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Zionist threats to al-Masjid al-Aqsa

Zafar Bangash

Zionists encroachments and attacks on Masjid al-Aqsa and indeed the entire Haram al-Sharif in Jerusalem have become more frequent. Muslims cannot remain indifferent to this threat to the Muslims’ first qibla and third holiest site.

With Muslim attention focused on problems elsewhere in the world — Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Nigeria, etc. — the serious threat posed by Zionists to al-Masjid al-Aqsa, Islam’s first qiblah and third holiest site, has gone largely un-noticed. This would be a serious dereliction of responsibility if the Zionists succeed in their nefarious agenda to undermine, occupy or Allah (swt) forbid, destroy al-Aqsa.

Heavily armed Zionist squatters aided and abetted by equally heavily armed Israeli soldiers, most of them also Zionist squatters, frequently invade the Haram al-Sharif polluting the sacred sanctuary with their filthy boots. If Palestinians resist such encroachments, they are attacked, beaten up and arrested. Such Zionist incursions and attacks have become more frequent. The Zionist plan is clear: creeping annexation of al-Haram al-Sharif with a view to taking it over completely. Spokespersons for the Zionists have demanded the “right” to worship there. This takes real gall or chutzpah, to put it in their own language.

As part of the annexation plan, two synagogues were built in Jerusalem recently; another is planned right next to al-Haram al-Sharif together with furious and forced Judaization of the rest of the city. Additionally, the Zionist regime has announced the construction of two new squatter camps euphemistically called “Jewish settlements” under the direct supervision of a rightwing group led by extremist Zionist squatters.

While Palestinians from the rest of Palestine are forbidden to enter Jerusalem, Zionist squatters are provided armed protection. Even those Palestinians that live in the city are often barred from praying in al-Masjid al-Aqsa or in the masjid referred to as Dome of the Rock. It is not uncommon for the Zionists to bar Palestinians between the ages of 15 and 50 to enter al-Haram al-Sharif to pray. The Palestinians face numerous other challenges coming into Jerusalem: the ubiquitous checkpoints, the apartheid wall (Separation Wall) and of course the gauntlet of gun-toting Zionist soldiers that are present everywhere.

Even Christians are not spared such humiliation. For instance, when Palestinian Christians installed a banner welcoming the Pope to the Holy City, the Zionists objected saying the Christians were violating Jewish religious traditions. Other Christians that come from all over the world to celebrate Easter Mass are similarly targeted and humiliated. The Zionists act as if they own Jerusalem!

So what should be done? Ideally Muslim governments, especially those that surround Palestine, must take up this challenge but given the pathetic nature of Arabian regimes, which depend on imperialist/Zionist support for survival, they cannot be expected to address the issue. Nor should Muslims repose much faith in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) that is not even a talking shop. This issue must be addressed by committed Muslims in conjunction with their friends and allies all over the world who believe in fairness, justice and peace. Toward this end, Palestinian and international activists have appealed to people of conscience around the world to mobilise and rally on June 6 and 7 to demand freedom for Jerusalem and its people.

Together with boycotting Israeli goods and keeping in mind that the last Friday of Ramadan is observed as International Day of Quds, pressure needs to be increased on the Zionist regime to desist from its illegal activities. These will bear fruit when the world conscience is aroused against these on-going injustices in Occupied Palestine, including Jerusalem where al-Masjid al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock Masjid are located.

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