MASJID AL AQSA CONFERENCE FINAL REPORT
The final report of the Conference of “The Injury Bleeds As Israel Digs: Masjid Al Aqsa”, organized by Istanbul Peace Platform on 25 April 2009 in Istanbul is as follows:
Palestine, Palestine - Gaza, Middle East 28.06.2011

STATEMENT OF FACTS

  1. Jerusalem had been a city of peace throughout many centuries, in which all people of Jerusalem had lived together in peace and harmony. Islamic rule beginning with the era of Caliph Omar and having continued 1300 years with the exception of occupation period of the Crusaders, became effective in qualifying the city as such. 
  2. Being the second temple in the earth, the first qibla of Muslims and one of the stations of Mi’raj of the Last Messenger, Masjid Al Aqsa is a holy place.
  3. As stated in the first âyah of Sûrah al-Isra, Masjid Al Aqsa and its environment (Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Paletsine) are blessed. Masjid Al Aqsa is the keystone of all this vast geographical region. Removal of this keystone from its place will cause successive waves of violence which will affect the entire region.
  4. After Arap-Israeli War of 1967, East Jerusalem was occupied by Israel, and Masjid Al Aqsa came under her control. From then on, the Zionists began to violate the historical and holy places in and around Jerusalem, and Masjid Al Aqsa was one of those places targeted. As a result of the assaults to Masjid Al Aqsa for more than fourty years, and of the so-called archeological excavations, historical places and buildings (mosques, madrasas, cemeteries, city walls, dervish lodges, inns) around Al Aqsa were damaged.

Among the damages to Masjid Al Aqsa and its surroundings perpetrated by Israel, the following may be mentioned: The total demolition of Maghribis’ Quarter and the expansion of the Western Wall Plaza at the expense of it; turning Madrasah al-Tankiziyya and Masjid al-Buraq, which are parts of Masjid Al Aqsa, into a synagogue; the excavation of more than ten areas in the site called Holy Basin; the continuous activities of destruction around Masjid Al Aqsa, especially in Silwan, Bustan and Sheikh Jarrah quarters; the Israeli decision to demolish 88 houses in Silwan; the construction of 27 settlements, many quarters and synagogues in East Jerusalem; the construction of a synanogue called “Ohel Yitzchak” at the expense of historical “Hammâm al-Ayn” near Masjid Al Aqsa, etc.   

  1. Being aware that it is impossible to strip Jerusalem of its Islamic identity as long as Masjid Al Aqsa and Qubbat al-Sahra remain intact, Israel deems these two places as major threats. Israel wins support of her people for the demolition policies by developing projects such as construction of “the City of David”, “Torah Park” and “Museum of Tolerance” at the expense of Muslims’ houses. The aim is to destroy the Muslim quarters which are clustered around Masjid Al Aqsa as if guarding the mosque, and settle Jewish settlers instead, leaving Masjid Al Aqsa unprotected. 
  2. People of Jerusalem are directly subjected to and injured by the violations. Suppression policies existing for many years haven’t ceased to be performed so far. As a result of confiscation of Palestinians’ lands, demolition of their hauses, construction of new settlements for Jewish settlers, and of discrimination against Muslims especially in the procedures of residence and license, the demographical structure in Jerusalem have changed in favor of Jewish settlers. While Jews formed only 10% of the population in Jerusalem before 1948, their proportion has increased to 70% at present. Economic limitations, the Wall of Shame, and forced emigrations resulting from intensive suppression policies against Muslim population have effects on this outcome.

