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Egypt's Grand Mufti, Ali Juma'a, Jordanian Prince Visit Al-Aqsa Mosque in Occupied Jerusalem, Amidst Displeasure and Disagreement



Egypt's Grand Mufti, Jordanian Prince Visit Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque

Al-Arabiya, Wednesday, 18 April 2012


Egypt’s grand mufti visited Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque on Wednesday, a senior Muslim official said, despite claims by an internationally prominent cleric that such visits are a sop to Israel.

Azzam Al-Khatib said that Shaikh Ali Juma'a, Egypt’s Mufti and highest religious authority, “came for a religious visit to Al-Aqsa mosque” along with Jordan’s Prince Ghazi Bin Muhammed, cousin and advisor on religious issues to King Abdullah II.

The two men also visited the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Greek Orthodox patriarchate, said Khatib.

All three sites are located in Jerusalem’s Old City, which has been under the Israel military occupation since 1967.

In Amman, Jordan’s ministry of awqaf and Islamic affairs said in a statement that the visit was in accordance with a command from the Prophet Mohammed to visit only three mosques on pilgrimage: Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, the Haram Mosque in Makkah, and the Prophet's Mosque in Medina, in Saudi Arabia.

The statement added that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had “called on Muslims everywhere to visit Al-Aqsa Mosque and revitalize it by filling it with worshippers and pilgrims.”

“This trip ... is seen as an effort to encourage Muslims who are able to visit Al-Aqsa Mosque, one of Islam’s three holiest sites, and Islam’s first Qiblah (direction of prayer),” it said.

It comes after Qatar-based Shaikh Yousuf Al-Qaradawi, an Egyptian, said in a religious edict (fatwa) last month that Muslims should not visit Jerusalem while it is still under the Israeli occupation “because it requires dealing with Zionist embassies to obtain visas.”

“Such visits might also give legitimacy to the (Israeli) occupation (government) and could be seen as normalization,” Qaradawi said in March.

Earlier this month, the King Abdullah’s half-brother, Prince Hashim, paid a similar visit to Jerusalem. Also, Jordan’s Interior Minister, Muhammed Raud, visited the Holy City this week.

The kingdom’s Islamist opposition has denounced such visits.

“In line with Islamic edicts issued by respected clerics and consultations with Christian religious leaders, we consider these trips as acts of normalization that serves the schemes of the (Israeli)  enemy,” said Hamzah Mansour, chief of the Islamic Action Front, the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan, on the party’s website.

“Mosque preachers, thinkers, intellectuals and journalists should intensify their efforts to warn the public against the dangerous risks behind such visits, which must not continue,” added Mansur, who also heads an anti-normalization committee.

Jordan, which has a 1994 peace treaty with Israel, is the custodian of Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem.

One of the most sensitive places in the Middle East, Al-Aqsa Mosque is also described by Muslims as Al-Haram Al-Sharif, the Nobel Sanctuary, and is the third most sacred site in Islam.


Salute to Shaikh Yousuf Al-Qaradawi:

Non-Palestinian Muslims Should Not Visit Occupied Jerusalem

By Khalid Amayreh

PIC, Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, April 9, 2012


We Salute Shaikh Yousuf Al-Qaradawi

 Shaikh Yousuf al-Qaradawi is undoubtedly one of the most knowledgeable living Muslim religious scholars in the world today. He is the author of dozens of books on all aspects of Shari'a, Islamic thinking, and philosophy. At 85, he continues to enrich the world with his brilliance, sagacity, and thoughtfulness. His televised weekly show "Al-Shari'a wal-'Hayah" is a real gem and food for thought for both the educated and commoners, for Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

Dr. Qaradawi, who has long been imprisoned, persecuted and harassed by tyrannical Arab regimes, including the regimes of Gamal Abdul Nasser, Anwar al-Sadat and especially Husni Mubarak, played a vital and pivotal role in inspiring the Arab Spring. He continues to issue inspiring calls to Muslim people struggling for freedom, dignity and democracy in various parts of the world.

