Muslim leaders warn Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa ‘is in danger’

Muslim leaders and clerics gather for 2-day meetings in Istanbul to discuss conflicts involving Muslim countries

Muslim leaders warn Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa 'is in danger'

More than 500 Muslim leaders and clerics from 30 countries met in Istanbul on Friday to warn that the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest site that is located in Jerusalem, was in danger.

The religious and political leaders, representing at least 50 civil society organizations and political parties in their countries assembled at the 8th Islamic Countries’ Opinion Leaders Forum, titled “Al-Aqsa is in Danger” in Istanbul, organized by the Arab-Turkish Relations Center.

Yasin Aktay, vice chair of the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party, represented Turkey as he spoke at the opening of the forum, saying: “Al-Aqsa [Mosque] is in danger means humanity is in danger, because Al-Quds [Jerusalem] gave us an example how people [from different sects] coexisted peacefully in an ideal way.”

Abderrazak Makri, president of the Movement of Society for Peace in Algeria, claimed: “There would be no success in any Islamic country without working on Palestine” and blamed foreign powers that “do not want us to become united, be developed. That is why we should be united to work for Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

During last year’s Rosh Hashanah holiday, which marks the Jewish new year, restrictions on men under 50 entering the mosque caused clashes in Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank.

A month-long series of Jewish holidays that start with Rosh Hashanah have in the past also caused heightened tensions as many Palestinians object to the increased numbers of Jewish visitors to the Al-Aqsa compound, which is revered by both Muslims and Jews, who know it as the Temple Mount.

Palestinians have in the past accused Israel of altering the status quo, a balance of prayer and visiting rights that reserves the right to worship at the site for Muslims, through its policing of Al-Aqsa and the surrounding area.

The tension caused by restrictions on entry to Al-Aqsa last year were followed by a period of violence that has seen at least 235 Palestinians killed by Israeli forces, mostly during clashes or alleged attacks.

“You know that the bad coup, the failed coup in Turkey was aiming to weaken Turkey because Turkey is taking a strong role on Palestine; because they wanted to stop Turkey supporting Palestine,” Makri added.

Salah Abdel Maksoud, Egypt’s former information minister in Mohamed Morsi’s government, said Turkish people defeated a military coup that aimed to marginalize the country.

He claimed that the military coup in Egypt in 2013, which ousted Morsi, had been triggered because he “ wanted to break the [Israeli] siege, help Gaza.”

Meanwhile, Mohammed Walid, head of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, spoke at the forum, addressed the crisis in his country.

He said he brought messages from Syrian opposition forces to Russia: “We did not go to the country to kill you, but you came to our country to kill our children, and our women, and to destroy our houses, history. We know that you are aggressor.

“You have intercontinental rockets, and missiles really effective against the bodies of children. […] We know that you are the most coward people in history,” Walid said.

The clerics meet once a year in Turkey to discuss solutions for conflicts that challenge Muslim countries. The two-day forum ends Saturday.

(Source / 08.10.2016)

Tags: #ICC4Israel

Video of the Week New Clashes Erupt Between Israeli Security Forces, Muslim Worshippers

Temple Mount temporarily closed to Jewish visitors after clashes with police




The Temple Mount was temporarily closed to Jewish visitors on Wednesday at the order of Jerusalem District Commander Yoram Halevy after Jews broke visitation rules at the holy site, police said. The Jewish visitors were expelled from the compound for bringing sacred books to the Mount and trying to pray there. After one of the individuals was cautioned, another took out a holy book, and the group was expelled. Meanwhile, renewed clashes erupted between protesters and Israeli security forces near the Lion's Gate in the Old City, where police used stun grenades against the demonstrators. A regular dynamic has developed involving clashes between Palestinians and Israel Police over the past several days near the Lion's Gate. Dozens of Palestinians are present at the site on a regular basis, urging devotion to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and condemning Israel. During Muslim prayer times, particularly the midday and nighttime prayers, hundreds and sometimes even thousands have been gathering there.

There have been outbreaks of violence during these periods, including stone-throwing or physical confrontations with the police. In most of these incidents, the police have been using stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets to disperse the crowds. In a number of cases, journalists in the area have also suffered violence at the hands of the police. On Tuesday, Hassan Shaalan, a reporter for the Ynet news website, was struck by a policeman even after he identified himself as a member of the press. A group of Jerusalem-based journalists released a statement of condemnation over the incident and called on the police to permit reporters to do their jobs. The Jerusalem Police responded: "This involved an incident that took place in the course of violent disturbances of the peace that occurred in Jerusalem while the police were acting to remove the demonstrators from the street after some of them refused to vacate. The forces working on the scene are under constant threat to their lives. http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.802141

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