Last month, Palestinians claimed that they “expelled” a delegation from the United Arab Emirates whose members came to pray at the mosque.
By KHALED ABU TOAMEH NOVEMBER 29, 2020
All mosques should be open for prayer for all Muslims, Dr. Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa, chairman of the Bahraini Hamad Global Center for Peaceful Coexistence, said Sunday.
Khalifa, who prayed at al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem last Friday without revealing his identity for fear of being attacked by Palestinians, told The Jerusalem Post: “It is unacceptable to prevent anyone from any religion from praying. This is a new form of terror.”
“No one owns the mosques,” he said, adding that all Muslims should have free access to their holy sites.
In August, the Palestinian Authority mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Mohammed Hussein, issued a fatwa (Islamic ruling) banning Muslims from praying at al-Aqsa Mosque within the framework of normalization agreements between Israel and the Arab countries.
Last month, Palestinians claimed that they had “expelled” a delegation from the United Arab Emirates whose members came to pray at the mosque.
A source in the Jordan-controlled (Jerusalem) Wakf Islamic religious trust told The Jerusalem Post he was unaware of a visit by any Bahraini nationals to al-Aqsa Mosque last Friday.
Ahdeya al-Sayed, chairwoman of the Bahraini Journalists Association, denounced the Palestinian threats against Gulf Muslims as unacceptable.
“These threats won’t stop us from going to al-Aqsa Mosque,” she told the Post. “They won’t stop us from traveling to Israel and visiting any place we want. These empty threats are made only by cowards.”
People have the right to go to any place they wish without being shamed, Sayed said, adding: “Al-Aqsa Mosque isn’t just a place belonging to the Palestinians. It’s for everyone to visit; it’s a holy site. We have been visiting many holy places all around the world for decades. We never got kicked out, and we never got mistreated. On the contrary, we are always embraced and welcomed.”
Khalifa was part of a Bahraini delegation that arrived in Israel last week. The delegation met with President Reuven Rivlin and Fleur Hassan-Nahoum, deputy mayor of Jerusalem and co-founder of the UAE-Israel Business Council.