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Militant Islam Monitor > Weblog > John Esposito: Georgetown U prof advisory board member of UK group whose director wants to be a suicide bomber in Israel

John Esposito: Georgetown U prof advisory board member of UK group whose director wants to be a suicide bomber in Israel

August 22, 2006

MIM: John Esposito, a professor at Georgetown University, has been called an apologist, but is in fact a long time activist for Islamist causes. Esposito is on the board of the Institute for Islamic Political Thought, whose director, Hamas leader Azzam Tamimi ,often states says he wants to commit a suicide bombing in Israel, and promotes terrorism. In an interview in 19976 Esposito told an interviewer that and that "terrorism, as seen in the ..., can and has been used to legitimate wanton violence and continued acts of oppression" adding that "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter". Esposito also warned that Muslims should not criticise as 'unIslamic' the ruling of Sheik Tantawi of Al Azhar University which said sucide attacks on Israeli civilians were justified. Esposito made his remarks at a conference in Malaysia which he attended in the company of Holocaust denier and ex communist turned Muslim Roger Garaudy. Esposito also co authored a book with Tamimi whom he calls "my Ustadah" (esteemed teacher).

In an interview on August 21, 2006 with Tim Sebastian of the BBC and in 2004 Tamimi spoke of how and why he would want to blow himself up in Israel, together with whatever Jews and Israelis happened to be in his vicinity.Despite the uproar that ensued , nothing was done in the UK and Tamimi continued his Hamas work with impunity. His ambitions gained him so much popularity in the Muslim community that he recently told an 8,000 strong crowd at a London Islamia expo event "that dying for a cause is just " and that "We are Muslims in Europe not European Muslims" . The head of the Muslim Association of Britain and Stop the War Coalition received a standing ovation. http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/2280

The London based IIPT has it's counterpart at the IIIT in Virginia. The webmaster for both the IIIT and the IIPT is Iqbal Asaria, a known Al Qaeda operative who worked for the CDLR (The Committee for the Defense of Legitimate Rights) which was declared an Al Qaeda/Taliban entity by the US Treasury Department.

Islamist activist apologist

John Esposito is an advisory board member of Hamas'think tank' the International Institute of Islamic Political Thought whose webmaster runs Al Qaeda website. Besides his stint as Islamist propagandist at Georgetown University, Esposito is a consultant to US Department of State who deliberately mislead the government about the threat posed by Bin Laden.

--------------------------------------

Anger over radical's suicide bomb boast

By BEN TAYLOR and PETER ALLEN 15:37pm 21st August 2006

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=401635&in_page_id=1770

A British-based Muslim radical was last night condemned by politicians and Jewish leaders after claiming he was prepared to carry out a suicide bombing in Israel.

Dr Azzam Al Tamimi, 49, a prominent member of the Stop the War Coalition, said that if he could get in to the country he would blow himself up.

He made the outrageous boast on BBC News 24's late night Hardtalk programme earlier this week.

Host Tim Sebastian pressed him for his views on suicide bombers, asking: 'Why, if it is so glorious and honourable to do this, why don't you do it?'

Dr Tamimi replied: 'I would do it.'

Sebastian: 'When?'

Dr Tamimi: 'If I have the opportunity, I would do it.' Sebastian: 'When are you going to do it?'

Tamimi: 'When? If I can go to Palestine and sacrifice myself I would do it. Why not?'

The academic, whose website boasts that he is regularly used by the BBC, Sky and Al-Jazeera as an Islamic expert, then claimed that he would become a suicide bomber if only he could get into Palestine.

'I cannot get in because I am not counted as a Palestinian,' he added.

'When my home town was occupied I was outside Palestine and I just wasn't counted. I'm not considered by the Palestinians as a legitimate Palestinian or by the Israelis as a legitimate Palestinian.

'Sacrificing myself for Palestine is a noble cause. It is the straight way to pleasing my God and I would do it if I had the opportunity.'

Andrew Dismore, Labour MP for Hendon, said last night: 'This is despicable. This man may have committed an offence. To offer support for terrorist acts overseas is an offence. I shall be reporting these comments to the police.'

Neville Nagler, director general of the British Board of Jewish Deputies, said: 'This individual embodies the worst attributes of Islamic extremism.'

A spokesman for the Israeli Embassy added: 'Dr Tamimi's words and statements are a licence to kill as many Israelis as possible.'

Dr Tamimi, a member of the Muslim Association of Britain, is married with three children and lives in Willesden, North-West London. He has repeatedly spoken out in support of the terrorist group Hamas and describes their suicide bomb tactics as 'the courage of man'.

He has been heavily criticised in Parliament by Labour MP Louise Ellman who said that he should be disowned by the Muslim association.

Last night she said: 'This man should be investigated. The MAB has a lot of public prominence and views expressed by their spokesman could have a lot of influence over young people.'

An association spokesman said: 'I haven't seen the programme so I have nothing to say. Dr Tamimi speaks on behalf of us.'

In July Dr Tamimi invited the radical Sheikh Yusuf Al Qaradawi to the UK.

Al Qaradawi who spoke at a taxpayer-subsidised conference in London in July has called for a war on Jews and the execution of homosexuals. He also condones wife-beating.

Dr Tamimi lives with his family a wife and grownup children in a council block. He has lived in the UK for around 30 years and the Tamimis are British citizens.

Neighbours described the family as 'quiet and neighbourly'.

Dr Tamimi was said to be on a business trip last night. He has produced a number of academic books and papers.

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MIM: The 2004 interview in which Professor Azzam Tamimi, father of three, said he would like to perpetrate a suicide bombing. Apparently this ambition already expressed 2 years previously did not stop his neighbors from describing the family as 'friendly and neighborly".

http://www.geocities.com/martinkramerorg/Documents/TamimiHardtalk.htm

TIM SEBASTIAN

As far as you're concerned with Yasser Arafat, good riddance you don't want him back in the Palestinian territories and that goes for your friends in Hamas as well?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

Not really. The last few weeks he spent in Ramallah his relationship with Hamas was actually improving. They were doing very good business together.

