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Trump’s decision an attack on every Muslim, every Christian — Jerusalem Awqaf

Dec 18,2017 - Last updated at Dec 18,2017

Director General of Jerusalem Awqaf Department Sheikh Azzam Al Khatib (Photo courtesy of Royal Court)

Following is the full text of Director General of Jerusalem Awqaf Department Sheikh Azzam Al Khatib's remarks during His Majesty King Abdullah's meeting with Christian religious leaders and figures from Jordan and Jerusalem on the occasions of Christmas and the New Year at the Baptism Site (Bethany beyond the Jordan) on Sunday: 

Your Majesty King Abdullah II Bin Al Hussein, Custodian of holy sites in Jerusalem,

Peace, God’s mercy and blessings be upon you,

I am honoured to stand here to convey to Your Majesty the greetings and pride of your soldiers: the imams, staff and guards of the holy Al Aqsa Mosque/Al Haram Al Sharif and those who stand strong to protect Al Aqsa Mosque; and to renew the pledge to Your Majesty that we will sacrifice our lives, children and money to defend the First Qibla of Muslims and the stepping stone of the Israa (the nocturnal journey from Mecca to Jerusalem) of your great-grandfather, the Hashemite Arab Prophet Mohammad, peace be upon him.

This is a great responsibility that you, Your Majesty, carry on behalf of the entire Muslim nation, based on religion, prophecy, history and the blood of the martyrs of your Arab Army on the walls of Al Aqsa. You continue to write the pages of history in defending Jerusalem and holy sites. May God grant you victory, support your armies, and reward you on behalf of all Muslims for your good deeds.

Your Majesty,

Jerusalem, now, faces grave dangers, exacerbated recently by US President Donald Trump’s ominous decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Israel, an occupying power, and to move the US embassy to Jerusalem. It is an unjust decision that we have rejected in the strongest terms, as it represents a violation of the divine definition of Al Aqsa Mosque and ignores the presence of churches in Jerusalem. It is an attack on every Muslim and on every Christian; on every Jordanian and every Palestinian, and on all those who stand against colonialism, occupation, and bigotry. 

The most dangerous aspect in Trump’s decision, in our view at the Jerusalem Awqaf Department, is that it legitimises and encourages the Judaisation of the heritage of Jerusalem, changes the status quo, and eliminates its historical and legal character, in a manner that threatens our Islamic and Christian holy sites. There are daily Judaisation violations against the Islamic and Christian holy sites and waqf and Christian property, including the confiscation and tampering with the ownership of property, through dishonest and illegal means, like what happened with some church property. This, under your directives, has called upon the Jerusalem Awqaf Department, in turn, to stand by our Christian brothers and to work with them to uncover illegal attempts targeting this property, and to expose and counter forgery and fraud by utilising the documents preserved by the Awqaf Department, and which confirm the ownership rights of these Christian endowments.

Your Majesty,

The targeting of the Christian holy sites by Jewish extremists, and the arson and vandalism of over 53 churches in Jerusalem and Palestine, in so-called price tag attacks is no different than the dozens of times that the graves of Muslims have been defaced, and thousands of fake Jewish tombs have been planted on Islamic waqf land. These violations are clear evidence that the objective is to remove every holy site and heritage that is not Jewish in the holy city, and Al Aqsa Mosque lies at the heart of danger, in terms of the number and nature of these attacks.

Your Majesty,

We reaffirm our commitment to the Pact of Omar, which stipulates that we must protect our Christian brothers and defend them, their holy sites and property. We consider any attack against Christian endowments to be an attack against Al Aqsa Mosque and the Islamic Awqaf.

Your Majesty,

You have warmed the hearts of all Jerusalemites with your historic statement at the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s Extraordinary Summit in Istanbul, when you said: “The right of Muslims and Christians to Jerusalem is eternal”, because it is a statement that affirms Islamic-Christian unity based on the Pact of Omar and a divine promise that the Al Aqsa Mosque/Al Haram Al Sharif is for Muslims just like the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is for Christians alone, and God’s promise is greater than the promises of Trump and Balfour.

Your Majesty,

Your people in the city of Jerusalem look to your Custodianship of holy sites with great hope, because you are the great supporter after God Almighty, protecting and looking after Islamic and Christian holy sites, and supporting the perseverance of its people. We pledge to Your Majesty that we will remain in Jerusalem, Muslims and Christians, as loyal guards ready to give our lives to defend holy sites and your Custodianship over them.

May God protect you, Your Majesty, and keep you as a defender and protector of holy sites and of the cause of Jerusalem, the capital of the state of Palestine, and the capital of all Muslims and all Christians. 

 

 

Peace and God’s blessings be upon you.

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