February 3, 2005 Special Dispatch No. 858

Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi on Al-Jazeera: Our Problem is Not With Judaism as a Religion but With the Jews' Deeds; Sheikh Al-Qaradhawi on His Website: 'Oh My Nation, the Struggle Has Become Obligatory'

February 3, 2005
Special Dispatch No. 858

Al-Jazeera's TV program 'Religion and Life,' which regularly hosts Sheikh Dr. Yousef Al-Qaradhawi, recently dealt with the issue of Muslim-Jewish relations. The program was aired during the week in which London mayor Ken Livingstone defended his invitation of Al-Qaradhawi to City Hall last year, claiming that Al-Qaradhawi is a moderate Muslim leader. In this program, Al-Qaradhawi took a position different from his years-long declared statements about Jews.

However, despite his apparent intentions, he contradicted himself several times during the interview. Regarding Islam's attitude toward the Jews and Judaism, he explained that the problem is not with Judaism as a religion, but with the Jews themselves, and with Israel.[1]

Two weeks before this interview, Al-Qaradhawi published a poem on his website titled 'Oh My [Islamic] Nation – The Struggle is Obligatory,' consisting of 76 couplets.[2]The following are excerpts from both the Al-Jazeera interview and the poem:

A. Al-Qaradhawi's Program on Al-Jazeera
Disagreement between Religions is God's Will

Question: "Let's start with the subject of Muslim-Jewish relations, and relations with 'the Other' in general, and Islam's stance on this issue. What, your Honor, is the general basis for relations with 'the Other'?"

Al-Qaradhawi: "… Anyone who examines the Islamic faith will find that it is a faith that can encompass everyone, [a faith] that does not want to cancel 'the Other,' but rather recognizes the fact that there are others and that there are those who oppose [Islam] in [matters of] faith, law, and politics. The serious disagreements, however, are the disagreements in matters of faith.

"The Koran states that [religious] disagreement exists because God [himself] wills it … that people will have different religions. After all, if God had wanted everyone to have the same religion and the same path, he would have created Man differently. Yet he created Man [the way he did] and gave him a free mind and free will. So long as each man has his own free mind and free will, it is inevitable that people will differ from one another in their orientations, religious and otherwise… Whoever wants to cancel 'the Other' and wants people to be united under a single religion and a single path wants something that stands in contradiction to the divine will. Such a desire will not be realized and it will be impossible to fulfill this, since it contradicts the divine will.

"Islam recognizes 'the Other' and establishes the attitude toward 'the Other' on solid foundations, even though it believes others are infidels. In other words, every religious person believes that he holds the truth and that the others are in error, that he is a believer and the others infidels. This is what Muslims, Jews, and Christians believe… How can a man relate to someone whom he believes to be an infidel? On this matter Islam establishes basic issues concerning man's mind and soul, which generate what we term 'religious tolerance.'

"First, there is the [understanding] that disagreement [between religions] exists due to God's will… Second, [according to Islam,] when there is one man who walks in the righteous path and another who strays from it, one a believer and another an infidel, one innocent and another a sinner – all these people will be held accountable for their deeds before God and not before man, on the Day of Judgment and not in this world, but in the Hereafter. Therefore, the [believing Muslim] does not try to pass judgment upon those who disagree [with his religion] in this world. God is the one who will pass judgment on the day of resurrection…"

Muhammad Honored the Funeral of a Jew; When People Alerted Him to the Fact that it is a Jew's Funeral, He Responded: 'Is the Jew Not a Human Soul?'

"Third, Islam honors Man as such, regardless of gender, religion, color, language, geographic region, or status. Man has the right to be respected [as written in Koran 17:70]: 'We have honored man.' [The two most reliable authorities on Hadith] Al-Bukhari and Muslim recounted that when a funeral procession once passed by the Prophet [Muhammad], he rose to honor the deceased. [People] said to God's Messenger: 'This is the funeral of a Jew. That coffin belongs to a Jew, not a Muslim.' He answered: 'Is this not a soul [too]? Is the Jew not a human soul?' How beautiful this approach is, and how beautiful the explanation that this too is a soul.

