Al-Azhar’s Council of Senior Scholars (ACSS) convened an emergency meeting on Tuesday 23 Rabī‛ ul-Awwal 1439 A.H. corresponding to December 12, 2017, under the chairmanship of Prof. Ahmad At-Tayyeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, to investigate the U.S. decision to declare the city of Al-Quds (Jerusalem) as the capital city of the occupying Zionist entity. The meeting has concluded that:
First, the ACCS categorically rejects the unfair U.S. administration’s decisions on the status of Jerusalem as they lack any historical or legal basis. It affirms what has already been announced by Prof. Ahmad At-Tayyeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Al-Sharif, President of the Council of Muslim Elders (CME), of his total rejection of this decision as well as his refusal to meet U.S. Vice President Mike Pence. The ACSS confirms that the Grand Imam’s stance is consistent with the historic position of Al-Azhar Al-Sharif concerning the Palestinian cause, reflecting the feelings of more than 1.7 billion Muslims worldwide. The ACSS also appreciates the decision of Egypt’s national Coptic Church in this regard as well as Pope Tawadros II’s refusal to meet the U.S. vice president on the backdrop of the U.S. illegitimate decision.
Second, the ACSS stresses that such arrogant decisions that contradict the historically unquestionable facts will not change anything on the ground. Jerusalem is an Arab, Islamic, and Palestinian city. These facts are neither erased by such reckless decisions nor changed by unjust prejudices.
Third, the ACSS calls upon all the Arab and Muslim governments and organizations to carry out their duties towards Jerusalem and Palestine and to take all the necessary political and legal measures to nullify such unfair decisions. Furthermore, it calls upon all governments, international institutions, the Security Council, the United Nations and all free and wise people in the world to act effectively and decisively to strip such an unfair decision of any legitimacy. In this context, the ACSS hails the positions of all free countries and responsible governments in the world that have rejected the U.S. decision, especially the positions of the European Union, Russia, and China. The ACSS supports the Palestinian uprising through which the Palestinian people sacrifice their lives for the protection of our Islamic holy sites, and it calls upon the Arabs and Muslims who are financially capable to provide them with the needed support.
Fourth, the Council of Senior Scholars calls upon all academic, and educational institutions, ministries of endowments, and institutions of fatwas in the Arab and Muslim countries to pay due attention to Jerusalem and the Palestinian cause in their academic and educational curricula, Friday sermons, and cultural and media programs to restore awareness of this important and crucial cause. In this regard, the ACSS has decided to form a committee to develop a curriculum promoting the Palestinian cause to be taught at all stages of Al-Azhar education. This curriculum will be announced at the International Conference on Supporting Jerusalem to be held by Al-Azhar in cooperation with the CME.
Fifth, the Council of Senior Scholars affirms that the Arab and Palestinian identity of Jerusalem is not subject to any change or tampering and that the U.N. charters oblige the occupying Zionist entity not to change the status quo on the ground and to prevent any actions that violate these charters. The U.S. administration should realize that it is not an empire that rules over the whole world and decides freely on people’s fate, rights, and holy shrines.
Sixth, the ACSS warns against any attempts to normalize relations with the Zionist entity before it withdraws its forces from the occupied Arab territories and an independent Palestinian state is established, with Jerusalem as its capital city.
Seventh, the bureau of ACSS will continue to follow up the situation and prepare the necessary recommendations to submit to the International Conference on Supporting Jerusalem to be held on January 17-18, in cooperation with the CME.