Former Grand Mufti of Lebanon: No way except jihad to liberate Palestine

September 27, 2015

Ahlul Bayt News Agency - In regard to the Israel army’s storming of Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa Mosque and its precincts the former Grand Mufti of Lebanon, Sheikh Muhammad-Rashid al-Qabbani, said in a statement that the superpowers have supported and continue to support state terrorism against Palestine and the Palestinian people since the establishment of the so-called State of Israel as a Western colony on the Arab lands of Palestine in 1948.

He added that these Zionist terrorist groups, including the Haganah and the Stern Gang, committed massacres in Deir Yassin and burned and shelled many Palestinian homes and villages with their tanks and artillery.

Shaykh al-Qabbani added that the Western countries who established the Zionist colony in Palestine are responsible for the extermination of the Palestinian people and their expulsion from their homeland and all the crimes committed by Israel since 1948, which included brutal massacres and genocide.

The Lebanese Sunni scholar said that the Zionists’ recent acts of terrorism against the al-Aqsa Mosque and its precincts, which included the storming, siege and the killing of worshipers at his holy site, should be nothing except the signs of the beginning of a battle to liberate of Jerusalem and all of Palestine and completely eliminate this Western colony of terrorism in Palestine [Israel].

His Eminence stressed that all Arab and Muslim armies must participate in this battle.

He explained that Israel and all the countries which support it are involved in schemes to ignite sectarian wars between Arabs and Muslims and divide them in order to prevent their unity as this will lead to liberation of Palestine.

“Do Arabs and Muslims and their countries realize this apparent and hidden deception among their people and countries?” he asked.

Sheikh al-Qabbani believes that the foreign mandate which divided Arab countries after World War II through the Sykes-Picot Agreement sought to distract Arabs from the Palestine issue by creating internal differences among them so that they could take over Palestine and establish a Western Zionist colony for their own imperialist purposes there.

He called on Muslim scholars and governments to rise up and liberate Palestine, saying it is the duty of all Arab and Islamic people to support Palestine and its people and not to fear their weapons.

The former Grand Mufti of Lebanese added that in the Holy Quran, God told us: “Do not slacken in the pursuit of these people. If you are suffering, they are also suffering like you, but you expect from God what they do not expect” [4:104] and added that there is no way to liberate Palestine without jihad in the way of God and that compromise with the Zionists will only cause further damage and keep Palestine in the hands of the occupiers.

“God has promised victory over the deceptive Israeli enemy and the promise of God is the truth,” he added.

Lebanon arrests wanted militant cleric Ahmad al-Assir

15 August 2015

Sheikh Ahmad al-Assir was detained at Beirut airport early on Saturday.

He had been on the run since clashes with the Lebanese army in 2013, which left at least 17 soldiers dead.

The cleric organised followers to fight alongside rebels in Syria in response to Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shia group which backs President Bashar al-Assad.

Sheikh Assir is wanted over an incident in June 2013 in which one of his men was caught with unauthorised weapons in his car at a military checkpoint in Sidon, 40km (28 miles) south of the capital, Beirut.

Witnesses at the time said machine guns and rockets were used - and when the army went to Mr Assir's compound, it found heavy weapons and military-style uniforms.

Lebanese officials said he was arrested trying to fly to Egypt using a false passport, having "changed his appearance".

Unconfirmed reports said he had shaved off his beard and undergone facial surgery.

BBC regional analyst Sebastian Usher says the media-savvy sheikh has been one of the fieriest voices in Lebanon, stoking up sectarian tensions as the Syrian war has raged next door.

Sheikh Assir built his reputation on television talkshows as a self-proclaimed defender of Sunni rights against the Shia movement, Hezbollah, and its backing of Syria's President Assad, our analyst says.

Despite being on the run for two years, he has continued to issue video and audio messages.

Muslim Clerics: Hand Qur'an Culprits Over To Us or Face Holy War

BEIRUT - Lebanon's top Sunni Muslim cleric called on Sunday for an international probe into a report that U.S. interrogators desecrated the Koran at a military prison camp in Cuba.

"Every day, the United States commits new follies that deepen the hatred of the Islamic world toward it and still American officials say 'why do they hate us?"' Lebanon's Mufti Mohammed Rashid Qabbani said in a statement.