"Fourth, relations among people in Islam are based on justice. God's justice is for all His creations: Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians, pagans… In the Koran's Al-Nisaa chapter, God revealed nine verses, which defend a Jew who was unjustly accused [of a crime]. A Muslim stole [something], and his family and tribe wanted to pin the blame on a certain Jew. They told the Prophet that so-and-so stole such-and-such, and the Prophet came close to believing them, defending the Muslim and blaming the Jew. [But] then [the] Koran [chapter] was revealed, in order to clear the Jew of blame…"

We Did Not Invent Hatred of the Jews; When Europe Persecuted Jews, They Found Safe Haven in the Muslim Homelands

Question: "If relations [between Muslims and Jews] are based on tolerance, as you've noted, and if relations between Muslims and others are determined in the Koran, as you've noted, why is there such hostility between Muslims and Jews?"

Al-Qaradhawi: "We did not invent this hostility [towards the Jews]. Jews lived among Muslims for centuries, even when Europe persecuted them and expelled them… They found a safe haven in Muslim territory and Muslim homelands. This is because Islam considers the Jews to be People of the Book [ahl al-kitab], meaning that they have a Divine Book. True, we hold that there has been distortion and change [of the Torah], but the Torah remains a Divine Book… Moreover, Muslims consider Moses to be one of the great Messengers… The Koran says that Allah distinguished Moses in that Moses spoke Allah's word directly and was not [merely] a mediator, an angel, or one with divine inspiration…

"Islam regards Jews – together with Christians – as having a Divine Book and a divine religion. In Islam there are special laws concerning [the Jews], as opposed to other [religions]. We eat their slaughtered animals and marry their women… A Muslim is allowed to marry a Jewish or Christian woman. This means that she becomes his housewife, his partner for life, privy to his secrets and the mother of his children … and they are bound together in matrimony… There are two kinds of natural relations: blood and lineage relations, and relations by marriage. When a man marries, he adds another family to his own. The woman's father becomes his children's grandfather. Her mother [becomes] his children's grandmother. Her brothers [become] the children's maternal uncles, and her sisters [become] their maternal aunts. They have the same rights as family relatives. This bond that is formed is like a familial bond.

"This is how the Koran views the Jews, and this is how they lived in the countries of the Muslims. They have the protection [dhimma] of Allah, His Messenger, and of all the Muslims. [The Jews] had great wealth. In Cairo, where we grew up, most of the large stores were owned by Jews… [The Jews] were close to those in power and to the regime, and for a certain period the Muslims were even jealous of them for becoming so close to the regime…"

'The Battle between the Muslims and Jews Began when Jews Occupied the Land of Palestine'

"The battle between us and the Jews began when they occupied the land of Palestine, expelled its residents, and perpetrated all their deeds. They are the ones who started the hostility, not us…

"There is a difference between Judaism as a religion and Zionism as a political movement with aspirations and goals. When the Zionist movement appeared and turned to Palestine, various [territorial] options were offered to it in Latin America, Africa, and so on. However, the leaders of this movement – Herzl and others – thought it preferable to go to Palestine, which was considered the Promised Land, in order to arouse the sentiments of the Jewish people, which were dispersed worldwide, and to gather them together. Jews [lived] in different countries and had their own interests, wealth, and influence, and therefore there was no way to gather all these people together other than by [using] religion… Therefore, [the Zionist leaders] thought it preferable to turn to Palestine. Likewise, the British foreign minister [Arthur James] Balfour, who had Zionist inclinations, promised to establish a national home for the Jews in Palestine, during WWI, in 1917.

"[The Jews] tried at first to buy off the Ottoman state and its Caliph. Their leaders and representatives offered him millions of golden liras. At that time the Ottoman state treasury was in need [of funds] and they offered [to supply funds] to the state treasury and to [the Caliph's] personal treasury. But he refused to relinquish a single inch of the land of Palestine. Therefore, they conspired against him and brought down his empire, and the rest is well-known. The Palestinian problem was behind the destruction of the stronghold of the Islamic Caliphate. The Zionist movement is the one that initiated this hostility with the Arabs and the Muslims."

