Jordanian Sheikh Issues Fatwah Against Killing Jews

A well known Salafi sheikh in Jordan has caused wide outrage in the Muslim world, after issuing a fatwa (Islamic ruling) in a video making the rounds online in which he forbids murdering Jews outside the context of war and clashes.

Sheikh Ali Halabi, head of the Imam al-Albani religious studies center, is seen in the video being asked by a student as to whether it is allowed to murder Jews in “Palestine.”

“Someone who protects you, gives you electricity and water, transfers you money and you work for him and take his money – would you betray him, even if he was a Jew?,” he responds in the video.

In clashes and war killing Jews is fine according the sheikh, “but if you trust him and he trusts you, then it is forbidden to betray him. And therefore you are forbidden to murder him.”

Another student then asked the sheikh if armed IDF soldiers in the streets could be murdered, at which he said: “the same answer. Does a soldier holding a weapon in the street kill every Muslim he sees?” The student responded: “no.”

When asked if IDF soldiers “only attack if they are first attacked?,” the sheikh replied, “I don’t live in Palestine, but that is what the brothers there tell us. That he who does not attack Jews is not attacked in return.”

The sheikh made clear that his statements do not mean that he is not a hostile enemy of the “despised Jews.”

He didn’t want it to seem as if he was “defending the despised Jews. But this is the reality. Because if they would kill everyone they met, nobody would remain and the Palestinians would continue to escape to other countries in the world.”

The video was widely shared on social media, where a backlash was seen as activists condemned the sheikh and his fatwa.

Halabi’s statement brings to mind the case of Sheikh Ahmad Adwan of Jordan, who last year raised a stir by saying Allah gave the land of Israel to the Jews, and that there is no such thing as “Palestine.”

Unfortunately, the opinions of the sheikhs appears to be an extreme minority view in Jordan which, despite a peace treaty with Israel, has frequently openly called for Israel’s destruction in mass rallies and statements by political leaders.

1 reply
  1. Joe Levin
    Joe Levin says:

    A senior Jordanian Salafi sheikh has stirred controversy in the Muslim world in recent days after he issued a fatwa against killing Jews.

    Sheikh Ali Halabi said in a video distributed via social media that Jews can be killed during war only, and that killing them at other times is a betrayal. When asked by a student if it is permissible to kill Jews in Palestine, the sheikh answered: “Someone who protects you, gives you electricity and water, transfers you money and you work for him and take his money – would you betray him, even if he was a Jew?”

    According to the sheikh, killing is allowed during clashes or declared war, “But if you trust him and he trusts you, then it is forbidden to betray him. And therefore you are forbidden to murder him.”

    The Salafi sheikh provided an example from the period of the British Mandate in Palestine, when a well-known Saudi sheikh issued a ruling that agreements which preserve rights and prevent bloodshed must be honored. Halabi stressed that there is a difference between emotional outlook and outlook based on Sha’aria law.

    When the sheikh was asked by a student about armed soldiers in the streets, he responded: “The same answer. Does a soldier holding a weapon in the street kill every Muslim he sees?” The student answered “No.”

    Another student asked if it was correct that “they (IDF soldiers) only attack if they are first attacked?” The sheikh answered: “I don’t live in Palestine, but that is what the brothers there tell us. That he who does not attack Jews is not attacked in return.”

    Halabi said that he didn’t want it to seem as if he was “defending the despised Jews. But this is the reality. Because if they would kill everyone they met, nobody would remain and the Palestinians would continue to escape to other countries in the world.”

    The video that went viral on social media caused a stir in the Muslim world, with activists attacking the sheikh and distributing videos in which IDF soldiers are seen in the West Bank “executing Palestinians under the guise that they tried to stab soldiers.”

    Halabi is one of the most well-known Salafi sheikhs in Jordan and he is the head of the Imam al-Albani religious studies center in Jordan.

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