PA: Israel is trying to entrap us by leaving synagogues in Gaza - Irna: "'This is a very sensitive issue. We are Muslims and our religion and traditions don't allow us to desecrate or destroy places of worship.
'But we feel the Israelis are trying to entrap us by leaving these places intact and then tell the world 'look, the Palestinians are destroying Jewish holy places, the Palestinians show no respect for Jewish holy places,' he told aljazeera.net.
Abdullah said Israel should dismantle all these synagogues and transfer them to Israel and not try to get the PA involved in its internal problems with the rabbis of the settlements.
'We are willing and ready to help the Israeli government and army dismantle these places respectfully and with dignity.'
Earlier, Muslim officials warned that Israel might want to deliberately leave the synagogues intact so that Palestinians would demolish them in order to justify possible future attacks on or destruction of Muslim holy places, such as Jerusalem's Aqsa Mosque."
In one breath the Arabs claim that they must respect synagogues and would never destroy them under Islamic law, and in the next they admit that there is no way in hell they'd ever let a synagogue stay intact in Gaza. (And later in the article they even reject the idea of converting them to mosques!)
But beyond that, the idea that Islam doesn't allow the destruction of other houses of worship is a bald-faced lie. In fact, in a Muslim country, it is mandatory! From a fatwa at IslamWeb:
Thus, we have mentioned the general ruling, i.e. when there is a Muslim ruler who leads Muslim armies and manages Muslims' affairs and as long as Muslims have the ability to defend themselves or to wage Jihad. But, if Muslims are weak or there is no an independent Muslim state and entity, or they live as a Muslim minority, then the Muslims' interest should be the criterion. In simple words, if it will be a good advantage for Muslims to destroy non-Muslim places of worship and build new mosques instead of them, then Muslims have to do so. On the other hand, if such a work may lead to worse actions such as killing and destruction by fire, Muslims have to do nothing. Here, we apply the ruling that states: 'Warding off an evil is preferred to getting benefit'.