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February 19, 2017 / 23 Shevat, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘sheikh’

Egypt’s Top Islamic Cleric Warns ‘Charlie Hebdo’

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

The office of one of the most influential Islamic clerics in the Middle East warned the remaining staff of the French satiric weekly magazine Charlie Hebdo to pull its intended cover cartoon for the January 14 edition.

The caricature, released earlier this week in previews to media, shows a depiction of the prophet Muhammed, founder of Islam, with a tear trickling down his face, holding a sign that reads, “Je Suis Charlie” (I Am Charlie) under the words, “Tout est pardonne” (All is forgiven.)

The work stands as a clear and obvious reference to last week’s murderous rampage by radical Islamist terrorists who targeted the magazine and its editorial staff, and the outcry by protesters that followed. The terrorists slaughtered only those on a list believed by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) to be responsible for past depictions of the prophet, ignoring ancillary staff at the site. A maintenance worker and another person who became caught in the crossfire also were killed, as were two police officers, one of whom was assigned to protect the magazine’s editor-in-chief, Stephan Charbonnier. He was the first of the staff to be murdered.

“Je Suis Charlie” was the rallying cry taken up by some four million demonstrators in Paris and even more in a show of solidarity around the world who stood in silence with candles, pens, pencils and protest signs to signal their determination that freedom of expression continue despite the threat of Islamic extremism.

During the three-day killing spree by two terror cells from Al Qaeda and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) that began with the Charlie Hebdo attack, 17 people lost their lives, including four Jews at a kosher grocery story on Friday just a few hours before the Sabbath. In addition, one of the magazine’s targeted top cartoonists was Jewish.

Egypt’s Grand Mufti Shawqi Allam warned in a statement that this week’s upcoming cover would be an “unwarranted provocation against the feelings of … Muslims around the world.”

The danger could in fact be magnified exponentially: the magazine’s usual run of 60,000 is allegedly to be expanded this week to as many as 3 million copies. Hoping to head off a worldwide radical Islamist wildfire, Allam called on the French government to reject the “racist act” by Charlie Hebdo, which he said was trying to provoke “religious strife” and “deepen hatred.”

Allam had previously called the attack on the magazine a “terrorist” act. Likewise, officials at the 1,000-year-old Egyptian Al Azhar Islamic Center, known to be the oldest center of Islamic studies in the world, referred to the attack as a criminal act.

Moreover, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi called on Muslim clerics in an address at Al Azhar to “revolutionize” the Islamic faith and strive to combat extremist ideology – just two weeks before the radical Islamists carried out their reign of terror.

In Egypt, at least, moderate Muslims are beginning to step up and speak out, but that does not necessarily make them pro-Israel, as Dr. Zuhdi Jasser of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) pointed out. Jassser, a Syrian-American internist and nuclear cardiologist, has emerged as a major voice in countering Islamist extremism. He noted that in Egypt, there has been a change in attitude towards Islamist extremism — but not necessarily towards democracy or Israel.

One example, said Jasser, is that of Grand Sheikh Ahmed Muhammad Ahmed el-Tayeb, the leader of Al Azhar University and its mosque, appointed by former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. El-Tayeb supported el-Sisi’s ouster of former Muslim Brotherhood-backed President Mohammed Morsi in Egypt. He has also condemned Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the former Islamic cleric who now heads ISIS – but he has condemned Israel as a force for evil.

Rachel Levy

Israeli Muslim Leader Urges ‘Peace’ to Break Israel into Pieces

Sunday, October 12th, 2014

A former convicted terrorist who now is a leading Israeli Muslim cleric and peace advocate has called on rabbis to lead a joint Muslim-Jewish “peace march.”

“We will proclaim to every religious leader that they preach peace between two religions and two peoples,” Sheikh Abdullah Nimar Darwish told Israel Radio in an interview.

“We want to call on politicians to speed up the peace process. Let’s come and make peace together and stage a march in Tel Aviv or Kfar Kassem that will send a message there is enough spilling of blood and enough destruction, enough killing and enough hate.”

Israel radio, which has a long tradition of being an advocate for the center-left, immediately turned to Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi David Lau, for comment.

Israel Radio reported on its website,” Rabbi Lau answered that he supports a meeting of this kind” and he added, “There is no permission in the name of God, and no justification to attack people and not attack the lives of people. I would be happy to have another meeting with the leaders of other religions and deliver the message that this is not the way of God.”