Question: "If, as you maintain, this hostility is based on the plundering of Palestine, or that it began with it, how is one to interpret the Al-Maida chapter in the Koran [5:82]: 'You will find that the most hateful toward the faithful [Muslims] are the Jews and the polytheists?'"

Al-Qaradhawi: "This verse talks about an historical position. Islam accepted the Jews with open arms and welcomed [the Muslims'] relations with them, since they are People of the Book. Among the first things the Prophet did when he went to Al-Madina was to sign a pact with the Jews. He signed a pact for mutual guarantee in times of peace and mutual aid in times of war… The problem began with the Jews, and by them. The betrayal and violations were by them, to the extent that they even reached an agreement with the Quraysh and Ghatafan [tribes], and with the pagans, who raided Al-Madina… [The Jews], unfortunately, sided with them and abandoned the Muslims at a time when the Muslims were in the greatest need of their help. That is to say that they wanted to exploit this opportunity to bring about the Muslims' total annihilation.

"Here [in the verse], Islam is talking about those that did this [i.e. who violated the pact with Muhammad]. However, Islam welcomes those who believe in the [Jewish] religion. Moreover, the Jews are probably the closest to Muslims in terms of faith and law, even more than Christians. Why? Because Jews do not believe in the [Holy] Trinity. They do not consider Moses to be a god, as the Christians consider Jesus to be a god. Christians don't slaughter [according to religious dietary law], and Jews do – you are familiar with the Jewish dietary laws. Christians don't circumcise their sons, and Jews do. Christians don't forbid pork, and Jews do. Christians don't forbid having icons, and their houses of worship and their churches are full of icons, whereas the Jews forbid having icons. Jews and Muslims are in agreement on many subjects. Therefore, the problem with the Jews is not their faith or law, but of greed and the events that led to this [Muslim] attitude toward the Jews since the time of the Prophet, and after that in our own times, ever since they began to covet the holy and blessed land of Palestine."

The Battle between Us and the Jews is Not over Matters of Faith

Question: "There is a Jewish minority in Islamic societies in Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Yemen, Bahrain, and in the various Arab Islamic societies. How should Muslims behave towards this Jewish minority?"

Al-Qaradhawi: "Some thirty years ago I published a book called 'Non-Muslims in the Muslim Society.' I preferred this name to the name 'ahl al-dhimma' since some people think that the word dhimma is derived from dhamm [i.e., derogation], whereas dhimma means a pact and guarantee. That is to say, these people, the non-Muslims who live in Islamic society and within the Islamic nation, are the responsibility of Allah, His Messenger, and all Muslims, under their guarantee and their protection.

"Islam established rules regulating the relations between the Islamic state and non-Muslims … so that these would be natural relations. They are living in Islamic society under the general principle established by the religious legal authorities: 'What is [permitted] to them is [permitted] to us and what is [incumbent] upon them is [incumbent] upon us.' This is the basis for relations with non-Muslims, including the Jews … except for that which requires a religious distinction… If their religion commands them to have a day of rest on Saturday, I will not impose upon them to work on Saturday and rest on Friday. No, I must be considerate. I respect what their religion dictates.

"Our master 'Umar Ibn Abd Al-'Aziz … whom the religious legal authorities call the fifth Righteous Caliph, sent [a letter] to Imam Hasan Al-Basri, who was one of the greatest-known religious figures of his time, and told him that he was shocked to discover that the Zoroastrians in the land of the Persians, that is, Iran, marry their mothers and their sisters. How can we allow this? [Hasan Al-Basri] sent him a letter [of reply] and said this is permitted by their faith … don't try to change this … even if they marry their mothers, their religion allows this.

