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Abbas’ advisor: Islam’s religious war to destroy Israel has started
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Abbas' advisor: Islam's religious war
to destroy Israel has started

Israel is the "culture of Satan"

  • Conflict between Palestinians and Israel is:
    "Between Islam and the enemies of Islam"
    "Between the Muslims and the enemies of Muslims"
    "Between the Islamic culture and the culture of Satan"
    "Between good and evil"
    "Between Allah's project vs. Satan's project"
     
  • PA Mufti: "The harming of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque (i.e., including the Temple Mount and the Western Wall) and the holy sites and the desecration of their sanctity will certainly lead us to ominous results... those who hold the beliefs will not be silent and will not accept them being harmed... We will not allow any harming of this noble belief, for which we are ready to die."
By Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik

The most important religious figure in the Palestinian Authority and the closest to PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, continues to tell Palestinians that the conflict with Israel is an uncompromising religious war for Islam against Israel and Jews. Mahmoud Al-Habbash, who was appointed by Abbas as his personal advisor on Islam and the PA's Supreme Shari'ah Judge, recently stated that conflict today with Israel is "The Battle of History between Islam and the enemies of Islam." Israelis/Jews are the "enemies of Islam," "enemies of Muslims," have a "culture of Satan," and represent "evil." Worse yet, Al-Habbash explained that the current battle is not just another battle on behalf of Islam. It is the ultimate battle described in the Quran as the "final promise," leading to great destruction for the "Children of Israel." It should be noted that Al-Habbash teaches this message of epic religious war to a very religious Palestinian Muslim population. Polls consistently find that 95% of Palestinians saying that religion is "important" for them.

 
   
   
Al-Habbash: "Jerusalem is the arena of conflict between us and the colonialist project [Israel]... Jerusalem's [Al-Aqsa] Mosque apparently is the heading for the eruption of the conflict and The Battle of History between Islam and the enemies of Islam; between the Muslims and the enemies of Muslims; between the Islamic culture in all its splendor and human glory and the culture of Satan attempting to establish oppression and aggression at the expense of the culture of truth and goodness... This mosque is decreed to be the arena of the battle between good and evil. This mosque and this wonderful city - the city of history, religion, and culture, Jerusalem - are decreed to be the heading of the conflict... Jerusalem is the heading of this battle, this conflict, and this round, which I and many others see as the key, as the first step, as the spark of the battle of the 'final promise.'''
[Official PA TV, Quranic Horizons, June 30, 2018, emphasis added]

While depicting the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis not as a political conflict but as one between Islam and "the culture of Satan," Al-Habbash referred to "the final promise." "The final promise" is mentioned in the Quran in Sura 17 where Allah addresses the Jews, referred to as "the Children of Israel," and can be seen as referring to either a battle of the past or a battle in the future in which Jews experience "[total] destruction". (See below).

In his talk, Al-Habbash explicitly said that he and others interpret this as referring to a battle yet to come, and the battle with Israel today over Jerusalem is "the spark of the battle," meaning, the beginning of this war of destruction:

"Jerusalem is the heading of this battle, this conflict, and this round, which I and many others see as the key, as the first step, as the spark of the battle of the 'final promise.'''

As documented by Palestinian Media Watch, Al-Habbash has previously explained clearly that he views the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis as one between "good" and "evil, and that Israel represents "Satan's project":
   

Al-Habbash: "The conflict here in Palestine between us and the criminal occupation and its criminal leaders, is a further manifestation of our trials, a further manifestation of the historic conflict between truth and falsehood, between good and evil. Throughout history, there has been a conflict between good and evil. The good is represented by the prophets and their supporters. The evil is represented by the devils and their supporters, by the satans and their supporters. We are not inventing anything new here (i.e., Palestinian-Israeli). This is a conflict between two entities, good and evil, between two projects: Allah's project vs. Satan's project, a project connected to Allah, which is his will - true and good - and a project connected to oppression and Satanism, to Satanism and animosity, occupation and barbarism."
[Official PA TV, Oct. 23, 2015, emphasis added]

Accordingly, when Israeli MPs recently were granted access to the Temple Mount, Al-Habbash described this as "defilement" of the Muslim holy sites.

Echoing this hate speech, the PA Mufti Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, called on Palestinians last month to come to Jerusalem "to stop the occupation and its settlers who are doing as they please at the Al-Aqsa Mosque." [Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 20, 2018]

The Mufti "warned" of "the outbreak of a religious war that is liable to annihilate the entire region," and stressed that "the Al-Aqsa Mosque is the sole right of the Muslims." Numerous times both Hussein and Al-Habbash have said that they include the Temple Mount and Western Wall when they refer to the Al-Aqsa Mosque as being "only for Muslims."