I am not going to second-guess Rabbi Lau but certainly can second guess Israeli Radio, euphemistically known as the “Voice of Israel.”

If Rabbi Lau had declined to respond, the radio station would have reported, “The Chief Rabbi of Israel, whose father is former Chief Rabbi Israel Meir Lau and perhaps the most popular and respected Jewish leader in the country, refused to comment if he favors a peace march with Muslim leaders.”

So Israel Radio got away with another attempt for a campaign to jeopardize Israel as a Jewish state.

Why am I so doubtful of Sheikh Darwish?

Just because he was a terrorist does not mean he has not reformed, but peaceful means do not always have peaceful objectives.

Darwish is a native of Kfar Kassem and studied Islam in Shechem, a hotbed of Palestinian Authority terrorism in central Samaria.

He founded the Islamic Movement in Israel in 1971 and a few years later started a jihadist organization promoting “an Arab Islamic state in Palestine.”

He was arrested for terrorist activities, and he was convicted and jailed until Israel freed him as part of the infamous Jibril Agreement in 1985, when the Peres administration freed 1,150 terrorists and security prisoners in exchange for three Israeli prisoners captured during the First Lebanon War.

Darwish’s reform has included his public opposition to violence, but only in pre-1967 Israel.

However, he remains the spiritual leader of the southern branch of the Islamic Movement, whose northern branch leader is Raad Salah, the radical Islamic preacher who has been in and out of jail several times for violence and incitement, including calls for violence on the Temple Mount.

Salah has disassociated himself from Darwish because the radical leader opposes Darwish’s pragmatic approach to achieve “one-state” solution to the “problem” of Israel’s being a Jewish state.

“Whoever establishes a movement that is based on violation of the law, does not represent us,” Darwish has said. “However, in the West Bank and Gaza there is no rule of law; there is an occupation which must be eliminated, and not a state which must be respected.

“Therefore, I understand the Palestinians or the Lebanese, which are rising up in any way they can… If I were being occupied, I too would rise up, but the moment I decided that I am a part of the state as long as I am within the borders of the Green Line, I obey the law, together with my representatives in the Knesset, and this is proof that I do recognize the State of Israel.”

Darwish “understands” the need for violence in Judea, Gaza and Samaria while calling for peace, justifying violence because of the “occupation” and publicly opposing violence in Israel, despite his organization’s incitement. The southern branch of the Islamic Movement includes tens of thousands of Bedouin, who have become a major demographic threat.

Except for Be’er Sheva, the Bedouin population is the overwhelming majority in the Negev, thanks primarily to the government’s blind eye to bigamy. They have squatted on thousands of square miles of state land, including areas adjacent to IDF bases.

Darwish’s “peace march” proposal is like the American-backed “peace process,” which the Palestinian Authority pursues until it no longer can achieve its objective of a non-Jewish Israel.

They called that “peace.”

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Druze Community Shows Solidarity with Kidnap Teens’ Families

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

The spiritual leader of Israel’s Druze community has expressed solidarity and support for the families of the teenagers kidnapped by Arab terrorists last Thursday evening.

“The thoughts of all the Druze in Israel have been directed to the fate of your sons,” wrote Sheikh Muafeq Tarif, in a letter sent to the Frenkel, Yifrach and Sha’ar families on Tuesday.

Naftali Frenkel, age 16, Gilad Sha’ar, age 16 and Eyal Yifrach, age 19 were abducted by terrorists in Gush Etzion while hitchhiking home for the Sabbath after their week’s learning at the renowned Mekor Chaim Yeshiva in Kfar Etzion.

“Your destiny is our destiny, and the hope for a quick release brings you and us together. I cannot imagine where your thoughts have gone since this terrible experience began last week, but rest assured that with your strength, and tremendous faith, you will soon hug your children,” the sheikh wrote.

“As the leader of the Druze community, I want to give you strength in the face of this violent criminal act of terrorism, as there is no other way to define this,” he added.

“I know that the best combat soldiers and commanders of the Druze community have made every effort to locate the children and capture the kidnappers. This is our opportunity as a Druze minority in Israel to express solidarity with you and with security forces and the country.

“The entire Druze community prays for the release of the children and stands by you for any request or need.”