"Respect for the dictations of [other] religions and faiths is one of the most fundamental things for us. We don't get involved in their affairs… Islam is at the top of the tolerance scale; it allows one to do what is forbidden to Muslims, if it is permitted [in one's owns religion], such as eating pork and drinking wine. Wine for the Muslims is the worst evil, it is one of the worst and most severe sins, yet so long as your religion permits it, we won't prevent it [from you]. What is required in this matter is that this [behavior] not be spread among the Muslims…

"When the Mongols entered Damascus and took prisoners from among the Muslims, Jews, and Christians, Sheikh Al-Islam Ibn Taymiyya went with a group of Muslim clerics to Hulagu or to Hulagu's successor and requested that he release the prisoners. They said to him, 'Oh Sheikh Ibn Taymiyya, we will release the Muslim prisoners, in your honor.' He asked about the Jews and the Christians. They said to him, 'They will stay with us.' He [Ibn Taymiyya] said, 'No. The ahl al-dhimma take precedence over the people of our community. I won't leave until all the prisoners are freed.' Protecting the ahl al-dhimma is a duty incumbent upon the Muslims. They must protect them before they protect Muslims. Muslim clerics have said that harming a dhimmi is worse than harming a Muslim. Slandering a dhimmi is worse than slandering a Muslim, since he is considered to be under the Muslims' charge."

Question: "The Jews of the Torah mentioned in history are not the Jews of today and of our generation. How can there be such an ideal relationship [with contemporary Jews] when we witness daily the Jews' violation of the Muslims' most elementary rights?"

Al-Qaradhawi: "No, the Jews of our generation are the Jews of Muhammad's era, as far as faith and religious law are concerned. The Torah that existed in the time of the Prophet is the Torah [of today]. The falsification [of the Torah] occurred previously. The Christians of the time of [the Prophet] are the Christians of today. But this is a different matter. Now we are talking not about their faith and their religious law, but about the crimes they have committed. That is the cause of the hostility between us. The battle between us and the Jews is not about matters of faith. Some people think that we are fighting the Jews because of their faith. This is an error. We are not fighting the Jews because of their faith; we are fighting them because they seized the land, expelled its people, and plundered it…

"We recognized the Israeli state, but the Israeli state did not recognize the Palestinians. It conquered the West Bank, Jerusalem, and Gaza, and the occupation continues to exist to this day and still carries out acts of murder and destruction, uproots trees, burns fields, and destroys mosques… This is the reason for the battle between us. As for the Jews as Jews, there is no war between us…"

Dialogue Only With Jews Who Oppose the Establishment of the State of Israel

Question: "The subject of Jewish-Islamic dialogue comes up on a daily basis in journals, newspapers, and conferences, which take place in greatly increasing numbers. What is your position regarding these conferences? Do you support holding these conferences for Jewish-Islamic dialogue?"

Al-Qaradhawi: "Islam always welcomes dialogue. The method of Islamic propagation, as explained in the Koran [16:125] is, 'Call [men] to the path of your Lord with wisdom and kindly exhortations. Dispute with them in the most courteous manner.' Wisdom and kindly exhortation is for those who agree, and dispute is with those who disagree [with Islam]. However, the Koran restricted this in another verse: '… Do not argue with the People of the Book but in a courteous manner, except with those among them who do evil' [46:29]. There can be no dialogue between us and the evil-doers among the People of the Book. Therefore, the Jews of Israel, like the chief rabbi who went to Al-Azhar and tried to hold a dialogue with Sheikh Al-Azhar – I opposed this. There [can be] no dialogue between us and him since he supports the murder of Palestinians on a daily basis, supports the destruction of homes and the eviction of people, and supports the crimes and the barbaric slaughter that are taking place every day. How can I shake his hand and sit down with him?

"But there are Jews whom I met last summer … [at the meeting of] the European Council of Fatwa and Research and the International Association of Muslim Scholars – there was a group of Jews and rabbis there who attended our lectures… Eight of these rabbis accompanied me all the way to [the] airport and were with me until I got on the plane. They are opposed to the establishment of [the state of] Israel and believe that its establishment is in violation of a divine decree that the Jews [must live] in the Diaspora, and that by [the establishment of Israel], [the Zionists] are causing the annihilation of the Jews. With these [rabbis] we can sit down and talk. But those who support violence and Israeli tyranny, condescension, and the unjustified murder of people – we shall not shake hands with them. We are in favor of dialogue, but [only] with [someone] with whom it is proper to have a dialogue."

