Wed Sep 20 2017, 3:12:10 +03

“We Will Not Allow Adhan to Be Silenced in Al-Quds”:Erdogan

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(Istanbul-AlummahWorld-Sha'ban16,1438H) Speaking at International Forum on Al-Quds Waqfs, Turkish President Erdogan said: “A bill, aimed at banning fajr adhan (call for morning prayers) in mosques, is still pending at the Israeli parliament. Even the fact that such an issue has been brought up is disgraceful. It is noteworthy that those, who preach us freedom of thought and faith at every opportunity, have virtually approved of this step by remaining silent.”

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivered a speech at International Forum on Al-Quds Waqfs at Haliç Congress Center in Istanbul.

“Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh (May the peace, mercy, and blessings of Allah be with you),” President Erdogan greeted his guests, and said: “We are greatly delighted to host friends of Al-Quds in Istanbul, a city of civilization and history and crossing point of continents.”

“I welcome you all, my brothers and sisters, who have taken us up on our invitation from across the world for Al-Quds and this sacred city’s future. I convey my greetings and respect from Istanbul, the sister, confidant and true friend of Al-Quds, to all those who love Al-Quds,” the President said.

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“I kiss on their foreheads the courageous children, courageous youth, courageous women, courageous men of Al-Quds and Palestine,” the President said, and added: “I especially salute the self-sacrificing fathers of Palestine, who, when necessary, shield their children with their bodies from vicious bullets. I send my prayers to my 8 million Palestinian brothers and sisters who live away from their homeland, who have been forced out of their homes, some of whom even passed away with a longing in their hearts for their homeland. I convey my respects to all those men and women with a conscience regardless of their religion or nationality who exert efforts to end the injustices and occupation in Palestine, who struggle for Al-Quds.”

“Al-Quds is a holy city for all three divine religions. It is the essence and summary of all human history,” the President underscored.

“Time in Al-Quds flows in its own course. Al-Quds is love. Al-Quds means longing. It is the light in humanity’s eye and the joy in our heart,” President Erdogan said, underscoring that it is the duty of every Muslim to protect, respect Al-Quds.

Calling on Muslims to visit Al-Quds and Al Aqsa Mosque more often, President Erdogan noted: “In 2015, nearly 600 thousand Americans, 400 thousand Russians, 300 thousand French nationals visited Al-Quds. Among Muslim countries, visitors from Turkey paid the most visit to Al-Quds. However, we should not get in the mood just because the most visitors went there from Turkey. Do you know the number of visitors? 26 thousand. I would like to call on my people from here; Why should not hundreds of thousands of people from Turkey visit the Al Aqsa Mosque? There is no excuse. They should. We should admit that this picture is unbecoming of us. The strongest support we can give to our brothers and sisters there is our presence in Al-Quds. It is not possible to achieve peace and prosperity in our region without finding a fair solution to the Palestinian issue. To do that, international law and decisions taken should first be respected. No one, no country can be above the law.”

Underscoring that “Every crime that goes unpunished further aggravates the perpetrator”, President Erdogan said: “What is the difference between the current practices of the Israeli administration and the racist and discriminatory policies, implemented up until recently in South Africa and in the past in the U.S. on colored people?”

“The pursuit of peace and stability in the region is doomed to fail unless the murders, massacres and atrocities, committed, are held to account in line with international law,” the President said, and added: “The only way to solution is establishing an independent and sovereign Palestinian state within the borders of 1967 with east Al-Quds as its capital. To do that, pressure should be formed on Israel. I would like to express that we follow with cautious content the recent developments in the Peace Process. We have supported and will continue to support Palestine’s diplomatic efforts, exerted under the leadership of President Mahmoud Abbas. Having said that, everyone should pay the necessary attention and care to the matters pertaining to Al-Quds’ status.”

Underscoring that even the debates on moving the U.S. embassy to Al-Quds are extremely wrong, President Erdogan said: “It must definitely be dropped off the agenda. We have made the necessary warnings on this issue at the highest level and we continue to do so. It might seem to some people as a simple change of signboard but it is not that simple. Those, who think so, ignore how huge an impact it would have to move a single rock let alone a signboard in the holy land and how delicate the balance is there. Another important matter is the harassments and assaults against the Al Aqsa Mosque, our first kiblah. We witness a very dangerous rise there. In 2016 alone, over 14 thousand radical Israelis, accompanied by armed security personnel, entered the Al Aqsa Mosque. The Haram Al Sharif, covering the Al Aqsa Mosque and the Qubbet as Sakhra, with its 144 dunam land, is a whole, belongs to Muslims and will remain so forever. We will never consent to such provocations, aimed at changing the characteristics of Al-Quds.”

Regarding the bill on banning adhan, President Erdogan said: “Adhan is a call not only to the Muslims but also to the age. A bill, aimed at banning fajr adhan (call for morning prayers) in mosques, is still pending at the Israeli parliament. Even the fact that such an issue has been brought up is disgraceful. It is noteworthy that those, who preach us freedom of thought and faith at every opportunity, have virtually approved of this step by remaining silent. We will not allow adhan to be silenced in Al-Quds. Why are you afraid of the freedom of faith if you believe in your faith? Look, we do not have such problems because we believe in our faith.”

“I believe Palestinians, during this critical period, will further reinforce their unity and solidarity and conduct their struggle for rights and freedom in a stronger way,” the President underscored. “We would like to see all our Palestinian brothers and sisters, including Al-Quds, West Bank, Gaza and diaspora, as a whole.” Underlining that Palestine, with its Gaza and West Bank, is a whole, President Erdogan said: “No concessions should be made on that matter.” Describing Hamas’ recently declared policy document as an important step for the Palestinian cause, and also for the reconciliation process between Hamas and Fatah, President Erdogan said: “Hopefully, Palestine’s struggle for rights and freedom will grow stronger.”