Friday, February 4, 2011
A Muslim Zionist
Joel Richardson interviews sheikh who enthusiastically supports Israel
Posted: February 04, 2011
1:00 am Eastern
© 2011 WorldNetDaily
In the following interview, Christian author Joel Richardson, discusses Jewish-Muslim relations, Zionism and the future status of Israel and the Jewish Temple with Italian Muslim leader Sheikh Abdul Hadi Palazzi. Sheikh Palazzi begins a U.S. tour this March speaking out against Saudi-funded Wahhabi Islam and in favor of Israel and the Jewish people.
Sheikh Abdul Hadi Palazzi
Joel Richardson: Sheik Palazzi, thank you very much for agreeing to this interview. Please begin by introducing yourself.
Sheik Palazzi: I was born in Rome 49 years ago, studied Islamic Law according to the Shafi'i School and Quranic recitation at al-Azhar University (Cairo) and was appointed an imam for the Italian Muslim Community by the late Mufti Ali al-Badawi as-Siddiqi, who also appointed me as his representative for the Qadiri Sufi Order. I am presently directing the Cultural Institute of the Italian Islamic Community and serving as secretary general of the Italian Muslim Assembly and the Khalifah for Europe of the Qadiri Sufi Order.
I am promoting integration of the Muslim minority in Italy and opposing Wahhabi-oriented fundamentalism. I am involved in interfaith dialogue with distinguished representatives of Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and other faiths. I do believe that – as announced in Islamic sources – the Muslim world of today is affected by widespread aberrant beliefs as a result of the influence of Saudi-sponsored Wahhabism and extreme Shiaism. In my understanding, the medicine for this situation is reviving the traditional Sunni teachings preached by orthodox Sunni and Sufi masters, and this obviously involves the rejection of contemporary anti-Semitism and anti-Zionist education. Instead, Muslims should embrace what the Glorious Quran and the Islamic tradition teaches about the rights of the Jewish people and their return to the land of Israel.
JR: You are the co-chairman of the Islam-Israel Fellowship. What is the mission of this group?
SP: I am the Muslim co-founder and co-chairman of the Islam-Israel Fellowship (established 1997) of the Root & Branch Association, Ltd. (established 1981). Dr. Asher Eder, of Jerusalem, Israel, is the Jewish co-founder and co-chairman. The Fellowship promotes cooperation between Muslims and Jews, and between Arabs and Israelis, in the state of Israel and abroad, to build a better world together based (for Muslims) on the Quran and Islamic tradition, and (for Jews) on the Tanach and Jewish tradition.
JR: What level of support from the Muslim community have you received in your mission?
SP: In some cases requests to join the Fellowship, or invitation to lecture abroad, or prayers of support, advice, suggestions, etc. The strongest declarations of support came from the students of Sheikh Hisham Kabbani in the U.S. and U.K., from the mufti of Marseilles in France, from Shaykh Sillah in Ivory Coast, from Sheikh Salman Farid in European Russia (Tataristan), from Hajji Umer Ahmed Ilyasi in India and from the late Sheikh Abdul-Aziz al-Bukhari in Jerusalem, Israel.
JR: You recently assisted Lowell Galin in his work," Cracking the Quran Code." Summarize the general premise of this work if you would.
SP: Premise 1: To make the world more aware of pro-American and pro-Israel Muslims, and Muslim majority nations, who respect Christians and Jews as what the Quran calls "the People of the Book."
Premise 2: To make the world aware that the Quran, according to the Islamic tradition, affirms God's triple covenant: Land, Torah and People. The Land Covenant means that God gave the land of Israel to the Children of Israel; the Torah Covenant means that He gave them His Torah to abide by; and the People Covenant means that He ordered them to live faithfully according to His Torah in the land of Israel.
Premise 3: To help promote the emerging end-time alliance between Jewish, Christian and Muslims Zionists.
JR: Why has this information not been widely taught by other Muslim scholars?
SP:First of all, there is the Islamic tradition that depends on what the Prophet Muhammad, blessings and peace be upon him, called "the rise of the Horn of Satan from Nejd," i.e. the rise of the Wahhabi cult from that desert area of the Arabian Peninsula, and that its expansion which caused the occupation of the Two Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina, and then the Saudi control of wide sectors of the Arab world. While Saudis generously fund those who promote their heretical sectarianism, today very few Muslim scholars can freely speak while living under authoritarian regimes that treats them as governmental employees. For countries were this situation does not exist, the reality is quite different. This explains how, for instance, the mufti of Tataristan, of Sierra Leone, the president of the Federation of Imams of India and other Muslim scholars in the West are in touch with me and are blessing my efforts in promoting Jewish-Muslim friendship. In America and in Britain, the followers of Haqqani-Naqshbandi Sufi Order share in general terms my view and are thanking me for voicing them.
