Hayil Abdelhafeez Dawoud, Jordan’s minister of Religious Affairs, called for a comprehensive Arab and Islamic plan in order to “protect” al-Aksa Mosque in Jerusalem from “Israeli violations.”
Dawoud told the London-based Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat in an article published on Wednesday that Israeli violations “took a systematic and calculated form, and were no longer mere provocations by extremists.”
He said that his ministry prevented “countless Israeli violations against the Aksa mosque” and called for help from Arabs and Muslims because it “belonged to all Muslims.”
There are also around “100 guards whose task [it] is to stop Jewish extremists from storming the mosque and confront the occupation’s forces who provide protection for the Jewish extremists,” said Dawoud, claiming that Israeli forces have detained or injured some of the staff.
Jordan is a custodian of the Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem.
Regarding the ministry’s supervision of Jordanian mosques and preachers, he told the Arab newspaper: “We do not ban preachers from talking about politics and we tolerate political discourse, but only when it is balanced and moderate.”
However he also added that mosques should not be used by “any political party or movement, because that could lead to division within society.”
Dawoud referred to the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists that often use mosques to promote their objectives.
Jordan King Abdullah’s regime seeks to keep radical Islamic forces at bay.
“The use by some of their preachers of mosques to promote the Brotherhood’s political agenda was prohibited,” Dawoud said, as it was “politicizing” the mosques.