Jordan: Sheikh issues fatwah against killing Jews

Well-known Salafi sheikh notes Jews, including soldiers, 'do not attack anyone who does not attack them.'

Ari Yashar , | updated: 4:07 PM


A video has gone viral showing a well known Salafi sheikh in Jordan issuing a fatwa (Islamic ruling) against killing 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.

The rules are different in open battle, he explained, "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 answer is the same.

"Let me ask you a question: Does this man, who walks down the street with a gun, kill every Muslim he sees?" he asks rhetorically, noting that if Israeli soldiers had acted that way "nobody would be left in Palestine."

When asked "is it true that they do not attack you if you do not attack them?" the sheikh replied, "I don't live in Palestine, but that is what the brothers there tell me... that the Jews do not attack anyone who does not attack them."

The sheikh made clear that his statements do not mean that he is "defending the accursed Jews."

"But this is the reality. If they killed every Muslim they saw, nobody would be left in Palestine. They would all flee to other countries. But all the people there stay put."

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."

Earlier this year, another Jordanian sheikh declared his support for Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount - and was arrested for airing such views by authorities.

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.