The Anti-Terror, Pro-Israel Sheikh [Excerpts]
Frontpage Interview's guest today is Sheikh Prof. Abdul Hadi Palazzi, Director of the Cultural Institute of the Italian Islamic Community and a vocal critic of militant Islam.
FP: Hello Sheikh Palazzi, welcome to Frontpage Interview. It is an honor to speak with you.
Palazzi: The honor is mine.
FP: One doesn't find many prominent Muslim clerics today who openly denounce suicide bombings, let alone suicide bombings against Israelis. Yet you are quite vocal about supporting Israel's right to exist. Tell us why, as a Muslim, you have come to this disposition and why you have received so much criticism from certain elements of the Muslim community for it.
Palazzi: As a scholar of Islamic Law, I believe that Islam permits wars under certain conditions (i.e., it permits some soldiers to fight against other soldiers when ordered to do so by the State), but strictly forbids taking military initiatives by individuals, groups or factions (which is referred as "fitnah", i.e., sedition), strictly forbids targeting civilians and strictly forbids committing suicide. Consequently, as a Muslim scholar, I must necessarily condemn suicide bombing as a matter of principle, irrespective of who the victims are. I am obliged to say that a suicide bomber is by no means a martyr of Islam, but a criminal who dies while committing acts which Islam views as capital crimes.
Regarding Israel, I beg your pardon but may I ask you to please consider refraining from speaking of Israel's "right to exist." Affirming Israel 's "right to exist" is as unacceptable as denying that right, because even posing the question of whether or not the Children of Israel (Jews) -- individually, collectively or nationally -- have a "right to exist" is unacceptable. Israel exists by Divine Right, confirmed in both the Bible and Qur'an.
I find in the Qur'an that God granted the Land of Israel to the Children of Israel and ordered them to settle therein (Qur'an, Sura 5:21) and that before the Last Day He will bring the Children of Israel to retake possession of their Land, gathering them from different countries and nations (Qu'ran, Sura 17:104). Consequently, as a Muslim who abides by the Qur'an, I believe that opposing the existence of the State of Israel means opposing a Divine decree.