Al-Azhar stresses position that Jerusalem is Arab, assures commitment to supporting Palestinians

Ahram Online , Thursday 22 Aug 2019


Al-Azhar reemphasised its "firm position" regarding the Arab identity of Jerusalem, the capital of the Palestinian state, and its rejection of any attempts to change the identity of the Holy City with its Islamic and Christian heritage.

These comments were made in a statement issued on Thursday by Al-Azhar, the highest institution of Sunni Islamic learning, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the burning of Al-Aqsa Mosque.

"We commemorate the painful anniversary of the arson attack on Al-Aqsa Mosque by Zionist extremists in one of the most heinous incidents of terrorism that have spread racism and hatred in the modern era," the statement said.

"This heinous crime will remain as an example of the deviation of Zionist behaviour and the criminality of Zionism from the moment it was planted as a dagger in the heart of the Arab region," the statement said.

"This anniversary comes as the usurper entity continues its attempts to violate the sanctity of the third holiest religious site for Muslims, and to Judaise Jerusalem," Al-Azhar said.

"It also comes amid Israeli attacks on Islamic and Christian sanctities, the continuation of settlement expansion, the confiscation of land and violation of rights, and the violations of UN resolutions. And it is painful and shameful that all this happens amid complete silence from the international community, which amounts to collusion by some of its members."

Al-Azhar also renewed its "historic, literary and humanitarian commitment" to supporting the Palestinian people in their struggle against the occupation until they achieve a just solution, which is the establishing of an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.

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