"The United States must investigate the crime of desecrating the holy Koran through an international committee with the participation of Islamic countries to show it understands the danger of the crime carried out by its soldiers in Guantanamo detention centers, and bring down the severest punishments on them to prove its intentions toward Islam and Muslims."

Newsweek magazine said in its May 9 edition investigators probing abuses at the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay found that interrogators "had placed Korans on toilets and, in at least one case, flushed a holy book down the toilet."

Muslims consider the Koran the literal word of God and treat each book with deep reverence. The report sparked demonstrations in Afghanistan, where 16 people have been killed in the worst anti-American protests since the United States invaded in 2001.

The United States has tried to calm global Muslim outrage over the incident, saying disrespect for the Koran was abhorrent and would not be tolerated and that military authorities were investigating the allegations.

Lebanon's top Shi'ite Muslim cleric said the incident was part of a U.S. policy to breed hatred of Islam.

"The desecration of the holy Koran in the terrifying Guantanamo detention center that America created under the title of fighting terrorism against the Muslims who have been arbitrarily rounded up there, is one of the American methods of torture," Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah said.

"This is not an isolated act carried out by an American soldier but is part of an American program...of contempt for Islam, to disfigure its image in the minds of Americans."



Phone-call brothers charged over assassination of Hariri
Martin Chulov, Middle East correspondent

A MUSLIM cleric who telephoned three Syrian and Lebanese spy chiefs in the minutes before former Premier Rafik Hariri was killed by a car bomb has been charged in connection with the assassination.

The man, Sheik Ahmed Adel-Al, was charged by Lebanese police along with his brother Mahmoud, who placed two calls to Lebanese President Emile Lahoud in the minutes before and after the February 14 bombing of Hariri's motorcade on the Beirut waterfront.

The charges were laid early yesterday morning, less than a week after a UN report into the slaying that widely implicated Syria as a key conspirator in the attack. The charges appear to increase pressure on Mr Lahoud, who insists he played no part in the killing and is refusing to stand down.

The report concluded there was "converging evidence" of involvement by Syrian and pro-Syrian Lebanese officials in the plot, following pro-independence rhetoric from Hariri.

The UN Security Council stopped short of enforcing sanctions this week against Damascus, which vehemently denies state involvement, but warned that international action was not far off if President Bashar Al-Assad's regime did not begin co-operating with investigators.

Separately, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan condemned Syria for allegedly allowing weapons to be smuggled across its border to Palestinian camps in the south of the country.

The US has pledged to continue pressure on Mr Assad through the Security Council, which is considering penalties, including trade embargoes.

Syria has labelled the UN probe into the Hariri slaying as "politically motivated". Mr Assad has insisted no Syrian was involved.

However, the UN team, led by German prosecutor Detlev Mehlis, has analysed 70,195 phone calls made on February 14, zeroing in on 10 phone numbers that were not used again after the bomb exploded at 12.56pm.

It says six of the phones were used by a surveillance team that staked out the Beirut waterfront, unsure of which way Hariri's convoy would travel once he left a city reception.

According to the UN, all the phones had been bought from a company with close links to Sheik Abdel-Al's benign-sounding company, the Association of Islamic Philanthropic Projects in Lebanon.

The phone allegedly used by the cleric was busy from 10.35am on the day of the attack. Over the next three hours, it was used to call the chief of Lebanese security in Beirut, a senior Syrian spy, then Syria's pro-consul in Beirut and the head of Lebanese military intelligence.

Lebanon's presidential spokesman, Rafic Shalala, said the charges were an important development.

Sheik Abdel-Al had been under arrest on weapons charges for the past month along with four Lebanese generals, one of whom was responsible for the President's private security. Mahmoud was arrested on Saturday. The UN probe concluded that the bomb used to kill Hariri was detonated above ground and used at least 1000kg of military explosives. Forensic experts have not been able to determine which explosive was used, primarily because one of the generals under arrest ordered the bomb crater to be filled in the following morning to help reopen the road to traffic.

Eight months later, the bombed section of the downtown boulevard is still taped off as a crime scene.

The Security Council demanded this week that Syria provide access to its officials implicated by the probe. It also demanded that Damascus immediately stop meddling in Lebanon, which it has governed in a virtual overlord role for 25 years.

