Iran’s former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad himself once said: “Have no doubt… Allah willing, Islam will conquer what? It will conquer all the mountain tops of the world.” Sheik Ali Al-Faqir, former Jordanian minister of religious endowment, said this on Al-Aqsa TV on May 2, 2008: “We proclaim that we will conquer Rome, like Constantinople was conquered once…” Hamas MP and Islamic cleric Yunis Al-Astal said this, also on Al-Aqsa TV, on April 11, 2008: “Very soon, Allah willing, Rome will be conquered, just like Constantinople was, as was prophesized by our Prophet Muhammad.”
Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the most prominent and renowned imam in the world, in writing about “signs of the victory of Islam,” referred to a hadith: “The Prophet Muhammad was asked: ‘What city will be conquered first, Constantinople or Romiyya?’ He answered: ‘The city of Hirqil [i.e. the Byzantine emperor Heraclius] will be conquered first’ – that is, Constantinople”¦ Romiyya is the city called today ‘Rome,’ the capital of Italy. The city of Hirqil [that is, Constantinople] was conquered by the young 23-year-old Ottoman Muhammad bin Morad, known in history as Muhammad the Conqueror, in 1453. The other city, Romiyya, remains, and we hope and believe [that it too will be conquered]. This means that Islam will return to Europe as a conqueror and victor, after being expelled from it twice – once from the South, from Andalusia, and a second time from the East, when it knocked several times on the door of Athens.”
“Israeli Islamist Leader Kamal Khatib: Jerusalem Will Be Caliphate Capital; PA TV Cuts Interview Off,” MEMRI, October 17, 2014:
In an interview with the official PA TV channel, Sheik Kamal Khatib, deputy leader of the Islamic Movement in Israel, said: “Jerusalem will not be only the capital of the Palestinian state, but also the capital of the coming righteous Islamic caliphate.” After he repeated his views several times and said that “the entire Earth” would “become subordinate to the Islamic caliphate one day”, PA TV cut the interview short.
Following are excerpts from the interview, which aired on October 17, 2014.
Interviewer: Let us first watch what you said at the Al-Aqsa Mosque this week.
Archival images of Kamal Khatib speaking
Kamal Khatib: I have said it before, and I say it again: Allah willing, Jerusalem will not be only the capital of the Palestinian state, but also the capital of the coming righteous Islamic caliphate…
Crowd member: Say: “Allah Akbar!”
Crowd: Allah Akbar!
Interviewer: Sheik, we listened to what you said at Al-Aqsa earlier this week. You said that Jerusalem would be the capital of the Islamic caliphate. What caliphate are you talking about?!
Kamal Khatib: In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate. First, I am proud to have said this at the gates of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, from the frontline trenches of defense of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and not on Facebook or other social media. I’m not good at constructing theories. I’m only good at field work. While talking about the future of Jerusalem, I emphasized that Jerusalem would be not only the capital of the Palestinian state, but the capital of the coming righteous Islamic caliphate as well.
Interviewer: This brings to mind the ISIS organization. It is ISIS that is calling for an Islamic caliphate in the current circumstance.
Kamal Khatib: This is a simpleton’s understanding of history. The term “Islamic caliphate” has existed for 1,300 years…
Interviewer: But throughout the history of Islam, Jerusalem has never been the center or capital of any Islamic caliphate. Cairo, Baghdad, Damascus, and other cities were caliphate capitals, but not Jerusalem.
Kamal Khatib: Its time will come.
Interviewer: Are we expected to wait for the establishment of the Islamic caliphate in the Arab world, and only then liberate Jerusalem?
Kamal Khatib: Who says so?
Interviewer: It is supposed to be the capital of an Islamic caliphate that does not exist…
Kamal Khatib: I said that Jerusalem would be “not only” the capital of the Palestinian state. This was meant to emphasize that Jerusalem should be and will be the capital of the Palestinian state, but if we take more pride in the status of Jerusalem… Look, Cairo, Damascus, Baghdad, and Riyadh are all capital cities, but when I say that Jerusalem will become the capital of all capitals, this means that it will have a higher standing than all those capitals. These cities will be capitals of provinces, of states, but Jerusalem will be the capital of the [Caliphate] state – and I’m not referring to the one in northern Iraq and northern Syria.
Interviewer: But you haven’t answered my question regarding the caliphate. Where will it be? In Iraq? In Syria? In the Arab Mashriq? In North Africa?
Kamal Khatib: The Prophet Muhammad said that the Islamic caliphate would encompass the Earth.
Interviewer: The whole world?!
Kamal Khatib: Yes, the whole world will become subordinated to the Islamic caliphate one day.
Interviewer: Really? The entire world will turn into an Islamic Caliphate?
Kamal Khatib: Yes.
Interviewer: The West? Russia? Latin America?
Kamal Khatib: This does not mean that Islam will be imposed upon these peoples.
ISIS is a small group that was created by the West as a pretext to come to the Islamic countries of the East. Obama said yesterday that this war would last three years, and his deputy said that this war would last 30 years. They did not come here just because of an organization they say has 50,000 men. They came in order to fight the Islamic enterprise…
The interview is cut off by the PA TV