The Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar, Dr. Mohamed Sayyed Tantawi, said that the fact that Palestinians are forced into suicide bombing confirms the gravity of the injustice inflicted on them.
He asked: "What can a man do when injustice becomes heavy and he finds none to ward it off from him? In that case he is forced into legitimate defence of soul, honour and land."Replying to a question from Al-Hayat on the demand by some Israeli rabbis that the Sheikh of Al-Azhar and Islamic religious scholars intervene to stop the explosions in Israeli cities, the Sheikh held some Jewish clerics responsible for what is going on because they incite to wronging the Palestinians.
He pointed out that in view of this, he has "no option but to urge our brothers in Palestine to defend themselves, their rights, their land and their honour. I tell them: Defend all these in the legitimate means accepted by Islam and noble ethics without aggression or wronging anybody."The Sheikh of Al-Azhar said that divine laws do not approve the killing of Children, old people and peaceful citizens, but he considered those who carry out the suicide operations to be "in a state of legitimate self-defence against those who attack them and do not show mercy to old people, children, or women."Replying to a question on the view of Islam on those who explode or blow themselves up, Tantawi said: "Those who say that this act is haram [forbidden by the Sharia] should first ask what motivated it. Why must young people sacrifice themselves? What can we expect from the Palestinians when the Israeli premier repeats with every new dawn that Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel which is something that no reason or religion or law can accept? Injustice breeds an explosion and a person who is severely wronged may sacrifice himself. Honourable people prefer to die than to live in humiliation."On the Israeli accusation that Egyptian religious officials encourage Palestinians to be violent and thus lead up to a religious war, Tantawi said, "I tell them you are the cause of all that is happening. When land is usurped and injustice intensified, fury spreads and explosions happen in self-defence. I also see Jewish rabbis inciting to injustice.
Shall I then stand silent? I tell the Palestinians: Defend your land and your sanctities through legitimate means. I say to the Jewish rabbis: Speak the truth and demand that your government abide by justice and refrain from racism and bigotry. The divine religions were revealed by God for the happiness of humanity. They preach peace and security and the handing of rights to the deserving parties. They abhor injustice, terrorism and the destruction of life."