A senior Palestinian Muslim cleric has said, while on a visit to President Yasser Arafat, that it would be against the teachings of the Koran to disconnect his life-support machine. Asked by reporters outside the hospital if Yasser Arafat was dead, Sheikh Tayseer al-Tamimi said: “He is still alive. What is being reported otherwise is not true”.
Tamimi also described Arafat as a personal friend and said that it was important for him to be by his side to pray for him. “I hope he will recover from this despite what everyone is saying.” The Sheikh was asked whether there were any plans to disconnect the machine keeping Arafat alive. “As long as there is life in his body, we cannot disconnect it,” he said. “This is forbidden under Sharia law”. Tamimi was visiting the Percy military hospital in Clamart outside Paris where Arafat has been undergoing treatment for the last thirteen days.