Sheikh Mohammed Sayed Tantawi of Al-Azhar, the highest authority for the world's Sunni Muslims, called for a boycott of products that benefit Israel over the Palestinians, the MENA news agency reported Friday.
"Every foreign product which could help the enemy and harm the Palestinians must be boycotted wherever it comes from," Sheikh Tantawi told a group of businessmen Thursday evening in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria.
He added that boycotting such products, "Whether they're American or from somewhere else," was considered "a duty and a form of national support for the struggle of the Palestinian people."
Nearly 300 people have been killed in more than two months of violent clashes between Israel and the Palestinians, rekindling anti-Israeli and anti-Western sentiment across the Arab and Islamic world.
Sheikh Tantawi also urged a boycott of all foreign products that could "harm the Arab and Islamic nation," but did not specify how to decide whether a product benefits Israel or harms the other parties.
He did say a list of products to be boycotted should be drawn up by experts "so that there would be no negative repercussions on Arab states."
The Muslim cleric urged the businessmen to support the Palestinians "by all means available, to overcome the Israeli siege imposed on the innocent and unarmed citizens in the occupied territories."
Sheikh Tantawi was speaking at an iftar, the meal to break the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims are required not to eat, drink, smoke or have sexual intercourse from sunrise to sunset. — (AFP, Cairo)
© Agence France Presse 2000
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )