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January 7, 2015 12:44 am

Hamas Denounces Arab Leaders Visiting Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, Demands Money

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The Al-Aqsa Mosque. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

On Monday, the Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Iyad Madani paid a visit to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, saying in a speech that such visits are a right for every Muslim.

Hamas wasn’t pleased.

The terror group issued a statement saying that such visits were examples of “normalization” with Israel, and that it is the duty of all Muslims to liberate Jerusalem rather than visit it.

Naturally, the best way for the Muslim world to support this liberation is to send lots of money to groups like Hamas “to support the resistance and the steadfastness of the people of Jerusalem.”

This is part of a long standing argument in the Muslim world.

In 2012, Hamas and other Islamist groups denounced a visit to Jerusalem from the then-Mufti of Egypt, Ali Gomaa.

In 2010, the sheikh of Egypt’s Al Azhar University issued a statement banning such visits, using the logic that such visits makes Israel look good for allowing Muslims to visit. A former Jerusalem mufti also used bizarre logic to oppose visits by Muslims from Arab countries, but allowing them for Muslims from European countries..

Influential preacher Yusuf Qaradawi, associated with the Muslim Brotherhood, is also against such visits and had a public disagreement with Mahmoud Abbas when the latter encouraged Arabs to visit.

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