The Protocols of the Elders of Zion a "fictitious book" that "has no truth to it"; in his article he categorically denies having written the foreword to the 2003 edition of The Protocols , which was attributed to him
Dr. Ali Gomaa, the Grand Mufti of Egypt, denies having written the foreword to The Protocols, which is a "fictitious book" that "has no truth to it" (Al-Ahram, January 1, 2007 )
1. In 2003, a new edition of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, titled The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and their Biblical and Talmudic Roots, was published in Arabic in Egypt . That edition was published jointly by Dr. Ahmad Hijazi al-Saqa (Professor of Comparative Theology in Al-Azhar University ), and Hisham Khadr (a journalist working for Qatari newspaper Al-Sharq). That edition of The Protocols wasand, in our opinion, still isdistributed among Arab/Muslim communities in Britain and, in all likelihood, in other countries outside of Egypt.
2. The 2003 edition of The Protocols features a detailed foreword attributed to Dr. Ali Gomaa, the Grand Mufti of Egypt and Lecturer of Islamic Jurisprudence Sources in Al-Azhar University . The foreword contains blatant incitement against the Jewish people and rules that it was the Jews who wrote The Protocols. Such a foreword provided that edition with an air of Islamic religious dignity and authority.
3. On January 1, 2007 , more than three years after that edition of The Protocols made its appearance, a clarification on behalf of the Grand Mufti was published in Egypt 's popular daily Al-Ahram, in the section titled "Religious Thought" (p. 13). In that article, the Grand Mufti categorically denies having written the foreword to "that fictitious book [ The Protocols ], which has no truth to it". Therefore, the Grand Mufti says that he sent a legal warning to the Egyptian publishing house of The Protocols, demanding it to remove the foreword from the copies of the books that it has and not publish it again without his permission.
4. To the best of our knowledge, such an article is highly unusual both in terms of its contents and in terms of its wording. It is highly significant, being a public renouncement of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion in a popular Arabic-language newspaper by a senior Muslim-Arab religious personality, commanding extensive religious authority in Egypt and in the Sunni Muslim world. See Appendices for the article and its full translation.
Translation of the article in which the Grand Mufti of Egypt denies having written the foreword to The Protocols of the Elders of Zion 1
A Binding Warning
By Dr. Ali Gomaa, the Grand Mufti of the Republic [i.e., Egypt ]
[Unfortunately,] I was forced to stop [writing] a series of articles [about] the sources of Islamic legislation; the reason is that I am very saddened by the [grave situation] of several publications, which in no way represent what is happening in the [field of Arabic-language] publishing-not in Egypt and not in the Arab world. [For these publications contain] lies, fabrications, and false attribution.
[This time] I am talking from personal experience, for I was surprised to find a book titled The Protocols of the Elders of Zion . I was likewise surprised [to discover] my name on it, with my original titlea lecturer in the esteemed university of Al-Azhar. Seeing my name [in the book] made me wonder; [so] I lifted my eyes [to read] what it said above [my name], and came across the word "foreword". I was even more surprised when I saw the year of publication, the year 2003, and [the name of] a publishing house called Maktabat al-Nafidha. Furthermore, the [book's main] title included, in addition [to The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the sub-heading:] "and their Biblical and Talmudic Roots".
[Furthermore,] the first page [of the book] states [that the authors are] Dr. Ahmad Hijazi al-Saqa and Hisham Khadr. Well, I do not remember writing a foreword to that fictitious book, which has no truth to it. 2 Likewise, I recalled the meetings I had with the lecturer Dr. Abd al-Wahab al-Masiri, 3 who specializes in Jewish studies and pertaining subjects, and the long, extensive evidence [he presented to me] to prove that the document, or the book, has no truth to itas we have believed 4 for a long time. Then I asked myself: "do you [suddenly] have amnesia? Did you write such a foreword to this book and forgot [about it]? And what did you say in it [i.e., in the foreword]did you criticize it [the book] and ruled it out?" as it is etched in my memory.
Well, I started reading the foreword, and was surprised at how poorly-written it was, surprised by the [weak] arguments and citations, which cannot be attributed to me. What is more, it is inconceivable that I should use such statements, for I am no expert on the Torah to be quoting such things [i.e., verses] from it, and it is not my custom to seek the aid of the residents of the world, as written on page 13 by [the author of] the foreword, who spreads falsehoods: "O residents of the world, these are the Jews, be sure to notice: they are a people cursed by Allah, their Maker. They help the corruptors corrupt the land and the wicked spread wickedness in the world. But we Muslims want nothing from them except for them to convert to Islam, for 'If anyone desires a religion other than Islam (submission to Allah), never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter He will be in the ranks of those who have lost' [in the afterlife, i.e., those who go to hell][the Quran, Surat] Aal 'Imran , [verse] 85.
At that point, I became aware that these were not my words and that the name Ali Gomaa, which appeared on the cover of the book, could not be mine but was probably somebody else's name [with the same name and title]. [That is what I believed,] until I saw [my own full name and titles] at the end of these falsehoods, on page 14: Dr. Ali Gomaa Muhammad Abd al-Wahab, Lecturer of the Sources of Islamic Law in the University of Al-Azhar.