Question: "If you were invited to a conference for Islamic-Jewish dialogue, would you participate?"

Al-Qaradhawi: "With Jews who are not from Israel [I would]. I welcome Jews who dissociate themselves from what Israel is doing, and I welcome being with them [at the same conference]."

Question: "But all Jewish-Islamic dialogue … may be interpreted as political normalization, or, at the very least, may be taken advantage of…"

Al-Qaradhawi: "This is why I said that I oppose dialogue with Jewish rabbis living in Israel, who support the crimes committed by Israel. With them there is no possibility [of dialogue]… We will hold a dialogue with those who are reasonable among them, as well as with the Christians, as indeed I have [already] been present at a number of conferences for Islamic-Christian dialogue. But with those 'who do evil', as Allah said, we shall neither argue nor shall we have any dialogue."

Marrying a Jewess – Only if She Believes in Resistance Against Israel

Question:"At first you spoke about the fact that relations with the Jews are relations of daily coexistence, since they live in Muslim society, and that there can be marriages between Muslim men and Jewish or Christian women from among the People of the Book. Is this law still in effect, and are there any conditions upon such a relationship?"

Al-Qaradhawi:"Yes, [permission] to marry a non-Muslim woman of the People of the Book is still valid, but there are a number of conditions. The first condition, as Abdallah Ibn 'Abbas said, is that [the woman] should not be from a people that is fighting the Muslims… [Is it conceivable] that I bring into my house a woman whom I suspected was a spy for her people, which is fighting mine?… In our day, marriage to a Jewish woman is [permitted] only regarding Jewish women who believe in resistance against Israel…

"The second thing is that she must be a modest woman … and not a woman who sells her body to passersby… Another thing is that she must really be from the People of the Book, since many of them aren't from the People of the Book… Many Jews don't really believe in Judaism, or in anything else… Most Israeli leaders don't believe in Judaism, in the Torah, in God, or in the Day of Judgment. Ben-Gurion, Golda Meir, and people [like] them are exploiting the religion. They don't believe in religion, but they exploit it for the sake of Zionist aspirations. [A Muslim] must know that his wife truly believes in the Torah and the Jewish religion.

"Another thing is [that one must make sure] that there is no danger in the marriage to [a non-Muslim]. A number of muftis in lands where the Muslims are a minority have warned against Muslims marrying non-Muslim women, since the number of Muslims is limited, and if [Muslim] men marry non-Muslim women, and Muslim women are only allowed to marry Muslim men, this means that you have condemned these girls to remain unmarried their whole lives. In addition, there is a danger to the offspring… There is a difference between someone who marries a Jewish or Christian woman in his own country, and someone who gets married, for instance, in America. He lives there and is busy all day with his work and business, and leaves it to his wife to raise the children in her own way and according to her faith. In such a situation – where there is danger to the children – such marriages are forbidden."

The Livingstone Affair and MEMRI

Question: "The mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, recently talked about the media and those who are behind the media, when you visited London, and about the commotion that the visit aroused. The violence was described [in the media] as Islamic, or [else] Islam and Islamic propagators and Muslim clerics were blamed for the violence… At the same time, others talked about Jewish and Christian violence. Do you think that violence is attributable to a religion?"

Al-Qaradhawi:"First of all, as for what was said by the mayor of London, that noble and courageous man Ken Livingstone, we witnessed his courage last summer when he stood up against the Zionists and their libels, and now he has adopted yet another noble and courageous position in his statements. He has revealed what was concealed and has exposed the secrets, behind which hid those who organized these things. He, with sheer courage, exposed the disgrace of those [people] from the Mossad and from a certain institute, and he wrote all this in a report. I'd like to congratulate and thank this man, through Al-Jazeera … We must thank this man, who took a stand which many Arabs and Muslims avoid taking, [by] not saying the truth although they know what it is. This man spoke the truth despite the high price that was exacted from him, when the Zionist lobby confronted him and people tried to distort his words and to damage his reputation. I say to him: 'Continue in your path. The free and honorable people throughout the world are behind you…'"

