Thursday, December 30, 2010

Sheikh al-Awda: "The Terrorists Work in the Service of Israel and the Zionist Movement"

This is from Saudi Sheikh Salman al-Awda, a prominent member of the International Union for Muslim Scholars run by Yusuf al-Qaradawi (see the original Arabic here):

Sheikh al-Awda:  The Terrorists Work in the Service of Israel and the Zionist Movement
Riyadh - Sheikh Salman al-Awda warned against severe terrorist acts, bombings, and bloodshed, as well as against the groups that carry out these actions and hide behind Islam, carrying the banner of jihad.  He said: "These are tools in the hands of the Zionists, Israelis, Europeans, and Orientals, with the goal of damaging Islam." [...]
This speaks to the Arab paranoia and boundless hatred of Israel.  Here we have Muslim terrorists killing Westerners, and often targeting Jews to boot, being blamed on the evil Zionists.  Not only that, but what better way is there to slander one's adversary in the Muslim world than to associate him with the Jews?  It's clear here that Shaykh al-Awda's real concern is not about the innocent Jews and Christians being killed by Muslim terrorists, but rather by the backlash these acts can sometimes create against Islam.  This is made even more clear when one considers al-Awda's oft-declared support for Hamas.  This is what he said about Hamas and other Palestinian jihadist groups, which was published in an article on IslamToday.net last August (see the original Arabic here):

I believe all of the components of the Palestinian people should be respected, and there can be no stability in any region of the world without respect for all of its components.  Hamas, Fatah, Islamic Jihad, and other groups are equally fundamental parts of the Palestinian people.
So, why so harsh on al-Qa'ida and so light on Hamas?  Is it because Hamas mostly just kills Jews, or is it because some of al-Qa'ida's actions have brought negative attention to Muslims?  The sad thing is that most Western reporters will just clip al-Awda's condemnation of terrorists and tout it as "another example" of how peaceful Islam really is without putting it in its proper context, thereby missing the real meaning of his words.  But you can bet his Muslim Arab audience understands what he's really saying.

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