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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

March 03, 2003

interview with an imam
Put aside what you think and find a voice of Goodness and Moraltiy!
While Moslem clerics are preaching hatred of Israel and the glories of “martyrdom” (a euphemism for suicide attacks) across the Arab world, there are those who have a different message. Their voices are rarely heard, but some imams (Moslem spiritual leaders) oppose terrorism and encourage their followers to live in peace with Israel.
israel today editor Aviel Schneider spoke to a senior imam in Israel, whose family has lived in this Land for 500 years. He has frequently preached in his Friday sermons that suicide attacks are a sin according to Islamic Law.
But speaking in an international forum such as israel today is something different. Shortly after the interview, the imam feared for his safety and asked us not to disclose his name. His concern, a real one, is that Islamic militants might target him for speaking of moderation and peace.

israel today: In the mosque, has anyone ever asked you what the Koran [Islamic ‘holy’ book] says about suicide attacks?

Imam: Anyone who would ask me publicly would wind up in prison the same day. But in my sermons, I speak out strongly against suicide attacks because the Koran forbids them.

israel today: But it’s well known that suicide bombers pray from the Koran before carrying out their mission.

Imam: These are fanatics—not believing Moslems. According to the shariya [Islamic Law], what they’re doing is strictly forbidden. I’m personally ashamed when I hear about suicide attacks carried out by Moslems. I myself feel guilty. I don’t want bloodshed. [more]