The International Union of Muslims Scholars (UIMS) has called on Muslims to observe a national day of action for Masjid al-Aqsa on Friday 17 October, in response to a brutal crackdown on Palestinian protesters outside the vicinity of the holy mosque. Locally, the call is being supported by the Al-Quds Foundation of SA, Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) and the United Ulema Coucil of SA (UUCSA).
It comes after a week of intense protests in the city of Jerusalem, following an incident last Wednesday when a group of right-wing Jews were escorted into the masjid, in order to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. Muslims were denied access to the mosque during this period; a move that has resulted in clashes between protesters and Israeli security forces. Israel has since imposed further restrictions on Palestinians seeking to enter al-Aqsa.
In a joint statement released by the three organisations, they strongly condemned “the continued desecration of, and attack on Masjid al-Aqsa”. The ulema said they were appalled by the disregard shown by Israeli forces towards the sanctity of the iconic mosque.
In the statement, the organisations highlighted some of the actions taken by Israeli forces over the past week.
“They entered the mosque by force and fired rubber bullets and teargas inside the mosque, causing injuries to approximately 38 Muslims praying inside the mosque. The recent attacks also caused extensive damage to the prayer carpet of the al-Qibly mosque.”
As a result, the UIMS, led by renowned scholar Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, has called on the global Ulema fraternity to dedicate this Friday’s Jumuah lecture for those affected by the attacks, and for the sanctity of al-Aqsa itself.
“Sheikh al-Qaradawi also calls on all faith based communities globally to stand up in defence of Masjid al-Aqsa, and to speak out against the atrocities perpetrated against the Muslim’s third holiest mosque,” read the statement.
The statement further highlighted the importance of upholding the sanctity of all religious buildings, regardless of faith. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)