By: Manar Mohsen
Division within the Arab world and decline of the application of Islamic law in the region is the reason behind the loss of Jerusalem, according to the deputy head of the Salafi Da’wa (Salafi Calling). Yasser Al-Borhami made the comments during a conference in Gaza on Thursday.
The Salafi delegation visited Gaza to attend a conference in solidarity with Al-Aqsa, titled The Judaisation of Al-Aqsa Mosque: Between Division and the Arab Spring. The conference was organised by the Ibn Baz Islamic Society, one of the largest Salafi institutes in Gaza.
Al-Borhami, a keynote speaker for the event, emphasised that “the Palestinian issue is a Muslim issue” in his call for Muslims to support Palestinians against Israel.
“We thank God for the day when we can enter Gaza, and the day will come when we reclaim Jerusalem,” he said.
The Salafi delegation met with the Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh during its visit to Gaza. In the meeting, Haniyeh agreed with Al-Borhami that “the unity of Islamic nations is the path to the liberation of Jerusalem from occupation.”
According to Hani Al-Basoos, assistant professor of political science at the Islamic University of Gaza, the Salafi ideology has been steadily growing in popularity among Gazans. An unofficial Gaza-based party called Al-Nour has been spearheading this recent spread of the Salafi ideology. The party’s request for official status was rejected by Palestinian authorities last year.
Although Al-Basoos stated that the Gaza-based Al-Nour Party maintains good relations with its Egyptian counterpart, Nader Bakkar, the official spokesperson for the Egyptian Al-Nour Party, denied such a claim.
“There is no relationship between us and the Gaza-based Al-Nour Party; however we welcome any relationship of constructive cooperation,” Bakkar said.
Al-Basoos said Al-Nour in Gaza is currently working to garner support ]in Palestinian society. However, he argued it is unlikely that it will gain much popularity since most Gazans are polarised between more prominent political parties, specifically Hamas and Fatah.
“Due to the current political situation, it is difficult for any party to win a majority [in elections], but for now, [the Gazan] Al-Nour Party is only an ideological, religious group,” Al-Basoos said.
On Friday, hundreds of protesters held a rally in solidarity with Palestine in Cairo. The event was organised by several Salafi groups, including Al-Nour Party.