TIM SEBASTIAN

But you say today his group no longer speaks for the Palestinians these are your words:

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

For some time they have not been speaking for the Palestinians. Since they accepted Oslo and went along the path of peace-making in accordance with the terms of Israel and its supporters in America they had stopped speaking for the Palestinians.

TIM SEBASTIAN

But they may have stopped speaking for you and they may have stopped speaking for Hamas but there's plenty of popularity left among the Palestinians in the territories isn't there?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

Well they speak for a certain segment of the Palestinians undoubtedly. This is like a tribe and Yasser Arafat was always the chief of the tribe.

TIM SEBASTIAN

Exactly. So your slogan isn't exactly right is it when you say today his group no longer speaks for the Palestinians; he speaks for quite a lot of the Palestinians doesn't he?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

Quite a lot or a few that really depends. I mean we haven't had a [genuine] election and we cannot have general election because of the current situation but ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

No, but you have opinion polls don't you?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

... there are indications and the indications tell us that today it is Hamas that really represents what the Palestinians want. The Palestinians want freedom.

TIM SEBASTIAN
Well you say that but that's not backed up by the opinion polls. The poll conducted by the Palestinian Centre for Policy & Survey Research between September 23rd and 26th gives Hamas 22% compared to, I think it's the 26% or more which is given to Fatah and the Independence.

They were asked / people were asked: Will you give your vote in the next local election to candidates from Fatah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad or Independence and only 22.2% said Hamas. ... isn't much of support is it?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

I question the credibility of this Centre and of the studies that it makes. What I would say is that give the Palestinians the freedom of choice for a change and see what they choose ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

But you just don't like the results that's the reason you reject this isn't it?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

No there are many academics and many observers who have cast doubt on these centres which are funded by the United States of America and do research that serves the peace process and those who are involved in it.

TIM SEBASTIAN
Why does it serve the peace process? There hasn't been any peace process to serve, so it hasn't served anything has it ... ?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

Well the Israelis killed the peace process:

TIM SEBASTIAN

... apart from getting the opinions of Palestinians which you don't happen to like. The fact is, according to the polls, Hamas represents under a quarter of the population. That's maybe an unpalatable fact to you but that happens to be borne out by the figures.

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

What Hamas represents today is actually what the Palestinians are hoping for. The Palestinians are hoping for freedom.

TIM SEBASTIAN

Some ... some Palestinians are hoping [for]:

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

The Palestinians, most of them want to go back home. The Oslo process, the peace process in which the PLO embroiled itself gave away the rights of the Palestinians.

TIM SEBASTIAN

When the Palestinian human-rights group did a survey of Palestinians and asked them whether they wanted to go home, the overwhelming majority said they didn't and their offices were trashed; the offices of the Palestinian Human-Rights Monitoring Group were trashed as a result of it. So you don't seem to like any results and Hamas and Islamic Jihad and people like that don't seem to like any results that go against their own orthodoxy do they?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

You see that's nonsense. I as a Palestinian, I know many Palestinians around the world - I know my own family, I know my friends we all want our homes back. Even if we live in villas, in palaces, we want our homes. Nobody has the right to steal our homes from us. Nobody has the right to bring people from outside and dump them on our land. Our land is our land.

TIM SEBASTIAN

And for that, continuing violence that's what Hamas and your friends in Hamas speaks for?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

We don't call it 'violence'. We call it 'legitimate struggle'; we call it 'jihad' ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

Well it doesn't matter what you call it. It's still murder isn't it?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

You see the problem is that you're starting the story right from the end. Begin from the beginning. The beginning is when we, the Palestinians were removed from our land ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

But let's deal with the act. The act is murder isn't it?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

It's not murder.

TIM SEBASTIAN

You can call it 'struggle' but it's murder, isn't it?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

No, no, no. The Vietnamese people struggled and freed themselves. The South African people struggled and freed themselves.

TIM SEBASTIAN

Does it make you feel better to call it 'struggle' rather than to give it its real name of 'murder'? When you see Israeli teenagers with their blood spattered all over the ground, does it make you feel better to call that 'struggle' as opposed to 'murder'?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

If the Israelis want it to stop, it can stop today but the Israelis don't want it to stop ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

No, but please answer my question: Does it make you feel better to call it 'struggle'?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

It doesn't make me feel better to see anybody killed but if you come and kill me and kill my children and drive me out of my land what do you expect? I have to defend myself - on the basis of humanitarian law, on the basis of international law ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

You're not defending yourself because you can't defend yourselves can you? You're not defending yourselves.

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

Of course we are:

TIM SEBASTIAN

These are revenge killings aren't they?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

We are defending ourselves. Our land is occupied. Ask the people who have occupied the land. Why are they occupying our land?

TIM SEBASTIAN

How useful have your tactics been - tell me that?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

Very useful of course very useful:

TIM SEBASTIAN

Why? Why?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

Very useful. Look ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

The rest of the world rejects the Palestinian cause and the Palestinian suffering. You don't get any sympathy from the outside world these days. What use have your tactics been to your people?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

At one time the Vietnamese people were rejected. At one time Nelson Mandela was called 'a terrorist'. It doesn't matter what some people say today. What matters is what you want to do, what you know your objective to be. Our objective is to become free human-beings in our land. Our land is occupied by aliens, by invaders.

TIM SEBASTIAN

And so you should negotiate:

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

Well the Israelis don't want ...?

...

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

The Israelis don't want to negotiate.

TIM SEBASTIAN

The Israelis said they hadn't had a partner for negotiation.

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

No let them come and negotiate with Hamas. Why didn't they accept the truce?

TIM SEBASTIAN

Why should they?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

Why didn't they accept the truce offered to them by Hamas?

TIM SEBASTIAN

Dr [T]amimi, why should they negotiate with an organisation that is dedicated to their destruction? Why?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

Well if they don't want to negotiate then the vicious cycle will continue. Why did Tony Blair negotiate with the IRA?

TIM SEBASTIAN

How can you negotiate with a group like Hamas whose Charter says so-called peaceful solutions are incapable of restoring Palestinian rights

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

Peaceful solutions at their expense?

