As you’ll know, the pro-Hezbollah cleric, Hussein Fadlullah is dead.
Yesterday, we reproduced the obituary for Fadlullah on Hizbollah’s own al-Manar TV website:
Dubbed by the media as the “Spiritual Leader” of the Islamic resistance “Hezbollah,” in Lebanon, Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlullah inspired the leaders for the resistance group, and served as a highly influential beacon of truth for all the oppressed peoples of the world.
From the pulpit of the Imam Rida mosque in the Bir al-Abd neighborhood (Beirut’s southern suburb), Sayyed Fadlullah’s sermons gave shape to the political currents among mainly the Muslim Shiite sect, from the latter half of the 1980s till the last days of his life.
The Israeli invasion of Lebanon in June 1982 was a watershed event for the Lebanese, mostly the Shiites living in the south, and the public career of Sayyed Fadlullah. The beginning of Hezbollah as an armed resistance movement dates back to that Israeli invasion. “What martyrdom is greater than making yourself a human bomb detonating it among the enemy? What spiritualism is greater than this spiritualism in which a person loses all feeling of his body and life for the sake of his cause and mission?”
This quotation and many others fumed the flame of the resistance ideology.
“Israel poses a great danger to our future generations and to the destiny of our modern nation, especially since it embraces a settlement-oriented and expansionist idea that it has already begun to apply in occupied Palestine and it is extending and expanding to build Greater Israel, from the Euphrates to the Nile,” Sayyed Fadlullah said in one of his lectures.
Sayyed Fadlullah often explains that Judaism, Christianity and Islam were all Divine religions, however he always differentiated between a Jew anywhere in the world and another Jews who comes to Palestine and take part in the occupation of this Arab land.
“All of Palestine is a war zone and every Jew who unlawfully occupies a house or land belonging to a Palestinian is a legitimate target. There are no innocent Jews in Palestine. They kill many of our women, children, and elderly people. They destroy our homes. They confiscate our water and freedom.”
In an interview with Al-Manar TV on March 21, 2008, Sayyed Fadlullah stated:
“The Hebrew state is preparing to celebrate its 60th anniversary – 60 years since it plundered Palestine – in a festival, which will be attended by the countries of the world, most of which still support the Zionist state and consider the resistance movement to be terrorism. This is what led German Chancellor Merkel to visit that plundering country, which extorted and continues to extort Germany, using as a pretext the German Hitlerist-Nazi past, and the placing of the Jews in a holocaust. Zionism has inflated the number of victims in this holocaust beyond imagination.”
Today, we reproduce an obituary of Fadlullah, written by Frances Guy Ambassador to the Republic of Lebanon, Beirut:
The Passing of Decent Men
One of the privileges of being a diplomat is the people you meet; great and small, passionate and furious. People in Lebanon like to ask me which politician I admire most. It is an unfair question, obviously, and many are seeking to make a political response of their own. I usually avoid answering by referring to those I enjoy meeting the most and those that impress me the most.
Until yesterday my preferred answer was to refer to Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, head of the Shia clergy in Lebanon and much admired leader of many Shia muslims throughout the world. When you visited him you could be sure of a real debate, a respectful argument and you knew you would leave his presence feeling a better person. That for me is the real effect of a true man of religion; leaving an impact on everyone he meets, no matter what their faith. Sheikh Fadlallah passed away yesterday. Lebanon is a lesser place the day after but his absence will be felt well beyond Lebanon’s shores.
I remember well when I was nominated ambassador to Beirut, a muslim acquaintance sought me out to tell me how lucky I was because I would get a chance to meet Sheikh Fadlallah. Truly he was right. If I was sad to hear the news I know other peoples’ lives will be truly blighted. The world needs more men like him willing to reach out across faiths, acknowledging the reality of the modern world and daring to confront old constraints. May he rest in peace.
This is really quite remarkable.
Fadlullah was a man who theologically legitimised and promoted suicide bombing. He believed that every Jew in Israel was a legitimate target, and spread the lie that Jews were plotting to conquer from the Nile to Euphrates. He argued that the Holocaust dead had been “inflated beyond imagination”.
This is the man who the British Ambassador to Lebanon admires the most, who made her feel that she was a “better person”, who she believes “reached out” across faiths, and that she was “lucky” to meet him.
Hezbollah is quite clear that the Holocaust denial, terrorism and genocidal politics of Fadlullah is what made him so admirable.
The British Ambassador is rather more circumspect about precisely what it is about the cleric that made such a positive impact upon her.
By contrast, Fadlallah himself didn’t have particularly great relationships with diplomats:
Fadlallah gave his personal approval to the massive suicide truck bomb attacks that levelled the American Embassy and Marine compound in Beirut in 1983, killing more than 300 people, including the then CIA station chief. Fadlallah gave his personal blessing to the suicide bombers before they left for their deadly mission.
This is the man who our ambassador “admires most”.
More on the great man:
Ayatollah Mohamad Hussein Fadlallah is the most senior Shiite religious figure in Lebanon to have praised the massacre of eight Israeli students at Mercaz Ha-Rav Yeshiva in Jerusalem on March 6. In his sermon during Friday prayers, Fadlallah declared: “the heroic operation in Jerusalem proved that themujahedeen in Palestine are able to hit the Zionists hard.” His remarks were carried by Hizbullah‘s television network, al-Manar, on March 8.
The FCO talks to The JC:
A Foreign Office spokesman said: “The Ambassador expressed a personal view on Sheik Sayyed Fadlallah, describing the man as she knew him.
“We welcomed his progressive views on women’s rights and interfaith dialogue. But also had profound disagreements – especially over his statements advocating attacks on Israel.”
Yeah, bollocks. The real position of the FCO was best expressed by fellow diplomat Rowan Laxton:
Genocidal antisemitism is simply not a concern to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. It is quite in character for Guy to cosy up to some of the most extreme Islamists and anti-Jewish terrorist groups. Indeed, this was her job, as the former Head of Engaging with the Islamic World Group. Indeed, she met with Qaradawi – who similarly endorses suicide bombing, believes that the Holocaust was God’s punishment of the Jews, and hopes to commit genocide against Jews – when the FCO flew him to Turkey for an Islamist jamboree.