Casablanca - Israel approved a plan to hold a beer festival on the grounds of an ancient Muslim cemetery in West Jerusalem.
Casablanca – Israel approved a plan to hold a beer festival on the grounds of an ancient Muslim cemetery in West Jerusalem.
The decision has sparked outrage in the Muslim world and has been considered an insult to Muslims worldwide.
“How can Muslims accept Jews drinking alcohol and dance at the gravesite that contains the remains of known figures of the early Islam!” exclaimed a Palestinian activist.
“The festival aims to humiliate the Muslims and insult their culture,” said Mazen Abu Qalbain in an interview with the Gulf News.
Talking about the correlation between the nature of the festival and the holiness of the cemetery in the eyes of Muslims, the activist said, “The festival has truly become a tradition ripe with vicious provocation.”
“Jerusalem is spacious and the festival can be held anywhere over the city, but the Israeli choice of this particular historic Muslim gravesite aims to send a clear message to the Muslims around the world,” continued Abu Qalbain.
The festival will be held on Mamilla cemetery that has been turned into a park, now renamed ‘Independence Park’ by the Israeli authorities.
The festival will extend for a duration of two days and will present “120 different varieties of local and international beers,” points out the news website Telesur.
The Israeli decision is reminiscent of a similar incident which took place in August last year, when a café was built in the same cemetery, drawing discontent from Muslim leaders in Jerusalem.
Al-Aqsa Association, an organization dedicated to protecting the sanctity of Muslim sites, described the move as “a systemic scheme to destroy the landmarks of the cemetery”
Mamilla Cemetery is one of the oldest cemeteries in the Muslim world. It dates back to 1400 years ago when Muslim ruled over Jerusalem sixteen years after the Hejira. Many pious Muslims were buried in the cemetery, including companions of the Prophet Muhammad (SAWS).