Phone call to the studio by Sa'id Doudin, from Germany: "… The [person] who organized the campaign against Al-Qaradhawi was Yigal Carmon, who founded the MEMRI Institute. Yigal Carmon is a war criminal. He commanded the military intelligence in the West Bank and [Antoine] Lahad's forces in Southern Lebanon, which committed many crimes against the Lebanese people, and he is the one who masterminded the campaign against Al-Manar TV. I have presented many documents about the racist crimes committed by MEMRI against institutions. For instance, the role [MEMRI] played in closing down the Zayed Center. This is a racist war criminal, sir.

"I have conveyed all this information to the mayor of London, and expressed my utter disgust at the deterioration of London's political culture down to the level of the values of the racist media swamp. I am very saddened to see that this war criminal is presented on TV channels – including this channel [Al-Jazeera], which has much respect for him – as an expert on counter-terrorism, and this bloodthirsty racist terrorist [is presented] as an expert on counter-terrorism. I have presented an entire program on Al-Manar about the crimes perpetrated by MEMRI and this criminal. I regret that we have not yet been able to establish a network, and I call upon you to start establishing a network to uncover the crimes perpetrated by [a body] … which is not a media institute, sir. Such [institutes] are racist institutes, and racism is not a point of view but a crime."

Question: "Thank you, Sa'id Doudin from Germany. Your comment, Honorable Sheikh."

Al-Qaradhawi: "I thank the honorable brother for his clarifications of the facts, of which, unfortunately, many are not aware. Suffice for us that the mayor of London is about to publish a book with all these matters. We are waiting for this, Allah willing. As we have said, there is no problem whatsoever between us and Judaism as a religion. We are not hostile to the Zionists because they are Jews and Semites. They [are the ones] raising the issue of Semitism and brandishing this sword… We, the Arabs, are Semites [ourselves]. We are the children of Ishmael, and they are the children of Israel. We are cousins.

"From another perspective, Islam does not accord any weight to race. Islam does not relate to people as belonging to one race or another, because it considers people to be as equal as teeth on a comb.

"There is no 'chosen people' above all [other] people. The [only] chosen people is the one that fulfils Allah's mission on earth, is charitable, worships Allah, protects people's rights, builds the land, and carries out Allah's justice in it. That is the chosen people… There is no people of pure race.

"The Jews have been infiltrated by races from the Khazar kingdom and many [other] peoples. Who says all the Jews are one people? There are Falasha Jews, Jews of Europe, Jews of Yemen, and [other] Jews… Judaism is a religion and not a race, and [one] may enter religion from all races."

Question: "Can violence be attributed to a specific religion?"

Al-Qaradhawi: "Violence that does not distinguish between the innocent and the ill-doer, who hurts people because of the crimes of other people, cannot be attributed to a believer of any specific religion. Not to a Jew, not to a Christian, nor to a Muslim… Who killed [Yitzhak] Rabin? Some of the people want to make violence and terror Islamic. It is not so. We have witnessed violence in Japan with the 'Aum Shinrikyo' group, in India with the assassination of [Indian Prime Minister] Indira Ghandi and her son Rajiv Ghandi, we have witnessed it in Israel, in Britain with the IRA and the conflict between the Catholics and the Protestants. We have witnessed it in the U.S. itself, in Oklahoma City. [Violence] exists throughout the world, so why is it being linked to Islam alone?

