Several Muslim groups and organizations have condemned the United States President, Donald Trump’s recent declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The development drew the ire of world leaders, eminent religious leaders and Muslims world-over.
Protesting against the declaration, thousands of Muslims last Sunday gathered at the Dawah Centre of The Muslim Congress (TMC),Ijesha, Lagos recently, carrying placards with different inscriptions such as “free Palestine, end Gaza siege, end Al-Aqsa blockade”, where leaders of different Islamic organizations addressed a world press conference to vent their anger. Other Muslims groups were The Muslim Awareness International (MAI), The Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria, MSSN Lagos zone. In the same vein, The Companion and National Council of Muslim Youths, NACOMYO also issued separate statements to condemn the development.
Earlier, after a third day of violence and protests in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, there were condemnation by no fewer than 22 countries, including close US allies. To some of them, Trump’s will further deepen the crisis in the region. However, Trump has faced fierce criticism for his decision around the world recently.
The Arab League after hours of talks in Cairo, backed by a number of US allies, including the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Jordan, kicked,resolving that: The US had “withdrawn itself as a sponsor and broker” of any possible Israeli-Palestinian peace process through its decision. Trump’s move might “deepen tension, ignite anger and capable of plunging the region into more violence and chaos. They also resolved that a request would be made for the UN Security Council to condemn the move.
At an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council last Friday, the US found itself isolated, with the other 14 members all condemning Trump’s declaration. In Nigeria, the Amir, The Muslim Congress, (TMC) Dr Lukman AbdurRaheem said the issue was purely a diplomatic issue, urging all Nigerian Christian leaders to follow the directions of world eminent men of God to condemn US President on the issue.
The group also urged churches to educate their members on the situation in Jerusalem, so they won’t be misinformed by politicians. The Muslim Congress (TMC) also said the loss of lives and many injuries suffered by many Palestinians in the last few days were not in the interest of Christianity, but a politically selfish desire of America’s Trump and his accomplice, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.
“Let it also be known that the sufferings of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank are not meted out to Muslims alone. Christians are also being persecuted in Palestine. Contrary to erroneous belief that the state of Israel represents Christianity, we unequivocally state that the current Zionist regime has never represented Christianity. “In fact, statistics show that there are more Palestinian Christians than Israeli Christians. There are 840, 000 Christians, about 7 percent of the 12 million Palestinian population, while only 2 percent, about 171, 000 Christians are part of the 8.5 million Israeli population. Most of the Arab Christians have fled Occupied Palestine since 1948 after the forceful creation of Israel. The facts are there for anybody to check.
“It is rather unfortunate that many so-called educated are misleading the Nigerian Christian community to believe that the Palestinian struggle is Islam versus Judaism and Christianity. This is very wrong and it is sad how some Nigerians politicise the unjust and unilateral American decision to go against international law to recognise the disputed Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Trump’s singular act drew wide condemnations from world leaders. Religious leaders too, particularly Christian leaders, have also condemned the act. “The truth is, no matter how religious we might be, we cannot be more Catholic than the Pope. It should interest you to know that Pope Francis has also joined the world in criticizing Trump’s illegal move. Just yesterday, the leader of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt cancelled his proposed scheduled meeting with US Vice President Mike Pence, in protest against Washington’s move to declare Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
“We call on Nigerian Christians to follow the directions of these men of God to condemn Israel and the US. It is equally important for the churches to educate their members on the situation in Jerusalem, so they won’t be misinformed by politicians. Let us all stand for justice and unanimously demand Trump and Netanyahu to return to the ideal status quo, a two-state solution where both Israel and Palestine will live, side by side, in peace.
The Muslim Awareness International (MAI) called on member-nations of the Arab League and the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to unite against the American and Israeli, describing the development as a theft of Jerusalem by Isreal, “a common historical parsimony of Muslims, Christians and Jews alike.”
Addresing the gathering, The Director of the organization, Abdul Waheed Adetoyebi urged the Arab and Islamic nations to individually and collectively mount diplomatic, political, economic and fossil fuel pressure on the United States and Israel, who are globally isolated in being the only protagonists and beneficiaries of this landmark theft. He stated that while the threat of these should be initially laid on the table to encourage a policy reversal of President Trump’s Jerusalem gaffe, he added that the indicated nations should proceed to boycott the US and Israel in the face of continued recalcitrance on the Jerusalem issue, up and until the desired policy change is effected.
“Western powers such as the United Kingdom and Canada have unequivocally stated that their embassies will remain in Tel Aviv, in consonance with international law and UN resolutions which render such appropriations by Israel illegal, keeping Jerusalem as one of the key final status issues to be decided as part of peace negotiations between the two parties. “MAI implored other world leaders, including President Muhammad Buhari to continue their just advocacy for the people of Palestine as they have always done.
We specifically demand that President Buhari condemns President Trump’s action and reiterates his stand for the respect of the international law and UN resolutions on Jerusalem and Palestine.” It’s a faulty personal opinion, to be ignored – Nigerian Muslim students The Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria, in his own message urged other world leaders to reject the United States’ President Donald Trump declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
In a statement by Lagos State Area Unit of the MSSN, the students told world leaders to consider Trump’s statement as “a faulty personal opinion”. The MSSN in Lagos State, led by Dr. Saheed Ashafa, described Trump’s statement as “ludicrous”. Trump further showed that US government is not only biased, but also anti-Islam. “This is an obnoxious decision by the US President.
It is not only an injustice to the Palestinians but also a slap on the face of all Muslims in the world.” Ashafa, who will be hosting thousands of Muslim students in Epe, Lagos at the MSSN Lagos 104th edition of annual Islamic Vacation Course (IVC) starting December 23, urged the UN to address the development as a matter of urgency.