by Shaykh Prof. Abdul Hadi Palazzi
Hisham Kabbani is a disciple (and the U.S. representative) of Nazim al-Haqqani al-Qubrusi, the founder of a new cult and a former Shaykh of the Naqshbandi Sufi order. Nazim is from Albania but has mostly lived in Turkey, while Kabbani is Lebanese but a U.S. citizen.

About twenty-five years ago, Nazim decided to send missionaries to Europe and the U.S., and created an organization made up primarily of Western converts. Step by step, both Nazim and Kabbani started preaching very strange doctrines and introducing new rituals. Publications of their group started calling Nazim "the greatest living saint", "the world leader of Sufism", etc.

Many Muslim scholars (including other Shaykhs of the Naqshbandi order) refuted them. The general opinion among Muslims is that this group is outside of Islam and constitutes a new cult.

In the U.S., Kabbani became more and more nationalistically American, set up his centre in Beverly Hills and starting proselitizing among rich and influent people. His group became remote from traditional Islam and similar to a New Age group. They started claiming that Prince Charles of England and Hillary Clinton are secret disciples of Nazim, and they support every action by the Clinton administration.

They also believe that the Oslo Accord is inspired by Allah and say that since "Palestinian" representatives have signed an agreement, acts of hostility toward Israel are now illegal. They also declared that Warith Deen Muhammad accepted membership in their order, but he immediately denied this claim.

Recently, Hisham Kabbani participated in a open forum with the State Department and began to denounce the rise of radicalism among American Muslims. He said, "More than 80% of American mosques are controlled by extremists", a statement which happens to be completely correct. The implication of his speech was that, in order to counter Muslim extremism, the U.S. Government needs the cooperation of "moderate American Muslims", that is to say, of Mr. Kabbani himself.

He founded a so-called Islamic Supreme Council of America, that is formed by members of his sect only. He is trying to convince the U.S. Government to accept this Council, instead of C.A.I.R., as the semi-official representative of American Muslims. The vast majority of Islamic Organizations (extremist organizations, but also including W.D.M. and Hamzah Yusuf) signed a declaration against Kabbani. They openly accuse him of treason.

As for myself, the reason why Kabbani's followers attack me is quite simple. A Sunni scholar, Shaykh Samir al-Kadi, issued a fatwah of excommunication against Nazim, and a detailed book entitled "The Irrefutable Proof that Nazim al-Qubrusi denies Islam".

A student of mine from Washington asked me what was my opinion about this matter, and I told him that I agree with what Shaykh Kadi writes. Since that student participated in an internet list discussing pro- and anti-Kabbani arguments, he posted my answer to that list. From that time on, the Webmaster of Kabbani's organization, Mateen Siddiqui, has been attacks me personally.

Shalom from Rome,

Shaykh Prof. Abdul Hadi Palazzi


Shaykh Prof. Palazzi is Secretary General of the Italian Muslim Association (AMI), an Imam of the Italian Islamic Community (ICCII) and Director of the Community's Cultural Institute. Prof. Palazzi holds a Ph.D in Islamic Sciences by decree of the Grand Mufti of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Shaykh Prof. Abdul Hadi Palazzi is a Member of the International Council of the Root & Branch Association.

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