I [immediately] contacted the University of Al-Azhar, which I know well, to look for my "double", the possibility of whose existence is a billion to oneimpossible odds, in light of my acquaintance with all those well versed in Islamic law in the entire world, not just in the University of Al-Azhar. [After my investigation,] I realized that I was being the victim of a criminal act since the year 2003, that criminal act being the illicit use of my name on those fabrications, of which I did not know up until now. Well, what could those [responsible for that criminal act] be preparing for us? Why are they doing this? They only do damage; they do no good. [Therefore, all] I can say on this occasion is: Allah is enough for us; He is the best protector [a quote from the Quran, Surat Aal 'Imran, verse 173], for the protection of Allah and His Messenger [Prophet Muhammad] is enough for me.
[In light of the above,] I sent a legal warning to the publishing house, demanding it to immediately remove the foreword from the books [i.e., copies] it has, and not publish it [the foreword] again in that book or in any other book which includes the foreword attributed to me, without my knowledge. [In this context,] I would also like to note that each foreword that I write bears my signature and stamp and is written on documents bearing my name, in Arabic and in English. [Furthermore,] after entering the office of the Grand Mufti [of Egypt ], I also added the emblem of Dar al-Ifta' [the official institution responsible for issuing binding Muslim religious rulings] and its official seal. Therefore, that foreword, of which I knew nothing until now, and into which I am trying to inquire, is a false one--unless it fulfills the criteria I have mentioned [above].
[While writing,] I remembered Abd al-Wahab al-Sha'arani's old complaint about the falsification of some of his books by some ill-wishers. I also remembered what Imam Al-Suyuti had to say about that, particularly in his book Al-Tahadduth bi-Ni'mat Allah [Glorifying Allah's Virtues]. I also remembered the words of [other Islamic] religious scholars about attributing words to a person who did not say them, likening it to attributing a child to another father. It seems that these [Muslim] religious scholars imply that such [phenomenon] can be described as "a criminal act of intellectual prostitution", for "we belong to Allah and it is to Allah that we return" [a quote from the Quran--Surat al-Baqara (2), verse 156usually said on the occasion of a person's death, meaning acceptance of God's judgment. In this case, the author means to say that a disaster has befallen him (see below), but that, ultimately, everything is in God's hands].
Perhaps the words of [Allah], may He be glorified, [in the Quran]"And those who do not give false testimony, [even] when they pass by idle talk, [they] pass by with dignity"--[ Surat ] Al-Furqan , [verse] 72can be of some consolation in light of our disaster [today]. Indeed, Prophet [Muhammad], may Allah's blessings and peace be upon him, attributed considerable importance to this criminal act [false testimony], by saying: "Do you want me to tell you what are the three greatest wrongs?" They answered: "Indeed, O Prophet of Allah." Then [Prophet Muhammad] answered: "Polytheism, disobeying one's parents"--he said that while leaning [against something], and then he sat up straight [before mentioning the third wrong, to emphasize its gravity by changing the position of his body]--and telling fabrications." [The storyteller of that tradition] said: He [Prophet Muhammad] said those things [about the third wrong] over and over again, until we said: "We wish he would be silent." [That tradition] appears in Al-Bukhari's [authorized collection of Muslim traditions]. [In addition,] Prophet [Muhammad], may Allah's blessings and peace be upon him, considered lying in public to be one of the future signs of corruption which herald the Day of Judgment. It was [also] said [regarding the above] on behalf of Prophet [Muhammad], who said that among the signs of the Day of Judgment are the breaking up of family relations and perjury in public. [That tradition] is told by Al-Hakem, in [his book] Al-Mustadrak . 5
[In this context,] the poet says:
So many wretched people spread lies
[For] they do not fear God nor are they concerned with their disgrace
So eager were they to kill innocent lives
So that [in the end] nothing but sin and evil will they embrace
The original article (Al-Ahram, January 1, 2007, p. 13, in the section
titled "Religious Thought")
1 The text in bold was highlighted by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center .
2 It should be noted that the Grand Mufti uses a strong word--"fictitious"--to describe his most negative opinion of the book, that is, to say that the book is ridiculous, erroneous, and unimaginably nonsensical.
3 Dr. Abd al-Wahab al-Masiri is an Egyptian intellectual who "specializes" in writing about Jewish and Zionist religion. He has published many books of anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist character. In one of his books, The Protocols, Judaism and Zionism (2003), he states that The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is a fake, prejudiced document, which causes damage to the Arabs since it imbues the Jews with great ability which does not actually exist. For details see our Information Bulletin dated October 29, 2006: "The Arab hate industry: Egypt continues as a center for the publication of crude anti-Semitic literature encouraging hatred for Israel, the Jewish people and the West, and in effect justifying the use of violence against them".
4 The verb "believed" appears in plural in the Arabic original. The author could be referring to himself or to other similar-minded thinkers, but the verb does not refer only to him and to Dr. Al-Masiri.
5 "The completion", that is, a book containing hadiths (traditions) that complete those found in the known collections of hadiths.
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