LOCAL Islamic groups last week gathered at Fatima Zahra (AS) College to condemn the decision made by the President of the United States of America, Mr Donald Trump, to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Ahl-Ul-Bayt (AS) Islamic Guidance Council of Zimbabwe and Friends of Palestine Solidarity Movement Zimbabwe in collaboration with Federation of Indigenous Churches of Zimbabwe (FICZ) said the purpose of the declaration was to craft new elements of tension aimed at dividing the peaceful Arab nations.
In addition, they said the stance aimed to cause massive unrest across the Muslim world.
Sheikh Abdullah Makwinja, the national director of Ahl-ul-Bayt (AS) Islamic Guidance Council of Zimbabwe, described Mr Trump’s decision as an injustice against the Palestinians and the world in general.
“This is an issue of colonialism and not conflict between the Jews and the Muslims and it should be seen as a struggle between the poor and the rich. The injustice will not last as the land will be reclaimed by Allah,” he said.
On December 6, Mr Trump proclaimed recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and even directed his team to start making arrangements to move the United States embassy from Tel Aviv, thereby sparking protests within the Arab nations.
The process is reportedly expected to take at least three years.
Both the Palestinians and the Israelis claim Jerusalem as their capital, and the city contains sites sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims.
The disputes date as far back as 1917 when the British Foreign Secretary, Thomas Balfour, made the Balfour Declaration.
This became the founding charter of the Zionist State of Israel in Palestine. The implementation of the Balfour Declaration by the British government in 1923 to 1947 led to a massive immigration of Jewish people from Europe to settle in Palestine.
In order for the state of Israel to become a reality, inhabitants of the land of Palestine were three options which were voluntary evacuation, forceful ejection and life on the margins.
This sparked the continuous fights that exist between Palestine and Israel.
The latest move has riled local Muslims.
Chairperson of Friends of Palestine Solidarity Movement Robson Musarafu said the move by the US president is a pure act of war against the Palestinian people and an act of incitement against the surrounding Arab nations.
“It must be known that the United States government has violated the United Nations charter more than any other nation.
“For President Trump to determine the capital city of a state outside his jurisdiction is more than sufficient proof of his continued grievous assault on the United Nations Charter,” he said.
The national chairman of the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs in Zimbabwe, Sheikh Ishmail Duwa, called on Muslims to be united for a common cause.
“Jerusalem is for both Muslims and Christians. Therefore, these two religious groups and other peace-loving people should unite in strongly condemning this uncivilised statement by Trump,” he said.
Echoing similar views, the Federation of Indigenous Churches of Zimbabwe (FICZ) secretary-general Reverend Mathias Tsine said the US president should respect international laws.
“We believe in the spiritual importance of the place and we want the atmosphere in the country of Palestine to remain conducive and they should find a peaceful way of dealing with the issue.”
The international community considers East Jerusalem occupied territory.
Half of the city also contains sites holy to all three major monotheistic religions, including the holiest place in the world where Jews can openly pray, and Haram al-Sharif, Arabic for “the Noble Sanctuary,” a sacred site for Muslims that Israelis refer to as the Temple Mount.
Jerusalem resonates in the hearts of Christians, Jews and Muslims alike and echoes through centuries of shared and disputed history.
It has been a holy city in Judaism, the ancestral and spiritual homeland of the Jews, which they consider as the centre of their world, where God resides.
For Christians, it is the place where Jesus was brought as a child, to be presented at the temple and to attend sacred festivals.
In Islamic tradition, Jerusalem is considered a sacred site, along with Mecca and Medina. Sheikh Makwinja said previous prophets were associated with the city, with the Islamic Prophet Muhammad visiting the city on a nocturnal journey (Isra and Mi’raj).
“Due to such significance, it was the first Qibla (direction of prayer) for Muslims and the Prophet Muhammad designated the Al-Aqsa for pilgrimage,” he explained. – Sunday Mail