In an Op-Ed in The Wall Street Journal, the grand mufti of
Egypt writes about Islam’s relationship with the West. The piece by Ali Gomaa
is titled “Islam, Israel and the United States,”
which gives the misimpression that it’s about Israel. It’s not.
Here’s the only time
Israel is mentioned:
The violence and the
aggression to which many Muslim countries have been subjected are the main
sources of a deep and legitimate sense of grievance, and they must be
addressed. Israel’s occupation of Palestine must be brought to an end; its
continuation is an affront to the fundamental tenets of justice and freedom
that we all seek to uphold.
Here’s the question I’d
like to ask the mufti: When you say Palestine, do you mean all of historic
Palestine — that is, that Israel should be dismantled — or just the West
The mufti is in
Washington this week for the Common Word Initiative, a conference of religious
leaders hosted by Georgetown
University’s Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding. He said he plans to use
the opportunity to call for the conference’s expansion to include
“representatives of all the Abrahamic faiths” — i.e. the Jews.
This would also be a good
opportunity for him to clarify his position on Israel: Does he support the idea
of its existence (his government already has made peace with that idea), or is
he calling for Israel’s destruction?