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Senior Islamic scholar calls Morocco’s normalisation move ‘shocking’

December 29, 2020 at 12:51 pm

The head of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) has reiterated that Muslim scholars, in general, stand with Palestinian rights and the necessity of supporting the Palestinian people by all possible means. “The issue of Jerusalem should be at the forefront of their permanent concerns,” said Ahmad Al-Raissouni.

Speaking to Quds Press, Al-Raissouni pointed out that the IUMS is the largest organisation of Muslim scholars. “It is committed to nullify and refute all the efforts of pro-normalisation parties and sheikhs affiliated with them, who attempt to distort facts and mislead the public in order to justify the crime of normalisation in the name of Islam.”

He explained that scholars have no power other than to explain the truth at all times and in all situations. “Even their freedom of speech is restricted in a number of Muslim countries.”

Following the decision by some Arab states to establish close relations with the Israeli occupation authorities, the IUMS has issued several statements pointing out that normalisation is “haram [forbidden] and invalid, as it constitutes a betrayal of the Palestinians and the de facto acceptance of the Israeli occupation of Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

These rulers have normalised relations with Israel out of fear and greed, Al-Raissouni added, and to preserve their interests and the interests of their regimes. “Some of them may be attached to false illusions and promises that will soon evaporate.”

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Ask those who normalised in the past, he suggested. What have they achieved for their people? What have they achieved for the Palestinian cause? “Every normalisation is a backward step.”

Most of the Arab regimes lack legitimacy, the IUMS head pointed out. “They depend on foreign powers and the spread of corruption and tyranny. This is pivotal in widening the gap between them and their people, so they fall into the arms of… the Americans, Zionists, the French, the Russians and others.”

Al-Raissouni described Morocco’s move to normalise relations with the occupation state as “more shocking” than the others. “Unfortunately it fell prey to bargaining, extortion, enticement and intimidation.”

He pointed out that political Islam as represented in Morocco by the Justice and Development Party has not taken any step towards normalisation. “The party heard about it through the media like the others. Its leaders have nothing to do with the matter.”

Morocco became the fourth Arab country to normalise relations with Israel in 2020, after the UAE, Bahrain, and Sudan. Prior to that, Egypt and Jordan signed peace treaties with Israel in 1979 and 1994 respectively. The Palestine Liberation Organisation, of course, normalised relations with Israel when Yasser Arafat signed the Oslo Accords in 1993.

A growing number of countries in the MENA region are normalising ties with Israel - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

A growing number of countries in the MENA region are normalising ties with Israel – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]