New Telegraph

Singapore backs Saudi Arabia’s ‘wise’ decision on 2021 Hajj

Singapore’s Minister for Social and Family Development, Second Minister for Health and Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs, Masagos Zulkifli, has expressed his country’s support for the “wise” decision taken by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to hold this year’s hajj with a limited number of citizens and residents in Saudi Arabia, due to the developments of the coronavirus pandemic. According to the minister, this decision embodies Saudi Arabia’s reiteration that human health and safety are among the priorities of Islam.

Zulkifli said the decision was also in line with Saudi Arabia’s approach “in navigating this crisis and is evidence that the Kingdom has given the utmost attention to scientific evidence and public health.” The minister extended thanks to “the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and HRH Crown Prince for the decisive and necessary measures taken during this difficult time.” Meanwhile, various human rights organisations and Islamic bodies have called on the United Nations to go beyond condemnation and take all necessary steps to stop Israel from its continued illegal occupation and eviction of Palestinians from their homes.

A coalition of the organisations led by Dr Khadijah Olaniyan, Nigeria’s Head of the International Muslim Women Union (IWMU), also charged the UN to protect civilians, especially innocent children, from future Israel’s aggression on Palestine. About eight organisations that formed the coalition gathered at the Lagos State Secretariat Mosque Conference Room on Monday for a world press conference where they reviewed the aftermath of Israel’s 11-day offensive in Gaza which claimed the lives of 237 Palestinians, including 65 children. The members of the coalition are Muslim Awareness International (MAI), Al-Mu’minaat (The Believing Women) Organisation, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), Guild of Muslim Professionals (GMP), Pristine Cactus, Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN), Lagos State Area Unit and Lagos Secretariat Community Central Mosque (LSCCM).

“Palestine predates Israel but the latter is really out to wipe out Palestine,” said Dr Olaniyan, who alleged that the powers that be had watched Israel maim, kill, and commit war crimes against innocent civilians in Palestine without prosecution. “In the just concluded Gaza onslaught, Israel killed over two hundred civilians, including 65 children.

The pogrom lasted eleven days before allies of Israel could make it call a unilateral ceasefire. Eleven days of horror and wanton waste of innocent lives and properties,” Olaniyan noted. The organisations condemned attacks on innocent civilians, both at home and at their mosque (Aqsa), humanitarian facilities, among others, and therefore called on the United Nations to stop Israel from future acts of “state’sponsored terrorism,” including evictions, occupation of Palestinian homes and lands, and deliberate acts of provocation which may lead to escalation of violence and the accompanying killings. “We align with the conditions of the ceasefire given by the Palestinians. Israel must desist from further occupation of East Jerusalem, illegal settlement building on Palestinian land, Al-Aqsa Mosque (invasion) hostilities and continued siege and invasion of Gaza,” they said

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