Remembrance of Al-Quds

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Friday, August 21, 2009

21st August is al-Aqsa Day

Assalamualaikum and greetings.

21st August is al-Aqsa Day.

This year, al-Aqsa Day falls on Friday, 21st August 2009, in all likelyhood, a day before the blessed month of Ramadhan which begins on Saturday. What is the significance of al-Aqsa Day and what is the background to it's commemoration/remembrance? The date has been chosen by the Malaysian government as a mark of brotherhood and solidarity with the Palestinian people and to renew her commitments to the Palestinian cause. This brings the next question? What is the significance of 21st August that it was specifically earmarked as the al-Aqsa Day?

The background to this is the occupation of East Jerusalem and the West Bank when the zionist army overran these territories apart from the Gaza strip, the Sinai peninsular and the Golan Heights in 1967. The United Nations Security Council convened and unanimously adopted resolution 242 on 22nd November in the same year which condemns Israel and demanded the withdrawal of Israeli forces back to the Green line of 1949. Such illegal occupation as the consequence of the so-called six day war of 1967 however remain to this day, except for the return of the Sinai peninsular to Egypt as part of the Camp David peace agreement signed between Egypt and Israel in 1978. Since then, Egypt and Israel became peace partners and Egypt is to ensure that the Palestinian issue will not in anyway jeopordizes the security of Israel. Under such humiliation, Egypt closed the Rafah crossing, preventing aid reliefs into Gaza and even denying injured Gazans from seeking medical treatment in the wake of the Israeli attack early this year.

The occupation of 1967 has lead to numerous threats to the al-Aqsa mosque and other religious symbols and places of worship in and around East Jarusalem. Extremist jewish groups has been calling for the demolition of the al-Aqsa mosque and the takeover of the Haram al-sharif for the construction of the Solomon's temple (Haikal Sulaiman). Jewish settlers have been incited to dispense their religious duty to finance and lobby for the construction of the temple on the ruins of al-Aqsa mosque. Arab properties were expropriated to rid of Arab residence in the neighbourhood of al-Aqsa to make way for more kibbutz or jewish settlements. In the name of archeological excavations, tunnels were dug around and beneath the Haram as-Shariif in search for the ruins of the temple razed during the Roman period. The excavation works has apparently affected the foundation of the Usmaniah mosque. These tunnels were dug in secrecy but their cover was blown when it was discovered by Syeikh Raed Salah who brought to the attention of the muslim world the predicaments of Islam's third holiest mosque. They also took over the al.Maghariba gate, the main entrance to the al-Aqsa mosque.Other places of worship were also not spared by the the zionist sacrilage and these include the church of the holy Sepulcher (the church of al-Qiamah) and the Greek orthodox church.

To deal with these threats on the future of al Aqsa, 23 Islamic countries convened at Kuala lumpur in April 1969 and passed a number of resolutions to safeguard the sanctity of Jarusalem and it’s vicinity. However such international efforts to allay everyone’s fear for the safety of al Aqsa was dashed on August 21st when an Australian national by the name of Michael Dennis Rohan set the sacred mosque ablazed.

A report in the Jewish media Yediot Aharanot alleged that a temple will be built on the exact spot where al Aqsa is on August 21st suggesting that the arson was a deliberate act orchestrated by the Zionist higher authority. Dennis Rohan was put on trial, declared insane by the court and immediately deported to Australia. In a more recent tragedy when a group of worshippers were gunned down during the dawn prayer at the Ibrahimi mosque (Hebron) by a lone jewish gunman, the court also found the latter mentally unfit to stand trial.

The tragedy has triggered a summit meeting of muslim countries in Rabat from the 22nd to 25th September, 1969. Three muslim leaders played a pivotal role in calling for the summit; YTM Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra al Haj, King Faisal of Saudi and King Hassan of Maghribi. A key resolution was reached i.e. any peace effort to end the conflict that does not include the restoration of Jerusalem back to it’s status prior to the 1967 Israeli war of aggression will not be acceptable. A permanent secretariat was established in Jeddah and YTM Tunku Abdul Rahman, the first Prime Minister of Malaysia was appointed as the first Secretary Genderal. These events which can be traced back to the Kuala Lumpur initiaves in April 1969 have paved the way for the birth of OIC (Organization of Islamic Conference) as we knew it today. Following the summit, YTM Tunku Abdul Rahman attended the 23rd United Nations General Assembly held in November of the same year, carrying the aspirations and demands from the summit meeting in Rabat. YTM Tunku Abdul Rahman successfully convinced the General Assembly to again recognize and to reinstate the question of Palestine in the UN agenda after it has been dropped in 1952. As a result resolution 2535B (XXIV) was passed on 10th December 1969, which reaffirms the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people towards their homeland and the rights for self determination. The instrumental role of YTM Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra al-Haj should be given a special place in the history of the international struggle for the liberation of Palestine.

Since 1969, Kuala Lumpur has officially chosen 21st August as a day to strengthen the solidarity with the Palestinian people and to renew her commitments towards the liberation of Palestine. Pos Malaysia has issued commemorative stamps on 21st August in 1978 and again in 1982 to garner national and international support for the Palestinian cause. Over the years, al Aqsa day seems to have lost it’s fervor. It was a commendable effort especially by the students at the higher institution of learning to revive 21st August during the last couple of years and to rebrand it as the ROQ (Remembrance of al Aqsa). We urge the government to relive this legacy of the late YTM Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra al-Haj by again reinstating the al Aqsa Day of 21st August as a national day of observance to strengthen our solidarity with the Palestinian people.