Jewish Press News Briefs

The Next Bloodbath : Lebanon

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

During the past two years we have become accustomed to the seemingly endless bloodbath in Syria, which has become a boxing ring for the many forces that are tearing it apart, while tearing its citizens apart in the process as well. But now the flames of the Arab Spring are threatening its western neighbor, Lebanon, the most democratic Arab or Muslim state in the modern Middle East. The Lebanese political system, which is built on a delicate balance among many sects and political bodies, has been directly influenced in the past two years by the events in Syria, because several Lebanese bodies are deeply involved in the Syrian tragedy.

Many have written about Hezbollah’s involvement in Syria, and one may assume that this involvement – together with the terror attack in Burgas, Bulgaria – was the basis for the EU’s decision to declare the military arm of Hezbollah as a terror organization. Hezbollah is the target of harsh criticism these days, both by Sunni groups that identify with the rebels against Asad in Syria, and by the Shi’ites who fear that the Syrian Sunnis will bring its revenge to Lebanon. However, Nasrallah does not listen to his opposition and continues to carry out Teheran’s instructions to help Asad survive at any price, even at the price of the lives of hundreds of Hezbollah fighters.

The Sunnis do their part too, by trying to attack Hezbollah in it’s own domain, in Lebanon. To date we have seen missile strikes on Dahiya, the southern suburb of Beirut, which is the Hezbollah stronghold, as well as a car bomb that exploded there in mid-June. Supporters of Syria are also targets of Hezbollah’s opposition: In the beginning of the week of July 21, a Syrian journalist of Kurdish extraction named Mohammed Dhirar Jammu, a supporter of the Asad regime, was murdered in the Lebanese city of Sarafand.

But lately reports have begun to appear in the Arabic media that a new Sunni front, the Lebanese branch of the Syrian group Jabhat al-Nusra, is steadily strengthening and consolidating in Lebanon. Jabhat al-Nusra, which also has branches in Iraq, is part of the global system of al-Qaeda-inspired organizations that translate into practical terms the teachings of bin Laden, which are based on the ideology of his mentor, Palestinian Sheikh Abdullah Azzam.

First of all, the full, official name of the organization is “Jabhat al-Nusra li-Ahal al-Sham” – “The Defensive Front for the People of Greater Syria.” The term “Greater Syria” expresses the organization’s rejection of the division of the modern Middle East into modern states – Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Israel – because they were founded by Christian-European colonialism in order to serve its own interests. The “al-Sham” region includes West Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and the Land of Israel, which the Arabs call “Filastin”. Therefore, Israel must keep a watchful eye on this organization because it is theoretically possible that the Muslims in Israel will want to open branches of the organization in Israel as well. And this actually almost happened, but then was blocked when Sheikh Nazem Abu Islim of Nazareth was arrested, tried and imprisoned.

Jabhat al-Nusra in Lebanon

The Christian writer Luna Khuri describes the structure of the Lebanese branch of Jabhat al-Nusra in the Elaph Internet site. The head of the organization is Muhammad al-Rish from Tripoli, whose brother, Samer abd al-Rahim al-Rish, was one of the leaders of the Jund al-Sham organization (Greater Syrian Army) and was killed last month in the battle of the Crusader fortress Krak des Chevaliers, near Homs. Muhammad al-Rish’s immediate task is to defend the budding development of Jabhat al-Nusra in Lebanon from attacks by the Lebanese military, which are carried out against it by instructions from Hassan Nasrallah.

In mid-June of this year, the Lebanese army eliminated the Sunni Salafi sheikh, Ahmad al-Asir in Sidon, and captured a truck full of military equipment near the town of Arsal, in Lebanon’s  Bekaa Valley. This town is apparently the logistical center of the Jabhat al-Nusra organization in Lebanon, because of its location on the border of Syria and Lebanon. Its local commander in the town was Khaled Hunayd, who was killed by agents of Lebanese military intelligence. The present commander took a lesson from this event, so he now operates incognito, heading a group that includes approximately 200 fighters under the spiritual leadership of Sheikh Mustapha al-Hujairi – called Abu Takia (the turbaned one), who issued a fatwa – a religious legal ruling – that allows killing soldiers of the Lebanese army.

Dr. Mordechai Kedar

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/dr-mordechai-kedar/the-next-bloodbath-lebanon/2013/08/01/

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