KUALA LUMPUR – Israel’s intention to divide the Al Aqsa Mosque temporally and spatially between Muslims and Jews may cause a new conflict in Palestine and uproar in the Muslim world, Malaysia’s non-governmental associations (NGOs) warned.
Al-Quds Foundation Malaysia Managing Director, Dr Mohammad Makram said Israel’s Parliament (Knesset) is currently in the midst of introducing a new bill that if approved, would allow Jews to pray inside the Muslims’ third holiest mosque, and set specific places and dates for their prayers.
“For the last 1,300 years Al Aqsa has been a Muslim place of worship and it will stay as such, not because we want to monopolise it. It is open to all cultures and religions, but we do not allow anybody to take over our holy place (Al Aqsa Mosque),” he told a press conference to brief the media on the latest situation regarding the Al Aqsa Mosque at Wisma Bernama here yesterday.
“For the last three months, there are continuous clashes with the Israeli authorities and almost everyday Palestinians are killed,” he said.
Mohammad claimed 400 Jewish settlers stormed into Al Aqsa Mosque recently and performed Jewish dancing and Talmudic prayers while guarded by Israeli soldiers.
According to him, Israel’s Deputy Speaker of Parliament Moshe Feiglin and others among the ruling elites of Israel also had previously called for the demolition of the Al Aqsa Mosque in order to build a Jewish temple in its place.
Dr Mohammad warned that tensions in the area might escalate into a third Intifada (uprising) if Israel continued to invade the Al Aqsa Mosque and its compound.
The second Intifada occurred in September 2000 after the then Israel Prime Minister Ariel Sharon visited the site.
“People need to understand that when we talk about the holiness of the Al Aqsa Mosque, we are talking about the whole area, not just the mosque itself. Just like when we talk about Ka’aba, the area surrounding the Grand Mosque (in Makkah) is sacred to us,” he said.
Also present at the press conference were representatives from 16 other NGOs including Humanitarian Care Malaysia Berhad (MyCARE), Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia (ABIM), Majlis Perundingan Pertubuhan Islam Malaysia (MAPIM) and Palestinian Cultural Organisation Malaysia(PCOM).
MyCARE (previously Aqsa Syarif) chairman Dr Hafidzi Mohd Noor said Muslims’ exclusive rights to the mosque was recognised by the League of Nations, the first international organisation to maintain world peace before the existence of the United Nations (UN), and this should be respected by all.
Dr Hafidzi explained that before the interference of the Zionists; Muslims, Christians and Jews were living in peace in Jerusalem as all three religions regarded it as a shared holy city.
However, this situation changed after Jerusalem was occupied by Israel in 1967, whereby it continuously tried to monopolise the city, affecting not only Muslims but Christians living in the city as well.
This he pointed out was a gross violations of human rights and not just on Muslims.
Dr Hafidzi also noted that in 1980, Israel declared Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, despite a United Nations (UN) resolution that it was illegal to do so.
“But yet, this has been endorsed by the United States (Jerusalem as the Israeli capital), he said.
Meanwhile, PCOM Director of Political Relations, Abdullah Aqrabawi said as a Palestinian, he hoped Malaysia would continue to voice its support on the issue during Malaysia’s term in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) from 2015-2016 to defend the Al-Aqsa mosque. – BERNAMA