By Sefa Mutlu
ISTANBUL (AA) - A high-level meeting in Istanbul, which brought together Muslim scholars from around the world, wrapped up Tuesday evening with a declaration stressing Jerusalem’s supreme religious significance.
Held under the banner “Jerusalem: A city blessed by revelation”, the two-day event -- organized by Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet) -- was attended by 70 Muslim scholars from 20 countries, including Pakistan, Britain, Indonesia, and France.
At the end of the two-day conference, Diyanet head Ali Erbas read the 22-point final declaration aloud.
“The Islamic world must articulate -- by all means -- that Jerusalem is a common issue for all Muslims, not just Palestinians and Arabs, along with the fact that it is the capital of Palestine,” Erbas said.
“In order to pass our enthusiasm for the Palestinian cause to new generations, religious and historical knowledge of Palestine, Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa should be included in educational curricula,” he added.
Research institutions and media organizations that support the cause of Jerusalem should also receive support, Erbas asserted.
Meanwhile, he added, Muslims worldwide should visit Jerusalem with a view to raising awareness about the Palestinian cause.
“Jerusalem, which has lived under foreign domination throughout its history, enjoyed its most just and tolerant years during the period of Muslim rule,” he said.
Jerusalem stands at the heart of the Middle East conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem -- occupied by Israel since 1967 -- might eventually serve as the capital of a Palestinian state.
Early last month, U.S. President Donald Trump announced his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, prompting widespread condemnation and protest from across the Arab and Muslim world.
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By Sefa Mutlu