The imam of Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem praised the “wise Turkish policy” on the Israeli-occupied city and called on other Muslim countries to emulate it.
In an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency (AA), Sheikh Ekrema Sabri, who is currently visiting Turkey, praised the country’s “centuries-long” relationship with Palestine, saying it “has been strengthened more through its wise policy of extending bridges of brotherhood with the Arab world” as well as supporting “fateful Palestinian causes.”
He singled out the Turkish approach as the kind of policy that Palestinians “always demand.”
Speaking of the Turkish people’s love for Al-Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem, Sabri said his time in Turkey will include visits to cultural and media institutions in the country that are interested in learning about Islam’s third-holiest site.
Sheikh Sabri condemned the recent Al-Aqsa entry bans by the Israeli authorities, which he personally experienced several times, calling them “unjust,” “exclusionary” and “strange” policies unprecedented in the world.
“The aim,” he said, “is to empty Al-Aqsa of officials and activists” and “silence opposition” toward intrusion by Jewish extremist groups while also “psychologically punishing” Palestinians.
He complained that intrusions have recently increased and enjoyed the support of the Israeli government, which “escorts” them.
“Al-Aqsa is for Muslims alone, and the Jews have nothing to do with it,” he said, adding, “There is no room for negotiation or forfeiting an iota of dirt from it.”
Need for Islamic narrative about Jerusalem
According to Sheikh Sabri, several Jewish extremist institutions have promoted their own “false narrative” about Jerusalem that has garnered wide support, including in Palestine and Arab countries.
A “clear” and “detailed” Islamic narrative about Jerusalem is therefore urgently needed “to keep the Islamic masses informed about it,” stressed Sabri, while also expressing hope that “Muslims’ attachment to Al-Aqsa has grown stronger.”
Moreover, Sabri challenged the media to promote the Islamic narrative and knowledge on Al-Aqsa “on a daily basis” and “in several languages” to keep younger generations more connected to the holy site.
“The Muslims,” he said, “love Al-Aqsa, but if you ask a Muslim about the history of Jerusalem and its status, he may not know it,” highlighting the importance of going beyond emotional attachment to the site and learning about its history.
Jerusalem hosted the first-ever qiblah, or direction Muslims should turn to while praying before it was replaced with Kaaba as the new direction.
Source. Anadolu Agency
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