Sheikh Ibrahim Mudayris is a Gaza-based Muslim cleric who was a favorite preacher of the late Yasser Arafat. Mudayris’s official title in the Ministry of Religious Trusts and Religious Affairs was, at one time, “Head of the Association for Learning the Koran by Heart.” From 2003-05, he held the most coveted slot of any preacher in Gaza: delivering the traditional Friday sermon, broadcast live from the Shaykh Ijlin mosque. As such, Mudayris became the most prominent religious figure on official Palestinian Authority (PA) Television. His thundering sermons, replete with images of the blood and destruction that awaited the enemies of the Palestinians, routinely called for the violent destruction of Israel and America. Some examples:
With regard to Israel, Mudayris in February 2003 made it clear that any Palestinian peace accord with the Jewish state would amount to nothing more than a temporary, strategic pause in the Islamic jihad against the infidels: “[W]e must assess every phase of our legitimate struggle. We must also assess every means we use for jihad and struggle against our enemies. If the phase demands an offensive means, then we should use it, and if it demands a political means, then we should use it also.”
On March 21, 2003, Mudayris proclaimed: “Allah will drown America in our seas, in our skies, in our land … America will be destroyed.”
On September 5, 2003, he identified the United States as Islam’s “number one enemy.”
On May 21, 2004, he referred to the U.S. as “the American dog” and a “son of a bitch” that would soon face the deadly wrath of “an enormous [Muslim] army.”
In September 2004 he stated that “there are none who love the Jews on the face of the earth: not man, not rock, and not tree. Everything hates them. They destroy everything.… Everything wants vengeance on the Jews, on these pigs on the face of the earth, and the day of our victory, Allah willing, will come.”
On November 5, 2004, Mudayris accused the Jews, to whom he referred as “these apes and pigs,” for having attempted to poison Yasser Arafat to death.
In his 2005 New Year’s sermon, he stated that, “Allah willing,” America was “headed for a bottomless pit” of “death and destruction.”
In February 2005, Mudayris made it clear that the Palestinians’ long-term objective was to destroy Israel in stages: “We might return to the 1967 borders by diplomacy, but we shall not return to the 1948 borders [i.e. eliminate Israel] by diplomacy. The 1948 borders, no one on earth recognizes as ours. Therefore we shall return to the 1967 borders, but we have not given up on [Israeli cities] Jerusalem and Haifa, Jaffa, Lod, Ramle and Tel Aviv. Never. Your father’s blood was shed here, at the villages, at Ashqelon, Ashdod, Hirbia [all in Israel] and hundreds of villages and towns that demand it from us. [Their blood] shall curse anyone who will concede a grain of earth of those villages. The land of Palestine will demand the Palestinians return as Muhammad returned — as a conqueror.”
On April 15, 2005 Mudayris claimed, falsely, that Muslim prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan were being forced by their American captors — through the “most criminal kinds of physical torture” — to convert to Christianity.
On May 13, 2005, Mudayris delivered a particularly incendiary sermon in which he asserted that “Israel is a cancer spreading through the body politic of the Islamic nation”; that the Jews were tantamount to “a virus resembling AIDS”; that “the Jews were behind all the civil strife in this world”; that “it was the Jews who provoked Nazism to wage war against the entire world”; that modern-day Jews “in Palestine” were “committing worse deeds than those done to them in the Nazi war”; that Jews were guilty of grossly “inflating” the scope of the Holocaust in order “to gain the world’s sympathy”; and that Jews were “treacherous by nature” and deserved wholesale extermination: “The day will come when everything will be relieved of the Jews,” he declared, and when Muslims will “finish off every Jew.”
In the aftermath of that sermon, Nabil Shaath, the Palestinian Authority’s minister of information, promised to “suspend Mudayris and prevent him from delivering further sermons.” But this development was largely a pragmatic move designed to influence world opinion in light of an upcoming scheduled visit to Washington, D.C. by PA President Abu Mazen (a.k.a. Mahmoud Abbas), rather than a sign of any softening in the Palestinian position vis à vis Israel. As one press report stated: “A senior PA official expressed fear that the publication of the contents of the sermon would reflect negatively on Mazen’s upcoming talks with the U.S. president. ‘This is the last thing we need now,’ he remarked. ‘This preacher has done grave damage to our cause.’”
Though Mudayris has been out of the public eye since the May 2005 controversy, it is believed that he continues to hold a position of influence at the Palestinian religious ministry.
Further Reading: “Voices of Palestine: Ibrahim Mudayris” (by Rick Moran, Front Page Magazine, 11-1-2011).