New York (Apr. 6)
The ex-Mufti of Jerusalem, wanted by the Allies for punishment as the organizer of two Nazi-inspired anti-British revolts in the Middle East and as the founder of Hitler’s “Moslem Legion” in Europe, Will seek to gain sanctuary in the holy Moslem city of Mecca, according to information received here today from authoritative Middle East sources.
If the ex-Mufti succeeds in reaching Mecca, it is pointed out, he will be safe from extradition and punishment even though the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is at war with the Axis Powers. Under Koranic law, once in the Holy City, he cannot be deprived of sanctuary.
The ex-Mufti’s presence in the Middle East would constitute a continuing threat to the peace and security of Palestine and would jeopardize any settlement to be reached on Palestine’s future. Although he has been a fugitive from Palestine for six years, the ex-Mufti is still the most powerful figure in the Palestine Arab scene and is still the only one who can command any following there. Despite the fact that British censorship in Palestine forbids even mention of his name in the press, the shadow of the ex-Mufti hangs over the entire land.
Mindful of the fact that as recently as a year ago, the Prime Minister of Egypt, with the tacit backing of several British colonial officials, sought of the British Government an amnesty for the ex-Mufti which would permit him to return to Allied territory to assume leadership of the Palestine Arabs and participate in the Arab unity parleys. Jewish groups are planning to seek formal indictment of the ex-Mufti by the United Nations War Crimes Commission in London if his name is not already on its list of wanted war criminals.