American Muslim civil advocacy groups Thursday (Dec 7) vehemently opposed President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.
They were of the view that Trump's announcement serves no one's interest but undermines the Middle East peace process couple with inflaming anti-U.S. sentiment across the globe.
On Wednesday, a coalition of Muslim, Interfaith and human rights groups scheduled a news conference outside the White House in Washington, D.C., to respond to President's Trump's announcement on the status of Jerusalem.
The Muslim groups argue that Trump's announcement has offended the religious sensibilities of the world's 1.6 billion Muslims, and empowered political and religious extremists of all stripes at home and abroad.
Israel captured Arab East Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East war. It later declared both halves of the city as its "eternal and undivided capital". The declaration is not recognized internationally. The Palestinians want the eastern sector as capital of their promised state and fiercely oppose any Israeli attempt to extend sovereignty there.
The status of Jerusalem is one of the most contentious issues of the long-running Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Most of the international community does not formally recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, insisting the issue can only be resolved through final-status negotiations.
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee [ADC]
President Trump's announcement serves no one's interest; instead, it will have an immediate and catastrophic impact internationally by undermining the Middle East peace process and inflaming anti-U.S. sentiment across the globe, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) statement said adding:
"Israel's annexation and claim over Jerusalem is completely illegal under international law, as recognized by the entire world. The fate of Jerusalem has always been understood to be resolved by a completed peace deal between Israel and Palestine. Up until today, this was the U.S.'s official stance on Jerusalem. Today, President Trump has completely reversed U.S. policy and greatly weakened the prospect any long-term chance at a substantive peace deal in the Middle East."
"By endorsing Israel's annexation of Jerusalem, President Trump is acting against international law, hurting U.S. interests at home and abroad, and destroying U.S. credibility on an international stage. The Trump Administration's actions will not promote peace; conversely, the decision destroys the prospect of peace, promotes violence, and dismantles the U.S. credibility as a diplomatic force around the world," the ADC statement concluded.
Council on American-Islamic Relations [CAIR]
On Wednesday, the Council on American-Islamic
Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy
organization, joined a coalition of Muslim, Interfaith and human rights groups
at a news conference outside the White House in Washington, D.C., to respond to
President's Trump's expected announcement this afternoon on the status of
CAIR is calling on Americans of all backgrounds to contact their elected representatives to oppose Trump's "reckless" change of policy on Jerusalem.
In a statement reacting to the president's announcement on Jerusalem, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said:
"By overturning a decades-long policy adopted by administrations of both parties, President Trump is casting aside America's role as a mediator in the Middle East conflict, harming our Muslim allies and our nation's strategic foreign policy interests, offending the religious sensibilities of the world's 1.6 billion Muslims, and empowering political and religious extremists of all stripes at home and abroad. This dangerous, counterproductive and self-serving move should be rejected by every American who looks forward to a just and comprehensive resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."