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

April 04, 2003


IMRA interview Mufti of Jerusalem on use of mosque (Iraq) as firing position.

You get no direct answer from this "man of God" about using a holy place to fire on coalition troops
IMRA interviewed Sheikh Ekrima Sabri, Mufti of Jerusalem and Palestine byappointed by Yasser Arafat, in Arabic, on April 2, with Michael Widlanski,lecturer at The Rothberg School of the Hebrew University, acting as
translator.

IMRA: There are reports that Iraqi forces are using the Ali Mosque inNajaf - not as a place of refuge but instead as a place from which to shootat American forces. Is there a problem, from the standpoint of Islamicreligious law, with them doing this?

Sabri: It is the American and British forces who are on the attack. Andthey have attacked the mosques and the hospitals. And they are criminals.

IMRA: So let us ask this in a general way without relating the question to this specific case. In principle can a mosque be used in battle - not for refuge but instead as a firing position.

Sabri: What you have to understand here is that they are the raiding forces, they are the criminal forces. And they are the ones who are killing the children, the women and the elderly. And it is not important whether people are being killed from the mosque or not from the mosque. The most important thing is for American and British forces to get out of Iraq.

IMRA: I understood that. I am asking a question relating to religious law in general. Forget about Iraq. Let us talk about anyplace. Just as a concept.

Sabri: You cannot deal with such a question when there are raiding partiesin Iraq. You cannot deal with whether it is permitted or not permitted. Theroot of it is that there must not be occupying raiding forces in Iraq.

When the American and British forces get out of Iraq I will answer that question.