Grand Mufti of Jerusalem
Grand Mufti of Jerusalem is not to be confused with the Grand Mufti of Egypt or Saudi Arabia's grand mufti. The Moslem Religious Courts had exclusive jurisdiction in matters of personal status of Moslems and Moslem waqfs. Under the Turkish Government there were Sharia Courts, each presided over by a Qadi, in Jerusalem, Jaffa, Hebron, Gaza, Beersheba, Ramleh, Nablus, Jenin, Tulkeram, Nazareth, Tiberias, Safed, Acre and Haifa. These Courts had been maintained. The Sharia Courts dealt with matters of Moslem personal status (marriage, divorce, inheritance, intestacy, constitution of waqf and the like), and in addition to their contentious work deal with a large amount of non-contentious business.
There were Muftis (elective Moslem jurisconsults, whose duty it was to issue, in the form of a fetwa, canonical rulings on points of Moslem religious law) of the Hanafi rite in the above-mentioned fourteen towns, and a Mufti of the Shafi rite in Jerusalem. There is an appeal from the Sharia Courts to the Moslem Religious Court of Appeal, sitting in Jerusalem and consisting of a President and two members. An Inspector visits the Sharia Courts of the country and reports upon their work.
In 1905 the Grand Mufti of Palestine, Ali-BenAbderrahman, was about forty years of age, of medium height, slender proportions, and delicate lineaments. His head, face, and hands, with the blue veins well defined beneath the wax-like skin, were said to be "perfect; the whole man bearing the unmistakable stamp which marks the highly intelligent and devout nature." One mark of distinction and appreciation of the French government was shown by the Cross of the Legion of Honor on his breast. In manners he was reserved though courteous.
Kamil Huseini Effendi - 1908-1921
The Grand Mufti of Palestine, Kamel Effendi el Housseini [Kamil Huseini Effendi], was the head of the Moslems of all Palestine. He had been appointed Grand Mufti soon after the British occupation, had been decorated by the King of England, but like all Arabs was watching the carrying out of the Balfour Declaration with many misgivings. He belonged to the clan of the Housseini, or Hussein, as it is sometimes written in English, which derives its descent from Fatma, the daughter of Mohammed; he was therefore related to the King of the Hedjaz and to Emir Feisal, since that time elected King of Mesopotamia. He combined the office of Mufti with that of the President of the Moslem Court of Appeals, having many family disputes and misunderstandings to adjust in addition to purely legal questions to pass upon, so that his life was a very full one.
In appearance Kamel Effendi el Housseini was a medium sized man, rather slim and delicate of build with a beard of the color generally described as '' sandy,'' and not giving one the impression at all of the usual swarthy Arab type. He wore the long robe and the turban, he was most emphatically a man of distinction. Like most Arabs of education he had a special admiration for America and expanded this feeling to include also Americans as a people.
Haj Amin al-Husseini - 1921-1937
Kamel Effendi el Housseini died on 20 March 1921, and after some delay his brother, Hajj Amin, was appointed. The British, against the local Muslim vote, appoint Amin Al-Husseini as Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. Amin Al-Husseini came in a poor fourth place in the vote. The Muslim community rejected his candidacy because he had not received any credible Islamic education. He was neither a Sheikh (religiously accredited leader) nor an Alim (Islamic scholar), but he became the pre-eminent Arab power in Palestine.
Haj Amin al-Husseini, the most influential leader of Palestinian Arabs, lived in Germany during the Second World War. He met Hitler, Ribbentrop and other Nazi leaders on various occasions and attempted to coordinate Nazi and Arab policies in the Middle East. Haj Amin al-Husseini was the son of an aristocratic family from Jerusalem. Al-Husseini once told a native Jew that he worked with, "this was and will remainan Arab land. the Zionists, will be massacred to the last man. We want no progress, noprosperity. Nothing but the sword will decide the fate of this country".
Al-Husseini voluntarily joined the Turkish Army during World War I, but switched sides in 1917 when the British were campaigning for Palestine. Al-Husseini stated, during an interview with Dutch Canadian journalist Pierre Van Passen regarding the Arab plight in Palestine, that the Palestinian Arabs had just "shaken off the Turkish yoke and turned up the road of freedom". When confronted by the reporter, "`Did your eminence not serve as a volunteer in the Turkish Army?' Husseini got up and left the room".
