Shaykh Hamza Yusuf on Masjid Al-Aqsa Attack

The Sanctity of Sacred Spaces For Muslims, the month of Ramadan serves as one of the most important means of getting close to God. For that reason, a state of tranquility and calm pervades the Muslim practices during the month. If accosted, a believer is told to respond calmly, “I am fasting.”

Hence, the brutal assault of the Israeli forces on the third holiest site for Muslims, while horrific in itself, is all the more heinous given it is occurring in the sacred month of Ramadan on the holiest day of the month during the last ten days in which Muslim are particularly devotional, often spending the entire night in prayer vigil.

The assault on people praying and worshipping has no justification in any faith or secular tradition. The people at the sacred precinct had no weapons. While some were seeking refuge in that sacred space from the clashes below, most were simply observing their prayers in peace. These continued aggressions on the Palestinian people, both Muslim and Christian, have created an environment that makes the possibility of peace and prosperity for both peoples all the more distant. Events such as this current crisis demand that Jewish, Christian, and Muslim religious leaders raise their voices in unison and condemn any violence at or assault on peaceful worshippers or their places of worship.

Empathizing with the plight of the Palestinians in such situations should not be difficult. This is akin to an assault by government forces on the Church of the Holy Sepulcher during Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve or on the Wailing Wall during Yom Kippur. When one of our sanctuaries is violated, all of them are. For believers, this is surely a cause for alliance to protect the sanctity of sacred spaces and the people within them.

Source: Shaykh Hamza Yusuf

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