America was concerned]…"

"America is acting like a god on earth. No accounting is demanded of it, but it demands accounting from others…"

"America wanted to enter Iraq for its own reasons – not in order to disarm it of weapons of mass destruction or in order to save the Iraqi people from the hands of Saddam. They [the Americans] announced that they would enter Iraq even if Saddam left. The U.S. launched [a war] because it wanted to destroy Iraq's military power so as to clear the way for Israel, for its weapons and arsenal, and so that no one with these weapons will remain in the region except for Israel…"

'The Oppressing Arab Leaders Must Learn Their Lesson from Saddam'

"The second lesson is that every oppressor comes to an end. Saddam Hussein and his regime were one of the most tyrannical oppressors on the face of the earth, [particularly] on our Arab and Muslim land. There is no doubt of this. Thank God I never said a word in praise of him – not before the war, not after it, and not even a long time ago – because I am against any oppressive and repressive regime and against every tyrannical dictator. [The dictators] are the ones who kill the people. The oppression and tyranny are what paved the way for the British and American entrance into the region, they are what caused the war in Kuwait and the previous war in Iraq…"

"Perhaps the oppressors and tyrants who spread corruption across the earth, oppress their peoples, humiliate the people, harm honor and rights and step on the necks of the peoples with their feet – perhaps they will learn the lesson from all this, and realize that their fate [will be] that of this tyrant and oppressor [Saddam].
If only the tyrants and oppressors ruling our Arab and Muslim lands would consider what happened to Saddam Hussein and [would realize] that they are next in line…"

"His weapons, army, party, palaces built with the money of the Iraqi people, and hiding places did not help Saddam – and no one wept for him… When the oppressor goes, no one weeps for him, no one in heaven and no one on earth. On the contrary; they part from him with curses; the tongues that were silent and could not talk during the time of the tyrants can now talk and curse the oppressors…"

'There is No Difference Between Bush and the Mongol Leader Hulago'

"The third lesson is that occupation is occupation, and invasion is invasion… This is not the first time Baghdad was taken… This city fell to the Mongols. Hulago entered Baghdad and his soldiers struck the people with the sword. Blood flowed in the streets, in the houses, and above the roofs. Even in the drainpipes, rivers of blood flowed… and the Tigris became red with blood. During this war, two million were killed, and some say a million and half, and at the very least a million… They [the invaders] reached the libraries. [Baghdad] was the capital of knowledge, education, and culture... The books were thrown into the Tigris until the river became black with their ink. There were days when it became red with blood, and there were days when it became black with ink…"

"This was also the fate of Baghdad in the 21st century; they allowed the looters to loot the museums, the libraries, and the universities of Baghdad. They showed us some of the people while they were looting, but they did not show us who opened the locked doors. This they did not film. This was organized looting, behind which stand international gangs. Unfortunately, we did not see the U.N. acting, fiery and raging, as it acted when the Taliban destroyed the statues of Buddha… This is what the U.S. did, the country of the 21st century in the uni-polar world. What is the difference between the old Hulago and the new Hulago? What is the difference between Bush and the Mongol king?…"

'Do Not Go to Extremes in Vengeance Upon Ba'ath Party Members'

"The fourth lesson is that I recommend to the Iraqi people, with all its communities and ethnic and religious groups – Arabs, Kurds, Turkmenis, Assyrians, and [those of] other ethnic [origins], Muslims and Christians, Sunnis, and Shi'ites – all must stand in a single row. The disasters unite those harmed. In such a disaster, there is no point in someone saying 'I am a Sunni' or 'I am a Shi'ite;' 'I am a Kurd' or 'I am a Turkmeni.'"

"All have a common interest, one adversary, and one battle. They must forget their marginal quarrels and not listen to [those] who preach civil war. [They must] stand together and not go to extremes in taking vengeance upon the members of the Ba'ath [Party]. Many thousands joined the Ba'ath Party without believing in it. This party ruled for 35 years, and people had to get along. Many of them behaved as if they were Ba'ath Party members but in their hearts they cursed it. There is no escape from taking this into consideration, and from refraining from taking vengeance upon anyone formally considered a Ba'ath [member]. The true Ba'ath members number no more than a few thousand, while the Iraqi people are not Ba'athist; they were repressed in the grip of the tyrannical regime that silenced them…"

'The Fall of Baghdad Was Due to Ba'ath Party Secularism'

"When the Americans entered, the forces of the Ba'ath Party fled. Unfortunately, there was no one to stand fast against the advance [of the enemy], because it was a secular party not based on implanting faith in hearts and confidence in souls, and faith in the strength of Allah, in predestination, and in the world to come. They did not stand fast, and we were surprised to see that they collapsed overnight. Where are the hundreds of thousands? Where is the Republican Guard? Where are Saddam's Fedayeen? Where are the warriors of the party? All these evaporated…"

'The PA Must Not Fight Hamas and Islamic Jihad'

"The fifth lesson, my brothers, from what took place in the recent months is the lesson of Islamic resistance in the land of the prophets… This is the lesson of the Intifada . This is the lesson of those who sold their souls to Allah…"

"The Intifada expresses an assertive and proud people, a heroic people, a people that is unperturbed by death. A people that wants to live free, in honor, or die martyred. It is inconceivable that this people will die, despite the attempts of the Zionist entity state and of its strategic ally, the U.S. As much as they try to kill the Intifada and crush the resistance, they will not succeed."

