Cleric: Muslims should visit Jerusalem

Senior Palestinian religious leader withdraws a previous fatwa, urges believers to visit holy city.

By AP, JPOST.COM STAFF
July 1, 2009 16:47
1 minute read.
Cleric: Muslims should visit Jerusalem

al aqsa dome of the rock 248 88. (photo credit: )

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

A senior Palestinian Muslim cleric on Wednesday urged Muslims to travel to Jerusalem, breaking a taboo against visiting the holy city because it would be considered as normalizing relations with Israel. Speaking at a press conference in Cairo, Sheikh Tayseer al-Timimi said Muslims should travel to Jerusalem and perform pilgrimage to Muslim holy places in the disputed city, backtracking on an earlier edict. "I withdraw my fatwa (edict) and now ask all Muslims and (Arab) Christians to creep into Jerusalem for a visit, satisfaction and shopping," al-Timimi said. "Come to the Palestinian hotels and come to the Palestinian markets," said the Palestinian cleric. Al-Timimi had previously banned Muslims from visiting Jerusalem, arguing that would be considered normalizing relations with Israel. Other Muslim clerics also ban such visits, saying Muslims should wait until a Palestinian state is established with east Jerusalem as its capital. Jerusalem's Al Aqsa mosque is one of Islam's most sacred shrines and Arabs and Muslims used to visit regularly to worship there until 1967. Al-Timimi's call would likely not affect Muslims in countries such as Syria or Saudi Arabia, who do not have diplomatic relations with Israel, but it could encourage Muslims in other places such as India or Egypt which do. The cleric's call comes amid reports that the United States is urging Arab nations to take some steps to normalize relations with Israel as incentives for the Jewish state to revive the peace process with Palestinians. US Mideast envoy George Mitchell has reportedly proposed that Arab states reopen Israeli diplomatic missions and allow Israeli commercial planes to fly in their air space and grant entry to Israeli tourists. Egypt and Jordan are the only Arab states that allow this today. US President Barack Obama's administration has been pushing all sides to increase efforts to achieve "comprehensive peace" between Israel, an independent Palestinian state and the broader Arab world. But Arab countries, which launched a collective peace initiative in 2002, have been reluctant to take additional steps without first getting concessions from Israel. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has so far refused to concede to US demands that Israel stop settlement construction in the West Bank and commit to the creation of a Palestinian state.

Related Content

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
August 13, 2018
Khamenei rejects Trump talks offer, chides government over economy

By REUTERS