Washington, DC (July 26, 2000)- In the wake of the collapse of the Camp David summit, several major Muslim- American groups publicly reiterated their position that no individual or group has the right to sign away Islamic rights in Jerusalem.
That position was part of a statement issued earlier this month by nine major American Muslim groups, including American Muslims for Jerusalem, the Islamic Society of North America and the Council on American Islamic Relations.
"Any agreement that diminishes Muslim rights in that city or prevents refugees from returning to their homes in Palestine would not only be unworkable but also null and void from an Islamic perspective," the statement said.
"Jerusalem was occupied by Israel's military," said AMJ executive director Khalid Turaani. "International law and common moral sense are inflexible when it comes to dealing with those who acquire territory by force. Why should we be different?"
Turaani asserted that Israel has shown reprehensible inflexibility in the Holy City. Official policies of Judaization in Jerusalem create an atmosphere of exclusion for followers of faiths such as Christianity and Islam. Turaani also noted that Israel prevents many Muslims from traveling to Jerusalem and also bars large numbers of Palestinian Muslims from traveling to Mecca. Desecration of Muslim graves and Israeli interference in the maintenance of Islamic places of worship has also been recorded.
"The documentary record clearly indicates that under official Israeli government policy, the rights of non-Jews are not respected," Turaani said.
The U.S. State Department's Report on Human Rights for 1999 notes "...institutionalized legal and societal discrimination against Israel's Christian, Muslim, and Druze citizens..."
Regarding refugees, Turaani recalled the Israeli policy of allowing Jews born anywhere in the world full rights to immigrate to Israel while denying Palestinians born on the land the basic right to return to their homes.
"This an aspect of Israeli style apartheid," he said, "and it is a pure insult to humanity's moral fabric. Palestinian refugees must receive the internationally stipulated right of return and compensation. Resettlement, or any other lesser solution, would send a very poor message to ethnic cleansers worldwide."