Hamas announced Thursday that the new rulers of Egypt – swept into power as a result of the “Arab Spring” rebellion – have given their blessing to a major demonstration to take place in Cairo next week. The “million man march” to be sponsored by Islamist groups a week from Friday will protest against the “Judaization” of Jerusalem.
Symbolically, the march will leave from the Al-Azhar mosque, Egypt's most prominent, and proceed to Tahrir Square, which was the spiritual center of the protests that swept Hosni Mubarak from power last spring.
The march will be led by no less than Ahmed a-Taib, Egypt's highest-ranking Islamic cleric and perhaps the most important in the entire Sunni Arab world. A-Taib, head of the Al-Azhar mosque, called the march “very important,” and worthy of the time of every Muslim who valued his religion. In recent weeks, a-Taib set up a special committee to prevent the progress of the “Zionist plan to Judaize Jerusalem.” The committee is expected to develop a platform that it will ask all individuals planning to run in Egypt's upcoming elections to support, committing them to using whatever resources are at their disposal to “defend the Al-Aqsa mosque” on the Temple Mount. A-Taib expects all politicians in Egypt – including Coptic Christians – to endorse the platform.
A-Taib has been very active in efforts to “liberate” the Temple Mount from Israeli control. At a conference last week, he said that Muslims needed to take the issue much more seriously; only thus, he said, would the Muslim goal of removing Jews from Jerusalem be achieved. Earlier this year, a-Taib met with Hamas chief terrorist Khaled Masha'al to work out a plan which Hamas could use to achieve that goal.
Muhammad Amarra, who chairs the committee, said that “the Israeli occupation of Al-Quds will end in a way similar to that of the Crusader occupation. The occupation is a crossing of the red line for Muslims. We call on all liberal and freedom-seeking groups to support the Arab effort to liberate Al-Quds.”