TIM SEBASTIAN

... so they renounce all peaceful means:

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

Peaceful solutions that give away Palestinian rights are not acceptable of course but if you are fighting a battlefield, if you want to stop the war you come and say: Let's negotiate, let's sit on the table. You don't impose preconditions. The problem with the Israelis is that they say the Palestinians are terrorists. If you call me 'a terrorist', you only make me angrier.

No I am a human-being. I am a victim. I have a cause. Come and sit down with me and let's discuss. We can discuss a truce and Hamas offered a unilateral truce for fifty days [a] unilateral ceasefire that was not respected by the Israelis.

TIM SEBASTIAN

What is being offered now by Hamas a cycle of violence, continuing violence ... ?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

That's what Sharon offers.

TIM SEBASTIAN

No, this is what you said.

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

That's what Sharon offers.

TIM SEBASTIAN

You say Hamas now enjoys the support of the Palestinians and will follow a different way from the Palestinian Authority continuing struggle with the Israelis that's your view?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

Of course. If your land is still occupied ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

... continuing violence:

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

No continuing struggle. You see you're replacing the words. It is a legitimate struggle.

TIM SEBASTIAN

But you're giving it a meaning that actually takes away some of the force of what it is that you're doing and the true meaning. When you go into a marketplace, as happened on Monday a suicide bomber and kills people indiscriminately, you call that struggle?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

If Sharon was not killing Palestinians ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

No, please answer ... No, please answer that ...

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

... in Palestinian towns and villages this would not have happened.

TIM SEBASTIAN

Please answer my question. You call that 'struggle' when a suicide bomber goes into a market and kills people indiscriminately, whether it's women or children you call that 'struggle'?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

When you force people to ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

'Yes' or 'no'? Please Dr Tamimi answer the question

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

Of course it is a struggle; of course it is a struggle ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

It's murder isn't it?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

It is a struggle ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

It's murder.

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

... because Sharon started it. Sharon kills Palestinians ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

It doesn't matter who started it ...

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

It does matter of course ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

You can go back thousands of years ...

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

Of course it matters ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

Are you murdering people today ... ?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth .. of course it matters ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

Are you murdering people today? The answer is 'yes':

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

No you are not murdering people if you are responding to attack. We were attacked in the first place.

TIM SEBASTIAN

So those women and children are responsible for attacking you and you just simply fought back people who die and have their bodies strewn over the ground?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

Why don't you ask the question: What are they doing there? Where did they come from?

TIM SEBASTIAN

You don't like to face this unpalatable reality do you? You don't like to face the images of what your killing does in Israeli markets?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

No I'm facing it day and night. I can see ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

And you like it? You like it?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

... I can see Palestinian children and women killed day and night ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

And the Israeli women and children ... ?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

... by Israeli F16s, by Apache helicopters ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

And the Israeli women and children ... ?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

... by Apache helicopters ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

And the Israeli women and children ... ?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

... they would not have been killed ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

You don't like the sight of that:

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

... they would not have been killed if their democratically elected government did not bomb the Palestinians day and night.

TIM SEBASTIAN

Also there's always an excuse for it. There's always an excuse:

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

This is not an excuse ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

No?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

This is explaining reality. The reality is ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

It sounds like it:

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

... that we are a victim. We are victims. You slap me on my face - what do you expect [me] to say 'thank you' to you?

TIM SEBASTIAN

And who were those women and children in the Israeli market? Weren't they victims?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

Why don't you talk about Palestinian women ... children who are being massacred by Sharon ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

I talked to Israelis about their violence. I'm to talking to you about that violence carried out in the name of the Palestinians. Aren't they victims as well the Israeli women and children who are blown up by your suicide bombers?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

They are. They are Indeed. I agree with you they are the victims of their own government. They are the victims of the people who ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

So they're the victims of their government ?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

Yes who planted them on somebody else's land?

TIM SEBASTIAN

Their own government blew them up? Their own government blew them up?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

They are the victims of whoever ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

It's not logical Dr Tamimi:

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

It is logical 100% they are the victims of those who planted them on somebody else's land.

TIM SEBASTIAN

Do you want Yasser Arafat to come back?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

Well why not? He's a Palestinian. Every Palestinian has the right to come back.

TIM SEBASTIAN

But you say Hamas is the one now who enjoys the support. Is Hamas planning to seize power from Yasser Arafat?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

Not under the prevalent ... The current circumstances are not / the talk is not about who seizes power ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

But they've been waiting for a long time to seize power haven't they?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

No, no never; never not under the prevalent circumstances. The current situation ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

Your friend Khaled Mesha'al from Hamas said in May 2002: If we want reform let's start with the leadership. Most of the leadership in the Palestinian Authority needs to be changed. These people are not fit to reform:

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

That's the demand of all the Palestinians. There has been ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

So he wants them to go. So you want to sweep them aside:

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

There has been so much corruption within the Palestinian Authority and that's one of the reasons why the Palestinians have not been able to do better.

TIM SEBASTIAN

How much openness and accountability would there be with Hamas?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

... Hamas is a proper institution, not a tribe like some of the other factions.

TIM SEBASTIAN

It would publish all its accounts would it?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

The elected leadership ... Yes ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

It would publish all its accounts ...

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

Of course.

TIM SEBASTIAN

... as it's been doing up til now?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

Well ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

Yeh?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

This is a liberation movement. This is not a company. This is not a firm.

TIM SEBASTIAN

No, but you say it's going to be open and accountable. What guarantees are there of that?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

If you become a government - a government has to be accountable, a government has to be transparent, you have to prevent corruption but if you are a liberation movement, the liberation movements have a different rule and a different style of ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

How so you can be open and accountable when you're talking about others but when it applies to yourself ... ?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

No if you want to talk about Hamas and the structure of Hamas we can talk at length about this. Hamas has an elected leadership, Hamas has accountability. Hamas doesn't have someone who sits in the chair of leadership unaccountable for so many decades and can do whatever he wants with the money. The reason why Hamas is trusted by the Palestinians is that Hamas, all the funds it gets ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

By some of the Palestinians under a quarter of them according to the opinion polls but how much support do you think ... ? If Hamas joins in the leadership at the Palestinian Authority, if Hamas in future forms a government, how much support do you think Hamas is going to get from the outside world? None. While it continues to advocate suicide bombings? Are you prepared for the international community to withdraw its support totally from the Palestinian territories?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

The international community will have no option but to deal with and support the Palestinian leadership that is truly representative of the Palestinian people.