Syria was forced to cut and run in the wake of the bombing, withdrawing its 14,000-strong military and intelligence presence. However, Syria's pervasive role in most aspects of Lebanon's post-civil-war society will take much longer to shake out, analysts in Beirut say.

Syria has also long been accused of doing Iran's bidding by funnelling weapons to the Shia Muslim Hezbollah group in southern Lebanon, which provides armed support to Palestinian activists in their campaign against Israel.

The US has alleged Syrian support for the insurgency has been a key driver in keeping coalition forces in Iraq weighed down for the past six months by an increasingly sophisticated hit-and-run bombing campaign.


Lebanon detains cleric over attacks

14 Nov 2005 11:53:30 GMT

Source: Reuters

BEIRUT, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Lebanon detained on Monday a Lebanese Muslim cleric accused of carrying out acts of terrorism on the orders of a Syrian intelligence officer, a judicial source said.

The source said the Syrian officer had ordered Sheikh Hassan Mazloum to carry out bomb attacks and shootings in Lebanon, but did not give details on the attacks.

Lebanon detained six men on the same charges last week and the source said other suspects were still on the run.

A string of bombings and assassinations has rocked Lebanon since the February killing of former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri, fuelling fears the country was sliding into chaos.

Syria ended its three-decade military presence in Lebanon in April, bowing to world pressure and mass protests over Hariri's killing. Many Lebanese blame Hariri's murder on Damascus and fear it is also behind other attacks. Syria denies any role.

Syria's intelligence agencies were key enforcers of Damascus's grip on Lebanese politics and security from the days of the 1975-1990 civil war.

Military magistrate Rasheed Mizher issued the arrest warrant after questioning Mazloum, the source said.

Weapons seized from house of Muslim cleric

SIDON, Lebanon, Feb. 6 (UPI) -- Security forces seized weapons from the house of a Sunni extremist cleric in south Lebanon suspected of involvement in attacks on army troops.

A security source said police broke into the house of Ahmed Ansari in the southern port city of Sidon Monday and confiscated explosives, guns, automatic rifles and fliers inciting Islamic extremism.

Ansari was arrested last week as part of investigation into dynamite attacks on army checkpoints outside the Palestinian refugee camp of Ein el-Hilweh, a haven for outlaws and Muslim extremists wanted by the Lebanese authorities.

The source, who spoke to United Press International on condition of anonymity, said Ansari maintains close relations with extremist Palestinian and Lebanese groups based in Ein el-Hilweh, which is outside the control of Lebanese authorities.

In another development, Muslim clerics and political groups in Sidon held a meeting during which they denounced the riots that swept a Christian neighborhood in Beirut during a demonstration to protest against slandering Prophet Mohammed in the Danish media.

The rioters who set ablaze the Danish consulate in Ashrafieh, smashed cars and shop windows and attacked a church, sparking nationwide condemnations by Christian and Muslim politicians.

Police arrested at least 200 of the rioters, who included a majority of Syrians and pro-Syrian Palestinians, prompting many Lebanese politicians to point an accusing finger at Syria.

Many of the arrested Palestinians have reportedly come from Ein el-Hilweh.


Muslim cleric fails in bid to return
Fri Jul 21, 2006

LONDON (Reuters) - A hardline Muslim cleric barred from Britain for glorifying violence said on Friday he tried to get on board a British warship to flee Beirut but was turned back.

"The answer was, 'unless you have a British passport you are not entitled to come on board'," Omar Bakri told Sky News on Friday.

Syrian-born Bakri left Britain for Lebanon last August, saying he was going on holiday, after Prime Minister Tony Blair pledged to silence Islamists glorifying violence.

Bakri, who had lived in Britain for 20 years, said he had shown his British driving licence and his cancelled British passport.

"I know myself I am not welcome in the UK ... but I have the right like everyone else to safety," he said. "It is better to try and fail."

Britain barred him from returning to the country as part of a government crackdown on Islamic preachers who it says inspires suicide bombers like those who attacked London's transport system last year, killing 52 people.

The Home Office said he had been barred because his presence was "not conducive to the public good."

In an interview with Reuters in Beirut last August, the bearded cleric said he had no intention of returning to Britain because of the way Muslims there were being treated.


