World Bulletin / News Desk
World Islamic body warned Israel against organizing "a wine festival" in the historic Ottoman mosque, turned into museum.
The Secretary General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu has strongly warned about the danger of organizing a wine festival in the courtyard of the historic Bir Sab’a Mosque on 5-6 September 2012, describing such as a flagrant violation to be added to the crime of closing the Mosque and preventing Muslims from praying there.
The Be'er Sheva Mosque, built during the Ottoman reign of the region and used as a house of worship until 1948, was turned into an Islamic museum on the orders of an Israeli high court in 2011.
He stressed that this violation is part of a series of ongoing attacks against Islamic sanctuaries and antiquities in Palestine aimed at obliterating and desecrating them, which is "a deliberate provocation of Muslims" in all parts of the world.
Ihsanoglu said in a statement, he holds Israel fully responsible for the continuation of these attacks on sanctuaries and places of worship and describes the act as grave disregard for the principles of international law and norms which feeds the atmosphere of tension and instability in the region.
The Secretary General also called on the international community, rights organizations, UNESCO and the High Commissioner for the Alliance of Civilizations to assume their responsibilities and act urgently to stop these attacks and to compel Israel to respect sanctuaries and places of worship.