In a November 6, 2014 interview on Palestinian Authority TV, Mahmoud Habbash, former PA minister of religious endowment, said that waging jihad for the sake of the Al-Aqsa Mosque was a duty incumbent upon every Muslim worldwide, and warned that the flames of a religious war "could reach the U.S., Washington itself, Europe, Asia, Africa, everywhere." In a sermon delivered in Ramallah on November 7, 2014, in the presence of PA President Mahmoud Abbas, Habbash said that the battle being waged in Jerusalem is "the final phase, after which our banners will fly... over the minarets of Jerusalem, over its churches, its domes, its hills, its mountains, its alleys, and its homes." The sermon was broadcast by the PA's Awda TV channel.
Following are excerpts:
Awda TV, November 6, 2014
Mahmoud Habbash: Today, protecting the Al-Aqsa Mosque and waging jihad – both with one's own body and through aid – for the sake of Al-Aqsa constitutes an individual duty, incumbent upon every Muslim man and woman from all corners of the Earth.
We are witnessing an insane war, being waged against the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the holiest place for Muslims in Palestine.
If this escalation continues – as President [Abbas] himself warned – it might ignite a religious war. Some people might just ignore it when they hear the term 'religious war.' They do not fathom what religious war means and how dangerous it might be. Simply put, a religious war would mean that every Israeli would become a target for any Muslim, from America to Japan, from the north to the south. From everywhere. Every Muslim would feel that his religious and faith are under threat, and that one of his holiest sites is being targeted by those Israelis, and would conclude that the Israelis are enemies, and therefore, constitute targets, for the sole reason that they are Israelis.
Once all the Arabs and Muslims from all over the world join the fray in the direct, physical, and operational sense, the [Israelis] will face a war against 1.5 billion Muslims.
This religious war will not be limited to Palestine. Its flames could reach the U.S., Washington itself, Europe, Asia, Africa, everywhere. Is that really what they want? It's not what we want. When we warn of a religious war, it is not an attempt to threaten anyone or arouse fear. It is a genuine warning to the world and to the U.N. Security Council.
Palestinian Authority TV, November 7, 2014
The Prophet Muhammad has given us orders and we obey them. We are grateful to Allah for choosing us, selecting us, to live in Jerusalem and its environs. We confront [the enemy], challenge it, entrench ourselves, and defend the places holy to our religion and our nation. We are protecting the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third most holy place in Islam, the place to which the Prophet Muhammad made his nocturnal journey, and the cradle of Jesus.
We are protecting the land of the prophets from the enemies of the prophets. We are protecting the land of the divine revelations from the enemies of the messengers. The battle that is being waged today in Jerusalem, my brothers – by Allah, I believe that this is the final phase, after which our banners will fly, by the will of Allah, over the minarets of Jerusalem, over its churches, its domes, its hills, its mountains, its alleys, and its homes.