TIM SEBASTIAN

It won't support an avowed terrorist group as they see it:

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

Well we'll see it. We'll see. One day remember when Margaret Thatcher said Nelson Mandela was a terrorist and he wouldn't be allowed to set foot on British soil? Remember what happened ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

Different circumstances Dr Tamimi ...

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

Exactly the same ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

Different circumstances.

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

Exactly the same struggle, resistance, legitimate struggle. You put up the struggle - you represent the people you achieve results.

TIM SEBASTIAN

You're prepared to put that support in jeopardy just for your ideas and your slogans about struggle and continuing struggle? You're prepared to gamble with the livelihood of the Palestinian people in the Palestinian territories?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

Do you think the Palestinians have a life? Do you think with all this that is happening in Gaza, that happened in Jenin and elsewhere the Palestinians have a life? Do you think Sharon is giving them an opportunity to eat a decent meal and drink ale (?) ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

No, but the international community is doing what it can. Since '93 the EU has contributed over $2 billion directly and indirectly to the Palestinian Authority ...

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

Well permit me ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

Member States of the European Union have contributed the same amount. How much has the Arab world done?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

Let's talk about the European Union for a while. The European Union is hypocritically dealing with the Palestinian issue. The European Union has the opportunity to deal independently with the Palestinian issue. It's succumbed to US pressure. The European Union ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

Who is paying the salaries of the Palestinian Authority Dr al-Tamimi? Who is paying the salaries?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

Who gives a damn about these salaries if they are paid to people in order to suppress the Palestinians?

TIM SEBASTIAN

It's all very well for you to say. You're sitting here in a nice suit. You live in decent conditions in London. It's all very well for you to say: Oh the Palestinians can have another seven thousand years of poverty simply for my ideas. It's all very well for you to say isn't it?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

Well if there were a Palestinian Authority whose objective is to make life better for the Palestinians, yes you are right but if the Palestinian Authority's main objective / main function is to act on behalf of the Israelis as a police force suppressing the rest of the Palestinians who cares about such an authority? Even the Palestinians in Gaza, in Jenin and Ramallah and elsewhere don't give a damn about such an authority. They want an authority that stands up for them, that talks about their rights, that fights for their rights.

TIM SEBASTIAN

Oh and Hamas has just sat by and watched the degeneration of lawful behaviour, the lawlessness, the gang warfare that's been taking place in the Palestinian territories. Hamas hasn't been contributing to that? Of course it has hasn't it? Of course it has.

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

Well if you have evidence, put it on the table.

TIM SEBASTIAN

Well who has been responsible for what the UN itself, not known as a great friend of Israel, has called the clashes and showdowns between branches of the Palestinian security forces?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

Hamas has nothing to do with it.

TIM SEBASTIAN

Legal authority receding fast in the Gaza Strip. Hamas has nothing to do with that?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

Nothing whatsoever. These are power struggles within the Palestinian Authority itself which was created by Israel in order to serve Israel. Israel created the Palestinian Authority and Israel actually is destroying the Palestinian Authority. Hamas has nothing to do with it.

TIM SEBASTIAN

When will the violence end? What's the aim? When will the violence stop?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

It can end today if the Israelis want. If the Israelis agree to negotiate a truce agreement the violence can come to an end. The problem is that the Israelis are so arrogant ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

What are the conditions for a truce?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

No conditions? Just come and talk; just come and talk.

TIM SEBASTIAN

Come and talk to who?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

Talk to the people who ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

Who?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

... are capable of dealing pain to you.

TIM SEBASTIAN

Who? Who? Who?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

Hamas or Islamic Jihad, to the PFLP.

TIM SEBASTIAN

What - sit down with Hamas and Islamic Jihad?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

Yes, why not?

TIM SEBASTIAN

An organisation dedicated to their extinction the Israelis should do that?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

They have to. They have no other option. When the British Government sat with the IRA and negotiated a peace agreement that's the way forward.

This slogan 'we don't talk to terrorists' is nonsense. They have to. They have to talk to ... and the Palestinians are not terrorists. The Palestinians are the victims and if the Israelis want the way out they have no choice but to come and sit and talk without preconditions.

TIM SEBASTIAN

And you have no preconditions? Hamas has no preconditions? When I asked one of your spokesmen, Mahmoud al-Zahar a couple of years ago in Gaza and I asked him what it would take to stop the fighting he couldn't give me a straight answer and in the end when I asked him a couple of times he said: I'm telling you frankly the attitude of Islam is not to accept a foreign state in this area. So he was ruling out the State of Israel in that area. You're telling me he was wrong?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

No if we want to stop the bloodshed ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

Well you can you answer that question. No this is important; this is an important issue here Dr al-Tamimi. What would it take to stop the fighting the end of an Israeli State? Can Israel live side by side? Has Israel the right to exist?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

The current violence can be stopped without having to talk about the end of Israel.

TIM SEBASTIAN

Does Israel have the right to exist?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

No, as far as the Palestinian is concerned ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

No?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

No of course not. Of course not.

TIM SEBASTIAN

So what's there to talk about then? Isn't that a precondition?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

No, no, no ..

TIM SEBASTIAN

You said sit down with no preconditions. That's a precondition ...

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

You see, that's blackmail. That's blackmail.

TIM SEBASTIAN

What's blackmail?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

This is what the Israelis and the American[s] are doing ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

What's blackmail?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

They say to us: Unless you recognise Israel's right to be in your house on your land we will not talk to you. We say to them ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

I didn't say that. I said 'right to exist':

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

Israel has no right to exist in my home, on my father's land has no right to exist. It may exist despite me. It may exist because it is powerful, because it is supported by the Unites States of America but I will never as a Palestinian, I will never give legitimacy to a state that is created on land robbed from my father, from my grandfather and from my mother.

