The Wall Street Journal and Ayatollah Fadlallah’s “Disarming Twinkle”


The “Disarming Twinkle” Defense for Jihadism and Raw Islamic Jew-Hatred?



Wall Street Journal Editorial Features Editor Robert Pollock’s distressingly uninformed interview of the “spiritual” leader of Hezbollah, Ayatollah Fadlallah ignores, and/or effectively trivializes all of the following: the pervasive Shi’ite doctrine and practice of taqiya; Hezbollah’s foundational jihadism; and Hezbollah’s—and Fadlallah’s—visceral Islamic Jew-hatred, rooted in orthodox motifs from the Qur’an, hadith, and sira.


But Mr. Pollock’s keen powers of observation allowed him to note (and record for posterity) that the taqiya-mongering, jihadist, and Jew hating “Grand Ayatollah” was possessed of a “disarming twinkle in his eyes.” Pollock closes the piece about his “Dialogue” with Fadlallah thusly:


The interview is over. We pose for pictures and the Ayatollah presents me with an English translation of one of his books: “Islam: The Religion of Dialogue.” He signs it for me in Arabic: “With my affection and prayers.”


How fitting—how feckless.


Here are some—wait for it—facts about Hezbollah and “spiritual” leader Fadlallah, which Mr. Pollock and rest of the equally feckless Wall Street Journal Editorial Board should ponder, from my book The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism, pp. 144-145:



Hezbollah’s name, “The Party of Allah”,  derives from  Qur’ran 5:56—“And whoever takes Allah and His messenger and those who believe for a guardian, then surely the party of Allah are they that shall be triumphant.”. In a public statement issued February 15/16, 1986, Hezbollah stressed its indelible links to Iran and Ayatollah Khomeini (“We obey the orders of one leader wise and just…”) and conceived of itself as a “nation” linked to Muslims worldwide by “…a strong ideological and political bond, namely Islam”. Expressed in the political language of the Qur’ran, Hezbollah’s ideology encompasses, triumphally (as per the slogan adorning the party emblem, “The Party of Allah is Sure to Triumph”) at least three major objectives: transforming Lebanon into a Shari’a state; destroying Israel; and establishing regional, followed by international Islamic hegemony, i.e., bringing the region, then the world under Shari’a law.


…we do not constitute an organized party in Lebanon. Nor are we a tight political cadre. We are an umma linked to the Muslims of the whole world by the solid doctrinal and religious connection of Islam, whose message God wanted to be fulfilled by the Seal of the Prophets, i.e., Muhammad. This is why whatever touches or strikes Muslims, in Afghanistan, Iraq, the Philippines and everywhere reverberates throughout the Muslim umma of which we are an integral part. Our behavior is dictated to us by legal principles laid down by the light of an overall political conception defined by the leading jurist (wilayat al-faqih)


As for our culture, it is based on the Holy Qur’an, the Sunna and the legal rulings of the faqih who is our source of imitation (marja’ al-taqlid). Our culture is crystal clear. It is not complicated and is accessible to all.


No one can imagine the importance of our military potential as our military apparatus is not separate from our overall social fabric. Each of us is a fighting soldier. And when it becomes necessary to carry out the Holy war (Jihad), each of us takes up his assignment in the fight in accordance with the injunctions of the Law, and that in the framework of the mission carried out under the tutelage of the Commanding Jurist.


…our struggle [against Israel] will end only when this entity is obliterated. We recognize no treaty with it, no cease fire, and no peace agreements, whether separate or consolidated.


Demonizing Israel and Jews—via motifs in the Qur’ran, hadith, and sira—Hezbollah views the jihad against the “Zionist entity” as an annihilationist war intrinsic to broader conflicts: the struggle between the Islamic world and the non-Muslim world, and the historical struggle between Islam and Judaism. The most senior clerical authority for Hezbollah, Husayn Fadlallah has stated, “We find in the Qur’ran that the Jews are the most aggressive towards the Muslims…because of their aggressive resistance to the unity of the faith.” Fadlallah repeatedly refers to anti-Jewish archetypes in the Qur’an, hadith, and sira: the corrupt, treacherous and aggressive nature of the Jews; their reputation as killers of prophets, who spread corruption on earth; and the notion that the Jews engaged in conspiratorial efforts against the Muslim prophet Muhammad. Fadlallah argues, ultimately, “Either we destroy Israel or Israel destroys us.”

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