Sheikh Khaled al-Mughrabi, a notorious radical Islamic cleric who teaches religious classes at al-Aksa Mosque, has stirred controversy once again, saying that at the end of days the Muslims will exterminate the Jews.
A video of his Friday sermon at the mosque was published online and translated by the Palestinian Media Watch NGO.
Al-Mughrabi first explained that “the Children of Israel… will be forced to change their plans to build the Temple inside the structure of al-Aksa Mosque and will have to build it outside al-Aksa Mosque... A temple of heresy to worship the devil.”
He then quotes a well-known hadith, collected Islamic sources not in the Koran, in which at the end of days trees and rocks tell Muslims to come and kill Jews hiding behind them.
“The Children of Israel will all be exterminated, the Anti- Christ will be killed and the Muslims will live in comfort for a long time,” al-Mughrabi concluded in his sermon.
The cleric has in the past made other comments inciting hatred in his lessons in al-Aksa mosque. In June this year, he gave a sermon in which he utilized medieval accusations of blood libels against the Jewish people, saying that they slaughter gentile children and drain their blood for use in Passover matzot.
Jews, he said, “would look for a small child, kidnap and steal him, bring a barrel called the barrel of nails... They would put the small child in the barrel and his body would be pierced by these nails. In the bottom of the barrel they would put a faucet and pour the blood.”
Al-Mughrabi said that this behavior caused the Holocaust.
The cleric teaches two religious classes a week at al-Aksa, which is run by the Jerusalem Islamic Wakf, an Islamic trust that administers the Temple Mount. Although the Wakf is technically under Jordanian control, it is de facto controlled by the Palestinian Authority, says PMW.
Preachers at the mosque require the approval of the Wakf, PMW notes.
Al-Mughrabi was arrested in August over his inflammatory lessons and released shortly thereafter. A police investigation into his comments is ongoing.
According to Palestinian Media Watch, Friday’s sermon was the first that was uploaded to the Internet since he was arrested.
In a related issue, the Palestinian Supreme Islamic Council ruled on Monday that it is forbidden for Muslims to accept the idea of “internationalizing” or “Judaizing” Jerusalem.
The head of the council, Sheikh Ekrema Sabri, who previously served as the Palestinian mufti, made the ruling in a new fatwa (Islamic religious decree). The Supreme Islamic Council is the highest religious authority for Muslims in Jerusalem and the Palestinian territories.
The latest fatwa states that it is religiously prohibited for Muslims to accept the “internationalization” or “Judaization” of Jerusalem.
In his fatwa, Sheikh Sabri pointed out that the idea of turning Jerusalem into an international city had been proposed over the past few years, but without success. The fatwa referred to a recent French idea calling for the deployment of international monitors at the Temple Mount.
The “Judaization” of Jerusalem refers to what the Palestinians claim is an ongoing Israeli attempt to erase the Arab and Islamic “character and identity” of the city. The Palestinians claim that Israel has been working toward turning Jerusalem into a Jewish city.
“At present, the occupied city of Jerusalem is being subjected to a campaign of Judaization on various levels,” the fatwa argued. “The goal is to erase the character of the city and replace it was a fake Jewish identity.”
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