This ruling comes from one of the most senior Palestinian religious leaders, a personal appointee of Yasser Arafat.
-- Tom Gross
SHEIKH AKRAMEH SABRI SAYS SUICIDE BOMBINGS ARE JUSTIFIED
'Suicide bombings are justified,' Jerusalem Mufti Sabri tells paper
By Daniel Sobelman
December 9, 2001
The mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Akrameh Sabri, says that suicide bombings are justified and should be encouraged, according to a report published on Friday in the international Arabic newspaper Al-Hayat.
During a visit to Abu Dhabi, Sabri criticized the Muslim religious leaders in Egypt and Saudi Arabia who issued an Islamic ruling (fatwa) against suicide attacks. Last week, Muhammad Sayed Tantawi, the sheikh of Al-Azhar University and Mosque in Cairo, ruled that Islamic law does not condone suicide attacks against innocent victims. A leading mufti in Saudi Arabia issued a similar opinion.
According to Sabri, "these rulings came as a result of international pressure." He added that "those who do not have the courage to speak the truth should remain quiet and not say things that create confusion." Sabri, who was appointed by PAChairman Yasser Arafat, added: "Resistance is legitimate and those who give up their lives do not require permission from anyone."
According to Sabri, "We must not stand in the way of the intifada and jihad [holy war]. Rather, we must stand at their side and encourage them."