With renewed concern around the recent Israeli attacks and desecration of Masjidul Aqsa, Muslims locally will be able to hear a first-hand account from imams at the holy site. A delegation of five imams from Masjidul Aqsa are expected to visit Cape Town this weekend. The Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) has coordinated two public programmes in which some insight into the current situation will be shared.
MJC president Maulana Igsaan Hendricks said it was significant that the delegation would be arriving within days after the most recent attack at Masjidul Aqsa.
“It is clear indication of the strong relationship that the Muslim community of South Africa has built over the years with the people of Al Quds and Masjidul Aqsa al-Mubarak,” said Hendricks.
“About 300 South Africans on a yearly basis go for itikaaf at Masjidul Aqsa. In addition, we also have our haj and umrah operators who have special packages for people to visit Masjdul Aqsa after haj and umrah. Our community has a real love for Masjidul Aqsa.
The MJC and Al Quds Foundation have established good ties with the Islamic movements in the Palestinian territories and other Palestinian civil society groups and activists. Hendricks said the South Africa Muslim community is lauded abroad as it remains at the forefront of the Palestinian struggle and the call for the protection of Masjidul Aqsa, Islam’s third most sacred site.
“We have activists taking brilliant initiatives here and I think this visit is in recognition of all our efforts.”
The MJC and other Palestinian activists have strongly condemned the recent attacks at the Al Aqsa compound. On Sunday, Israelis settlers broke into the al-Aqsa compound and engaged in violent clashes with Palestinians. Israeli forces stormed the al-Aqsa compound and closed its gates after the clashes erupted between Palestinian worshipers and Israelis. Israeli troops also fired sound bombs inside the compound and attacked musallees. In response, the Palestinians threw stones at the Israeli soldiers in an effort to prevent them from storming into the complex.
The MJC has urged the community to attend these talks to understand the reality of the tensions at Al Aqsa.
Programmes are as follows:
Sunday, 2 August 2015 (after Maghrib)
Masjidur Sabr, Parkwood
Masjidus Thaani, Rocklands Mitchells Plain
MONDAY, 4 August (after Esha Salah)
Al Markaz Al Islami masjid in Kalksteenfontein
Khidmatul Islam masjid in Toronga Rd, Rondebosch east