Salah urges Muslims to defend al-Aksa

Islamic Movement leader speaks at rally celebrating birth of Prophet Muhammad.

April 7, 2007 02:06
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Speaking at a rally celebrating the birth of the Prophet Muhammad, Sheikh Raed Salah, leader of the northern branch of Israel's Islamic Movement, called for thousands of Muslims to rise, unite and defend Jerusalem and al-Aksa mosque. At the event, which took place in Kafr Kanna on Friday night, Salah said that "even if Israel [banished] him to the moon, the Islamic movement will continue to chant - in blood and spirit we will redeem al-Aksa." Salah was the main speaker at the gathering attended by tens of thousands of people, including the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Muhammad Hussein. Shalah stated that Israel's presence in Jerusalem and on the Temple Mount was a pivotal "disaster point" in Muslim history, and called on the Muslim world to declare a state of emergency in order to retrieve power over the Temple Mount. Salah was arrested last month at a protest against an archeological excavation near the Temple Mount. Salah said Israel was planning to damage al-Aksa Mosque in the compound. Salah has served a two-year sentence for security offenses, including financing Hamas activities.

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