Perhaps you have seen the structures in the picture above before; perhaps you know what they are and what they mean to billions of Muslims around the world. But in case you don’t: There, in the heart of Jerusalem, is the third most holy place to more than 1.8 billion Muslims around the globe. This place is Al-Aqsa Mosque, it is not just the structures, it is the whole area that the Jewish name Temple Mount. At Al-Aqsa Mosque, Muslims have been praying and worshiping their Creator over there for more than a millennium. Full of intricate and glittering work of Islamic architecture, this site has witnessed the prayers and pleas of Muslims for hundreds of years.
The site is especially significant in our current holy Islamic month of Ramadan, a month where Muslims fast all day and pray into the night, seeking Allah — God — in all that they do. Al-Aqsa Mosque calls to the Muslims in its area and those who can reach it, being a site of the congregational night prayers of the month. Its beauty and its place in the Islamic faith, as the Prophet’s first direction of prayer, makes all those who can seek its shade and its history
But those are the key words…” Those who can.”
Sadly, reaching Al-Aqsa has become just a dream for many Muslims because of the Israeli Apartheid. While many can argue the details and the history, there remains the fact that in the eyes of many countries in the world, Israel has occupied the Palestinian territories; and it’s not just Muslim or Arab countries that think that. Yet, this is not the best time to explain it all. The focus of this article is merely what has been happening during this holy month that is about to reach its end, for there has been no peace in Jerusalem this month, and it is a tale that needs to be told.
Restrictions On Muslim Prayers
Prayer within the area of the al-Aqsa Mosque is one of the dearest acts to Muslims in Ramadan, but it has not been an easy task this month, nor has it been for many years. The Israeli police have enforced restrictions on the Palestinians, including extra inspections on their every entry to the Mosques, in normal streets, and they have pressured Muslims so they are not able to practice their rituals freely during Ramadan. They have also limited the entrance of Muslims to Jerusalem, depriving hundreds and thousands of finding peace and connection in one of their holiest sites. These restrictions led to protests by the Palestinians.
Another Land Theft In Sheikh Jarrah
Sheikh Jarrah is a predominantly Palestinian neighborhood in East Jerusalem, near the Damascus Gate. Families living over there were originally refugees from Haifa after the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. Ironically, Palestinians have been considered as refugees in the old Palestine that everyone knew about before the foundation of Israel! They have been struggling since 2009, as Israeli settlers decided to colonize Sheikh Jarrah lands and began threatening the neighborhood’s residents. Israeli courts have been called to supported Israeli claims to the neighborhood and to emphasize that Palestinians should be evicted.
Israeli settlers didn’t wait to see what their Zionist court would rule, and instead, they have started to threaten and pressure the Palestinian neighborhood more in the last few days. Several assaults and break-ins were done by the settlers and the Israeli forces in the neighborhood. Naturally, the tensions have been escalating ever since, as more Palestinians are pushed out of their homes.
Injuries in Al-Aqsa Mosque By Israeli Forces
Israel forces stormed the Aqsa Mosque and dispersed the worshipers causing over 200 injuries. These assaults happened on one of the holiest nights for Muslims, and one of their holiest sites. The mosque was packed with thousands of praying Muslims, while many others remained to support the Sheikh Jarrah residents against the expulsion. Attacked at many fronts, the Palestinians have found little peace in a month that is supposed to be full of it. It is a sight familiar the world over, where Palestinian, armed with rocks and stones, stand face to face against their armed occupiers.
The Story Is Not New
Israel has been on a continuous path of ethnic cleansing since its foundation. It started with wars but continues daily by expelling the Palestinians, building settlements, and appropriating the culture. The media around the world is not being of much help. Many media groups around the world are supported by pro-Zionist or at least Zionist sympathizing agendas, putting the Palestinian narrative continuously under the frame of Palestinians being the violent party, in a story where Israeli’s are projected as the victims. The media is constantly manipulating the truth of what’s going on in Jerusalem and Palestine, giving the world at large a single side of the story, one that is curated for Zionist agendas. Even social media platforms are controlled. Facebook started collaborating with Israel in 2016, and they have been blocking and removing posts that are pro-Palestinian since the start of the tension. Instagram has been blocking and removing all posts with the hashtag #alqsa! In this hashtag, Palestinians used to share live videos and photos of whats going on in Jerusalem. Sadly, the same happened on Twitter! Leading many influencers to fear speaking up with their opinion about Palestine so they won’t lose their accounts. We are feeling oppressed online.
Maybe we can’t help, but at least we need to know the truth. Not only have Palestinians been harmed for years now, but also activists who seek to go and see the truth for themselves have been harmed! You may have heard about Rachel Corrie, Tom Hurndall, and many others. If you haven’t, it is time to read about these seekers of truth who sought to see the situation for themselves and met their death by Israeli hands. There has been no peace for them, as there has been no peace for many Palestinians, Muslims, and truth seekers around the globe on the blessed nights, and there will be no peace till right is done.