An Appeal for Jerusalem
To the adherents of religions everywhere and to the believers in the revealed religions;
To the believers in liberty and the advocates of human rights throughout the world,
In light of the actions of the Israeli authorities of closing the Aqsa Mosque (Noble Sanctuary) and preventing Muslims from performing their daily prayers, and detaining Islamic religious personalities and some officials of the Islamic Waqf, in the wake of the killing of two Israeli policemen, the Arab Thought Forum which includes an intellectual and cultural elite that believes in diversity and pluralism and the right to difference, while respecting religious holy sites and religious symbols, considers the mentioned actions as a flagrant infringement of the feelings of believers and their right to practice their religious duties.
The Forum appeals to the adherents of all the religions and humanitarian community to raise their voices against these measures. Measures which will fuel the eruption of a new wave of violence and terrorism of potentially grave consequences, which is something rejected by believers and international legitimacy given that it constitutes a manifest violation of places and principles of sanctity. There are repercussions which entail an intensification of extremism in a city whose religious space should accommodate all
the believers, rather than becoming a flammable field of strife and combat which militates against rationality and deepens the tragic aspects of the region. Actions such as this in the City of Peace foments hatred between all the conflicting parties, and places a peaceable solution to the ongoing crisis further out of our reach. Religious scholars often speak of the rights of the Creator, what then concerning the rights of His creation, His servants?
We must remind ourselves that the city of Jerusalem and its holy places is unique. Unique as the heart of three of the major Abrahamic Religions of the world, but also in terms of availing of international protection and guarantees which were infringed upon through the repeated aggressions and arbitrary measures of the Israeli occupation authorities. These actions have taken place in a protracted sequence of violence since the year 1967, and culminated with the closure of this holiest of sites to Muslims at prayer. In fact the international community considers East Jerusalem, in its adopted positions and myriad resolutions, an integral part of Palestinian territories occupied in 1967, which signifies the necessity of providing protection for the holy places, respecting freedom of worship and the right of the faithful to have access to those places of worship.
Moreover, the Forum reminds itself and others of the resolution issued by the Fifth Islamic Summit held in the Indonesian capital Jakarta (March 2016), which emphasized the pivotal role of the
member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in taking all necessary measures to guarantee protection for the Jerusalemites and the adherents of religions in their performance of prayer, and to safeguard the sanctity and standing of Al-Aqsa Mosque /Noble Sanctuary, while emphasizing the necessity for the member states to stand firmly and steadfastly in defense of Al-Aqsa Mosque, while also warning against any measures which may impinge on its sanctity.
In particular, the Forum appeals to the member states of the Islamic Cooperation Organization, and also international and regional organisations to do what their legal, human and moral responsibility dictates, and to intervene immediately to end the continual aggressions and violations targeting the Aqsa Mosque and the Holy Places, and to also endeavour to ensure that Muslim worshippers are again able to perform their prayers in Al-Aqsa Mosque.
The Forum, which sponsors the program “Jerusalem is in Our Conscience” under the patronage of its Chairman His Royal Highness Prince El Hassan Bin Talal, perpetually calls for concretizing the noble principles serving the cause of Jerusalem and keeping it alive in the conscience of the old and new generations, and the human community at large; departing from the premise which His Highness repeatedly emphasizes, namely
that religion transcends politics, and that it is incumbent on all of us to bolster a mutual respect for human rights.
#Amman – 15 July 2017