Aug 12, 2010

Egyptian minister calls on Muslims to flood J’lem

Arab pilgrims seen as more effective than the failed boycott.

Egyptian Minister of Religious Endowments Mahmoud Hamdi Zaqzouq has called onMuslims worldwide to visit Jerusalem and assert its Islamic identity.

In an interview with the London- based pan-Arab daily
Asharq Al-Awsat, Zaqzouq attacked the traditional Arab policy of tourism boycott against the Jewish state. He warned that Israel’s building in the city could smother Islamic sites.

“I say to those who insist on not visiting [Jerusalem] before its liberation: My worst fear is that you will have nothing to visit after Israel realizes its plans in Jerusalem and elsewhere,” Zaqzouq was quoted as saying.

Zaqzouq said his tactic of urging a worldwide convergence on Jerusalem could be used to expose any subsequent Israeli hypocrisy, should the government refuse to grant them entry permits. He said Muslims could then turn to the international community claiming religious discrimination.

“This would produce powerful leverage, in lieu of the current negative Islamic boycott,” he said. “We are wrong to define Jerusalem as a Palestinian issue. Rather, it is a purely Islamic issue concerning 1.5 billion Muslims.”

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