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Al-Quds Mufti quits UAE forum over endorsement of Israel normalization

Grand Mufti of Jerusalem al-Quds Sheikh Muhammad Hussein

Grand Mufti of Jerusalem al-Quds Sheikh Muhammad Hussein has resigned from the so-called Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies (FPPMS) after the UAE-based organization issued a statement endorsing a recent normalization agreement between Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv.

“Normalization is a stab in the back of Palestinians and Muslims, and a betrayal for Muslim and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem [al-Quds],” Sheikh Hussein said on Wednesday, where he announced his resignation.

It was the second such resignation in recent days. Muslim-American activist Aisha al-Adawiya also quit the FPPMS on Sunday over the organization’s statement.

She stressed that the topic of normalization was never brought up at a recent board meeting and that “there was no agreement on any kind of support for the UAE’s deal with Israel.”

“As a result of this breach of trust and consistent with my values, I'm announcing my resignation,” Adawiya said in a Facebook post.

Earlier this month, the FPPMS claimed that normalization deal “stopped Israel from extending its sovereignty over Palestinian lands” and was a means to “promote peace and stability across the world.”

It, however, faced criticisms over the controversial statement and was forced to remove it from its platforms.

The Israel-UAE deal was announced by the White House on August 13, sparking anger among Palestinians and supporters of their cause against Israeli occupation.

Emirati officials have tried to portray the normalization deal as a successful means to stave off Israel’s West Bank annexation plan, but Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu has reaffirmed his commitment to the land grab scheme.

In the wake of the deal, the al-Quds Mufti issued a fatwa (religious decree) banning Muslims from taking advantage of the normalization between Israel and the UAE to travel to the occupied lands and pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

“It is forbidden for a Muslim to arrive in a plane of [either] the United Arab Emirates or not of the United Arab Emirates to the Lod Airport [in Israel], which today they call Ben-Gurion Airport, in order to come and pray at Al-Aqsa Mosque. This is false marketing in terms of religious law: legally false, religiously offensive,” he said.

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