In recent weeks, the Shaikh has been under fire from several quarters, including, the French government, some Shiite and pro-Iranian circles, a United Arab Emirates security chief and the Wakf minister of the Palestinian autonomous authority.

The Shaikh, like all of us mortals, is not infallible. He doesn't claim to be infallible or perfect.

However, there is no iota of doubt that he stands on a higher moral ground, especially when compared to his critics, whose main credentials range from ignorance to mendacity.

Let us begin with the recent tirade launched against the Sheikh by the Palestinian Authority's minister of Wakf and Islamic affairs who called the Shaikh during a Friday sermon "divisive and sowing discord."

The verbal abuse against al-Qaradawi came after the eminent scholar issued a fatwa or edict ruling that it is not permissible for non-Palestinian Muslims to visit occupied Jerusalem lest such visits contribute to normalizing relations between Israel and the Muslim world.

Qaradawi argued that "why should we have Muslims from all over the world visit Jerusalem when Palestinian Muslims living in the vicinity of al-Aqsa mosque in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip are barred from accessing the holy city by the Israeli occupation authorities.

The Sheikh argued that "we should not break the psychological barriers between Muslims and the Zionist entity. They are our enemies and we shouldn't normalize relations with them."

The Sheikh's words are axiomatically veracious because, in the final analysis, recurrent visits by Muslims to a Jerusalem that is thoroughly fettered by the Israeli occupation and raped by it would have a definitive normalizing effect.

The visit might, at least subconsciously, convince some visiting Muslims, especially from faraway Muslim countries, that the situation is not that intolerable and that a certain modus vivendi with Israel could be preferable to an all-out Muslim effort to liberate the city from the Zionist-Jewish stranglehold.

Jerusalem and Palestine will not be helped, let alone liberated, by a few thousand disoriented Muslim tourists who would spend a few hours in the holy city watching the first Qibla of Islam being raped, molested and moaning of pain.

Besides, these so-called tourists would soon return to Tel Aviv to slowly experience life in the only true democracy in the Middle East, not knowing that every town, village or Kibbutz they encounter while traveling through "Israel" was established on the ruins of an Arab town, village or hamlet.

I am not opposed to communication between individuals and nations. But Israel is not a normal nation. It has never been a normal nation.

The truth of the matter is that Israel is a crime against humanity. It was founded on the basis of ethnic cleansing, mass murder and lies. It massacred our people, destroyed our homes and villages, and then expelled millions to the four winds.

Muslims must never ever normalize relations with an entity as such. We must not commit fornication with our Muslim honor and dignity by kissing the hands of our tormentors and grave-diggers.

Yes, Palestine is occupied by Zionist Jews who have amassed an overwhelming power and have at their beck and call power nations, such as the United States.

But so what? Where is the Roman Empire, where is the British Empire? Where is Napoleon Bonaparte? Where is the Soviet Union? Where is Adolph Hitler?

I have no doubt that Israel is an artificial entity that won't be able to withstand the test of history. It is an entity that is bereft of justice, morality and humanity. It is a brat, as ugly as the objective historical circumstances that gave birth to it. It will have to go; it will go.

As to the unrelenting campaign of vilification, insinuation and smear by some pro-Iranian circles against Sheikh Qaradawi for siding with the victims of oppression, tyranny and sectarianism in countries such as Syria, there is no doubt that the Iranian attitude is indefensible, morally scandalous and decidedly un-Islamic to say the least.

What is Qaradawi, who consistently supported a constructive Sunni-Shiite dialogue based on mutual respect and Islamic authenticity, supposed to do when he, like hundreds of millions of Muslims and non-Muslims around the world, watch thousands of children and civilians being mercilessly killed by a Nazi-like regime in order to keep his sect in power?

Is he supposed to pretend that the massacres are happening on a different planet? Is he supposed to consign his honesty and rectitude to indefinite dormancy or hibernation?

Qaradawi, like many Sunni Muslims, supported Iran during confrontations with the West. He is not making a favor to Iran for doing so; he is only doing his religious Muslim duty.

But Iran and her mainly sectarian allies and supporters are going too far. Because a Yazid who is nominally Shiite is no lesser evil than a Sunni Yazid. A genocide doesn't become benign when it is perpetrated by Shiites.

