The secretary-general of the International Union for Muslim Scholars (IUMS), an organization headed by global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi, delivered a lecture at the IUMS headquarters arguing that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is the most important issue in Islamic life and against labeling as terrorism the targeting of Israel terrorism. Dr. Muhammad Salim Al-`Awwa opened his lecture by declaring the centrality of the conflict to Islam”:
Dr. Al-`Awwa stated that the first and central issue in the life of Muslims is the Islamic-Arab conflict against Zionism in Palestine. He stressed the need to keep this conflict at the top of our priorities. He pointed out that talking about steadfastness is not a theoretical issue, but is rather a practical plan to change reality. The IUMS secretary-general drew attention to the seriousness of the term ‘the Palestinian issue, which is circulated by hostile circles in our Islamic countries, in an attempt to confine the issue to Palestinians only and detach it from its Islamic-Arab dimension. Moreover, he clarified that the entire region of Palestine is an Islamic endowment, and no one is allowed to control or abandon any part of it.
Dr. Al-`Awwa then goes on to argue that no action against Israeli citizens should be called terrorism and that condemning such actions is “one of the tricks of the enemy”:
Striving against false terms that our enemy circulates: calling the armed resistance operations against the Zionist enemy terrorism. They attempt to undermine and destroy the spirit of the resistance, and fill the Mujahids (fighters in the way of Allah) with suspicion regarding their cause. Deception and cunning should be confronted through declaring – on all occasions – that those who are martyred by the Zionist enemy are not in any way terrorists, but they are Mujahids who were martyred and gave their lives for the sake of claiming the Islamic right….Striving against condemning the killing of civilians; as one of the tricks of our enemy in its psychological warfare against Muslims. Our enemy aims at stifling the steadfastness of Muslims and exploiting any concession – regardless of how small – to weaken the Islamic resistance and its steadfastness. Dr. Al-`Awwa shed light on the fatwa, which declares that Israeli society is ‘a military society’, and that there are no civilians in Israel; as people of all ages are dedicated to serve the military objectives of Israel. He asserted that the real crimes are the Israeli massacres against the civilians at the Egyptian Bahr Al-Baqar School, Qana, Deir Yasin, Sabra, Shatila, and so on. He pointed out that if we accept their false call for not attacking civilians, we will waste the Palestinian Jihad and the entire issue.
Dr. Al-`Awwa moves on to declaring that it is an Islamic duty to morally and financially support “the resistance”:
Supporting the armed resistance morally and financially is the third step on the way of steadfastness on the Islamic, Arab and Christian right in Palestine against Zionism. Dr. Al-`Awwa stated that the hostile mass media seeks to frighten people against supporting the resistance, so as not to be accused of supporting terrorism! If our enemies succeed in instilling fear in our hearts, they will be likely to overcome us.
Somewhat ominously, Dr. Al-`Awwa concludes by announcing a new charity to aid the Palestinians:
Dr. Al-`Awwa announced that the IUMS has decided to open a bank account at one of the banks in Jeddah in cooperation with the Organization of Islamic Conference to support Palestinian university students. The bank account number will be announced in the near future, Allah willing.