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‘Why Al-Aqsa mosque should be accessible to Muslims’


Palestinian paramedics carry an injured woman on a stretcher past the Dome of the Rock, after clashes broke out inside Al-Aqsa mosque’s compound in Jerusalem’s Old City on July 27, 2017. Clashes erupted between Israeli police and Palestinians at the sensitive Jerusalem holy site on July 27, 2017 as thousands of Muslim worshippers entered to end a boycott of the compound over new Israeli security measures. AHMAD GHARABLI / AFP

Muslim Awareness International (MAI), a prominent civic group in Nigeria, has called on the United Nations (UN) to investigate the alleged use of force to dominate the Al-Aqsa Mosque (the third Islam holiest site) and ensure that appropriate sanctions are meted out to the culprits.

The group, during a briefing in Lagos also demanded a return to the pre-July 14 status quo adding that gadgets such as cameras to the mosque be removed without trace. Besides, Israel is warned to shelve the idea of appropriating East Jerusalem under any guise even as the mosque compound is reopened.

It further noted: “The use of brutal force where over 13,000 people sustained injuries of varying degree, over 300 arrested and some reported cases of death, including a raid on a Palestine hospital to capture injured persons will not deter the Palestinians’ protest against illegal occupation by Israel. The restriction is a satanic plot to deflect attention from the issues of occupation and apartheid that Israel continues to perpetrate on the lands of Palestine, and historical facts about the ownership of the land by Palestinians to be blurred in uproars and confusions.”

The Executive Director of MAI, Engr. Abdul Waheed Atoyebi said, having studied the ongoing eruption of violence at the Haram Al Sharif- the Noble Sanctuary, otherwise called the Old City of Jerusalem which houses the Al Aqsa Mosque and the golden dome of the rock and the third Islam’s holiest site, the Muslim Awareness international conveys in clear terms the real issues beneath the fracas that continued to jeopardize efforts at peace.

Atoyebi said that the latest round of crisis was started by Israeli’s restriction of Muslim worshipers from entering the mosque compound for their prayers, while allowing Jewish extremists like the Temple Mount Faithful that declared its mission to destroy Al Aqsa mosque and building of a Jewish temple in the place. Even a protest over this was met with a ban for people below the age of 50 from accessing the mosque alongside the installation of metal detractors and cameras, Thus, leading to further protests which were met with brutal force with the use of sun grenades, rubber bullets and other weapons. This led to the death of some Palestinians, hundred injured and the detention of about 300.

Atoyebi said that since the partitioning of Palestine in 1948 by the conspiracy of the big powers -Britain, France and the United States, East Jerusalem which contained the Old City and all its holy sites was awarded as the future capital of the state of Palestine and an eternal land of the Muslims, even though the holy sites of others are preserved and recognized under the arrangement.

The Director of MAI reiterated the need to voice against the continued occupation of east Jerusalem and the exclusion of any other body including the UNESCO while continue to undermine the foundations of Al Aqsa Mosque under the pretext of search for archaeological findings. “The world body, UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee has promptly retained the status of the entire compound of Al Aqsa as ‘ENDANGERED WORD HERITAGE” owing to Israelis design to destroy it and build in its place a Jewish temple”.

Coordinator, Al-Muminat Social Advocacy Project (SAP), Mrs. Sherifah Yusuf –Ajibade urged the United Nation to ensure justice for the Palestinians by making the Israelis leave the Palestinian land because that is the only way peace can be restore in Palestine.

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