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“Shari’ah and the religion are the supreme source of authority for legislation and law in Palestine” says top PA official

Official PA TV, Friday sermon from Ramallah by Supreme Shari’ah Judge and Chairman of the Supreme Council for Shari'ah Justice Mahmoud Al-Habbash

 

Supreme Shari’ah Judge and Chairman of the Supreme Council for Shari'ah Justice Mahmoud Al-Habbash: We [the Palestinians] have our source of religious authority, and we have a constitution and law that govern. Even the Palestinian basic law has a clear and unambiguous clause that Shari’ah and the religion are the supreme source of authority for legislation and law, and this matter removes all controversy and leaves no room for any claim… Our source of authority and constitution are ruled by the Quran and the Sunna (i.e., Islamic tradition)…

There are [political] controversies... but on the foundations, on the principles, on the large matters - the source of authority is the Quran and the Sunna...

For example, in our Palestinian case, all of the Palestinian geography is important, precious, blessed, and sacred. … But of all the Palestinian geography, of all the places, there is one piece of land that is the most precious, the most valued, and the most exalted of them all, and apparently everyone agrees about this – and it is Jerusalem. In all the geography of the Al-Sham lands (i.e., “Greater Syria,” including Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and parts of Jordan), and on the entire planet except Mecca and Medina, there is no area more precious than Jerusalem. Not only in the awareness of us Palestinians, but perhaps in the awareness of all humanity…

Jerusalem is the center of all the movement, the center of the activity, the center of the awareness, the center of the Palestinian, Arab, and Islamic politics. Without Jerusalem all of the causes collapse; without Jerusalem nothing has value. Our enemy understands this and he set us as his main goal.He focuses- [The enemy’s] goal is comprehensive, but he focuses specifically on Jerusalem. And this is because of its centrality, symbolism, status, and sanctity, to which no other status comes near…

were the Oslo Accords the ultimate thing we dream about; or the ultimate thing that the late [former PLO Chairman and PA President] Yasser Arafat dreamed about; or all the great Martyrs and leaders? Is it the ultimate thing that the Palestinian people dreams about?

Of course it is not, certainly not! We dream about [achieving] all of the right, all of the honor, all of our freedom, all of our state, and all the homeland. We dream about a lot, and want a lot. What is possible – this possible maximum – we are moving in its framework, …In this framework the Palestinian leadership insisted that Jerusalem be foremost, that Jerusalem be first. And therefore when elections were held in 1996 and 2006 there was Palestinian insistence that the elections also be held in Jerusalem. Imagine that we would have held elections without Jerusalem. It would be as if we agreed to cut Jerusalem from our awareness, … from our right, and from our constitution… in that Jerusalem would have stopped being part of our homeland and our Palestinian situation. Perhaps we will reject everything – up until Jerusalem. Perhaps we will entirely close our eyes, temporarily, to every other topic – other than Jerusalem…

Jerusalem is the responsibility of all of us – foremost of us, the Palestinians. [It is] our responsibility, first of all, because we are standing in its first trenches, and we are carrying out Ribat (i.e., religious conflict over land claimed to be Islamic) there and in its environs… And we also do not forget the Ibrahimi Mosque (i.e., Cave of the Patriarchs) in Hebron, which is part of the ‘surroundings of Jerusalem’ and also has status, symbolism, and value…

But it is not only our responsibility, but rather of the entire nation. Let the nation hear: Jerusalem is also the responsibility of you, the states, the leaders, the governments, and the peoples… Today as long as Jerusalem is occupied [by Israel], as long as Jerusalem is captive, the entire nation [of Palestine] is defeated… We demand that the nation act, and we demand that we ourselves also act. Perhaps on our part the best action is Ribat – remaining, perseverance, resolve – and that is what we are striving for, and that is what is being shown … we will not concede, will not withdraw, will not betray, and will not submit. We will triumph or die. This is our slogan, and this slogan must remain. We will triumph or die, but we will never submit. It is impossible that life will become sweet for us and be good, …nor for the entire Islamic nation, without the return of Jerusalem …the central cause will remain in our awareness: the center of the activity, the center of the awareness, the center of the culture, the center of inspiration, and the center of the struggle, the Jihad, and the Ribat. We say to the nation: At least come and carry out Ribat with us. Come, participate in Ribat with us – even for [a few] days, hours. Come and obtain sacred and blessed time in Jerusalem.”