Shaykh Hamza Yusuf denies supporting Israel peace deal, blames media for ‘lying’

Shaykh Hamza Yusuf

Shaykh Hamza Yusuf has denied supporting the UAE-Israel peace deal and has blamed the media for misrepresenting him.

Addressing his seeming endorsement of the Israel deal in a statement by the UAE-funded Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies (of which he is Vice President), Shaykh Hamza said “recent reports alleging my political views were fabricated and erroneous.”

He wrote on Facebook: “According to Imam al-Shafi‘i, “Words cannot be attributed to one who has not spoken them (لا ينسب الى ساكت قول).” This is an important juristic principle. The recent reports alleging my political views were fabricated and erroneous. I do not engage in or endorse geopolitical strategies or treaties. My allegiance is and has always been with the oppressed peoples of Palestine, whether Muslim, Christian, or otherwise. Anyone who says differently is a liar; the Qur’an reminds us, ‘And the damnation of God is upon liars’ (3:61). God is the judge and defender for the believer. I place my complete trust in Him alone.

“There have been some articles that have made false attributions about me and fabricated scenarios that never took place. The Qur’an says, ‘If an ungodly person brings news, ascertain whether or not it is true, for you may end up harming someone out of ignorance and come to regret it’ (49:6). I was never contacted by any news or media outlet for a statement or clarification on the recent controversy. Please do not spread lies on the Internet. Suspend judgment and seek clarification.

“The Prophet ﷺ said, ‘The best servants of God are those who remind you of God when they are seen. The worst servants of God are those who carry gossip, separating between loved ones and seeking misery for the innocent.’ (Musnad of Imam Ahmad)”

5Pillars has contacted Shaykh Hamza asking for further clarification on his statement. We have specifically asked him:

  • For his views on the UAE-Israel peace deal.
  • Whether he intends to resign from the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies following their alleged misrepresentation of him.

We will update this article should we receive a reply.

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5Pillars was one of the few media outlets to cover this story and we did so because the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies, of which Hamza Yusuf is Vice President, issued an official statement.

Commenting on Hamza Yusuf’s targeting of the media, 5Pillars editor Roshan Muhammed Salih said: “I find Shaykh Hamza Yusuf’s clarification on his alleged support for the UAE-Israel deal highly problematic. Firstly, I am glad that he said he doesn’t support the deal. Alhamdulilah for that. But instead of directing his ire at the UAE institute which allegedly misrepresented him, he blames the media for correctly quoting them.

“Should the media have directly contacted him to verify the quote? No, I don’t think they needed to. Hamza Yusuf is Vice President of that UAE institute, openly supports it and its President Abdullah bin Bayyah is his teacher. So it was reasonable to assume the statement was authentic.

“And the very fact that Shaykh Hamza Yusuf is blaming the media suggests to me that he is attempting to deflect attention away from the real culprits – the UAE authorities he is associated with who have just made peace with Israel.

“What he should have done is resign from the UAE institute which misrepresented him and denounce the Israel deal. But he has not done that which frankly speaks volumes.”

Meanwhile, another member of the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies, Aisha Al-Adawiya of the Al-Karamah Association in America, has resigned from it following the public statement.

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