IPOH, Dec 8 — Chanting “Long live Palestine” and “Crush Zionists”, some 20 people rallied outside the state mosque here after Friday prayers today protesting the US government’s controversial recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.
The representatives were politicians from the Pakatan Harapan Opposition parties as well as non-governmental organisations, including the Malaysian Islamic Youth Movement (Abim) and the Malaysian Consultative Council for Islamic Organisation (Mapim).
Among the protesters was Perak PKR Youth’s legal bureau chief Khairul Anuar Musa who called for a strong boycott of US and Israeli products.
“The problem with us is that [we] boycott their products intermittently. We must do it for good and empty their pockets,” he called out.
“The US has made a mistake by electing this man as president,” he added, referring to Donald Trump, who yesterday signed a declaration recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, upending decades of US foreign policy in the strife-riddled Middle East.
“This is an arrogant and stupid move and we must rise against it,” Khairul said.
Jerusalem is regarded as a holy city by Muslim, Jewish and Christian communities worldwide and arguments over its status have been the thorniest subjects to a lasting peace between the Zionist regime of Israel and mainly Muslim Palestine.
Malaysia has long been sympathetic to the Palestinian struggle over its lost lands.
Mohd Fahmy Sarangat, deputy president of the Perak chapter of Ikram — another Islamic group — called on Muslims worldwide to speak up and spread awareness about the impact on Palestine.
“We are not alone in this, as we have seen people worldwide express their outrage against Trump’s announcement.
“We have a duty to spread awareness about this issue to our friends, neighbours, and everyone we know. We have to show how wrong this decision really is,” he said.
Mapim deputy president Zulkifli Ibrahim called Trump’s announcement one of the “biggest crimes” against Islam.
“There is anger all over the world because Baitulmaqdis is a holy land for Muslims. The US and Israel have challenged us for a long time and there should be no compromise,” he said.
Baitulmaqdis is what Muslims here call Jerusalem.
“We should rise to voice our opposition to this, regardless of whether we are NGOs, government or Opposition,” Zulkifli added.
Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital has drawn global condemnation, including leaders in Malaysia and Indonesia, home to the largest Muslim population.
US allies in Europe and elsewhere have been swift to distance themselves from the move.
Prime Minister and Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak told his party at its general assembly in Kuala Lumpur yesterday that Muslims will never accept Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Umno members are planning to hold a large scale rally in solidarity with Palestine over the recognition.