JR: If the Quran actually affirms the right of the Jewish people to the land of Israel, what then would you say is the primary cause of such widespread Muslim opinion and sentiment to the contrary?
SP: It is basically a rejection of the Quran and a heretical reinterpretation of the Islamic tradition, which is frequently associated with ignorance and political opportunism. That is the reason why I think that refuting Wahhabism, restoring Islamic tradition in agreement with its authentic sources and promoting Jewish-Muslim mutual understanding and dialogue are different faces of the same task that is today entrusted to the Muslim scholars of courage and good will.
JR: You have been referred to as a Muslim Zionist. What is your view of the state of Israel?
SP: Israel is the only modern state whose existence can be consider a realization of a prophecy contained in both the Quran and the Bible. We must pray for that state to be a light for the nations and by our means we must support its right to independence, sovereignty and security. JR: What has been the response of other Muslim scholars and leaders concerning your positions?
SP: As for the negative ones, to name just a person, the very extreme Sheikh Omar Bakri, suspected of being deeply linked to al-Qaida, once referred to me in a BBC program as "the distinguished learned brother with whom I frequently happen to disagree." I systematically denounced Yusuf al-Qaradawi as the leading heretical thinker of our time, calling him "an innovator who wants to reshape the religion of Allah according to his uncontrolled fantasy." I refuted plenty of his wrong fatwas. While he claimed that he would refute and answer me, he never did. The Saudis even sent an emissary of theirs who teaches in the United States to plagiarize whatever I wrote about the Quranic and traditional sources concerning the Children of Israel, but cutting my final deductions and replacing them with a pro Road Map project. Other Muslims, as I have already mentioned, have responded very positively to my work.
JR: You are from Italy. The Vatican recently publicly criticized the use of the Bible as a support for Zionism. Do you believe the Bible and the Quran to be valid sources with regard to the issue of Israel's statehood?
SP: I do surely believe that the Quran and the Bible teach that there exists a perpetual link between a certain human group (the Jewish people) and a certain territory (the land of Israel) and that, while other human beings are subjected to no special commandment about their residence, the Jewish people are ordered by God to settle in the land of Israel and to make it prosper. Moreover, both the Quran and the Bible teach that the Jewish people will be condemned to exile for a long period, but their exile at a certain point will end, and they will retake possession of the land God designated for them. That is the Zionist prophecy that was realized in the past century.
JR: What are your thoughts concerning the longing of many of the Jewish people to rebuild their Temple?
SP: I surely think that the Jewish people have the undeniable right to rebuild their Temple on the Temple Mount, exactly like Muslims have the right to rebuild the Karrah of Mecca when someone or something destroys it (it happened in the past), like Catholics have the right to rebuild St. Peter's Church in Rome if it were ever destroyed, etc. Once the Temple is, with God's permission, rebuilt, I believe it will be a source of blessing for Israel and for the nations. Christians, Muslims and followers of other religions will also benefit from its worship.
From a technical point of view, the detailed research of professor Asher Kaufmann proves that it is possible to rebuild the Jewish Temple without causing any damage to either the Dome of the Rock or the Mosque of al-Aqsa. Unfortunately, the state of Israel refused twice to exercise that right in the name of the Jewish people: in 1967, when after uniting Jerusalem, Moshe Dayan gave back the keys of the Temple Mount administration to the Jordanian Waqf, and in 1998, when neither Israel nor Jordan prevented the expulsion of the mufti, the imam of al-Aqsa and other officials of the Waqf and the illegal occupation of Temple Mount by the Palestinian Authority. The Israeli government did not even react when PNA thugs started their excavations on the Temple Mount. Since this was done by masons and not by archeologists, the damages they caused can only by inferred by the debris that was found afterwards.
JR: Sheik Palazzi, thank you again for agreeing to the interview. I wish you all the best in your continued work toward justice and peace in the Holy Land.
SP: You are most welcome.
Read Joel Richardson's column "Acknowledging righteous Muslims."
Read more: A Muslim Zionist http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=259429#ixzz1D1vn6xVb