By Rafiu Ajakaye
No fewer than three thousand Nigerian Muslims on Sunday staged a rally in the commercial capital city of Lagos to reject U.S. Donald Trump's decision to recognize of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
The protest, called by three major Muslim organizations, also urged world leaders to form a united front to confront the “unilateral and counterproductive” declaration as well as hold the US leader responsible for the violence that has broken out in the region.
On Wednesday, U.S. President Donald Trump announced the U.S.’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s “undivided” capital and said the U.S. Embassy would relocate from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The dramatic shift in Washington’s Jerusalem policy triggered demonstrations in the occupied Palestinian territories, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Algeria, Iraq and other Muslim countries.
Jerusalem remains at the heart of the Israel-Palestine conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem -- now occupied by Israel -- might eventually serve as the capital of a future Palestinian state.
“The unilateral declaration is a threat to world peace and we urge a united global action to stop it,” Lukman AbdurRaheem, president of the influential Muslim Congress (TMC), said at the rally.
Displaying placards condemning the development, the protesters also called on the Nigerian leader Muhammadu Buhari to break his silence over the 'glaring injustice' done to the Palestinians and the Muslim world.
They also urged local Christian leaders to get off the "erroneous belief" that Trump's action served any Christian agenda.
Abdul Waheed Adetoyebi, head of Muslim Awareness International, called on world leaders to boycott the U.S. and Israel in a bid to force them to reverse the policy.
“We welcome Turkey and Lebanon’s suggestion of a diplomatic boycott of Israel over this unfortunate course of action, and we strongly encourage other Arab and Muslim nations to follow suit,” Adetoyebi added.
Saheed Ashafa, president of Muslim Students Society of Nigeria in Lagos, said Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israeli capital was a slap on the Muslim world and lovers of justice.
“The issue is not about religion only, but also about humanity and peaceful coexistence,” Ashafa added.