Following are excerpts from a Friday sermon delivered by Mahmoud Habbash, PA Minister of Religious Endowments, which aired on Palestinian Authority TV on July 19, 2013:
Mahmoud Habbash: We support all solutions that may lead to peace. So long as they are based upon one principle – the principle of rights and justice. Is this too much to ask? No, it is not. They must be based upon the principle of rights and justice.
The Palestinian leadership's sense of responsibility toward its people drove it, approximately 20 years ago, to take political measures that achieved – even though they aroused controversy and much criticism, and even outright rejection by some people... [These political measures] led to our being here today, to the very existence of the [Palestinian] Authority, and to the world's recognition of the [Palestinian] state.
None of this would have come into being through foolhardy and zealous recklessness. It was achieved only through wise leadership, through mindful action, through judicious use of reason, and by proceeding along the right path, leading to achievements.
This is exactly the same as what the Prophet Muhammad did in the case of the Hudaybiyya Treaty.
The Prophet's Companions were angry about it, but the Prophet said: "I am the Messenger of Allah, and I will not defy Him." This is not defiance [of Allah]. This is politics. This is crisis management, pragmatism, and conflict management.
It is not a matter of defiance or obedience [to Allah]. It is compliance with the requirements of reality, the requirements of the Islamic nation, and the requirements of our path. Allah called this treaty a "manifest victory": "Indeed, we have given you a manifest victory."
Omar Ibn Al-Khattab asked the Prophet: "Is this really a victory? Does this make any sense? We are making concessions and returning [to Al-Madina], without having entered Mecca. You call this a victory?"
The Prophet answered: "Indeed it is a victory, Ibn Al-Khattab." Less than two years later, the Prophet, relying on this treaty, returned and conquered Mecca. This is our model.