The President of the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE) has written a letter on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of a fire in the Jerusalem Al-Aqsa Mosque calling on “all Imams, Spiritual Guiders and those in positions of responsibility, to allocate the first Friday in Ramadan to focus on the history and events related to Al-Aqsa and highlight the ongoing conspiracy to destroy it.” The letter furthers describes what it calls the “escalating violations and acts of judaization, and desecration of its sacred and holy locations, as well as the constant desecration of Al Masjid Al-Aqsa”:
It has come to the attention of all that the city of Jerusalem has recently fallen under escalating violations and acts of judaization, and desecration of its sacred and holy locations, as well as the constant desecration of Al Masjid Al-Aqsa, the first of the two qibla’s and the destination of the Prophet (PBUH). The violations against Jerusalem today, are the most fierce of their kind that have attacked the city since its occupation, and include targeting Jerusalem and performing acts of judaization to the Masjid Al-Aqsa, and building tunnels underneath the mosque and around it, as well as emptying the city from its original residents, and changing the names of holy sites and locations. Facing these atrocious acts which strike the hearts of Muslims all over the world watching the transgressions committed against the place which is second only to the Holy locations in Saudi Arabia; we are all called to renew our pledge and dutiful stance towards Jerusalem and its cause, since it is a responsibility that we all share. The least that duty calls for is a clear explanation of the cause of Jerusalem, and its sacredness and a movement to raise awareness to the plight of its people. It is the duty of all Muslims to highlight the dangers that are facing Jerusalem, which have reached the extent of the desecration of the Masjid Al-Aqsa by fundamentalist Jews, and forcing people from their homes and claiming their historical lands, while the world watches people become homeless in the name of organized judaization, and illegal occupation, and the transforming of Jerusalem into an artificial location that bears no relation to its history or civilization. It is beyond doubt that what we witness today is a gross transgression on behalf of the occupier towards Jerusalem and its Palestinian, Arab, Islamic authentic identity, whereby they are carelessly destroying its civilization and religious and cultural status, challenging the call for it being named the Arab cultural capital.
The fire in question was actually set by a mentally-ill Christian tourist from Australia who thought it would help him become “king over Jerusalem and Judea.” According to a 1970 Time Magazine article:
The flames that gutted a wing of Jerusalem’s Al Aqsa mosque last August added an unwanted measure of heat and hatred to a conflict that is never far from flash point. Arab leaders, blaming Israeli negligence for the damage to Islam’s third most sacred shrine, called for jihad—holy war. Prime Minister Golda Meir’s Cabinet met in emergency session amid deep concern that the fire might weaken Israeli rule in the holy city. Last week the man who confessed to setting the mosque ablaze, a 28-year-old Christian named Denis Michael Rohan, was judged insane and committed by an Israeli court to a mental hospital. Rohan, an Australian sheep shearer who was visiting Israel as a tourist, testified that he set the fire to prove that God wanted him to build a temple on the site and then would “set me up as king over Jerusalem and Judea.” A state psychiatric board will periodically review Rohan’s progress; if released, he will be deported. Al Aqsa, meanwhile, is being repaired under the direction of Arab religious authorities, and will be reopened to tourists, under much heavier guard, in a few weeks.
Interestingly, the arson attack on al-Aqsa has been cited as one of the catalysts for the formation of the Organization of the Islamic Conference in 1971, which brought together dozens of Islamic countries.
A report on FIOE by the NEFA Foundation describes the organization as follows:
The Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE) claims to be an independent organization representing the interests of Muslims in Europe. In reality, the FIOE is an umbrella group that comprises the global Muslim Brotherhood in Europe. Strong links connect FIOE’s leadership central institutions and member organizations to the Brotherhood, as well as to Saudi Arabia. Funding for the FIOE is derived largely from Gulf sources, including some of the ruling families of the United Arab Emirates. The FIOE has strong ties to Hamas and Hamas fund-raising organizations, and some FIOE member organizations show evidence of links with Al-Qaida. The FIOE recently opened a headquarters office in Brussels and has had some success in positioning itself as a “dialog partner” for the EU and other important institutions.
A previous post discussed a statement by the FIOE-affiliated European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR) which also accused Israel of deliberate attacks on the Al-Aqsa mosque. The statement referred to the:
… “Judaization of Jerusalem, and the attacks on Al-Aqsa Mosque.” The Council called the most serious danger “the international policy of the annexation of Jerusalem to the Zionist entity.”
Another post discussed the “Jerusalem Committee” of the Hamas government which was created:
…..to confront and explain what Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque are facing in terms of a systematic and programmed Judaization plan backed by the forces of tyranny in the world to create demographic changes in the Holy City, as well as the excavations that are endangering the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the acts of robbery and registration of Jerusalem properties in the Zionist tabu [land registration]authority.
As discussed in that post, the Committee was considering creating an honorary advisory council to include Youssef Qaradawi, the most important leader of the global Muslim Brotherhood.
Muslim Brotherhood organizations such as the Muslim Public Affairs Council MPAC in the U.S, have also insinuated that Israel is deliberately attempting to damage the Al-Aqsa mosque.
Global Muslim Brotherhood organizations often refer to an assortment of plots and conspiracies directed toward Muslims by Israel and the Jewish communities.