In 1920, he instigated the riots of that year by inciting anger among Arabs directed against Jews "who were praying at the Western Wall". He was sentenced to 15 years hard labor, but escaped and fled to Syria. The British allowed him to return to Palestine to appease the Arabs, and then the new Palestine High Commissioner, Sir Herbert Samuel, appointed him Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. From this new religious and political position, he orchestrated propaganda and terrorism in order to undermine efforts to establish a Jewish State.
The Haycraft Commission investigating the 1920-1921 riots determined that the strife was begun by the Arabs and characterized Arabs as the aggressor. However, due to propaganda disseminated by the Arabs, the attacks were rationalized by the commission as being caused by political and economic issues brought on by Jewish immigration. In 1922, the British took a key step to ease Arab anxieties by establishing Transjordan, for Arabs only, in theeastern portion of the Mandate for Palestine, comprising 76 per cent of the Mandate100. Thisdocument, the Churchill White Paper of 1922, attempted to satisfy the intent of the McMahon Letter to Sherif Hussain by setting aside the land specified in the letter for a future independentArab State in the Mandate for Palestine. Churchill points out that the promise to Sherif Hussain excluded "the whole of Palestine west of the Jordan".
In 1929, al-Husseini's propaganda machine was again at work inciting Arabs by accusing the Jews of endangering the mosques and other sites holy to Islam. The dispute was initially over the right of Jews to pray at the Western Wall, the result was al-Husseini calling out to the Arabs, "Itback al-Yahud!" (Slaughter the Jews!). Rumors spread throughout the country of Jewish attempts to defile Moslem holy places which caused widespread rioting.
In 1936, the Mufti al-Husseini again initiated unrest by calling for an Arab general strike. As al-Husseini orchestrated violence against Jews and British forces, he complained about Jewish immigration and Jewish purchases of land in Palestine. In 1937 the Mufti, an appointee of the British Mandate government, was removed from office, but he remained the leader of the Palestinians.
In 1940, the Mufti asked Germany and Italy "to settle the question of Jewish elements in Palestine and other Arab countries in accordance with the national and racial interests of the Arabs and along the lines similar to those used to solve the Jewish question in Germany andItaly". In 1941 while exiled in Baghdad, al-Husseini issued a fatwa (Muslim religious judgment) against Britain leading a pro-German coup. His followers then "went on amurderous rampage against Baghdad's Jewish community". After the coup was put down bythe British, al-Husseini escaped via Tehran to Italy. In Italy, he met with Mussolini who was also against the creation of a Jewish State in Palestine and said that the Jews should "establish Tel Aviv in America".
The Mufti of Jerusalem forged a far-ranging alliance with Hitler resulting in the June 1941 Farhud, a Nazi-style pogrom in Baghdad that set the stage for the devastation and expulsion of the Iraqi Jews and ultimately almost a million Jews across the Arab world.
On 28 November 1941, al-Husseini met with Hitler and discussed plans for the solution of the Jews in Palestine. Hitler said that the outcome of the war in Europe would also decide the fate of the Arab world. German troops intended to break through the Caucasus region and move into the Middle East. This would result in the liberation of Arab peoples. Hitler said that Germany’s only objective there would be the destruction of the Jews.
The Mufti wanted a combined declaration with Germany and Italy to "recognize the illegality of the Jewish National Home in Palestine" and to "recognize the right of Palestine and other Arab countries to solve the question of the Jewish elements inPalestine and in other Arab countries as required by national Arab interests, and in the same way as the Jewish question in the Axis lands is being solved". Al-Husseini spread propaganda through messages on the radio. In Berlin, he made a call to Muslims saying to "kill the Jews - kill them with your hands, kill them with your teeth - this is well pleasing to Allah!"
"Hitler was responsible for the Final Solution to exterminate six million Jews," Netanyahu said just before boarding a plane for Germany on 21 October 2015. "It is equally absurd to ignore the role played by the mufti, Haj Amin al-Husseini, a war criminal," Netanyahu said. In a speech before the World Zionist Congress, Netanyahu suggested Hitler was not planning to exterminate the Jews until he met with Husseini, a Nazi sympathizer, in Berlin in 1941.
"Hitler did not want to exterminate the Jews at the time, he wanted to expel the Jews," the Israeli leader said. "And Haj Amin al-Husseini went to Hitler and said, `If you expel them, they will all come here. So what should I do with them?' he asked. He said, `Burn them.' " Netanyahu made a similar claim during a speech before the Israeli parliament in 2012, when he described Husseini as "one of the leading architects" of the Final Solution, Hitler's plan to exterminate Jewish people.
