Daily Israel Report

Muslims Set Aside $30 Million for 'Keeping Jerusalem Muslim'

Money to be invested through Al-Quds Fund belonging to the Organization of Islamic Countries.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 8/15/2010, 6:27 PM / Last Update: 8/15/2010, 6:35 PM

Flash 90

Bayt Mal Al Quds Asharif – the Holy Al Quds Fund – announced at week's end after convening in Rabat, Morocco, that it will invest $30 million in projects for “safeguarding the Arabic and Islamic nature” of the Old City of Jerusalem.

The Fund, an affiliate of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, was set up in 1998 by King Hassan II of Morocco. It defines itself as a not-for-profit Islamic institution that seeks “to establish and preserve the Islamic and Arab rights” in Jerusalem and “to help its people remain steadfast on their lands.”

The organization's director, Abd el-Kareem Al-Alawi, said that a fund raising drive had begun and that the money would go toward “vital projects” such as the purchase of land in eastern Jerusalem.

In the coming year, he said, an effort would be made to continue to purchase land as part of a project to revive the so-called “Mughrabi Waqf.” The Mughrabis were North African warriors who joined the army of Salah ad-Din (Saladin) in his 12th century conquest of Jerusalem. The conqueror granted the Mughrabis some land to safeguard. 

The plan includes the operation of Beit El-Maghreb as a cultural center in the heart of Jerusalem, funding for education and health, and “safeguarding” of the Al Aqsa Mosque and other historic Islamic sites.

Sheikh Raad Salah, who heads the Islamic Movement within Israel, said after a May 2008 visit to Morocco that the numerous Muslim Waqf sites in Jerusalem and elsewhere were given to the Mughrabis for eternity as holy land and now belong to Morocco and other North African countries from which the warriors hailed.   

The waqf areas, he said, include the Kotel Plaza, Ein Karem, part of the town of Ramleh and other sites in Jerusalem and Israel. The idea of demanding that Israel hand over these “Waqf” sites has already come up for debate in the parliaments of Algeria, Morocco and Mauritania.

The latest Muslim ploy to expand Waqf land by building a fake cemetery was exposed by Arutz Sheva and foiled.