Al Azhar calls on Muslims to fund Palestinian uprising

Al Tayeb calls on mosques and schools to spread greater awareness of the critical issue of Palestine

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CAPTION:Grand Shaikh of Al Azhar Ahmad Al Tayyib (centre) chairs an emergency meeting on Jerusalem in Cairo late Tuesday. Photo: Courtesy of Al Azhar

Cairo: Egypt’s top Muslim clerics have called on wealthy Arabs and Muslims to offer financial support to a new Palestinian uprising triggered by US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Occupied Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

The Council of Senior Scholars, an affiliate of Al Azhar, which is Sunni Islam’s influential centre of learning, late Tuesday condemned Trump’s move on Jerusalem, calling it “arrogant and historically false”.

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

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

The prestigious institution also plans to teach a syllabus on the decades-old Palestinian problem in different schools under its supervision.

It urged educational and religious institutions in the Arab and Muslim countries to pay “due attention” to the causes of Palestine and Occupied Jerusalem.

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

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

Pence is expected to visit Egypt on December 20 as part of a Middle East trip aimed at mollifying anger over Trump’s decision to relocate the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

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

Palestinians want the eastern part of Jerusalem to be the capital of their future state.


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