KUALA LUMPUR: Muslim groups are barking up the wrong tree if they stage a protest outside the United States embassy in Kuala Lumpur over Washington’s controversial decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem, a prominent Muslim activist says.
Instead, Dr Ahmad Farouk Musa of the Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF) said Muslims should be training their guns at Saudi Arabia, adding that the kingdom was not only President Donald Trump’s closest ally in the Middle East but has made it possible for the US to announce the decision in the face of international protests.
“Trump would not have made such an announcement unless he had regional backers. I think almost everybody knows about the story of Mohammed bin Salman, or MBS, as he is popularly known. The New York Times has reported from multiple sources how the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia had told Mahmoud Abbas to accept the terms; that if there was no Jerusalem, then there was no return. Abbas was told by MBS to make way for someone who will,” Farouk told FMT today.
Several Muslim groups including PAS are calling for a rally outside the US embassy in Jalan Ampang after Friday prayers tomorrow, to protest Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.
Israel has long considered Jerusalem, which hosts holy sites for Islam, Christianity and Judaism, as its “eternal and indivisible” capital.
But Western governments have snubbed Israeli calls to move their embassies to Jerusalem, wary that it would further complicate the crisis in the Middle East and any delicate peace plan for Palestine.
Trump’s announcement today is a reversal of its decades-old policy of not recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. It also comes in the wake of a strong alliance between Trump and the US’s traditional Arab allies including Saudi Arabia, both of which have been leading a so-called Gulf anti-terror pact.
Farouk said despite the Saudi involvement in the bombing of Yemen which has sparked a major humanitarian crisis, there has been silence from Muslim groups who instead target the American embassy.
“Sadly, no demonstrations were ever held when the Saudis launched missiles that killed thousands in Yemen and caused the largest humanitarian crisis in the world as confirmed by the United Nations.
“Where were these Islamists, be they PAS, Abim or Ikram?” he asked, referring to the Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia and Pertubuhan Ikram which brings together several Muslim organisations.
“Why were they silent about the atrocities committed by the Saudis?” Farouk said, adding that it was “blatant hypocrisy”.
“Isn’t this also a treason to the Palestinian cause?” he said.
Farouk said Jerusalem has always been a symbolic city to Muslims all over the world.
“It is a city that unites the followers of monotheistic faiths, Muslims, Christians, and Jews together. It is also a symbol that unites the warring factions of the Palestinians together; the nationalists, the secular, the Islamists, and also the Christian Palestinians.
“Only Jerusalem has the power to unite the Palestinian prisoners everywhere in the physical or metaphorical prisons. And only Jerusalem speaks to billions of Muslims around the world.”