"There are reasons and injustices that have led to violence in various countries, especially in Islamic countries. The reason for most of the violence in Islamic countries are the injustices being perpetrated against the Muslims, which they can do nothing against, and the world, regrettably, looks on from the sidelines and does not lift a finger…

"We do not believe in violence, and we have denounced it whenever and wherever [it occurs]. I denounced the events of 9/11 and the kidnapping of hostages. I published communiqués on this matter, and I issued fatwa s some 18 years ago forbidding the hijacking of airplanes and the kidnapping of hostages. These things are well-known, Allah be praised. We do not believe in violence, and we believe that violence has no religion or homeland. There is violence in all countries and all religions…

"The general trend among the Muslims, Allah be praised, is the middle path [wasatiyya], according to which the [Muslim] public behaves, and it is the broad base according to which the Muslims behave. It is the Western media that is trying to direct the spotlight onto these [people, such as] Abu Hamza Al-Masri, Abu Qatada, and whoever. The British media gave them prominence … whereas the Muslims do not give them any weight."

Phone call to the studio by Muhammad Abu Al-'Izz of Egypt: "… Honorable Doctor, the Jew's personality, as depicted in the Koran, has the same characteristics as today. The Koran has described the Jewish personality and has revealed their grudge, their condescension, their contempt for [other] people, their pleasure in blood-shedding, their tendency to lie and deceive, their cowardice and narrow-mindedness, and their arrogance toward Allah…

"If there is anybody who says that these are libels deriving from the Muslims, their religion, and the Koran – according to the results of a survey, 60% of Europe's population believes that Israel constitutes a danger to the world. In addition, Western authors and intellectuals, who are not Muslim, have warned their governments about the danger inherent in these people and this country.

"What baffles me – as well as anyone concerned about the honor of this [Muslim] nation – is that the marginal [elements] of our nation surrender, hoist a [white] flag, and call for normalization with this gang. In addition, the new senior Palestinian [i.e. PA Chairman Abu Mazen] proclaims that he is offering his hand to Israel, although they are the ones who killed his predecessor, poisoned him, and expressed willingness to kill him.

"The question is: what is the explanation for this baseness and wretchedness? Does it stem from an ideology, culture, peace, civilization, and the love of life, or does it stem from negation of the will, from a lack of resolve, from baseness, from wretchedness, from defeatism, and from surrender?…"

Question: "Honorable Sheikh, regarding the question posed by Muhammad Abu Al-'Izz of Egypt, don't the Arabs and Muslims who call for normalization contribute to the perpetuation of a reality that he has termed 'baseness and surrender?"

Al-Qaradhawi: "Without doubt, the issue of normalization is not acceptable. This would be turning something abnormal into something normal. How can a person normalize relations with someone who kills him?! How can a person normalize relations with someone who, at any moment in time, is oppressing him?! Those who call for normalization are a well-known minority which our society has rejected… Therefore, those who call for normalization have no weight or value in Arab and Muslim society…"

Question: "Ahmad Fadhl Mansour of Egypt asks whether it is permitted for the preachers and imams to curse the Jews in Friday prayers in the mosques."

Al-Qaradhawi: "In my book, 'Our Islamic Discourse in the Globalization Era,' I related to preachers who make generalizations. In other words, [they] say 'Allah, destroy the Jews and the Christians. Make their children orphans and their wives widows,' etc. These curses are unacceptable, because there are Jews and Christians who live in our countries, whom it is not befitting for us to curse. There are peaceful Christians and Jews. It is not reasonable for me to curse those rabbis who bid me farewell at the airport … [but] I say: 'Allah, [harm] the oppressive, aggressive, and deceiving Zionists and Jews.' They must be labeled, because I do not curse every Jew and every Christian. I say 'the hostile Crusaders,' and I mean 'the aggressive Americans who lean towards Israel'…" [3]

The Jews had a Far-Reaching Role in Crucifying Jesus; We Believe that Jesus Was Not Crucified, but the Crime was Committed

Question: "Some say the history of the Jews under Muslim rule was positive, because they were treated as people of the Book, whereas under Christian rule they were persecuted. Are the Jews closer to the Muslims than to the Christians?"

