Egyptian religious scholars refuse to visit Jerusalem while under occupation

[ 13/04/2012 – 11:36 AM ]

CAIRO, (PIC)– Egyptian religious scholars are unanimous in their rejection of the idea of visiting Jerusalem while it is still under occupation, because such a visit requires and Israeli visa, which means an implicit recognition of the occupation state and a step in the direction of normalisation with the usurpers.

Those scholars are headed by the Grand Sheikh of al-Azhar, Dr. Ahmad al-Tayyeb who had stressed his rejection of the idea of visiting the holy city while it is under occupation and called on Muslims not to visit it before its liberation.

“I will not visit Jerusalem and the Aqsa Mosque before its complete liberation from occupation. I refuse to visit it now, because such a visit would give legitimacy to occupation,” Tayyeb said in a press statement.

Azhar sources confirmed that the Grand Sheikh received a number of invitations to visit Jerusalem through the PA President Mahmoud Abbas and other Palestinian personalities, but the Sheikh rejected those invitations and confirmed to Abbas that he would not be part of any normalisation efforts with the occupiers.

For his part, Dr. Naser Wasel, the former Grand Mufti of Egypt, rejected similar invitations to visit the holy city saying that such a visit would give the impression that the Jerusalem issue was solved and everyone was free to visit it and thus there was no need for us to call for an end to its occupation.

The PA is making this invitations on the pretext that such visits aim to break the Israeli hegemony over the holy city.

Wasel told PIC that to support Jerusalem in a practical way the Muslims need to support the indigenous population of Jerusalem, economically and politically to foil the occupation process of Judaizing the holy city. He called for moves on the international level against the occupation’s practices in the holy city.

Dr. Safwat Hijazi, head of the Ahl al-Sunnah Scholars Association, criticised the visit made by a Muslim preacher to Jerusalem under the pretext of wanting to pray at the Aqsa Mosque and said that money spent on such visits which only serve normalisation efforts is better spent on supporting the resistance to occupation to liberate Jerusalem, then Muslims can visit it and pray at al-Aqsa Mosque.

Dr. Amena Nasir, lecturer at the Azhar University, said that all Azhar scholars are in agreement for many years that it was wrong to visit Jerusalem while it is still under occupation, adding that this view is shared with the Egyptian Church which is against visiting Jerusalem before its liberation.

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