Two days later, the Mufti announced that Palestinians are "ready to die" for the Al-Aqsa Mosque:

"The harming of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy sites and the desecration of their sanctity will certainly lead us to ominous results.... Be careful of playing with fire and harming beliefs, as those who hold the beliefs will not be silent and will not accept them being harmed... We announce to everyone... to enemy and friend - that the Al-Aqsa Mosque is part of our belief and the belief of every Muslim in the world. We will not allow any harming of this noble belief, for which we are ready to die."
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 22, 2018]

Similarly, Mahmoud Abbas has stated more than once that Jews "defile" the Al-Aqsa Mosque and has called Palestinians to protect it against their "filthy feet."

At times, most often when speaking to foreign audiences, Al-Habbash will contradict himself and claim that the conflict between the Palestinians and Israel is political and not religious and then blames Israel for turning it into a religious war:

"Our people's conflict with the occupation is a political conflict and not religious, as Israel is trying to market it to the world."
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 14, 2018]

Or Al-Habbash will proclaim that Palestinians are "not against the Jewish religion" but only against "the occupation":

"We were never supporters of hatred, and were not enemies of peace. We did not exploit anyone, did not attack anyone, and did not deny anyone's right... and here - what we have said and are saying and will continue to say - we do not resist the occupation- we do not resist the occupiers because they are Jewish. No, we resist occupiers whatever their religion may be. You know, if the occupation was Muslim Arab we would resist. What more do you want? We are not against the Jewish religion."
[Official PATV, Quranic Horizons, May 4, 2018]

However, these statements are in stark contrast to other statements by Al-Habbash.

About "the final promise" mentioned above:
The following text from the Quran, in a chapter dealing with "the Children of Israel" and the destruction of the Temples, the second half of verse 17:7 can be understood in two ways:

"Then when the final promise came, [we sent your enemies] to sadden your faces and to enter the temple [in Jerusalem], as they entered it the first time, and to destroy what they had taken over with [total] destruction." [Sahih International translation]

Due to the ambiguity of the Arabic "idha ja'a," it can be understood as either a past or future battle. It can mean either "when the final promise came," or "when the final promise will come." In addition, the word "al-ahera" could mean "the final promise" or "the other promise." Many religious scholars understand the verb as past tense referring to the destruction of the Second Temple in which case it refers to history and has no implications for the current conflict. Some understand it as future tense, meaning that the conflict with the Jews continues and refers to a future destruction of the Jews. As shown above, Abbas' advisor Al-Habbash is teaching Palestinians that the second interpretation is correct: That Islam's religious war against Jews continues, and in a final war, which has already started, Israel will experience "[total] destruction."

The following are longer excerpts of the PA Mufti's and Al-Habbash's statements:

Supreme Shari'ah Judge and Mahmoud Abbas' advisor on Religious and Islamic Affairs, Mahmoud Al-Habbash:    
When we call on Muslims today to visit Jerusalem, we call on them to act to strengthen [its Islamic] identity. Jerusalem is the arena of conflict between us and the colonialist project [Israel]. So, we'll not come to Jerusalem in order to let the colonialist project relax as it pleases? So that they'll do as they wish with Jerusalem? So they'll build, settle, expel, destroy, and build as they wish? When I read this verse, I understand that it includes everyone who prevents the people from coming to this mosque, the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque. It includes the occupation and the colonialism that are preventing the people from coming to the Al-Aqsa Mosque by tangible force...
Jerusalem's [Al-Aqsa] Mosque apparently is the heading for the eruption of the conflict and The Battle of History between Islam and the enemies of Islam; between the Muslims and the enemies of Muslims; between the Islamic culture in all its splendor and human glory and the culture of Satan attempting to establish oppression and aggression at the expense of the culture of truth and goodness...
No one is more an oppressor than the one who prevents the people from reaching the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque today. The Al-Aqsa Mosque has become the heading of this time, the heading of the dialogue that is based on the principles of history and politics, and even on the principles of Islamic religious thought, concerning assessing and describing the conflict between good and evil. This mosque is decreed to be the arena of the battle between good and evil. This mosque and this wonderful city - the city of history, religion, and culture, Jerusalem - are decreed to be the heading of the conflict. Its people are the people of the first line, the people of Jerusalem, and they deserve that all of the nation will stand before them and cherish and honor them... Jerusalem is the heading of this battle, this conflict, and this round, which I and many others see as the key, as the first step, as the spark of the battle of the ''final promise.''
[Official PA TV, Quranic Horizons, June 30, 2018]

