Al-Azhar Urges Muslims to Support Palestinian Uprising

CAIRO – Egypt’s top Muslim scholars have urged wealthy Arabs and Muslims to offer support to the Palestinian uprising triggered by the US President’s decision to declare Al-Quds (Occupied Jerusalem) the capital of Israel.

“Such decisions will change nothing on the real ground. Jerusalem is Palestinian, Arab and Islamic,” the Council of Senior Scholars said in a statement following an emergency meeting that Grand Shaikh of Al Azhar Ahmad Al Tayyib chaired, Gulf News reported Wednesday.

Affiliated to Al Azhar, which is Sunni Islam’s most influential center of learning, condemned Trump’s move on Al-Quds, calling it “arrogant and historically false.”

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Al Azhar has said it will hold a major conference on Jerusalem on January 17-18 in Cairo with the participation of Christian clergy.

The council also asked educational and religious institutions in the Arab and Muslim countries to pay “due attention” to the causes of occupied Palestine and Al-Quds.

“This should be pursued through educational curricula, Friday sermons, and media programs in order to revive awareness of this crucial and fateful issue,” the council added.

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The statement came as members of the Organization of Islamic Conference meet Wednesday in Istanbul to discuss a unified Muslim stance on the repercussions of Trump’s decision.

The steps come days after Al Tayyib announced he had canceled a meeting with US Vice President Mike Pence in protest against Trump’s move on Jerusalem.

Trump’s controversial move has reversed a decades-old US policy on the status of Al-Quds, Islam’s third holiest site, unleashing street protests in Arab and Muslim countries.

Israel occupied the holy city and the West Bank in the 1967 war and later annexed it in a move not recognized by the international community or UN resolutions.

Since then, Israel has adopted a series of oppressive measures to force the Palestinians out of the city, including systematic demolition of their homes and the building of illegal Israeli settlements.