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mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
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» 12/03/2008
EGYPT - PALESTINE
Hamas: no pilgrimage to Mecca for faithful of Gaza Strip
Their offense is that they asked for permission to leave from the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, controlled by Fatah. An internal power struggle is affecting the Muslims, and is judged as "an abominable crime" by the highest Sunni authority in Egypt. The news is raising ironic comments from Israeli newspapers.

Cairo (AsiaNews) - "An abominable crime." This is how Mohammed Sayyed Tantaoui, imam of the mosque of Al Azhar, judges the decision by Hamas to block the pilgrimage to Mecca by a group of Palestinian faithful from the Gaza Strip. "Anyone who prevents a Muslim from making the pilgrimage to Mecca commits an abominable crime," comments the Egyptian imam, the highest Sunni authority in the country, to the official news agency Mena.

In order to meet the needs of the 3,000 Palestinian faithful, Egypt had decided to open the border crossing in Rafa, by which they would have crossed into Saudi Arabia through Nuweiba, on the Red Sea. Hamas, a fundamentalist Islamic group that has controlled the Gaza Strip since June of 2007, has blocked the pilgrims from reaching the crossing point, keeping them inside the border.

The minister of religious affairs for the Hamas government has said that he does not consider the travel visas carried by the pilgrims as valid. They were issued by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, in agreement with the Fatah movement. So it's an interior power struggle, which is affecting the pilgrims who only want to go to Mecca.

The news has also been picked up by Israeli newspapers, which are commenting ironically on the blockade imposed by Hamas: "What a sensational headline, what a fascinating paradox," says Haaretz. "What Israel has never dared to do - certainly not to this extent - is being done by a Palestinian government for which Islam is the basis of its platform and provides personal guidance for each of its ministers."


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See also
02/05/2009 PALESTINE
Palestinians in favour of truce and negotiations with Israel
06/27/2008 ISRAEL - PALESTINE
Palestinians and Israelis violate ceasefire, but do not break it
02/27/2009 PALESTINE
Hamas-Fatat agree on eve of donors’ conference
01/02/2009 LEBANON
From Beirut, solidarity with Palestinians of Gaza, but without military support
by Fady Noun
06/15/2007 PALESTINE
Hamas, the era of Islamic law in full control of Gaza

Editor's choices
EGYPT - ISLAM
What Tayeb and Sisi said is big step towards a revolution in Islam
by Samir Khalil SamirThe grand imam of Al-Azhar slammed literalist interpretations of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, as fundamentalists and Islamic terrorists do. He supports the urgent need for Islam's reform, especially in terms of teaching lay people and clerics. He also calls for an end to mutual excommunication (takfir) between Sunnis and Shias. Egyptian President al-Sisi chose to fight the Islamic state group after it beheaded 21 Coptic Christians, whom he called "Egyptian citizens" with full rights.
SAUDI ARABIA - ISLAM
For head of Al-Azhar, religious education reform is needed to stop Islamic extremismFor Ahmed al-Tayeb, it is urgent to come up with new educational programmes to avoid "corrupt interpretations" of the Qur'an and Sunnah. Islamic terrorism undermines the unity of the Muslim world. He blames Mideast tensions on a "new global colonialism allied to world Zionism". a speech by the Saudi king is read at the conference.
HONG KONG - CHINA - VATICAN
It looks like someone is trying to shout us down
by Card. Joseph Zen Ze-kiunThe widespread optimism concerning the dialogue between the Holy See and China is largely groundless. Some Chinese bishops unable to speak freely are asked "leading" questions. The key issues remain unresolved, namely episcopal appointments and the fate of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. Benedict XVI's Letter to Chinese Catholics, also cited by Pope Francis, provides guidelines. No agreement is better than a bad agreement. What happened to Msgr. Cosma Shi Enxiang and Msgr. James Su Zhimin? Hong Kong's bishop emeritus, champion of religious freedom in China, delivers a vibrant reflection.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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