Al-Quds Foundation Malaysia (QFM) has launched a new website to teach the historical, cultural and religious significance of Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque to Southeast Asian communities.
Dubbed "Aqsapedia", the website was officially launched yesterday in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur. The ceremony was attended by the chairman of QFM's Board of Trustees, YB Dato' Seri Haji Mukhriz Tun Mahathir, as well as a large number of officials, representatives from NGOs and local and regional media.
Mahathir told the audience: "We are celebrating an important event, not only for Muslims, but also for every free human being who believes in human rights, respects religions and rejects injustice. We are here for Palestine and Al-Aqsa Mosque."
"Tomorrow [Wednesday] marks the 50th anniversary of the arson attack on Al-Aqsa Mosque, a painful memory for every peace-loving person," Mahathir continued, referring to a 1969 incident in which an Australian Christian set fire to the compound.
The chairman vowed: "We will continue to support Jerusalem with all available resources. Today Al-Quds Foundation Malaysia offers this great achievement which will play an important role in raising awareness about the issue of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque through rich online content."
Aqsapedia aims to fill what was perceived as a huge gap in research materials about Al-Aqsa Mosque in South Asian languages, as well as to highlight the importance of the holy site to Islam.
As such, the website is available in Arabic, English, Malay and Indonesian. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was also signed during yesterday's launch ceremony with the Sheikhul Islam office in Thailand to begin preparing a Thai language version of the website.
Dr. Ikrima Sabri, the grand khatib (sermon giver) and imam of Al-Aqsa, also addressed yesterday's ceremony in a pre-recorded speech, praising the initiative and efforts by QFM to launch the website.
Sabri also called for more concerted action by Arab and Muslim countries more broadly to protect Al-Aqsa Mosque against Israeli violations of the status quo, which have seen illegal settlers repeatedly storm the compound and conduct Jewish prayers and rituals at the site.