Last November, we posted what turned out to be a very popular article about Abdul Hadi Palazzi’s apparent conversion to Hinduism. For years he enjoyed notoriety for his novel stance on Zionism. Palazzi claimed to be a Muslim and an Islamic scholar. He was also an ardent supporter of Greater Israel and he claimed the Quran granted Jewish sovereignty over the Holy Land. Allah, according to Abdul Hadi Palazzi, is a Zionist.
It would be nice if it were true that the Qur’an teaches that Allah gave the Land of Israel to the Jews, but one might wonder in that case why the Islamic world from Morocco to Indonesia manifests such hostility to Israel. Are Al-Husseini, Khaleel Mohammed and Sheikh Palazzi the only Muslims who have ever noticed that Allah actually wants the Jews to possess the Land of Israel?
Yes, it seems out of all the scholars in the world, only a handful have “interpreted” the Qur’an as a real estate guide. Was Palazzi truly a disciple of this highly controversial minority view? A closer examination of “Sheikh” Palazzi’s credentials and statements raises some serious questions about his sincerity.
As we reported in our previous article, Palazzi has apparently converted to Hinduism in a public ceremony, where he took the name Satya Prakash Shankar Baba, or later it seems, the name Shanker Nath Baba. Like so many other dimensions of Palazzi’s character, the evidence is conflicting. What appears to be his old Facebook page under the name Abdul Hadi Palazzi still exists, though it seems inactive. Under his new name, Shanker Nath Baba, he also has a Facebook page, where he now posts regularly. His page features colorful photos of himself in flowing saffron robes, along with photos of Hindu religious art and ceremonies. Overall, judging from his posts, he seems to thoroughly enjoy his new life as a Hindu.
He also seems to hate Islam and Muslims. He now openly denigrates the faith he once claimed as his own.
In March of this year, he shrieked in all caps about extremists in Bangladesh, presumably Muslims, killing “our innocent Hindu Brothers and Sisters.” If this post followed a violent incident, he may have been genuinely upset, and his passion and anguish may have merely spilled over in the aftermath. His support for his fellow Hindus in that case would be understandable, even if his comment was inflammatory:
But that inflammatory comment would not be his last. In May of this year, he posted an image of a woman who was apparently beheaded, with the caption, “This is Sharia Law!!!” His comment, written in Hindi, reads:
Under sharia law a 20 year old named “Begum Noor Khan” was beaten with no mercy…her crime was that she was going to college even after getting married ..
I was not able to find reports of this alleged murder. A Google search on “Noor Khan” yielded reports of a case brought forward by a man whose father was killed in a US drone strike, but no story of a young woman who was beheaded for the “crime” of going to college.
Whether or not the story of Khan’s beheading is true, a case like this has nothing to do with Shariah. There is clearly nothing in Islamic doctrine that states a woman should be executed for going to college, never mind that she must be beheaded. As someone who long claimed to be an Islamic scholar, “Sheikh” Palazzi should know better.
Most recently, he posted an article about Angola allegedly banning Islam. He appeared to be gleeful about the decision, and suggested Europeans should “wake up” and follow suit:
Shankar Nath Baba doesn’t confine his hateful comments to his own Facebook page either. Last fall, he posted a comment on the United With Israel Facebook page in reference to an article celebrating Israel’s “miraculous defeat” of the Arabs in the Six Day War. He wrote:
Remember that this is the same man whose Wikipedia page claimed he was:
Director of the Cultural Institute of the Italian Islamic Community, with a program based on the development of Islamic education in Italy, refutation of fundamentalism and fanaticism, and deep involvement in inter-religious dialogue, especially with Jews and Christians, but also with Buddhists and others.
Shankar Nath Baba is apparently less devoted to positive “inter-religious dialogue” since his transformation.
