Bombay (Mar. 1)
Asked about the rift between himself and the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Shaukat Ali, the Indian Moslem leader, said to the J.T.A. representative here in the course of an interview, that actually there was no quarrel. Their difference was only local, since the Grand Mufti wanted too much power and wished to make the movement a family affair. But they were in agreement about the question of Zionism.
He would be going to America in October to meet the Jews there to talk to them as they were very powerful, Shaukat Ali told the J.T.A. representative. He also said that he expected to go to Palestine again in June.
I am a friend of the Jews, Shaukat Ali said. They have suffered as I am suffering. I have met Dr. Weizmann, Mr. Sokolov, Colonel Kisch, Mr. Sieff, Dr. Eder and all the world leaders of the Zionists, and I believe they themselves realise that in the long run they will not benefit the Jewry of the world. I am very sorry to say it, but I want the Jewish world to know that some of the Zionists want to form not only a Home, but are dreaming of founding a Jewish State in Palestine and that is why British public opinion is bitter against the Zionist movement which they consider a danger to the Empire. We Moslems will fight to the bitter death and will not allow any Jew or gentile to continue with such a scheme. The heart of Islam for the sanctity of every Moslem place in every part of the world is bound to do it. We are down to-day. We are weak. We are disorganised, but let me tell you as a brother who means well with you and for the great cause of peace, not mincing words but in clear and emphatic language, I give you a warning, for God’s sake give up this colonisation scheme, this scheme of colonisation for unlimited immigration with the help of a Mandatory power. Some day a great upheaval will take place, which will not be good for Jews or Moslems or for the Jewish and Moslem under-standing.
Asked whether the colonisation of Palestine by Jews had not been equally beneficial to Arabs, Shaukat Ali replied in the negative, claiming that the Arabs were more prosperous before Jewish immigration had commenced on a mass scale. Jewish labour was employed for Jewish work, and the Arabs were not given a chance.
We are not going to allow the British nor anybody else to take possession of Jizrat-ul-Arab, the land sacred to the Arab, Shaukat Ali declared. If you want the Jews to be free to go and come in Palestine, as they did 1,300 years ago, the Moslems will give them free access, but not with the help of a Mandate and the promise of the Balfour Declaration, which the Moslem world does not accept. Who is Balfour to give away our sacred land to anyone? It is not binding on us. We have never accepted it. Why should Jews make things difficult for themselves and for us? In 12 years, the Jews with all the money collected from Europe have brought 100,000 Zionists to Palestine. The 800,000 Palestine Arabs in this period have produced 125,000 new children, and the whole Moslem world is at their back, for it is a Moslem’s sacred duty to see that the land of Juzrat-ul-Arab must not pass out of the hands of the Moslems.
Zionism will upset the 1,300 years of friendship between the Moslems and Jews, Shaukat Ali went on. When the whole of Europe treated the Jews like dirt, every Moslem kingdom opened its doors and treated them as brothers, and gave them honour and opportunities. In the whole history of Islam, I challenge you to find one pogrom where Jews were massacred by Moslems, as has happened in Europe.
2,000 years ago, Titus massacred the Jews, demolished their Temple and committed the worst atrocities against them. The Jews left Palestine and spread over Europe. But the Moslems remained, and their men, women and children would sacrifice their lives before they are deprived of one inch of Moslem land. Let me tell you that neither Britain, America, nor any country in Europe will fight a war for you, and there are nearly a million Moslems in Palestine alone. Syria, Iraq, Persia, Turkey, Egypt, Sudan, Morocco, Tunis, Java, the whole Moslem world of 400 million people, will stand with the Moslems of Palestine.