Turkey, Middle East

International Union of Muslim Scholars convene for extraordinary meeting on Jerusalem

Turkey’s religious affairs head calls on Muslims to gather, unite and urges Muslim scholars to lead the way

Merve Gül Aydoğan Ağlarcı   | 12.05.2021
International Union of Muslim Scholars convene for extraordinary meeting on Jerusalem

ANKARA 

Turkey's religious official head addressed the International Union of Muslim Scholars at a virtually organized extraordinary meeting on Al-Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem on Tuesday. 

Speaking at the meeting, Ali Erbas, the directorate head, called on all Muslims to gather up and unite immediately for Jerusalem and urged the Muslim scholars to lead such unity.

Telling "the occupying terror state Israel, is trying to invade the Masjid al-Aqsa [Mosque] with complete barbarism and brutality," Erbas referred to Israeli forces as "monsters" who are attacking Muslims at the mosque.

On Israel's attacks on Al-Aqsa Mosque, Erbas said the legacy of humanity is being destroyed.

"The symbolic city of religions, languages, cultures and civilizations is being plundered. The honor of the [Al-Aqsa] Mosque is violated. The dignity and honor of Muslims are violated. They are waging war against the first qibla[direction] of Islam," he said.

Noting the significance of Jerusalem, he said it is the "information and value memory" of Islamic civilization and that it was a city of peace while ruled by Muslims.

"However, following the occupation of the Islamic region after the First World War, Jerusalem became the city of pain and tears," he said.

Reminding of the frequent raids by Israel leading to forced displacement of Palestinians, Erbas said: "The land invasion, which began in small areas, turned into a planned occupation in which lead to a surge in Jewish population day by day."

"In this process, Muslims were subjected to constant oppression, persecution, torture and even massacres," he added.

Underscoring once again that the Israeli occupation is taking its "courage from the scattered image of the Islamic world," Erbas noted that "As Muslims, we must do a serious and deep-rooted internal feud altogether. We have to think of the factors that weaken the Ummah and scatter it."

"Today, we can no longer be content with shouting slogans and lamenting. We have to take concrete, permanent and realistic steps for a solution," he stressed.

He said: "The way to prevent occupation and oppression in Jerusalem is for Muslims to act in unity and solidarity."

Erbas further urged Muslim scholars to lead the way for this unity and solidarity.

Saying that Jerusalem may be a reason for resurrection, unity of the Muslim world, Erbas said: "As a matter of fact, the hearts of all Muslims on earth are with Masjid al-Aqsa. When we turn this into complete unity, Jerusalem will be free."

A joint action plan must be prepared to unite all humanity for Jerusalem, he added while calling on all Muslims to protect Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque.

"Once again, I strongly condemn the occupying terror state," he said.
According to the Palestinian Red Crescent, at least 305 people were injured when Israeli police stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Monday and attacked Palestinians who were on guard to prevent possible raids by extremist Jews.

At least 24 Palestinians, including nine children, were also killed in the Gaza Strip in Israeli airstrikes conducted on Monday, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

Tensions have been running high in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem since last week when Israeli settlers swarmed in after an Israeli court ordered the eviction of Palestinian families.

Palestinians protesting in solidarity with the residents of Sheikh Jarrah have been targeted by Israeli forces.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war and annexed the entire city in 1980 - a move that has never been recognized by the international community.

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