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Stronger palestinian resistance needed to fight attacks

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By Tasneem Mohammed

(source: Voice of the Cape fm Online)

“Where is the democracy that Israel claims to uphold? Where are the peace-loving people that Israel claims to have? Where is the respect and tolerance for religious sensitivities?” These are the pertinent questions raised by Al Quds Foundation SA president Maulana Igsaan Hendricks, in response to brutal attack on a mosque Beit Fajjar in Bethlehem in the early hours of Monday morning.


A group of Israeli settlers forcibly entered the mosque, desecrated its walls and set the carpet alight. The perpetrators also burnt copies of the Holy Qur’an, sprayed graffiti blaspheming the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) on the walls of the mosque, and later held a demonstration demanding the military demolish a mosque in Burin, Nablus. 


Speaking to VOC this week, Hendricks denounced the attack as a “violation of religious sanctity and total disregard for a place of worship”. This assault was an attempt to provoke a religious fracas and to disrupt and sabotage any efforts made by foreign governments to resume peace talks, he said.  


“This is a typical example of what happens under Zionist occupation. For the last 40 years, since the occupation of the West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza, there has been a systematic attack on Palestinians by Jewish settlers. They have constantly exercised violent, malicious and brutal attacks against Palestinians. This is something that must be condemned in the strongest terms.”


From 1967 to date, there have been approximately 650 recorded attempts to destroy Masjidul-Aqsa, Islam’s third holiest site. On the 22 August 1969, the sacred mosque was brutally attacked by Michael Rohan, an extremist Australian Christian. A few years ago, medical doctor Dr Baruch Goldstein massacred 19 Muslims and injured 150 in a mosque in Hebron whilst performing Fajr salaah.

Some 800 holy places in Occupied Palestine have been desecrated and in the city of Bersheeva, a mosque has been turned into a public toilet. A number of other mosques in Occupied Palestine have been made into policestations, clubs and liquor outlets. He labeled this incident as “one more in a series of contraventions of human rights against Palestinian Muslims.” “If this is not a war against Islam and Muslims, then I don’t know what it is. The world wants us to be peaceful, the world wants us to negotiate …but the world is also silent… “Palestinians believe that if they are living in a time where the international community is silent against the tyranny and oppression against others, then the only way is to resist. If you resist, you will regain your existence. The Palestinian people have a legitimate right toresist the Zionist occupation.” At present, there is no independent regulatory body monitoring these incidents and despite a number of resolutions passed by the United Nations, Israel has never upheld them. The Al Quds Foundation is callingon authorities to old those accountable for their actions and that an appropriate punishment to be meted out to those guilty.  Hendricks also criticized the mainstream media for turning a blind eye to the Palestinian struggle and for propagating a pro-Israeli agenda. Palestinians have been demonized by the press and Islamaphobic attitudeshave become prevalent, resulting in continuous attacks against Muslims.

 “Over the last few years we have seen that issues affecting Muslims are off the radar. If a church is attacked in Indonesia, it will be the top of the news agenda. But when holy places of Muslims are attacked, no onecares… “We need to make sure the world understands that underlying aspects of Zionism is racism, discrimination, tyranny, brutality and occupation – and these are crimes against humanity.”