Shura Council Statement on Recent Developments at the Al-Aqsa Mosque
Garden Grove, CA: The Islamic Shura Council of Southern California expresses its deep concern at the dangerous situation at the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, says a press release. It adds:
The Islamic Shura Council of Southern California joins national and international Islamic organizations and communities in expressing great concern over the recent developments at the Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.
The Al Aqsa Mosque is considered one of the three most holy places in Islam. It represents a place of great religious significance and is sacred to Muslims around the world.
The recent closure of the mosque to worshipers, as well as placing metal detectors and checkpoints at the holy site, violates international law, restricts freedom of religion, and contravenes the internationally agreed upon status of the holy compound. In 1967, after Israel's occupation of Jerusalem, the entire compound was agreed to be maintained in accordance with Islamic tradition. It also was agreed upon that the mosque and compound would remain open to Muslim worshipers at all times.
The recent measures to restrict access, and make daily movement more difficult, will only inflame tensions in Palestine and the Middle East and could lead to further unrest in several parts of the Muslim world.
The Israeli government is justifying the new measures by pointing to the shooting of two policemen near the mosque compound. While nothing justifies actions of that kind, it must be kept in mind that the assault on the Palestinian people has recently increased. Movement within the area has become severely restricted, homes have increasingly been destroyed, the passing of a bill in Israel in February of this year to seize private Palestinian land for Jewish settlements, access to water and electricity have been severely restricted, and imprisonment without due process continues. All of these actions have heightened tensions to a dangerous level.
We ask the Muslim community and all people of conscience in Southern California to keep their brothers and sisters in Jerusalem in their prayers, to pray for peace and stability in the holy land for all residents, and to respectfully reach out to their Senators and Congressmen to express their concern.
We call on the media to report on the recent developments and to do so fairly and without prejudice about the increasingly worrisome situation. For years, reporting has consistently taken one side and has made negative assumptions about the other. It is time for the free and independent press to investigate and report fairly and justly about the situation at the holy sites and beyond.
We also extend our request to President Trump and his administration to use their political and diplomatic relationships with the Israeli government to reestablish the free and continued access to the Holy site, and to cease all harassment to the Muslim worshippers by the police, army and extremists, among the Israeli civilians.
The Islamic Shura Council of Southern California is an umbrella organization of more than 60 Muslim organizations and mosques in Southern California.