"Supreme Shari'ah Judge of Palestine, [PA] President [Mahmoud Abbas'] advisor on Religious and Islamic Affairs, [and Chairman of the Supreme Council for Shari'ah Justice] Mahmoud Al-Habbash said that President Mahmoud Abbas will go to the UN in a few days accompanied by the support of a popular base that represents all the members of our people from the various monotheistic religions. He also noted that our people's conflict with the occupation is a political conflict and not religious, as Israel is trying to market it to the world.
Al-Habbash added at a press conference, which was held yesterday [Sept. 13, 2018] in the [PA] presidential headquarters in Ramallah after the president's meeting with a delegation of Palestinian religious leaders, that 'This group of religious leaders, which represents the [different] parts of the Palestinian people, comes to emphasize its commitment to the legitimate Palestinian leadership that is represented by the PLO, and their unity around this leadership, with President Mahmoud Abbas at its head.'"
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 14, 2018]

Excerpt of Friday sermon by Supreme Shari'ah Judge, Mahmoud Abbas' advisor on Religious and Islamic Affairs, and Chairman of the Supreme Council for Shari'ah Justice Mahmoud Al-Habbash at the mosque in the PA headquarters in Ramallah; in audience: PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, Fatah Central Committee member Jamal Muhaisen, Secretary of the PLO Executive Committee Saeb Erekat, and Secretary-General of the PA Presidential Office Tayeb Abd Al-Rahim
Supreme Shari'ah Judge, Mahmoud Abbas' advisor on Religious and Islamic Affairs, and Chairman of the Supreme Council for Shari'ah Justice Mahmoud Al-Habbash: "We were never supporters of hatred, and were not enemies of peace. We did not exploit anyone, did not attack anyone, and did not deny anyone's right... and here - what we have said and are saying and will continue to say - we do not resist the occupation- we do not resist the occupiers because they are Jewish. No, we resist occupiers whatever their religion may be. You know, if the occupation was Muslim Arab we would resist. What more do you want? We are not against the Jewish religion. And we honor all of the prophets, and all of the religions, and we honor all of the narratives. Every person has a right to his narrative, in religion or in history, as he pleases. But we will not agree that anyone force his narrative on us. We also have our narrative. We also have our religion and our history. They are not obligated to accept our narrative, OK. And we are also not obligated... Our page is smooth and shining, and our positions cannot be misinterpreted because they are as clear as day. This is a message to everyone: Pay attention and beware of deceit, and know that Palestine is of its people, sooner or later, and its people will be its sooner or later, and our unity - we will return it, and we will end the [Fatah-Hamas] rift, and we will trample the [Hamas] coup [in the Gaza Strip] (see note below -Ed.), and the same for the occupation, sooner or later..."
[Official PATV, Quranic Horizons, May 4, 2018]

2007 Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip - Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah won the 2005 Palestinian Authority Presidential election. However, Hamas won the 2006 parliamentary elections in both the Gaza Strip and West Bank, with a majority of 74 out of 132 seats, to Fatah's 45 seats. Fatah's rule of the PA Presidency and Hamas' rule of the PA government led to friction and eventually armed conflict between Hamas and Fatah. Hamas defeated Fatah militarily in the Gaza Strip in 2007, and since then Hamas rules in Gaza while the PA continues to rule the West Bank under Fatah.

"[PA] Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and the Palestinian Territories, preacher at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, [and Palestinian Supreme Fatwa Council Chairman] Sheikh Muhammad Hussein called on all who can come to holy Jerusalem to head toward it, in order to stop the occupation and its settlers who are doing as they please at the Al-Aqsa Mosque...
He warned against the results of these violations, which herald the outbreak of a religious war that is liable to annihilate the entire region. He also emphasized that the Al-Aqsa Mosque is the sole right of the Muslims, and that the occupation authorities have no right to interfere in its affairs or to act to empty it of visitors."
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 20, 2018]

"More than 40,000 Palestinians from Jerusalem and the 1948 territories (i.e., Israel) participated yesterday [Sept. 21, 2018] in the Friday prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque plaza...
During the Friday sermon at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and the Palestinian Territories and Al-Aqsa Mosque preacher Muhammad Hussein... said: 'The harming of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy sites and the desecration of their sanctity will certainly lead us to ominous results.' He added: 'Be careful, be careful of playing with fire and harming beliefs, as those that hold the beliefs will not be silent and will not accept them being harmed.' ...
The general mufti added: 'From the height of this pulpit (the Salah Al-Din pulpit) [parentheses in source], we announce to everyone - to near and far, to enemy and friend - that the Al-Aqsa Mosque is part of our belief and the belief of every Muslim in the world. We will not allow any harming of this noble belief, for which we are ready to die."
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 22, 2018]

Muhammad Hussein also holds the following roles: Palestinian Supreme Fatwa Council Chairman, and Deputy Secretary-General and acting Secretary-General of the PLO Popular National Conference of Jerusalem