Husseini, Haj (Muhammad) Amin el-

(1893–1976)
   Mufti of Jerusalem and Palestinian Arab leader. Crafty and ruthless behind a deceptively mild manner, the red-bearded mufti of Jerusalem became the implacable foe of the British, the Jews and his more moderate fellow Arabs. Ironically, he was placed in office by the first High Commissioner of Palestine, Sir Herbert SAMUEL, who was a British Jew. Jerusalem-born Husseini, a member of a leading Palestinian family, had been sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment for his part in the 1920 Arab riots, but escaped to Transjordan. In an attempt to placate the Arab opposition to the Mandate, he was given an amnesty the following year and invited back to be the mufti (chief expounder of Moslem law) in Jerusalem. In 1922, he was appointed head of the Supreme Moslem Council in Palestine. He now had control over the Moslem religious courts and the large revenues from the wakf (religious trusts).
   In the years to come he used these powers to entrench himself as the dominant figure in Palestine Arab nationalism. He was behind the 1929 riots, and instigated and directed the Arab rebellion that broke out in 1936. Their indulgence exhausted at last, the Mandatory authorities in 1937 stripped him of his offices and sought to arrest him. Again he slipped away, this time to Beirut. From there he continued to foment the revolt that had degenerated into terrorism directed against his Arab opponents as well as against the Jews. The ex-mufti now sought support from Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. In 1941 he was involved in the unsuccessful anti-British revolt in Iraq by the premier Rashid Ali. Husseini then made his way to Berlin and spent the war as a Nazi collaborator. He encouraged the programme for exterminating the Jews of Europe, Hitler’s ‘final solution’. He recruited Moslem volunteers; and he tried to organize sabotage in Arab countries under Allied control. After the defeat of Hitler and the end of the war Haj Amin was arrested and taken to France. Once more he escaped (with some connivance), reappeared in Cairo and revived the Palestine Arab Higher Committee, with his nephew Jamal el-Husseini as its chairman. The Arab Higher Committee and the Jewish Agency were the two bodies given permission to take part in the United Nations Palestine debates of 1947–8, as representing the two parties to the conflict. Meanwhile the ex-mufti organized and armed his supporters in Palestine, who embarked on a campaign of violence throughout the country after the United Nations partition decision of November I947.
   With the establishment of Israel, and the end of its War of Independence, the influence of the ex-mufti faded. In 1951 one of his henchmen assassinated King Abdullah of Jordan, who had been seeking a peaceful accommodation with Israel. But after that, Husseini became an unwelcome guest in Cairo, Baghdad and Damascus successively. He was last heard of living in Riyadh in Saudi Arabia, by courtesy of King Feisal’s Moslem piety.

Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament. . 2012.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Amin al-Husseini — Mohammed Amin al Husseini Mohammed Amin al Husseini (arabisch ‏محمد أمين الحسيني‎, DMG Muḥammad Amīn al Ḥusainī; * vermutlich 1893 [1] in Jerusalem; † 4. Juli 1974 in B …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Mohammed Amin al- Husseini — (arabisch ‏محمد أمين الحسيني‎, DMG Muḥammad Amīn al Ḥusainī; * vermutlich 1893 [1] in Jerusalem; † 4. Juli 1974 in B …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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