"In recent days, we have seen summits convened in Sharm Al-Sheikh and Aqaba. These summits looked like celebrations in honor of Bush, the conquering president, whom the Arabs are asked to honor because he triumphed over the Arab people, and they must crown him king of the world. Another aspect of the summits was to approve a new stage in the move that America and Israel want – that the Palestinian people will fight amongst themselves. This is what the Americans and Israelis aspire to. The road map opens this door, and demands that the Intifada be silenced, the mouths be silenced, the resistance be fought against, and no weapons be left [in the hands] of anyone, so there would be no might except Israel's…"

"I ask of the Palestinian brothers, both from the Palestinian Authority and from the people, both of the government and of the opposition, to reject this plot and that Palestinian not kill Palestinian; the Palestinian hand must only be sent against the Israeli. Everyone understands this. Palestinian blood must not be spilled by a Palestinian hand, but by an Israeli hand… I say to [PA Prime Minister] Mahmoud Abbas, to [PA Security Minister] Muhammad Dahlan, and to the ministers who support them, that the day Hamas and [Islamic] Jihad, Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, and the Mujahideen cease to exist, nothing will remain to negotiate about or to cling to. You will stand in your nakedness. No one will support you. What pushed the Zionists and the Americans to present the road map is the [defeat] they suffered as a result of the martyrdom operations that shook their foundations, undermined their existence, and sowed fear in their hearts. They do not feel security or stability, and think of [nothing] but fleeing…"

'We Do Not Ask for Haifa, Jaffa, and Acre'

"I recommend to my brothers in Palestine to maintain a dialogue amongst themselves and not fight each other. I recommend to our brothers in Hamas not to stop the dialogue [with the PA], and that the [option] of dialog remain open to all. Even if we disagree with them, we must sit with them, talk with them, and exchange [opinions]… [Nevertheless] the banner of Jihad must be raised. Why were the Palestinians required to sit idly by, while Sharon and his supporters were not asked to? This is very simple and easy. There is a problem and it has a solution. The problem is the occupation, the occupation of the land of Palestine by the Jews, [Palestine] which the entire world recognizes. We are not asking for the historic land of Palestine. We are not requesting Haifa, Jaffa, Acre, Lod, Ramla, the Galilee, and so on. We are silent on this. We have accepted the oppressor but the oppressor has not accepted us."

"Nevertheless, they occupied the remaining part of Palestine. If you want a solution [to the problem], leave the territory you occupied. This is the simplest logic."

"Oh occupiers, who complain about the resistance, we resist you because you have occupied our lands, spilled our blood, burned our fields, destroyed our homes, and ruined our schools, our mosques, and so on. Why not let it alone, and we will leave you alone?"

'Killing has Rules: Not Everyone Killed in Riyadh and Casablanca Was American'

"The sixth lesson [is] from the explosions that took place in Riyadh and Casablanca… I condemn the explosions and the violent operations that are taking place in Islamic countries. Such operations were carried out in many countries and led to nothing. The perpetrators [of these operations] repented. The Al-Gama'a Al-Islamiyya [organization] in Egypt, whose spiritual leader is Sheikh Umar Abd Al-Rahman [who is in prison] today in America – may Allah release him – carried out violent operations in Egypt, and tried to carry out assassinations and so on. But it came to the conclusion that these operations brought no benefit, and that all it did was get thousands of [its members] jailed… They [these operations] do not replace regimes and do not topple governments. Even if the ruler is killed, as happened in some of the instances, another ruler comes who is perhaps worse than his predecessor…"

"Therefore, I say that there is no use in operations of this type, because they kill peace-loving, innocent people. Not everyone who was killed in Riyadh was American and not everyone who was killed in Casablanca was American or foreign. Not every foreigner deserves to be killed. Killing has specific conditions. There are people whom we call 'under Muslim protection' who have entered our country. They must not be harmed and their blood must not be spilled. The brothers harmed, among others, a Belgian club, even though Belgium's opinion was good – it opposed the war on Iraq and wanted to try Sharon and some American officers…"


[1] Qatar Television, June 13, 2003, www.qaradawi.net