A group of Muslim clerics from the Rift Valley region have criticised US President Donald Trump’s decision to formally recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Led by Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya North Rift region chairman Sheikh Abubakar Bini, the leaders warned of heightened tensions or even violence across the Middle East following the decision.
“We are really saddened by President Trump’s move to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. This is irresponsible and uncalled for step which should be resisted,” said Sheikh Bini.
Trump's move to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital has brought global criticism since Wednesday. World leaders painted the decision as unilateral and outside the vision of a negotiated peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
RELIGION AND POLITICS
“Trump has is pouring petrol in a fire because at no given time should issues of religion be mixed with politics. This is disastrous,” Sheikh Bini added.
According to Bini, there is a need to have a group of selected leaders come to the negotiating table to solve the impasse.
“We are urging the international community to bring leaders together and solve this issue before it gets out of hand. Jerusalem’s status should be determined by peace talks,” Sheikh Bin said.
Speaking at the same event, Dr Sheikh Jamal Mungatana said recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel by the word leader will have serious implications as it will cause provocation.
“The Holy book tells us to respect our leaders and also tells us that we should be against leaders who despise religion. In this case, we are asking Trump to withdraw his statement.”
The holy sites in Jerusalem are highly valued by Jews, Christians and Muslims, making the political disputes over it even more volatile.
Its western half houses the Israeli Parliament, Supreme Court and government headquarters, while the largely Arab eastern half was captured by Israel in the 1967 six-day war and annexed thereafter.