Al-Azhar Statement on Al-Quds Al-Shareef (the Holy City of Jerusalem)
As the pace of Zionist Judaization of Jerusalem accelerates, Zionist attacks on Islamic sanctities, including the blessed Mosque of Al-Aqṣa in Al-Ḩaram Al-Sharif (Temple Mount) are on the rise. Additionally, the Zionist construction projects are also threatening the feature of Al-Ḩaram Al-Sharif, including the recent Jerusalem railway project. Hence, Al-Azhar Al-Sharif, the center of knowledge, guardian of the Nation, and advocate for its just causes, announces the following:
First: The Arab identity of Jerusalem runs deep into its history since over sixty centuries. Jerusalem was built by the Arab Jebusites in the fourth millennium BC, twenty-one centuries before the time of Abraham (peace be upon him), Father of the Prophets, and twenty-seven centuries before the advent of Judaism and the Law of Moses (peace be upon him).
Second: Both the law and the Torah of Moses (peace be upon him) appeared in Egypt, where the ancient hieroglyphic Egyptian language was spoken. They appeared before the entry of the Israelites as invaders to the land of Canaan and more than a hundred years before the crystallization of the Hebrew language. Thus, both Judaism and the Hebrew language have nothing to do with Jerusalem and Palestine.
Third: The Hebrew presence in Jerusalem dates back to only 450 years thereafter. Their presence was temporary and extraneous during the times of Prophets David and Solomon (peace be upon them). It occurred 30 centuries after the Arab Jerusalem was established.
Fourth: The history of Jerusalem witnessed many invasions and invaders who worked to monopolize the city for their own benefit and claimed the city as their own. Invaders like the Babylonians, the Greeks, the Romans, and the Crusaders all came and then passed away. The Zionists of today are no different in this respect as they attempt to Judaize and monopolize the city and put an end to the Arab presence in Jerusalem. Contrary to the behaviors of these invading forces, when Islam came to Jerusalem it recognized all the religions and the sects. It maintained respect for all of Jerusalem's sanctuaries and confirmed the city's holiness. Henceforth, the Arab authority over Jerusalem is in the best interest of all. Under the watch of the Arabs, Jerusalem’s doors have always been kept wide open to all of God's servants.
Fifth: the monopolization and Judaization of Jerusalem in this contemporary attack is considered a crime and a complete violation of the universal human rights and laws. Such laws prohibit and criminalize any alteration of the land, of people, and their identity in these occupied territories. Therefore, Judaization of Jerusalem lacks legal legitimacy and its justification is in contradiction with the historical facts that confirm Jerusalem's Arab identity, being built by the Jebusite Arabs over 60 centuries ago.
Sixth: Rejecting and condemning these projects, Al-Azhar, supported by all the Muslims in the East and West, warns the Zionist entity and the powers that support it against the consequences of their behavior that threaten regional and global peace. Al-Azhar reminds the Zionist entity and those who support it, that the progression of time once saved Jerusalem from occupying Crusaders who had controlled a larger territory than the Zionists do today and for a longer period of time. It also reminds them that the nature of history is that it always brings all occupations to an end, and eliminates all the impact of aggression of those who violate the rights and profane the holy sanctuaries.
In their attempt to Judaize Jerusalem, the Zionists, in reliance on brutal Western imperialist powers, are risking the future of the Jews themselves by overstepping the limits of the Muslim Nation whose population is about a quarter of humanity, and who will, one day soon, be able to restore their usurped rights by force.
Jerusalem is not just an ordinary occupied land. Rather, it is an Islamic and Christian sanctuary. Its cause is not only a Palestinian or Arab national cause but it is, above all, an Islamic ideological one. When the Muslims struggle to liberate it from the Zionist occupation, they only aim to confirm its sanctity. As such, people of all faiths should be encouraged to share the conviction that it must be freed from the Israeli monopoly and Zionist Judaization.
Al-Azhar Al-Sharif urges all the free peoples worldwide to support the Arab right to free Jerusalem and Palestine. It urges all the rational Jews to take lessons from history, which bears witness that throughout the ages the Jewish people suffered persecution from all, except in Muslim territories. Al-Azhar reiterates that the Judaization of Jerusalem and the aggression on the characteristic features of Al-Ḩaram Al-Sharif, form a warning red line. It is anticipation to the end of the Zionist entity in the Palestinian territories.
The key to free Jerusalem has already been identified by Saladin in a letter he wrote to the Crusader King Richard the Lion-hearted: "Do not think that we will ever give up on Jerusalem. We cannot abandon our rights there as a Muslim people. Allah will not enable you to erect a single stone on this land as long as Jihad persists." History proved Saladin's words to be true and all the rational people acknowledge that history repeats itself.
"Allah always prevails in whatever His purpose may be, but most people do not know [this]" (Qur᾿ān, 12:21). "Those who have oppressed are going to know what (kind of) final end they will face" (Qur᾿ān, 26:227).
Dhul-Hijjah 24, 1432 AH (November 20, 2011)
Grand Imam of Al-Azhar