A lengthy book review of Products and Reviews Nazis, Islamists, and the Making of the Modern Middle East by Barry M. Rubin published in the 3 Feb 2014 on-line "Tablet Magazine" by David Mikics: "Did Zionism Cause the Holocaust?":
"... Rubin and Schwanitz make the astonishing claim that al-Husaini is nothing less than the architect of the Final Solution.... The claim that al-Husaini was the hidden hand behind Adolf Hitler is implausible.... Rubin and Schwanitz are historians with a political agenda: They want to show that eliminationist anti-Semitism animates the Islamic Middle East, and so they paint al-Husaini as so devilishly anti-Semitic that he can contend with Hitler himself....
"Al-Husaini met often with Eichmann and Himmler during his tours of occupied Poland, and he helped Eichmann escape to Argentina after the war....
"Where Rubin and Schwanitz depart from the known historical record is in their dubious causal assertion that Hitler's commitment to al-Husaini to keep Jews out of Palestine was in turn a major motivation for the fuehrer's decision, sometime in 1941, to exterminate European Jewry."
German financial support of Arab leaders during the entire war was astonishing. The Grand Mufti Amin el Husseini and Raschid Ali El Gailani financed their operations with funding from the German Foreign Ministry from 1941–45. German intention in the Arab countries was based on an expectation of establishing pro-German governments in the Middle East.
Declassified CIA and Army files establish that the Allies knew enough about Husseini’s wartime activities to consider him a war criminal. Shockingly, the British gave Amin Al-Husseini amnesty.
By 1947 the two chief Arab rivals were Transjordan, whose King Abdullah had become the recognized Hashimite leader after the death of Iraq's Emir Faisal, and Egypt, which feared lest Abdullah take over Arab Palestine and then make a separate peace with Israel. In 1947, the Egyptian countermove to Abdullah's plans, in which Cairo was supported by Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Lebanon, was to try to establish an independent Arab state in Palestine. To this end, the Egyptians -- possibly with the permissive assistance of the French, who may still have nourished unpleasant recollections of their ouster from Syria by the British - engineered the escape from Paris of the Mufti of Jerusalem, and brought him back to Cairo with honors.
The Mufti, who had his own quarrel with the Hash1mites, going back at least as. far as his participation in the Axis-supported revolt in Baghdad in 1941, also had, in his personal ambitions, a definite interest in establishing and maintaining an independent Arab Palestine. With Egyptian support, the Mufti returned to Palestine as a counterweight to Abdullah's Musa Alami.
By 1947 Husseini denied that he had worked for the Axis powers during the war. Amin Al-Husseini died in 1974.
Philip Mendes wrote in 1988 that "Arab and Palestinian historians such as Philip Mattar, Issa Khalaf, Taysir Jbara and others have tended to minimize or even justify the Mufti's Nazi activity, arguing that the Mufti's actions reflected a pragmatic opposition toJewish immigration, rather than any intrinsic hatred for Jews per se. Their concern is to paint the Palestinian struggle against Zionism (both at the time of the Mufti and more recently) as a legitimate nationalist struggle against foreignand colonial incursion, unconnected to anti-Jewish events in Europe or elsewhere....
"Support for at least the basic premises of the Zionist positionregarding the Mufti's anti-Jewish and pro-Nazi endeavoursappears to be provided by a number of relatively balancedsources including Mark Tessler, Anthony De Luca, Zi Elpeleg,and left-wing/peacenik Israelis such as Simha Flapan, MaximGhilan, Aharon Cohen, and Yossi Beilin... they do not suggest, nor is there any reliable evidence tosuggest that the Mufti directly participated in or instigatedany war crimes or acts of atrocity against Jews."
Hussam Al-din Jarallah - 1948-1954
Born in 1884 in Jerusalem, Sheikh Hussam Al-din Jarallah topped the list of candidates chosen by the ulama (and fully supported by the Nashashibi family) in 1921 for the title of Mufti, but he was persuaded, mainly by the British, to resign. In 1948, Jordan's King Abdullah gave the title of mufti of Jerusalem to Hussam al-Din Jarallah. This probably angered al-Husseini. Hussam Al-din Jarallah died 6 March 1954 in Jerusalem.