More to the point, some Shiite circles are effectively justifying the abominable sectarian genocide in Syria by invoking the Palestinian struggle. Well, since when the just Palestinian cause justified murderous repression of Arab people by their regimes?

We Palestinians refuse to see our cause being manipulated this way. We reject repression and mass murder in Palestine's name.


Yemeni Preacher Habib Al-Jafri Condemned for Visiting Jerusalem While Still Under Israeli Occupation

Yemeni Muslim preacher, Habib Al-Jafri, visiting occupied Jerusalem, escorted by Israeli occupation security forces. He was condemned by Palestinian and Egyptian Muslim scholars for visiting the Holy City while it is still under Israeli occupation.

Grand Mufti 'Akramah Sabri Blasts Yemeni Preacher's Al Qods visit

Echorouk,  2012/04/12 à 12:05

The head of the Palestinian Higher Islamic Council in occupied Al-Quds (Jerusalem) and Grand Mufti, Shaikh Akramah Sa'id Sabri, has strongly hit out against the recent visit paid by a Yemeni Muslim Preacher, Habib Al-Jafri, to the holy city after securing a visa granted by the Israeli occupation government.

Shaikh Akramah Sabri condemned such an untoward move by the Yemeni preacher stressing a visit to occupied Al-Quds with the Israeli government's prior blessing was tantamount to an endorsement and recognition by Al-Jafri of the Zionist occupation of the Holy City.

Shaikh Akramah also underlined that Al-Jafri was seen during his blameworthy visit to occupied Al- Quds being escorted by Israeli security agents.

He finally said that Al Djafri should have endeavored, like all people of conscience all over the world, to press relentlessly for the liberation of Al-Quds, instead of visiting the Holy City while still under Israeli occupation.

Egyptian Muslim and Christian Religious Leaders and Scholars Refuse to Visit Jerusalem While Under Occupation

[ 13/04/2012 - 11:36 AM ]


Egyptian religious scholars are unanimous in their rejection of the idea of visiting Jerusalem while it is still under occupation, because such a visit requires and Israeli visa, which means an implicit recognition of the occupation state and a step in the direction of normalization with the usurpers.

Those scholars are headed by the Grand Shaikh of Al-Azhar, Dr. Ahmad Al-Tayyeb who had stressed his rejection of the idea of visiting the holy city while it is under occupation and called on Muslims not to visit it before its liberation.

“I will not visit Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque before its complete liberation from occupation. I refuse to visit it now, because such a visit would give legitimacy to occupation,” Tayyeb said in a press statement.

 Al-Azhar sources confirmed that the Grand Shaikh received a number of invitations to visit Jerusalem through the PA President Mahmoud Abbas and other Palestinian personalities, but the Shaikh rejected those invitations and confirmed to Abbas that he would not be part of any normalization efforts with the occupiers.

For his part, Dr. Nasser Wassel, the former Grand Mufti of Egypt, rejected similar invitations to visit the holy city saying that such a visit would give the impression that the Jerusalem issue was solved and everyone was free to visit it and thus there was no need for us to call for an end to its occupation.

The PA is making this invitations on the pretext that such visits aim to break the Israeli hegemony over the holy city.

Wassel told PIC that to support Jerusalem in a practical way the Muslims need to support the indigenous population of Jerusalem, economically and politically to foil the occupation process of Judaizing the holy city. He called for moves on the international level against the occupation's practices in the holy city.

Dr. Safwat Hijazi, head of the Ahl Al-Sunnah Scholars Association, criticized the visit made by a Muslim preacher to Jerusalem under the pretext of wanting to pray at Al-Aqsa Mosque and said that money spent on such visits which only serve normalization efforts is better spent on supporting the resistance to occupation to liberate Jerusalem, then Muslims can visit it and pray at Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Dr. Amena Nasir, lecturer at the Azhar University, said that all Azhar scholars are in agreement for many years that it was wrong to visit Jerusalem while it is still under occupation, adding that this view is shared with the Egyptian Church which is against visiting Jerusalem before its liberation.

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