TIM SEBASTIAN

So there are / that's your precondition then?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

No you ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

You tell me one moment there are no preconditions and then you've just been listing them:

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

... you need to make [a] distinction between two things between an immediate stop to the violence and that can be achieved and then we can have a truce for thirty years, fifty years, whatever that can be agreed upon. People don't need to kill each other. Let future generations deal with the problem but if you want to say to me today we can ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

So a truce with no progress whatsoever on any of the major issues?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

No, of course ... Of course ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

A truce lasting thirty years?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

A truce is the beginning of solving some of the immediate problems. Once you agree to stop the killing then we can talk about other things. We can talk about how we disentangle but if they are not willing to talk ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

What is there to talk about when you say Israel has no right to exist? ...

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

No you see ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

You want them to sign their own death warrant and then you'll talk to them?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

... even [if] they come and negotiate with me for instance, the Israelis, I will still say it to their faces: Your entity is an illegitimate entity. It was created through theft and robbery on my land but if you want this vicious cycle of killing to stop now for a while it can be done but if the Israelis are counting on an absolute recognition of their legitimacy that they will get from no-one.

TIM SEBASTIAN

So ask your friends in Hamas to send a message, a public message to the rest of the world saying: We are ready for talks.

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

Of course they are ready for talks. They've said that. They've said that so many times. They've said ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

When? When? When did they last say it?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

Fifty days ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

When did they last say it? When did they last say it?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

Fifty days of unilateral ceasefire ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

Dr Azzam al-Tamimi, when did they last say it?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

Sheikh Ahmed Yassin made this initiative before he died. The Israelis ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

That's a long time ago.

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

You bring me ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

When did they last ... ? You tell me they keep saying it and you can't tell me when they last said it:

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

No you tell me / you bring me an Israeli who is interested in talking.

TIM SEBASTIAN

And meanwhile you advocate the suicide bombing. You said on an internet chat forum early in 2003: 'For us Moslems martyrdom is not the end of things but the beginning of the most wonderful of things'.

If it's so wonderful to go and blow yourself up in a public place in Israel why don't you do it?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

Martyrdom is not necessarily suicide bombings as you call then. Martyrdom is ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

No, please answer my question. It was a serious question.

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

I'm trying to answer it ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

Why don't you do it?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

I'm trying to answer it because this is a concept. Unless it is explained, how can you answer it? Because martyrdom means giving / sacrificing yourself for a noble cause. Now these bombings, the human bombs ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

Are you prepared to do this or not?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

I am prepared, of course.

TIM SEBASTIAN

You would [go] and blow yourself up?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

No. I'm trying to explain to you ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

Ah so it's okay. So that's just for the poor and the disillusioned to go and blow themselves up? You would not be prepared to do it ...

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

Most of the ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

... you advocate other people to do it?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

Unless you give me a chance to explain ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

Please ... Please ...

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

Not a single person of those who bomb themselves, bomb themselves because they are desperate or poor. It doesn't happen because of this. They do it because they want to sacrifice themselves for a cause after all avenues have been closed before them. If the Palestinians today are given F16s and Apache helicopters ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

No please come back to my question. Please come back to my question. Why if it is so glorious and honourable to do this, why don't you do it?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

I would do it ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

When?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

If I have the opportunity I would do it ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

When are you going to do it?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

When? If I can go to Palestine and sacrifice myself I would do it. Why not?

TIM SEBASTIAN

So what's stopping you?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

I cannot go to Palestine. I cannot go to Palestine.

TIM SEBASTIAN

You simply can't get in?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

No, I cannot get in.

TIM SEBASTIAN

Why not?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

I cannot get in because I am not counted as a Pales[tinian]. When my home town was occupied I was outside Palestine and I just wasn't counted. I'm not considered by the Palestinians as a legitimate Palestinian / by the Israelis as a legitimate Palestinian. So as much as they don't recognise me I don't recognise them.

TIM SEBASTIAN

So this is the reason - the only thing that is holding you back from strapping on a suicide belt is the fact that you can't get back to the Palestinian territories?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

You see sacrificing myself for Palestine is a noble cause. It is the straight way to pleasing my G0d and I would do it if I had the opportunity.

TIM SEBASTIAN

Not according to Grand Sheikh Mohamed Said Tantawi of the al-Azzar Mosque in Cairo. He says groups that carry out suicide bombings are 'the enemies of Islam'. He was speaking last July at the World Conference of Islamic Scholars.

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

Yes.

TIM SEBASTIAN

He says they are 'the enemies of Islam' and that this is 'a distortion' what you're putting forward is 'a distortion' of Islam ...

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

And he changes his opinion three times. At one time he hailed them as the best and most noble acts; at other times he change his mind because he is appointed by the Egyptian Government and whatever the Egyptian Government tells him to say he will say. So when they told him ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

What about former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Mahatir Mohamed: 'Our salvation will not be achieved by blindly killing innocent people, rather we should plan and execute a long-term development plan to excel in all fields'?. Why don't you advocate that - a long-term development plan to excel in all fields' wouldn't that be better?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

Why don't you give life to the Palestinians first and talk about stopping all of this? The Palestinians have no life. The Palestinians are killed day and night ...

TIM SEBASTIAN

And you want to take even the life that they have with a suicide belt?

DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI

I don't. I don't ... You see nobody needs to tell the Palestinians what to do. The Palestinians are putting up this struggle because they are being pushed and pulled and kicked day and night.

TIM SEBASTIAN

Alright. Azzam al-Tamimi it was good to have you on the programme.

