Declaration Al Quds

In the Name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

We are the participants of the Al-Quds International Forum in Istanbul, with the slogan of: ‘The Face of Civilization, We Protect It’;

At the conference, held during 15-17 November, 2007, more 5000 individuals attended representing intellectuals, Christian religious figures, political and intellectual leaders as well as representatives of syndicates, institutions and the civil society, including literary and media personalities;

After studying the situation of the Palestinian people; the people who have stood unwavering in the face of occupation and the trials of Judaiziation or eradication; those who are persevering to retrieve their human and political rights while facing unjust and continuing siege in Gaza and the West Bank;

After discussions on the serious aggression, which the holy Christian and Islamic sites are facing, especially the continuing excavations under the holy Aqsa Mosque which are threatening it with collapse, as confirmed by the Turkish delegation reports;

After discussions on the different situations the Ummah, the region, and the world as a whole have been through, especially the situation in the Arab and Muslim nations under occupation, such as Iraq, Afghanistan, and Somalia;

In clarification of the general foundations related to Al-Quds and the Palestinian cause, historically and practically, in the rights of the Palestinian people, humanitarian and political, and in the nature of the continuing colonialist, Zionist occupation, we hereby issue the following declaration:

The Declaration of Istanbul in Support of Al-Quds

Saturday November 17, 2007

Al-Quds, the city of peace, the cradle of civilization and the sacred and holy land with which humans find tranquility, and with aggression on it, struggles and wars erupt; it must remain as a an model of dialogue among civilizations and a symbol for the most sacred meanings of human forgiveness, justice and tolerance.

Al-Quds, the authentic city which was built by tribes that came from Arabia, more than 5000 years ago; they called it ‘orsalim’ or the city of peace. In spite of the many tribes that came onto the city, its people of the Arab Canines and Palestinians, and those who came after them in the waves of Arab tribes that followed, continued to build it without discontinuity. They are the ones who gave Al-Quds its Arab identity and they cannot be contested in any of their rights in that land.

The Zionist occupation of Al Quds – its Western part in 1948 and its Eastern part in 1967– is racist and terrorist, based on settlements and replacements. It goes against the flow of history and represents the remains of the colonial phenomenon that was based on injustice, oppression, and exaction of rights. Occupation must end in Palestine, the Golan Heights, and the Shebaa Farms. Thus, the powers that struggle against colonialism, injustice, and occupation must back the Palestinian people’s resilience and resistance for the sake of freeing their nation.

The Zionist movement is racist and terrorist; and the United Nations has before decided that Zionism is a form of racism, as was confirmed in the Durban Conference in 2001.

It condemns and rejects the racist, colonialist measures that seek to wipe out the character of Al Quds and to encroach upon the national and religious rights of its resilient citizens. This is primarily done through besieging it with settlement blocs and suffocating it by the Separation Wall in order to displace its people and isolate it from its Palestinian context.

The assaults on the Muslim and Christian holy sites — in particular Al Aqsa Mosque, which is undergoing excavations that risk its existence with the aim of establishing the Zionist temple –threaten the peace and stability in the region and world. These assaults further constitute an attack on the historical heritage of the human civilization. This obliges the nations of the world to take the immediate responsibility of confronting and putting an end to these assaults.

The continuation of the Zionist occupation of Al Quds and Palestine, with its nuclear weapons and expansionist aspirations, is an element of tension and a cause of worry for all those who seek peace and support human rights all over the world. This occupation will persist as a pivotal source for devastating the region with more wars, and will act as an impediment to the international peace and the development of humanity.

It reiterates the right of return to Al Quds as well as the rest of Palestine, since this is the individual right of all the refugees and those deported; a right that cannot be negotiated or withdrawn. It also reiterates the right of the Palestinian people to exercise all their civic – including political – rights in historical Palestine, like other peoples of the world.

It requires Arab and Islamic nations, and all peace-loving countries; and international organizations to exert every effort to end the Zionist occupation of Al Quds and reserve its Arab identity and Islamic and Christian holy sites. It also requires them to implement all the projects that support the resilience of the people of Al Quds and help them free their city from occupation. Such projects are to be economic, social, cultural, educational, as well as media-related. It also demands stopping all forms of normalization with Zionists.

History of nations in general, and the experience of struggling with the Zionist enemy in particular, have reasserted that all forms of resistance – resistance that is based on national unity and free public participation – is the most successful way to face the occupation and free the land of Al Quds, Palestine, and all occupied regions in our Arab and Islamic countries and the rest of the world. Resistance has also proven the worthlessness of international conferences held under the auspices of the United States. The United States has always been keen on supporting the occupation; providing justification for its crimes; selling out the Palestine Cause; serving the projects of internal division; and tearing apart Arab and Islamic coherence.

It requires the United Nations – most of the resolutions of which were the reason behind the Palestinian people’s catastrophe –to fully commit to ending the aggression and siege that Palestinians are subjected to. It also requires the UN to activate the role of The Committee on the Protection of Jerusalem, established in 1947. We also require Arab and Islamic nations, and all peace-loving nations to end the siege and provide Palestinians with all they need.

This international forum has constituted an embodiment of the unity of humanity in support of Al Quds and Palestine. It addresses all the free people of the world, inviting them to the biggest humanitarian gathering and international movement to save the Palestinian people and establish justice and peace on earth. It also calls upon the brothers and sisters under siege in Palestine to unite against the occupation. It reminds them of the Quranic verse, {And obey God and His Apostle; and fall into no disputes, lest ye lose heart and your power depart} [8:46]. The Forum also hopes that this gathering be an incentive for retrieving dialogue and understanding among the supporters of the same cause.

We are all working for the sake of Al-Quds,

Hand in hand, shoulder to shoulder, together on the way to Al-Quds

Resilient no matter how long it takes, no matter how dear sacrifices have become

Today we meet for Al-Quds and tomorrow we meet in Al-Quds insh’Allah.

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