Damascus, SANA-Presidential Political and Media Advisor Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban said that the latest Israel aggression against Gaza Strip was meant to alter the Arab identity and replace it with a Zionist one, as well as bringing the Arab-Israeli conflict to an end that suits the Israelis’ interests.
Shaaban, who is the current chairperson of al-Quds International Foundation board of secretaries, was speaking during al-Quds (Jerusalem) Forum organized by the foundation to mark the 45th anniversary of setting fire to al-Aqsa Mosque by Israelis.
The silver-domed al-Aqsa Mosque is the third holiest site in Islam and is located in the old city of Jerusalem.
Muslims around the world mark the anniversary of the fire in al-Aqsa Mosque on August 21st 1969 which gutted its southeastern wing and destroyed Saladin’s minbar.
“Had the West been serious in fighting terrorism that the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria represents, this terrorism would never have had a foot to stand on,” the Presidential Advisor said.
Shaaban stressed the need for the West to be “serious in fighting terrorism in words and actions, and it must realize that the Syrians and Gazans are no less human than its own citizens.”
She indicated that President Bashar al-Assad has demonstrated an Arab and national affiliation “that proved unshaken by events,” touting the commemoration of the anniversary of burning al-Aqsa Mosque in Damascus as “a victory for Jerusalem and Palestine.”
Commenting on the situation in Arab states, she indicated that the events that have been rocking Tunisia, Libya, Iraq, Syria and Yemen are “intended to fragment what has been already divided for Israel to out-power and dominate a weak Arab nation.”
Shaaban admitted that despite the establishment of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the Arabs are “not doing enough” to protect holy sites and the city of Jerusalem.
“Syria is country number one in fighting terrorism in the world,” Shaaban pointed out, indicating that it has always called for conferences to be convened to come up with a clear definition of terrorism and differentiate between it and the right to resistance which is a “legitimate right for nations.”
The advisor considered that one battle is being fought in Gaza, Jerusalem and Damascus. “It is a battle with the enemies of the nation..the enemies of belonging, sanctities and the Arab civilization,” she proclaimed.
Syria’s Grand Mufti Dr. Ahmad Badr-Eddin Hassoun said while the entire world seeks to “burn” it, Syria wants Jerusalem to reclaim its glamour as the “cradle of divine religions.”
He said that Syria bears an immortal message that is being “protected by the blood of martyrs.”
“Even if the whole world gangs up against us, we will never give up on our dignity and honor,” the Mufti asserted.
Participants warned of attempts to embroil Arab states in religious, sectarian and ethnic conflicts to divert attention away from what is happening in Palestine, indicating that the fake “Arab Spring” that has swept the region “popularized a culture of beheading, killing and sectarianism.”
Manal Ismael / Hazem Sabbagh