 RECOMMENDATIONS

  1. 1.      Through the excavations which began by the early seventies and were declared as archeologically aimed, Israel has dug tunnels under Masjid Al Aqsa and constructed a synagogue there. Israel plans to destroy Masjid Al Aqsa and build Solomon’s Temple instead. Assaults of Israel directed to Masjid Al Aqsa and holy places in its surroundings should be stopped immediately, all damages done so far should be compensated, and all destructed places and buildings should be restored true to their original conditions.
  2. 2.      The assaults to Masjid Al Aqsa are an overt violation of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. According to UN Resolutions, the right of free entrance to all holy places in Jerusalem, including Masjid Al Aqsa is guaranteed. Despite these resolutions, there are many violations in Masjid Al Aqsa and Jerusalem. UN has not fulfilled its duty to implement the Universal Declaration and the related resolutions, and Muslim communities believe that UN follows double-standard in the application of the rules.   
  3. 3.      Violations relating to Masjid Al Aqsa should be brought forward to the international law mechanisms, and a commission called “Masjid Al Aqsa Law Commission” with the aim of monitoring the violations against Masjid Al Aqsa should be formed.
  4. 4.      The Organisation of The Islamic Conference (OIC) which was founded in 1969 following the attempt of Jews to set Masjid Al Aqsa on fire, should develop more effective policies to protect Masjid Al Aqsa.
  5. 5.      With the aim of establishing reliable information channels relating to Masjid Al Aqsa and its surroundings, and of preventing disinformation, all kinds of mass media should be used, popular and effective websites should be designed, academic studies and meetings should be carried out, publications should be done, basic information on Masjid Al Aqsa should be included in the school curriculum in all Islamic countries, and civil society should be organized.
  6. 6.      Struggle front for Masjid Al Aqsa should be universalized. A world-wide agenda and campaign on Masjid Al Aqsa should be developed. Every reasonable man and woman whether Muslim or non-Muslim should be included in this campaign to establish the peace in Masjid Al Aqsa in particular, and in the region in general.
  7. 7.      Muslims living in various countries from East Asia to Africa, Europe and Latin America should set up “establishments for the survival of Aqsa” to protect Masjid Al Aqsa which is entrusted to Muslim Ummah, and all these establishments should be gathered under the roof of “International Masjid Al Aqsa Platform”.
  8. 8.      The Wall of Shame, of which construction began in 2002 and length exceeded 700 kilometres, has turned the West Bank into a semi-open prison, and prevented access to Masjid Al Aqsa, consequently basic human rights and freedoms, the freedom of worship ranking first. The Wall of Shame left 120.000 people out of the wall, while adding 15% of the West Bank into the territory of the Occupiers. This wall provokes racism and discrimination in a time that huge efforts are being made to remove the barriers among nations and societies. This illegal wall should be destroyed immediately. The International Community should fulfill its duty on the subject.
  9. 9.      Israel has deprived Palestinians of all their basic rights and freedoms by implementing unbearable “security measures”, locating cameras in various points of Masjid Al Aqsa, limiting access of Palestinians to Masjid by age and place, and limiting access of Muslims living out of Jerusalem to Masjid Al Aqsa. These kinds of implementations should be terminated immediately.

10.  The problem in Jerusalem is the occupation, and it is a crime against humanity. Thus, a discourse and action plan which will evoke all humanity, and cooperation between Muslim and Christian Worlds should be made. For such a cooperation, common platforms like Dialogue Among Civilizations should be used.

11.  Many international conventions require the protection of holy places because of their importance in the history of humanity. The protection and renovation of holy and sacred places belonging to Muslims and Christians in Jerusalem should be put under international guarantee and the international conventions should be implemented properly. 

12.  There should be established a fund for the protection, maintenance and restoration of Masjid Al Aqsa. An independent and civil governing body should rule this fund. In addition to this, a monitoring committee of Masjid Al Aqsa should be established, supported by this fund. This committee should inform the world public opinion by regular monitoring and reporting the violations in and around Masjid Al Aqsa.  

13.  Mi’raj should be proclaimed as the Day of World for Masjid Al Aqsa to be celebrated every year. On that day, Masjid Al Aqsa should take place on the top of the agenda by way of international activities.

14.  As pointed out in the hadiths, Muslims should be exhorted to visit Masjid Al Aqsa.

15.  Turkey should be effective in stopping the destructions in Masjid Al Aqsa and Jerusalem by using the platforms of which it is a member, like the UN, the OIC and Dialogue Among Civilizations, and parliamentary friendship groups and its bilateral relations.

Jerusalemites should be retained at their home and prevented from immigration by supporting their lawsuits which they started to protect their private properties. Cases for waqf lands and holy places in the city should be supported as ones for property rights and the likes.

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