Saad al-Din Jalal al-Alami - 1954-1993
Sheik Saad al-Din Jalal al-Alami was appointed the senior Muslim cleric, or mufti, of Jerusalem and the West Bank by Jordan in 1952. Sheik Alami helped establish the Islamic High Council after Israel captured Arab East Jerusalem in the 1967 war. The council led the effort to protect holy sites in the city from what many Muslims saw as Israeli encroachment. In 1989, Sheik Alami allowed Israeli troops onto the grounds of the mosque after an extremist Jewish group had made repeated attempts to establish a presence in the grounds. He came to regret his decision in October 1990 when troopers shot and killed 18 Arabs during riots on the grounds. Sheik Saad al-Din Jalal al-Alami died February 7, 1993. He was 82.
Sulaiman Ja'abari - 1993-1994
Sheikh Sulaiman Ja'abari was appointed Deputy Mufti of Jerusalem by Sheikh Jarallah after the British Mandate; chief magistrate for Jordan and Mufti of the Jordanian army; worked in education in Saudi Arabia and Qatar; counselor in the Department of Education, Jerusalem, Hebron, Ramallah and El-Bireh until he retired (1975); appointed Mufti of Jerusalem by Jordan (in 1993) until his death in 1994.
Ekrima Sa'id Sabri - 1994-2006
Ekrima Sa'id Sabri was appointed following the death of Sulaiman Ja'abari in 1994. Concerned over Sabri’s involvement in politics, and his political affiliations, the president of the Palestinian National Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, removed Sa’id Sabri from the post in the year 2006.
Haj Amin Muhammad Ahmad al-Husseini- 2006 to present
Sheikh Muhammad Ahmad Hussein, was appointed as the grand mufti of Jerusalem by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in 2006. Hussein claimed on 25 October 2015 that a Jewish Temple never existed on the Temple Mount. Asked in a interview with Channel 2 if he accepts that the Jewish Temple existed at the site, the mufti said “the Aksa Mosque was an Islamic mosque since the world was created.” Rabbi Chaim Richman, international director of the Temple Institute educational and activist organization, said the mufti’s comments were the latest example of attempts by the Jordanian Islamic Wakf, which administers the site, to deny its Jewish history.
In 2010 the mufti said “There never was a Temple in any period, nor was there, at any time, any place of worship for the Jews or others at the Aksa Mosque site.” Mahmoud Abbas himself called Israeli history in Jerusalem “illusions and legends” and “delusional myths,” referring to the “alleged Temple.”
There is no evidence outside the scriptures for Solomon's Temple. Caetano Minette de Tillesse thought that the stories of the accession of David and Solomon served the purpose of unifying the disparate tribes of Israel. The core of the story might be a tenth century story but the style alone is sufficient to show that it has been edited by a refined editor at a much later date. The obvious times were during the priesthood of the "second" temple and more especially during Hasmonaean times. Biblical historians J M Miller and J Hayes (A History of Ancient Judah and Israel) in 1986 begin to suspect something was phony about the biblical account of early Israel. They criticise the narratives of David and Solomon's reigns, describing them as "folk legend," "not to be read as historical record."
The Egyptian, Babylonian, Assyrian and Hittite peoples in the ancient Near East left evidence of their empires including tablets or papyri, art and inscriptions on buildings and monuments. Yet the empire of David and Solomon is not mentioned in any Ancient Near Eastern source. Monumental reliefs and statues, palaces, ivories, jewelry and all the normal signs of the sophistication required to run an empire are lacking.
The Second Temple is very well attested. The Roman Emperor Vespasian, having assumed the purple, at last despatched his son Titus to undertake the siege of Jerusalem. The heroism of the defenders was of the highest order, though disunion was a great hindranoe to them. Wall after wall was taken by the victorious Romans, until the temple itself was taken and burned to the ground, August 15th, AD 70.
In the classical tradition, the triumphal arch of one or three openings was erected to honor Generals or Emperors. The Triumphal Arch of Titus in Rome (AD 81) marked the capture of Jerusalem by Emperor Titus in AD 70. the The Arch of Titus is otable for sculpture showing enslaved Jews and the treasures of the Second Temple with the Menorah, the symbol of the Jewish state, being carted away as booty during the sacking of Jerusalem.
As for the claim that “the Aksa Mosque was an Islamic mosque since the world was created” - it is a bit difficult to understand the existence of an Islamic mosque prior to the revelation of Islam.
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