(WASHINGTON, D.C., 8/10/17) - Representatives of the US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), a coalition of leading national and local American Muslim organizations, met yesterday with State Department officials to discuss the ongoing Al-Aqsa Mosque crisis and Israel's denial of religious freedom in Jerusalem, which is holy to the three Abrahamic faiths. During the meeting at the State Department, the USCMO delegation highlighted the religious significance of Jerusalem and the Al Aqsa Mosque sanctuary – one of Islam’s holiest sites -- for the world’s 1.6 billion Muslim, including the 6 million American Muslims.
Officials assured the delegation that the United States is committed to working with the various parties in the conflict to assure the safety and security of worshipers in Jerusalem.
“We wanted to convey to the State Department how deeply concerned we are about the incidents in Jerusalem and to make sure they understood the religious significance this site holds for American Muslims,” said Oussama Jammal, USCMO secretary general. “We were encouraged by the constructive dialogue at the State Department on this important issue.”
Two weeks of peaceful Palestinian protests and international pressure in July forced Israeli authorities to remove surveillance cameras they had installed at the gates to Al Aqsa. Palestinians and Muslims worldwide remain concerned about Israel's denial of religious rights for Muslims and Christians, and the ongoing Israeli effort to alter the religious landscape of Jerusalem.
USCMO member organizations represented at the meeting included Oussama Jammal, Secretary General of USCMO; Roula Allouch, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR); Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi, Islamic Shura Council of Southern California (ISCSC); Dr. Zahid Bukhari and Dr. Mohsin Ansari, Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA); and Mir Masum Ali, Muslim Ummah of North America (MUNA).
Founding members of USCMO: American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA), Muslim American Society (MAS), Muslim Legal Fund of America (MLFA), Muslim Ummah of North America (MUNA), Osama Abu-Irshaid, American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), The Mosque Cares (Ministry of Imam W. Deen Mohammed).