Al-Qaradhawi: "Of course. The Jews do not believe in Jesus or in Muhammad. They deny both religions – Christianity and Islam. They do not believe in Jesus as the messenger of Allah, but believe he was a liar. They conspired to crucify him, and there is no doubt that the Jews had a far-reaching [role] in crucifying Jesus. A few years ago the Vatican published a document proclaiming the Jews innocent of spilling Jesus' blood, but whoever reads history knows how the Jews incited the Roman governor to crucify Jesus. We believe that Jesus was not crucified, but the crime was committed. Our Lord raised him to that, but what really happened was that he was really, and we believe that the Jews, I mean, they commit this crime. What was the question? [sic]"

B. Al-Qaradhawi's Poem from his Website

"Oh My nation, the struggle has become obligatory, so put aside chattering and screaming.

Put aside dallying. He who dallies and rests is of no help.

Put aside all pretence, since massacres and wounds have said their word.

The Missionaries of Peace are lying,

for there is neither peace nor pardon.

Weeping over the ruins of our camp is no longer of avail, nor crying.

We should no longer speak with words; rather let the spears have their say…

* * *

Oh men, the matter is grave. The time for jesting has passed.

Call things by their real names, for it is men's way to be frank.

The veil has fallen from the face, and their secret workings are revealed.

The Crusaders have returned once more, and they move about in the [Iraqi] lowlands.

They spread perversion in the land, as though it were ground free for all to graze in.

They are again spilling blood, without shame of exposure.

And the Shi'ites play well the role assigned to them.

The treacherous role, whose beginning and end are known to all.

They returned when in the East there is no Nur al-Din in power, or Salah [Al-Din].[4]

We have forgotten the past, but they have now scratched the scabs.

They did not recoil from slaughtering old men … or small girls.

Their hate is not slaked by the blood they spill with such arrogance and impudence.

They gleefully abuse the victims' corpses, and violate the honor of women, fearing no retribution or punishment.

There is no Mu'tasim[5]to succor those who cry for help.

Don't you see how conspiracies against Islam are hatched openly in the light of day?

Don't you see how the land of the prophets suffers from wounds?

Don't you see how the Jews commit outrages, while we excel in crying out?

They violated our Palestine, and declared that they will not leave it.

They heed not the censure of U.N. resolutions, nor any proposal…

Were it not for the firmness of young men, unwilling to part with their religion,

Young men who offer up their blood – and he who offers up his blood is blameless

* * *

Apostasy has become blatant, having no fear of exposure.

In the marketplace of hypocrisy plain falsehood is being peddled

Moral depravity is sold there under the name of art and openness

Perversion prevails arrogantly and openly day and night…

* * *

Oh Islamic nation, rise up and act! For there is no time to be lost.

Heresy has gathered its forces. Why are we frightened and fighting one another?

Assemble, and equip yourself as you can with that which is at hand.

Oh thousand million [Muslims], where are you when the wounds call out?

Bring one million from the billion, the select of the select.

One from every thousand, and with them we shall make war on all fronts…

* * *

There is no escape from producing men, this is like the making of arms.

The making of heroes is a science that was made clear in out tradition.

Heroes can only be made in our mosques, in the garden of the Koran, and in the shade of the true Prophetic traditions.

In the company of the righteous, who walk in Allah's abode.

Those who guide by example, rather than by eloquence…

Those who betray the call to prayer, betray as well the call to struggle.

Oh my Islamic nation, stand fast, for night will soon give way to morning…"

[1]Al-Jazeera TV (Qatar), January 16, 2005.

[2], January 5, 2005.

[3]In a Friday sermon broadcast on Qatar TV on January 14, 2005, Al-Qaradhawi said: "Allah, help the fighters of Jihad in spirit and assist them with your many soldiers… Allah, [harm] your enemies, the enemies of Islam. Allah, [harm] the treacherous and aggressive Jews. Allah, [harm] their oppressive and patronizing allies. Allah, [harm] all the enemies of Islam and of the Muslims…"

[4]Nur Al-Din Al-Zengi (1146-1174), head of the Zengid confederation, who initiated a Jihad against the Crusaders, and Salah Al-Din Al-Ayyubi (1169-1193), conqueror of Jerusalem.

[5]Al-Mu'tasim, an Abbasid caliph (833-842), who in 838 defeated the Byzantine army and conquered the fortified city of Amorium.

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