KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 2 — About 500 Malaysian Muslims took part today in a non-partisan rally to protest the Israeli government’s “desecration” of the Al-Aqsa mosque, Islam’s third holiest site and a frequent flashpoint for violence between Palestinian Muslims and the Zionist authorities.
The demonstration, which included groups from the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, the opposition and NGOs, was held just outside the US Embassy on Jalan Tun Razak here under the watchful eyes of local police.
The group’s objective was to submit a memorandum to Washington to urge the Americans to act against its biggest ally for the latter’s repeated attacks on Palestinian Muslims defending the mosque, following weeks of clashes allegedly triggered by provocation done by hardline Jews on September 13.
“The actions and continued hostility shown by Israel in Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa is akin to provoking the entire Muslim world to react, and [this] will increase violence in the region.
“The attacks on the Al-Aqsa mosque done by Jewish settlers were intended to incite Muslim anger,” the memorandum read.
Mohamad Azmi Abdul Hamid, president of the Malaysian Consultative Council of Islamic Organisation, led the delegation to hand over the memorandum to the US embassy.
But no US official was present to receive the document.
“It’s ok we will fax it to Obama or the White House for him to read,” Mohamad Azmi told reporters at the embassy gate, referring to the US President Barrack Hussein Obama.
Qatar-founded broadcasting company Al-Jazeera reported that clashes have erupted across the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, as a result of on-going confrontations between Palestinians and Israeli forces at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
The clashes were said to have been sparked during the weeklong Jewish holiday of Sukkot, where many Jews from across the country visit the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, which they refer to as the Temple Mount and regard as a holy site.
The Temple Mount and Eretz Yisrael Faithful Movement, a hardline Israeli organisation that advocates removing the Al-Aqsa Mosque, has organised a march on the compound for Wednesday morning.
The attacks on the Al-Aqsa mosque have drawn condemnation from the Muslim world, including the Najib administration. They want the international community, particularly the US, to act on Tel Aviv but the former has yet to issue any statement on the issue.
Speaking on the back of a truck equipped with loudspeakers, several leaders from Umno and the opposition took turn to criticise Israel and warned that the Muslim world will not stand idly by to Tel Aviv’s provocation.
Umno Youth vice chief Khairul Azwan Harun said today’s rally showed Muslims will unite when enemies threaten their community.
“Today we see Muslims, no matter from which party, can unite for Islam. It shows that when we are confronted by our enemies we can put aside our differences and unite,” he said.
Muslim-majority Malaysia has long supported the Muslim Palestinian cause and lobbied for strong action against the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza strip.
Malaysia is also among the first few countries to recognise Palestine as a sovereign state.