Assoc Prof. Dr Hafidzi Mohd Noor

Director

PACE

(Palestine Centre of Excellence)

21st August 2009

Friday, May 1, 2009

PACE condemns jewish extremist groups planning to desecrate al-Aqsa mosque

Syeikh Kamal Khatib, leader of the Islamic movement of the occupied Palestine of 1948 revealed last thursday 9th April that, a large groups of Jewish extremists including politicians and rabbis convened at the Buraq compound on Wednesday and vowed to clease the mosque of Arab presence. The following day, they marched towards the Dome of the Rock, spewing threats of desecrating the Islamic third holiest mosque. Such incidents which are becoming more frequent of late reflects the zionist agenda of demolishing the al-Aqsa mosque.

This move by the jewish extremist should not be viewed as separate but an integral part of the zionist agenda of the complete judaization of Baitul Maqdis. The construction of the wall, land confiscation from Arab residents, demolitio ns of their homes, revocations of residential status and expansion of jewish settlements built up areas in and around Baitul Maqdis are all part of the sinister plan as once proclaimed by David ben Gurion, "There is no Israel without Jerusalem, and there is no Jerusalem wiothout the temple'. The appointment of the hawkish Israeli premier Benyamin Netanyahu and his ultra right racist foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman lend credence to the unruly behaviour of the extremist groups. With the present line up of the Knesset having a sizeable number of bigots, fascist and racists bent on banishing Arabs, the call to march and desecrate the al Aqsa could have well instructed by them.

Unpertubed by the huge protest of Palestinians, the group is organizing a still larger march next thursday, 15th April 2009. They hope to garner 50,000 people and they are sponsoring free trips for jews to participate in yet another incident that would certainly fire another round of intifadhah or uprising.

Syeikh Kamal al-Khatib is calling all Palestinians and muslims to come to the protection of al-Aqsa mosque which is an Islamic obligation of the highest order. Every able bodied muslim is duty bound to ward off the real threats on the Islam third holiest site. In the same breadth, PACE express solid support to this call for muslims from every corner of this world to take this threat seriously. Leaders of Islamic countries through OIC must convene an emergency meeting to deal with the threat and pressure Israel into compliance with the 1949 fourth Geneva Convention, the United Nations charter and countless resolutions that upheld the sanctity of the Islamic religious sites in Baitul Maqdis. Any move to violate the sanctity of al-Aqsa mosque will not be tolerated and will be dealt with in the most serious manner.

PACE also call upon the United Nation to deal with the situation without further delay. The muslims and every person of civilised mind will not take this issue lightly because the implication may spell the end of any peace effort in the middle east.

Assoc. Prof. Dr Hafidzi Mohd Noor
Director
PACE

Monday, April 6, 2009

April fool's speech by Avigdor Lieberman - Annapolis is not valid!

Perhaps there was no better day than April fool's day for Israeli newly appointed foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman to disclose that the Annapolis Conference convened on the 27th November 2007 was not valid! For those who have short memory, Annapolis Conference was that pompous event that brought together no less than 50 Arab and muslim leaders to meet up with their so called 'peace partners' - Israel, the US and the EU to draw up a comprehensive understanding towards building a lasting peaceful settlement in Palestine. The expiry date for the Annapolis resolutions to be implemented (whatever that means) was 1st January 2009. Alas! nobody would even notice the deadline, nor would they ever care, because on that date, the world's attention was all drawn to the Israeli pulverization of Gaza with phosphorous bombs and indiscrimate shellings of defenseless, beseiged, economically stragulated and literally straved Gazans population.

The Arab and the muslim leaders have placed such high hopes in the Annapolis Conference, so much so that even Saudi was represented for the first time ever in a meeting with Israel in the latter's 60 years of illegitimate existence. These leaders could be excused if the Annapolis Conference was the first such peace arrangment to have taken place. But Annapolis was just another of those so-called peace negotiotions with Israel that was literally a sell off of the Palestinian cause. These gullible leaders have been shortchanged at Oslo, Camp David I and II, Sharm-ul-Syeikh, Taba, and scores of other peace arrangments and they keep conceding more lands in exchange for an elusive peace with the zionist, the usurpers of Palestinian rights and nationhood. Whatmore, in the most unceremonious move, the zionist regime pledged that it will expand the jewish settlement activities in the West Bank and East Baitulmaqdis right after the conclusion of the Annapolis Conference.

Arabs and muslim leaders must draw a long overdue lesson from this disclosure by Lieberman. They should not let themselves playing to the tunes of the zionist agenda that aims for nothing but an indefinite occupation of Palestine and a complete dispossesion of her people. PACE calls upon every leader of the Arab and the muslim countries to act in solidarity with the Palestinian people and to adopt a common principle that honours the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people on their homeland with Baitul Maqdis as the capital, towards self realization and freedom from occupation. Any attempts at peace that does not address these national constants has no standing whatsoever with the Palestinian people and is completely unacceptable to every peace longing parties.

Assoc Prof Dr Hafidzi Mohd Noor
Director
PACE