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“Jerusalem is a religious symbol for the Jews, [which] is just as holy for them as Mecca and Medina are for Muslims,” declared a Saudi academic.

A Saudi academic defended the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and called on Arabs to “accept” Israel’s historic roots in the holy city, a move he says can ultimately bring peace to the region.

Abdulhameed Hakeem, the head of the Middle East Center for Strategic and Legal Studies in Jeddah, said that President Donald Trump’s declaration on Jerusalem “will prompt a positive shock towards moving the stagnant water surrounding [the diplomatic] negotiations.”

“[A]s Arabs, [we] have to come an understanding with the other side and know what its demands are so that we can succeed in peace negotiation efforts,” Hakeem said in remarks to the US-based al-Hurra Arabic-language TV channel on Saturday.

“We have to admit and realize that Jerusalem is a religious symbol for the Jews, that is just as holy for them as Mecca and Medina are for Muslims,” Hakeem said.

He derided Islamic anti-Semitism, saying that it was instilled by Arab leaders for “purely political interests.”

“Arab mentality must free itself from the heritage of [former Egyptian president] Gamal Abdel Nasser and political Islam of both the Sunni and Shia sects, which has instilled for purely political interests the culture of hating Jews and denying their historic right in the region,” the scholar said.

Hakeem’s comments have prompted angry responses on social media, the UK-based Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported, harshly condemning what they consider an appeal for the “normalization of relations” with Israel.

Coming Forth with the Truth About Jerusalem

Other Muslim scholars have come forth with the truth about Jerusalem’s history.

Mobarak Haidar, a renowned Pakistani historian and author of multiple books, recently declared to the “Muslims of the world” that they “have no religious basis to rule Jerusalem.”

Following Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Haidar posted comments on his Facebook page entitled “Jerusalem and Muslim Claims,” debunking various myths surrounding the city, which has been the capital of the Jewish people for the last 3,000 years, long before Islam was conceived.

Renowned Egyptian scholar and novelist Youssef Ziedan conceded in an interview in December 2015 that the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem is not the Al-Aqsa Mosque referred to in the Quran, and that the Temple Mount complex in the heart of Israel’s capital is not sacred to the Muslims.

Citing ancient scholars, Ziedan said that the Al-Haram Mosque and Al-Aqsa Mosque were “on the road from Mecca to Ta’if.”

He also contested the authenticity of other stories related to Mohammed in Muslim tradition.

In fact, the Temple Mount is Judaism’s holiest site, where the First and Second Holy Temples stood. There are many artifacts discovered by archaeologists as well as historical documentation that demonstrate these ties to the site.

By: United with Israel Staff