A Muslim Viewpoint of Jerusalem as the Eternal Capital of the Jews

Sheikh Abdul Hadi Palazzi

A Muslim Viewpoint of Jerusalem as the Eternal Capital of the Jews

By Abdul Hadi Palazzi*

Any discussion of the problem of sovereignty over Jerusalem necessarily means a kind of investigation that has political, cultural, psychological, and religious implications.

For a Jew or a Muslim, religious or secular, thinking of Jerusalem menas mingling reason and sentiment together.

As a Muslim scholar and a man of religion, I will focus on whether, from an Islamic point of view, there is some well-grounded theological reason that makes it impossible for Muslims to accept the idea of recognizing Jerusalem both as an Islamic holy place and as the capital of the State of Israel.

First, I would like to emphasizethat the idea of considering Jewish immigration to Israel as a western"invasion" and Zionists as new "colonizers" is very recent and has no relation to the basic features of Islamic faith.

The idea that Islam might prevent Arabs from recxognizing Jewish sovereignty over Palestine is quite recent and can by no means be found in Islamic classical sources. To see anti-Zionism as a direct consequence of Islam is a form of explicit misunderstanding which implies the transformation of Islam from a religion into a secularized ideology.

This was originally done by the late Mufti of Jerusalem, Amin al-Husseini, who was responsible for most of the Arab defeats. During World War Two, he collaborated with Hitler.

Later, Egyptian President Jamal el-Din Abd el-Nasser based his policies on Pan-Arabism, hate for the Jews, and affiance with theSoviet Union. These doctrines were the cause of Arab backwardness. Most of Nasser's mistakes were later corrected by the martyr Anwar Sadat.

After the defeat of Nasserism, thefundamentalist movements made anti-Zionism a chief element of their propaganda,trying to describe the so-called "fight for liberation of Palestine" as rooted in Islamic tradition and derived from religious principles.

This plan for the ideologization of Islam as an instrument of political struggle encounters a significant obstacle, since both Koran and Torah indicate quite clearly that the link between the Children of Israel and the Land of Canaan does not depend on any kind of colonization project