In April of this year, he posted comments on the “Jerusalem, city of Israel” Facebook page. In response to an article from Israel National News discussing opposition to Jews praying at the Temple mount, he wrote:
Remember that this is the same man who recently complained on his Facebook page about the alleged destruction of Hindu temples in Bangladesh (see above). Yet he is now boasting about Hindu extremists who destroyed the Babri mosque. He is also openly encouraging Jews to do likewise and destroy Al-Aqsa mosque, third holiest site in Islam, and replace it with a Jewish temple.
Shankar Nath Baba also seems to think Barack Obama is a secret Muslim. Just a few weeks ago, he posted a comment on the Jerusalem Post Facebook page in reference to Jewish support for the president:
His indictment of President Obama, at least in part because of his Muslim father, is rich coming from a man who claimed his mother was a Syrian Muslim and his father was a Muslim convert.
In response to an article on India Today, he seems to suggest that Indian Muslims are a fifth column who should be required to pass a loyalty test or lose their citizenship. An Indian Muslim allegedly issued a fatwa against singing, and in response, Shanker Nath Baba wrote:
Any person refusing to sing Vande Mataram should be deprived of Indian citizenshi[p]. ~ Shankar Nath Baba
At this point it seems abundantly clear that Shankar Nath Baba has not only left Islam, but has joined the ranks of anti-Muslim bigots. His sympathy for extremist Hindu nationalists is amazing, given his denunciation of Muslim extremists under the guise of the “moderate” Sheikh Abdul Hadi Palazzi. Now he seems to enjoy flaunting his extreme views, and to openly revel in his hatred of Islam and Muslims.
Why would someone change so drastically within months? Perhaps he felt disillusioned, and his about-face on Islam was the catalyst for him to seek a new faith. This seems to make sense. Or at least it might, if he were not still appearing in public with the honorific title he supposedly shed.
As we noted in our previous article, even after his public conversion to Hinduism, he appeared in public as Sheikh Palazzi at a conference. We speculated at the time that he may move in and out of both identities, and may subscribe to some sort of post-modernist, new-age interpretation of Islam which allowed him to maintain a dual identity. His steady stream of comments disparaging Islam seem to preclude that possibility.
Had he remained positive about both Hinduism and Islam, it might have been plausible that he somehow viewed himself as some sort of hybrid Hindu-Muslim. But what are we to make of someone presenting himself as a Muslim-hating Hindu one day, and as a Muslim and esteemed Islamic scholar the next?
Are we to believe he has a sustained love-hate relationship with Islam?
Whatever his motivation for switching back and forth between identities, it seems clear he has continued this pattern at least up until May of this year. Within days of demonizing Sharia on his Facebook page as Shankar Nath Baba, “Sheikh” Abdul Hadi Palazzi was apparently evangelizing once again:
By Simon Rocker, May 9, 2013
A Muslim preacher argued that the Koran backs Jewish claims to Jerusalem at a Jerusalem Day celebration in London this week.
Rome-based Sheikh Abdul Hadi Palazzi told an audience at Edgware Synagogue that he found it “intolerable” that “no one questions the rights of Catholics to St Peter’s, or of Muslims to Mecca, but so many question the rights of Jews to Jerusalem”.
Interpreting a passage from the Koran, he said that “even if Jews were expelled from the city and scattered all over the world, the time will come when they will be running to the city, coming from every different place”.
Sheikh Palazzi was speaking at the launch of a film about Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, which has been produced by the Springboard Education Trust.
In it, he says that there is “no reason for Muslims to deny the state of Israel — which is a Jewish state — complete sovereignty of Jerusalem”.
Chief Rabbi-elect Ephraim Mirvis also spoke at the event, which was jointly organised by Springboard and the Zionist Federation. Rabbi Mirvis described Jerusalem as “the beating heart of the Jewish nation”.
Clearly Shankar Nath Baba, despite his obvious hatred for Islam and Muslims, has not abandoned his former identity. Always a Zionist, he may be a Muslim today and a Muslim-hating Hindu tomorrow. He seems to lead a double life, where who he appears to be depends on the agenda du jour.