By MEMRI –
Egyptian cleric Sheikh Sharif Abadi said that throughout history, the Muslims never fought peoples, never conquered in order to collect the jizya poll tax, never forced people to convert to Islam, and never perpetrated a racial massacre. According to Sheikh Abadi, the Armenian massacre was “a lie fabricated by the British in order to topple the Ottoman Caliphate.” He further said that when the Jews were banished from England, they came to the Ottoman Empire. “If we really wanted to kill them all, we would have done it then,” he said. The interview with Sheikh Abadi aired on May 28 on the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood Watan TV channel, which broadcasts from Turkey.
Sharif Abadi: “The Muslims have refrained from doing three things that all the other nations did.”
Interviewer: “The Muslims did not do those things, but all the other nations did?”
Sharif Abadi: “All the nations did it, except for us.”
Interviewer: “What are these things?”
Sharif Abadi: “First of all, we never fought peoples. Whoever says that we conquered in order to collect the jizya poll tax is lying. We have never fought any people.
“Who started the fight? Us or the Byzantines? In Mu’tah [629 CE], who started the fight?”
Interviewer: “The Byzantines or the Persians?”
Sharif Abadi: “It was the Byzantines who started the fight in the Battle of Mu’tah.
“When we fought the Byzantines, we fought their emperor.”
Sharif Abadi: “When the emperor fell, did we fight the people or did we let them be? We fought the emperor and his brutal soldiers, but did we force people [to convert] after we won?
“The second thing is that we have never perpetrated a racial massacre. We have never laid siege on a certain group and kill, let’s say, all the Jews.”
Interviewer: “So why do people say that the Ottoman Caliphate perpetrated a massacre against the Armenians?”
Sharif Abadi: “It is a lie.”
Sharif Abadi: “The Armenians are the ones who betrayed [the Ottomans]. There is a historical story behind it, but [the massacre] never happened. It is a lie fabricated by the British in order to topple the Ottoman Caliphate. Are you saying that we had refrained from perpetrating racial massacres for 14 centuries, just to carry one out in the final two years of the Caliphate? Does this even make sense? It’s a lie. There was no racial massacre of the Armenians. They are the ones who started it. They are the ones who betrayed us. They are the ones who killed Muslims and burned mosques.
“When the Jews found themselves under pressure in Europe, and England prevented them from entering London for 350 years…”
Interviewer: “So where did they live?”
Sharif Abadi: “They came to us, to the Ottoman Empire. If we really wanted to kill them all, we would have done it then, right? Have we ever massacred Christians? Have we ever massacred the Amazigh, the Berbers, anyone? We have never perpetrated a racial massacre or killed women and children.
“The third thing is that we have never forced anyone to convert to Islam.”