But remember: these are the moderates. These are the voices of calm, reason and tolerance, with whom we can and must negotiate and make concessions to show our good will. "PA Sheikh: 'Strike with an iron fist' those who eat in public during Ramadan," by Itamar Marcus for Palestinian Media Watch, August 22:
A Palestinian Authority cleric has ruled that the PA must prohibit eating in public during Ramadan and should severely punish anyone who violates this law. To back up his ruling, he cited a Hadith (Islamic tradition attributed to Muhammad) that for anyone who fails to fast, "his blood becomes permitted [to be shed]." He called on PA police to "strike with an iron fist" and give "the heaviest punishments" to those who eat in public.
Palestinian Media Watch reported earlier this month that the PA has prohibited even non-Muslims from eating in public during the month of fasting, and that 6 people had been arrested by the PA for public eating.
The following is the text of the ruling, which was published by Sheikh Hassan Ahmed Jaber, Mufti of the Rafiah district and a member of the Supreme Council for Religious Rulings in Palestine, in his daily Ramadan column:
"The Prophet [Muhammad] said: 'The pillars of religion and foundations of Islam are three, and whoever neglects any one of them - his blood is permitted [to be shed]: the testimony that there is no God but Allah; fasting [during Ramadan]; and prayer.' [Hadith] Anyone who eats in public during Ramadan, denying the commandment of the fast and renouncing it, is violating Allah's laws and rebelling against Allah, Who said: 'O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those before you...' [Sura 2, verse 183]. [By eating] he leaves the circle of Islam, and his blood becomes permitted [to be shed]. Also, eating in public during Ramadan hurts the sensitivities of all Muslims around the entire world...
Therefore, I call upon all our [security] services in the PA to strike with an iron fist anyone who gives in to temptation and eats in public during Ramadan, by applying the heaviest punishments, until our society is pure, clean and close to Allah."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 13, 2012]