After a decade of having watched our conflict morph, he says, from a thorny Arab-Israeli problem to a seemingly unsolvable Muslim-Jewish one, Sheikh Prof. Abdul Hadi Palazzi, the director of the Italian Muslim Assembly and an outspoken critic of Islamic fanaticism and terrorism, has once again come here with a message of hope: Peace is possible between Islam and Judaism, between Israel and the Muslim world based on the Koran and the traditional Muslim sources.
The 49-year-old Sunni scholar was in
The crux of what Palazzi has to say is that
As a Muslim who accepts this premise of the Koran, Palazzi has no problem with Jewish sovereignty over the entire
While Palazzi's views are not what one generally hears, his scholarly credentials are impressive. He has a doctorate in Islamic sciences from the Institute for Islamic Studies and Research in Naples (by authorization of the former grand mufti of Saudi Arabia) and authorization to teach (ijazzah) both Koranic exegesis and Islamic law from the University of al-Azhar as-Sharif in Cairo.
Palazzi sees the main problem facing the Islamic world, and also the West, as the dominance of
With respect to
For starters, Palazzi says that as a precondition for resuming negotiations
And in the meantime,
According to Palazzi, there is nothing in Islamic law that prohibits non-Muslims from the
Moshe Dayan made the initial mistake in 1967 by leaving control of the Temple Mount in the hands of the Jordanian-appointed Wakf, but Oslo made the situation even worse when the Palestinian Authority seized control of the Wakf and appointed its own grand mufti of Jerusalem, says Palazzi.
Since then, the PA has been systematically denying that there ever was a Jewish temple on the Mount.
In the long term, Palazzi feels that the only possible solution to the
PALAZZI THINKS the time is ripe for
The rise of Shi'ite Iran and its alliance with Hamas and Hizbullah have changed the dynamics for
And while there is always the danger that
However, the attitude of the Obama administration toward
With Obama tied down in
PALAZZI WAS born in
When Palazzi returned to
Often accused of being a lone voice in the wilderness, Palazzi points out that apart from
"The path of peace and tolerance is hard. There is a Hadith [narration of Muhammad] that says that the time will come when learning will be as one wandering in the desert. If someone is teaching the original Sunni Islam, he has to be doing it by himself. The Wahhabis are affluent and have unlimited funds for propaganda and organization. On the practical level, the situation is very difficult. But there is hope for change," he says.
This change will not come quickly. If oil is replaced as the main source of energy, leading to the Saudis' losing a great part of their wealth or the regime collapses, the restoration of real Islam will only be a matter of time, according to Palazzi. The situation in
Even so Palazzi, working on a shoestring budget with volunteers, is encouraged. "I see some real changes in
"All these changes together are why I think this is the moment for
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