Al-Husayni, Amin

Al-Husayni, Amin

Also called AL-HAJJ AMIN (born 1897, Jerusalem, Palestine, - d. July 4, 1974, Beirut, Lebanon), Mufti of Jerusalem and Arab nationalist figure who played a major role in Arab resistance to Zionist political ambitions in Palestine.

Husayni studied in Jerusalem, Cairo, and Istanbul, and in 1910 he was commissioned in the Turkish artillery. He became a strong voice in the Arab nationalist and anti-Zionist movements. In Jan 1922 the British, who had accepted a mandate for Palestine after World War I, named Husayni permanent president and mufti of the newly created Supreme Muslim Council the most authoritative religious body in the Palestinian Muslim community.

In 1936 all the Palestinian groups joined to create a permanent executive organ known as the Arab High Committee under Husayni's chairmanship. The committee demanded a cessation of Jewish immigration and a prohibition of land transfers from Arabs to Jews. A general strike developed into a rebellion against British authority. The British removed Husayni from the council presidency and declared the committee illegal in Palestine. In October 1937 he fled to Lebanon, where he reconstituted the committee under his domination.

The rebellion forced Britain to make substantial concessions to Arab demands in 1939. The British abandoned the idea of establishing Palestine as a Jewish state, and, while Jewish immigration was to continue for another five years, it was thereafter to depend on Arab consent. Husayni, however, felt that the concessions did not go far enough, and he repudiated the new policy.

Ceasing to play an active role in Palestinian affairs, Husayni spent most of World War II (1939-45) in Germany. At the war's end he fled to Egypt

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