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Official Calls to Overturn Fatwa on Visiting Jerusalem

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RAMALLAH, February 28, 2012 (WAFA) - Minister of Waqf and Religious Affairs Mahmoud Habbash Tuesday called on the Islamic scholar and theologian Yusuf Qaradawi to overturn a religious ruling (fatwa) he had earlier issued prohibiting non-Palestinians from visiting Jerusalem as long as it is occupied by Israel.

Habbash stressed in a statement that Qaradawi’s fatwa contradicts Islamic teachings and provides a free service to the Israeli occupation that aims to isolate Jerusalem from its Arab and Islamic surroundings.

Qaradawi issued a fatwa prohibiting non-Palestinians, whether they were Muslims or not, from visiting Jerusalem while it is occupied under the pretext it is “a form of normalization of relations with Israel.”

Habbash's call came after President Mahmoud Abbas had urged at the Doha conference on Jerusalem, which ended Monday, Muslims and Christians everywhere to visit Jerusalem in order to see for themselves the Israeli violations in the holy city and to affirm its Arab Muslim and Christian heritage and ties.

Habbash stressed that the visits to Jerusalem will defy Israeli policies in the occupied city and show support for its Palestinian residents.

R.Q./M.S.

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