Ramadan Dabash poses at the Sur Baher community center on Monday.
(photo credit: UDI SHAHAM)
The Palestinian Islamic religious authorities on Monday issued a fatwa (religious decree) banning Arab residents of Jerusalem from participating in the upcoming Jerusalem municipal election.
The fatwa, which was issued by the east Jerusalem- based Supreme Council of Fatwa, said that the Arab residents were prohibited from voting or running in the election.
The council said that since 1967, Israel has never ceased its efforts to drive the Arab residents of Jerusalem to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the entire city. It claimed that the country has always tried to tempt the Arabs to take part in the municipal election, while also “blackmailing them by decreasing municipal services and demolishing [illegally constructed] houses” in Arab neighborhoods.
“The council sees that participation in the municipal election, either by voting or presenting candidacy, is religiously forbidden.
“The disadvantages of participating in the election are bigger and greater than any other gained interests,” it added.
The council warned that participation in the election would assist Israel in its effort to “Judaize” Jerusalem and “change its historical and religious features. The occupied city of Jerusalem is an Arab and Islamic city.”
The new fatwa came in response to a decision by Ramadan Dabash, an Arab community leader from Sur Baher, a village south of the city, to run in the upcoming election.Dabash told The Jerusalem Post
on Monday that he rejects the fatwa and is determined to run at the head of the election in November 2018.
“Our participation in the election has nothing to do with politics or religion,” he said. “This so-called fatwa does injustice to the Arab residents of Jerusalem, who are seeking better services and want to improve their living conditions.”
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