-----------------------

http://www.ii-pt.com/web/advisors.htm

IIPT BOARD MEMBERS

Director

  • Dr Azzam Tamimi - Palestine

Supervisory Board

  • Dr Basheer Nafi - Palestine

  • Dr Abdelwahab El-Affendi - Sudan

  • Dr Mohammed S. El-Awa - Egypt

Board of Advisors

  • Dr Yusuf Al-Qaradawi Qatar

  • Shykh Faysal Malawi - Lebanon

  • Prof. John Esposito - USA

  • Dr Abdullah An-Nafisi - Kuwait

  • Prof. Khurshid Ahmad - Pakistan

  • Dr Parvez Manzoor - Sweden

  • Dr Francois Burgat - France

  • Prof. Yasushi Kosugi - Japan

----------------

http://www.ii-pt.com/web/cv.htm

Dr Azzam Tamimi

Date of Birth: 15 March 1955
Place of Birth: Hebron, Palestine.
Marital Status: Married with three children, a girl and two boys.

address

The Institute of Islamic Political Thought (IIPT)
P.O. Box 31203
London NW2 7ZW
Tel: 44-208-4526210 Fax: 44-208-4502019.
E-mail: info@ii-pt.com
URL: http://msanews.mynet.net/Scholars/Tamimi/

education

1.Ph.D. in Political Theory (1998), University of Westminster, London. Title: Islam and Transition to Democracy in the Middle East: Prospects and Obstacles.

2. BSc. in Combined Studies in Science (1979), University of Sunderland, U.K.

---------------------------------

http://www.ii-pt.com/web/introduction.htm

ABOUT IIPT

Most regions of the Muslim World were subjected during the past two centuries to campaigns of Westernisation and secularisation that hardly spared a single aspect of life. By the middle of the 20th century, much of the Muslim World had already witnessed the emergence of entities whose regimes sought to emulate the nation-state model in the Western experience, a model that separated state from church. The emulation led to the emergence of Muslim models that separated tradition from modernity, authenticity from innovation and past from present. However, modern Muslim regimes were decidedly lopsided and selective in their espousal of the Western norm. They excluded from the Western model the adoption of democracy, a process that entailed respect for the rule of law and for civil liberties and citizen rights. The lamentable outcome of this expedient borrowing has been the reinforcement of despotism and the violation of basic human rights.

As a reaction to these developments, Muslim societies witnessed the emergence of a variety of reform and revival movements that claimed to emanate from Islamic values and history and to struggle for the protection of authentic turath from the evils of Westernisation. The models proposed by these movements have ranged from the extreme of absolute rejection of the other to the extreme of total espousal of the Western civilisation.

Within these extremes, one may identify what may be described as moderate trends that claim to pursue the middle position of seeking revival through an usual-based ijtihad while keeping an open mind and showing the willingness to acquire wisdom irrespective of its source. Regrettably, such trends, like other non-governmental initiatives, have not enjoyed the freedom they require. They have been restricted and combated and have in many cases been aborted. Notwithstanding such pressures, they have made significant contributions and their impact is undeniable.

Due to the lack of resources, and by virtue of the monopoly of both the media and academia by the more resourceful and more influential government-sponsored secular trends, the work produced by Islamic thinkers and researchers is frequently ignored and contested. It is widely believed within Islamic circles that modern Islamic thought has not been accorded the regard it deserves or the attention it ought to receive. Writers and researchers in the field of Islamic politics are particularly prone to encountering financial and political hurdles that deny them the opportunity to fulfill their tasks.

THE PROJECT

As a contribution to the ongoing endeavour to encourage ijtihad in the field of Islamic political science and to develop a modern Islamic political theory, the Institute of Islamic Political Thought has been set up in London.

OBJECTIVES

The Institute is primarily concerned with monitoring the progress taking place in Islamic political thinking and with identifying the fields in which ijtihad ought to be encouraged and supported. The Institute aims to compile innovative studies in the field of Islamic politics, to establish links with prominent thinkers and scholars and to identify potential creative thinkers so as to encourage them and help them develop talents and capabilities. The Institute also aims to assess the experiences of Islamic movements and their contributions to Islamic political thought. This will include the production of an objective critique of various Islamic movements, a genre of scholarly literature that is yet to be created. Much of the work done on Islamic movement has either been done by hostile critics who show no objectivity or by affiliates who lack courage and professionalism. The Institute will aim to become a credible centre of information to which academic centres and the media would refer and resort for information and advice.

MEANS

The Institute will seek to accomplish its objectives through the organisation of symposia and conferences and through the publication of research material either in its own periodical journal or in books published by the Institute or in collaboration with other publishers. Modern means of documentation and communication will be employed in order to compile lists of academicians and academic centres concerned with Islamic political studies. The Institute hopes to benefit from having its headquarters in the city of London, which is well placed in terms of its proximity to the Arab and Muslim regions, its central position in the West and its involvement in important world developments. The city of London witnesses numerous cultur

(end of text on webpage)

----------------------------------------------------

http://www.ii-pt.com/web/training%20in%20political%20thought/islamic%20political%20theory.htm

MIM:The 'courses' offered by the IIPT use the classic ideological texts of the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda .

Islamic Political Theory

Session one: Politics during the Prophetic era

The political situation in pre-Islam Arabia

Politics during the Meccan era

The Islamic state in Medina

The constitution of Medina

Session two: Politics during the era of the Rightly Guided Caliphate Disputes that erupted upon the death of the Prophet

The Saqifah and the nomination of the first Caliph, Abu Bakr.

Political ijtihad during the caliphate of Omar

The turmoil and the great fitna (sedition)

The emergence of political parties and theological sects

Session three: The theory of Khilafah

Reflections on Mawardi's

Reflections on Ibn Taymiyah's

Session four: Political Sociology

Ibn Khaldoun

Al-Shatibi

Renaissance of the 19th and 20th century

Session Five: Revivalism and reform

Muhammad ibn Abdulwahab

Shah Wali Allah Dahlawi

Osman dan Fodio

Nineteenth Century Reformists

Session Six: Twentieth Century Islamism

Hasan al-Banna and the Muslim Brotherhood

Mawdudi and Jamaati-e Islami

Sayyid Qutb and Islamic radicalism

Session Seven: Contemporary Islamic Political Thought

The question of Secularism

The question of Democracy

Challenges facing Muslim minorities

Session Eight: General Discussion

At a 2003 "Anti War" Rally Hamas operative and Al Qaeda supporter and Stop The War coalition leader Azzam Tamimi told the crowd:

We say to George Bush and Tony Blair PULL THE TROOPS NOW OR ELSE YOU ARE NURTURING AND MAKING Hundred's OF BIN LADEN'S, THOUSANDS OF BIN LADEN'S, MORE BRUTAL, MORE FEARSOME, MORE SAVAGE, MORE BLOOD-THIRSTY THAN BIN LADEN WAS EVER. ..