Shiite cleric hails Hezbollah militants

Thursday, August 3, 2006


BEIRUT, Lebanon -- Lebanon's top Shiite Muslim cleric hailed Hezbollah militants Thursday as "the soldiers of the Arab and Islamic nation" on their way to triumph over the U.S. and Israel.

Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah saluted the fighters in a video aired on Hezbollah's Al-Manar television.

"You are moving ... to reach a new victory for the nation and to defeat the American and Zionist political pride and all the enemies of freedom in the region and the world," Fadlallah said.

"You are the soldiers of the Arab and Islamic nation and your struggle will bring victory to Arabs, Muslims and the oppressed," he said.

Fadlallah, whose house and office in south Beirut were flattened by Israeli airstrikes last month, urged the guerrillas to continue fighting the "new battle of Khaibar." At Khaibar, the name of an oasis in what is now Saudi Arabia, Islam's prophet Muhammad won a battle against Jews in the year 629.

Fadlallah was believed to be the spiritual leader of Hezbollah in the 1980s, and still has a huge influence with the militant group.

It was not clear where Fadlallah was speaking from or when the video was recorded.


Top Lebanese Muslim cleric: U.S. offering Lebanon military base or face new strife

The Associated Press

October 21, 2007

BEIRUT, Lebanon: Hezbollah's deputy leader warned the United States on Sunday against setting up a military base in Lebanon, threatening that the Iranian-backed guerrilla group would consider such a move "a hostile act."

Also Sunday, Lebanon's top Shiite Muslim cleric said the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush wants the Lebanese to choose between having their country turn into an American military base or face a new strife.

The allegation by Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah and the warning from Hezbollah's deputy leader, Sheik Naim Kassem, came days after a senior Pentagon official said the U.S. military would like to see a "strategic partnership" with Lebanon's army to strengthen the country's forces so that the militant Hezbollah group would have no excuse to bear arms.

Eric Edelman, U.S. undersecretary of defense for policy, spoke about a "strategic partnership" with Lebanon's army in an interview aired on Lebanese television Thursday, two days after he held talks in Beirut on military cooperation with Western-backed Prime Minister Fuad Saniora and other officials.

Edelman did not say that the U.S. government wants to build a military base in Lebanon, but a pro-opposition newspaper reported Washington was offering a treaty that provides for bases and training. Hezbollah and the opposition seized on Edelman's comments as subtle confirmation of their accusations.

"We consider any American military base in Lebanon a hostile act," Kassem told a group of supporters. He would not elaborate, adding: "Let them (Americans) interpret things as they wish."

Suicide bombers who killed some 270 American military personnel and diplomats in Beirut in 1983-84 were linked to Hezbollah by Western intelligence agencies, but the group has denied any involvement. The attacks helped drive the U.S. military out of Lebanon, ending its peacekeeping efforts during 1975-90 civil war.

Hezbollah has argued that Washington's attempts to boost military ties with Lebanon's army are a ploy for domination and could turn the country into another Iraq. Some in Lebanon have expressed fears that a foreign military presence in the country could attract al-Qaida and other militants, as has happened in Iraq.

Fadlallah, the top religious authority for Lebanon's 1.2 million Shiites, expressed similar fears Sunday.

"We warn that the U.S. administration is offering the Lebanese a choice either to accept their country being turned into a (U.S.) military, security and political base, or to expect a new strife," Fadlallah said in a statement faxed to The Associated Press.

He said the Lebanese army was aware of attempts to link U.S. military aid to Lebanon to confronting the guerrilla group and was determined in "rejecting strife and rejecting any restrictions on its armament."

Since last year's war between the Shiite militant group Hezbollah and Israel, the United States has sharply increased its military assistance to Lebanon to US$270 million in 2007 — more than five times the amount provided a year ago — in a show of support to Saniora's government.

Fadlallah was skeptical about U.S. military aid to the Lebanese army.

"The Lebanese, who have seen the American failure in Iraq and felt the American involvement with Israel in last year's war against Lebanon ... must be aware that what the administration of President Bush is aiming at is something else other than supporting the Lebanese army," Fadlallah said.

"It (U.S. Administration) is working to make Lebanon a new base for chaos and another position for NATO in order to exert pressure on regional and international powers which disobeyed its decisions and policies," the cleric added in a clear reference to Iran and Syria.