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March 05, 2004 - Image 20

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2004-03-05

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

News Watch

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A Rare Breed

Zionist Muslim offers
unusual perspective in
defending Israel.

Back In Time

Look for Alexis P. Rubin's
"This Month in Jewish History"
for March.
www.detroitjewislmews.com

DON COHEN

Special to the Jewish News

I is not uncommon to hear a
non-Jew defend Israel and
Zionism in the name of
Western, democratic and
American values as well as Christian
scripture. But a Muslim defending
Israel based on Muslim scripture and
values is a rare breed.
Rare indeed is Sheik Professor
Abdul Hadi Palazzi.
According to Sheik Palazzi, an
Italian Muslim leader who kicked off
an American speaking tour in
Detroit on Feb. 17, Zionism is a
bridge to bring Muslims and Jews
together.
He also expressed his views that
the primary victims of Wahabbi
Islam are not Jews and Christians,
but Muslims; that "regime change" is
needed in Iran and Saudi Arabia;
that Israel, as a Jewish State, should
stretch from the "[Jordan] river to
the [Mediterranean] sea;" that Oslo
was a great victory for terrorism as is
the road map; and that a Palestinian
state would create more problems
than it would solve.
So who is this sheik, and why does
he say these things?
Sheik Palazzi holds a Ph.D in
Islamic sciences by decree of the
grand mufti of the Kingdom of
Saudi Arabia. He has served as an
imam for the Italian Islamic commu-
nity and lectures in the department
of the history of religion at the
University of Velletri in Rome.
Straightforward but mild-mannered,
Sheik Palazzi speaks passionately
about the havoc wreaked by a small
minority of Islamic extremists.
Wahabbism is "an imperialist
approach that believes in conquering
the world and imposing its beliefs by
force," maintains Sheik Palazzi, who
says the most important Islamic
scholars of Ottoman times called it
"a dangerous heresy." In 1921, when
the British gave the Hejaz and
Arabia — today's Saudi Arabia — to
the Saud family, they strengthened
Wahabbism by paving the way for its
conquest of the holiest Muslim
cities.
"The first battles of Wahabbism

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