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The Second Intifada and the "Day of Wrath": Safar al-Hawālī and his anti-Semitic reading of Biblical Prophecy

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image of Die Welt des Islams

Few months after the outbreak of the al-Aqsa Intifada, Safar al-Hawālī, one of the most prominent and controversial Islamic scholars of Saudi Arabia, published his book Yawm al-gadab, "The Day of Wrath", which has enjoyed a wide readership both for its Arabic and English versions in the internet. Engaging with the current wave of Christian and Jewish apocalyptical literature, he challenges the widespread view that the biblical prophecies predict the final victory of the Israel over its neighbours. The book claims that, quite to the contrary, they can be read as indications of the violent end of that state and its allies. The article analyses Safar al-Hawālī's unusually close reading of the Bible which even transfers the biblical promises of return to the Palestinians. His fierce accusations against Israel and the U.S.A., which are orchestrated with extensive quotes from the biblical Prophets, testify to a new stage of the sacralisation of political language in the Middle East.


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