On behalf of the Muslim Association of Britain, I say to you, YOUR PROTESTS ARE NOT IN VAIN. KEEP PROTESTING. KEEP DEMONSTRATING and salute the young school children, who took to the streets this clear message against the government who is no longer listening to the people.

THANK YOU

Source: Muslim Association of Britain (MAB)

http://www.mabonline.net/branches/events/22mar2003march/demoagainststartofwar22.03.03.htm

---------------------------------------------------

Esposito was at a 1997 conference together with Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy. He told an interviewer that "One man's terrorist was another man's freedom fighter". and warned against criticising Sheik Tantawi of Al Azhar University in Cairo for advocating suicide bombings against civilians. His response shocked the Malaysian interviewer.

Do not be too Quick to Draw the Bid'a Gun Against the Sheikh al-Azhar

The Conference for Civilisational Dialogue organised by the Centre for Civilisational Dialogue of Malaya University on Sept. 15-17, 1997 saw the meeting of some of the renown scholars of the world such as Prof. Tu Wei Ming, Dr. Roger Garaudy, Prof. Hans Koechler, Prof. Joseph Camillery, Prof. Chandra Muzaffar and, of course, Prof. John Esposito.

The matter which figured prominently at the three day conference was the so-called clash of civilisation thesis propounded by Bernard Lewis and brought to the fore by Prof. Samuel Huntington. In particular, arguments tended to converge on the fact that such a thesis was meant to demonise the perceived enemy so as to legitimate unwarranted actions that would otherwise be difficult to justify under ordinary circumstances.

Discussions had drifted into and around Huntington's social or cultural determinism of Islam as having, inevitably or otherwise, "bloody borders."

One of the most notable presentations was that of Prof. Esposito's. In his usual scholarly suave and candour, Esposito stated to the effect that in order to protect Western vested interests, Western powers in collusion with certain academic and media personalities have drawn a convenient picture of Islam as a monolith to be reckoned with. Three is, after all,
ample ammunition for loading the anti-Islam gun of the West.

As Esposito stated, "Ayatollah Khomeini's call for other Islamic revolutions found ready believers not only in the Muslim world but also in the West. In France, Raymond Aron warned of 'the Islamic revolution wave' generated by 'the fanaticism of the Prophet and the violence of the people,' which the Ayatollah has [supposedly] unleashed."

"US Secretary of State Cyrus Vance stated that a major reason for his objection to a military mission to rescue American hostages in Iran was fear of an 'Islamic-Western war.... Khomeini and his followers, with a Shiite affinity for martyrdom, actually might welcome American military action as a way of uniting the Moslem world against the West'," added Esposito.

He also pointed out that it was Charles Krauthammer, a syndicated American columnist, who wrote, "History is being driven by another force as well: the political reawakening of the Islamic world."

As Esposito explained, it is a challenge all the more ominous because it is perceived to be pan- Islamic. It is a "global intifada," supposedly embracing not only the Islamic heartland but also occurring on the peripheries of the Muslim world where Islam confronts the non-Muslim communities: in Kashmir, Azerbaijan, (Kosovo) Yugoslavia, Lebanon and the
West Bank.

A similar attitude was expressed by Hirsh Goodman, whereby he stated that "the incipient threat we see facing Egypt - the inexorable spread of radical uncompromising, violent and militant Islamic fundamentalism - is by no means unique. Algeria, Tunisia, Jordan, some Gulf states, Turkey, Malaysia, Indonesia are, in varying degrees, all in similar crisis."

Such slanted views were unfortunately affirmed by Muslim themselves. As M. J. Akbar, an Indian Muslim writer, noted that the West's "next confrontation is definitely going to come from the Muslim world. It is in the sweep of the Islamic nations from the Maghreb to Pakistan that the struggle for a new world order will begin."

Governments in the Middle East like Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria and Turkey have used not only the perceived regional "fundamentalist threat" but also its global threat to appeal for greater understanding and aid from the West to justify their crackdown and at times indiscriminate repression of Islamists. They do not distinguish between those who espouse a violent revolution to overthrow the political system and those who, operating within the system, challenge the power of political elites.

The Turkish government, no longer able to portray itself as a buffer state against the spread of communism to NATO's southern flank, is recasting itself as a buffer state and bulwark, only this time against revolutionary Islam. As the then-Prime Minister Tansu Ciller warned, if Turkey is not admitted to the European Economic Community, there "will be a
confrontation in the world... fundamentalism will find a fertile land to flourish in and then this will be the last fortress which will fall."

Such views or sentiments coming from the Muslim world itself have unfortunately lent credence to, among others, the repression of Palestinians by the Tel Aviv regime. "The Israeli government," said Esposito, "no longer able to present itself as the bulwark against the spread of communism in the Middle East, a role that powerfully justified substantial American aid, found in political Islam not only a domestic threat but also a new more virulent global threat."

Amongst Israel's typical arguments would be that "Our struggle against murderous Islamic terror is also meant to awaken the world, which is lying in slumber.... We call on all nations, all peoples to devote their attention to the great danger inherent in Islamic fundamentalism... This is a real and serious danger that threatens world peace... we stand on the line of fire against the danger of fundamentalist Islam."

Ironically, these or similar arguments were used by the Serbian terrorists in order to justify the genocide of Bosnian Muslims during the civil war of Bosnia Herzegovina.

Indeed, such irrationality has even gotten the better of some of the best among scholars. Bernard Lewis, in "The Roots of Muslim Rage", wrote that "Fundamentalist leaders are not mistaken in seeing in Western civilisation the greatest challenge to the way of life that they wish to retain or restore for their people.... It should now be clear that we are facing a
mood and movement far transcending the level of issues and policies and the governments that pursue them. This is no less than a clash of civilizations - perhaps irrational but surely a historic reaction of an ancient rival against our Judaeo-Christian heritage, our secular present and the worldwide expansion of both."

Such is truly irrational because Lewis refuses to examine particular problems or conflicts in light of the prevailing politics or the state of contemporary international affairs. He even asks that Western Christendom revive its crusader mentality of "them and us" in order to justify the continued domination or even subjugation of non-Western worlds. It is also irrational because he assumes that the Judaeo-Christian heritage is necessarily aligned with Western vested interests in sheer neglect of the needs or aspirations of the Third World in which reside a substantial number of Christians of non-European descent.

In light of these facts, during the question and answer session, I asked Prof. Esposito whether we should include in the list of those Muslims who contribute, inadvertently or otherwise, to the notion that Islam equals fundamentalism which equals terrorist violence, the Sheikh al-Azhar. After all, the Sheikh had recently declared the suicide bombings in Israel to be unequivocally Islamic, in that it is a legitimate form of self defense. I pointed out to Esposito that in accordance with the examples of the Prophet (pbuh), "jihad" is built upon the foundations of justice and compassion, not terror. Hence there can be no justification in the primary sources of the Shariah for suicide bombing, meaning that the Sheikh's "fatwa" is truly a "bid`a" or innovation of the worst kind, over and above the inconsistencies of logic inherent in his "fatwa".

In a rather long winded response, Esposito explained that one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter; and that terrorism, as seen in the case of Israel's or the Tel Aviv regime's treatment of Palestinians, can and has been used to legitimate wanton violence and continued acts of oppression. However, surprisingly, Esposito added, "Although I have not read or come across the actual 'fatwa', as a rule, we must not be too quick to draw upon the 'bid`a' gun against anyone, not least of whom the Sheikh al-Azhar."

At such a point, the moderator for the session Prof. Syed Hussein al-Attas of Malaya University intervened and unequivocally stated that "such suicide bombings are unIslamic. How does anyone justify throwing a bomb into a bus filled with people who are not belligerent, let alone kill oneself in the process? And we know from the primary sources [Quran and Hadith] that women and children, the old and the sick are to be spared during battle. These suicide bombers are different from the Japanese kamikaze, whereby the latter would commit an act of selflessness, brought about by desperation, against legitimate military targets."

Hussein al-Attas words were met with silence.

Ahmad Faiz bin Abdul Rahman

19 September 1997.

http://www.iol.ie/~afifi/BICNews/Afaiz/afaiz40.htm

-----------------------------
[Currently, he is a Researcher with the Institute of Islamic Understanding, Malaysia (IKIM) and a Pro-temp Committee Member of the International Movement for a Just World (JUST).]

-----------

Bio of Esposito on the Georgetown University website:

http://explore.georgetown.edu/people/jle2/

202-687-8375

Fax

202-687-8376

Email

jle2@georgetown.edu

Location

260 ICC

Office hours

Tuesday 4:00-5:30 pm

Bio

John L. Esposito is University Professor, Professor of Religion and International Affairs, and Founding Director of the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at the Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University. Esposito specializes in Islam, political Islam from North Africa to Southeast Asia, and Religion and International Affairs. He is editor-in-chief of the four-volume The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World, The Oxford History of Islam, The Oxford Dictionary of Islam and The Islamic World: Past and Present. His more than thirty books include Unholy War: Terror in the Name of Islam, The Islamic Threat: Myth or Reality?, Islam and Politics, Political Islam: Radicalism, Revolution or Reform?, Islam and democracy (with J. Voll). Many have been translated into Arabic, Turkish, Persian, Bahasa Indonesia, Urdu, European languages, Japanese and Chinese. A former president of the Middle East Studies Association of North America and the American Council for the Study of Islamic Societies, he is currently a member of the World Economic Forum's Council of 100 Leaders, the High Level Group of the U.N. Alliance of Civilizations and President of the Executive Scientific Committee for La Maison de la Mediterranee's 2005-2010 project, "The Mediterranean, Europe and Islam: Actors in Dialogue." Esposito is a recipient of the American Academy of Religion's 2005 Martin E. Marty Award for the Public Understanding of Religion and of Pakistan's Quaid-i-Azzam Award for Outstanding Contributions in Islamic Studies. He has served as a consultant to the U.S. Department of State and to governments, corporations, universities, and the media. In 2003 he received the School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University Award for Outstanding Teaching

Esposito is widely interviewed or quoted in the media, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN and network news stations, NPR, BBC, and in media throughout Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

Web site

http://www.georgetown.edu/faculty/jle2

Education

  • B.A. () St. Antony College,
  • M.A. () St. John's University,
  • Ph.D. () Temple University,

----------------

MIM:Esposito;s bio on the CSID website. The CSID is part of a the IIIT network of 'think tanks' financed by Saudi Wahhabists many of whose members have been linked to international terrorist organisations.

John L. Esposito (contact info) is University Professor as well as Professor of Religion and International Affairs and of Islamic Studies at Georgetown University. Previously, he was Loyola Professor of Middle East Studies and Director of the Center for International Studies at the College of the Holy Cross.

Founding Director of Georgetown's Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding: History and International Affairs in the Walsh School of Foreign Service, he has served as President of the Middle East Studies Association of North America and of the American Council for the Study of Islamic Societies as well as a consultant to governments, multinational corporations, and the media worldwide.

Esposito is Editor-in-Chief of The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World, The Oxford History of Islam, The Oxford Dictionary of Islam and Oxford's The Islamic World: Past and Present. His more than 30 books include: Unholy War: Terror in the Name of Islam, What Everyone Needs to Know About Islam, The Islamic Threat: Myth or Reality?, Turkish Islam and the Secular State (with H. Yavuz), Islam and Politics, Islam: The Straight Path, Modernizing Islam (with F. Burgat), Islam and Democracy and Makers of Contemporary Islam (with John Voll), Political Islam: Radicalism, Revolution or Reform?, Iran at the Crossroads (with R.K.Ramazani), Islam, Gender and Social Change (with Yvonne Haddad), and Women in Muslim Family Law.

Professor John Esposito resigned from the CSID Board of Directors in October 2004. CSID thanks him for his years of service on the board, and wishes him continued success.

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