The British Muslim Forum, echoing the sentiments and concerns of British Muslims, strongly condemns President Donald Trump’s statement on Jerusalem being the capital of Israel and the intent to relocate the United States embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This statement from the President of the United States is reckless and irresponsible and will fuel further mistrust, hostility and violence. In addition, it places the role of the United States in suspicion as regards being an honest broker in the peace process between Palestine and Israel.
Faith communities from across the world as well as state leaders and representatives of international bodies and organisations have voiced their concern and condemnation of President Trump’s rash statement. His words are in conflict with international laws, world opinion and the pursuit of peace, and bolster the Israeli government which has disregarded United Nations resolutions and international laws.
President Trump’s statement in particular taking the step to move the US embassy to Jerusalem not only bears hostility towards the long suffering Palestinian people and the status of East Jerusalem, but it also endorses the process of illegal settlements and other crimes committed against the Palestinians by the Israeli government, denying the rights of the Palestinians and the Arabs to their holy city and destroying the possibility of a viable Palestinian state.
Jerusalem is a sacred place for Muslims, Jews and Christians. It is home to the third most holiest site in Islam, the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which rests in the hearts of all Muslims around the world. The statement of President Trump does not aim at only the people of Palestine, rather it has hurt the feelings of one and a half billion Muslims across the globe as well as millions of Arab Christians that are connected with the churches of Jerusalem.
This deliberate and unprovoked statement of President Trump that has the potential to stir up much trouble and unrest in the world is objectionable and condemnable. The BMF calls on Prime Minister Theresa May and the British Government to step further than a mere statement of disagreement and exert maximum pressure on President Trump to respect international laws and become a genuine partner in the peace process to alleviate the long suffering of Palestinians.