Ebrahim Moosa – Cii News
Shocking details have emerged of an alleged desecration of the Holy Quraan by Israeli soldiers on the precincts of Masjidul Aqsa on Sunday.
The Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage over the weekend published a statement describing how an Israeli police officer had attacked two Palestinian school girls near the Mughrabi Gate, one of the entrances to the Al Aqsa Mosque compound, and desecrated the Muslim Holy Book.
Speaking to Cii Radio’s Sabahul Khair this morning, Samer Siyaam, a teacher and guide at Islam’s third Holiest mosque shed further light on the tragic encounter.
Siyaam said the altercation began when Israeli police began to harass Muslim students near the Mughrabi gate and attempted to forcefully relocate them to the Marwaani area of Masjidul Aqsa on the pretext that the students were too close to the Western Wall (aka Wailing Wall), a region that is frequented by Jews.
Two female pupils who attempted to resist the eviction were then assaulted violently by the Israeli soldiers, resulting in the Quraanic Mushaf falling to the ground. According to Siyaam, an Israeli soldier then forcefully kicked and trampled upon the Quraan.
Although the girls were initially unaware of the travesty that had occurred, when they realised what transpired they began to weep loudly, attracting major attention from other worshippers at Masjidul Aqsa. A huge crowd soon assembled shouting Allahu Akbar(Allah is the Greatest), and demanding that the Israeli soldier immediately leave the sacred precinct.
Siyaam said the girls were participants in one of the many circles of Islamic learning at Masjidul Aqsa where they were memorising the Quraan.
News of the violation has drawn furious responses from across the Muslim world. Jordan’s Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs, Abdul Salam Abbadi, condemned the incident as “heinous crime that is a stark violation against the Holy Quraan“.
Assistant Secretary-General of Arab League Ambassador Mohamed Sobeih told reporters that what had happened was not directed at the people of Jerusalem or the Palestinian people alone, but was intended as a message to Arab and Islamic nations as well, stressing that there was a need for a unified and firm stance from the Muslim World against the attacks and the deteriorating situation in Jerusalem.
The Lebanese resistance group Hizbullah also echoed the outrage, demanding that all Muslim nations take a harsh stance against the insulting move.
The Palestinian Information Center on Monday reported that one of the Zionist officers responsible for the desecration had been permitted by Israeli police to return to his workplace, violating a pledge made to Palestinian waqf officials by the Israeli police in the wake of the incident.
In a separate development, Siyaam said Islamic Waqf officials had been informed by Israeli authorities that the green coloured gates of Masjidul Aqsa are to be painted brown, purportedly due to an upcoming visit by US President Barack Obama to the Holy Site.
“These gates have remained green for hundreds of years,” the East Jerusalem resident said.
Siyaam told Cii Radio that recent events represented some of the “darkest days” for Masjidul Aqsa, since Israeli forces seized control of the mosque in 1967. “Israeli authorities want to change everything,” he lamented.
Last month, the al-Aqsa Foundation for Waqf and Heritage revealed that Israeli bulldozers were involved in an intense campaign of demolishing several historic Islamic sites surrounding Masjidul Aqsa that dated back to the Umayyad, Abbasid and Ottoman eras.
“Israel is trying to void the Islamic culture, history and archeology, that extended for 1,400 years. (This is) an Arabic history that dates back to thousands of years, during the Canaanite and Yabousy eras,” the Foundation said.