King: Jerusalem is for Christians, Muslims, Jews

AMMAN: Jordan’s King Abdullah II insisted on December 5 that Jerusalem must be an open city for Jews, Muslims and Christians during talks with Theophilos III, the new Greek Orthodox patriarch of the Holy City. "Jerusalem must be open to the followers of the three monotheistic religions," state-run Petra news agency quoted the king as saying. The Jordanian monarch also urged "Christian religious leaders to unite their efforts and speak in one voice to the West about the challenges that face the Christian Arab presence in Jerusalem", the agency said.

Source: [Middle East Times]

I personally have a great deal of admiration for His Majesty’s continual efforts to spread religious tolerance in the volatile Middle East. I will reiterate what I said in an previous post: In light of what many might be currently interpreting as a religious conflict, such initiatives are extremely essential to promote peace and deconstruct stereotypes.

UPDATE: On the same topic, there is a well-written commentary in the Daily Star entitled "A Palestinian Christian appeals for a shared Jerusalem." Here is one highlight:

We hold fast to our vision when someday, Christians, Muslims and Jews,
Israelis and Palestinians — all people — will be able to freely
celebrate our diverse but equally sacred feasts. We pray for a
religious awakening of justice and reconciliation that puts an end to
occupation and oppression, suicide bombings and drive-by shootings,
terrorism and counter-terrorism, targeted assassinations and incursions.

Source: [The Daily Star]

By Natasha Tynes

I’m a Jordanian-American journalist, writer, and media development professional based in Washington, DC.

6 comments

  1. It is a good call!Yes they should unite!
    Once during 1940ies Jerusalem had 50% Christian population, today they are about a 10000 only!And the number keeps inclinning!
    It seems it will turn into some shrines, with no active living community!
    Immigration is our enemy!Fight it!

  2. despite his comments it wont end up that way. it will inevitably and eventually be devided into east and west…muslims and christians on one side…jews on the other

  3. I disagree. We must strive to establish complete acceptance and tolerance. We must not let our bigotry and racism become a segregated reality.
    Ameen

  4. What the king said is right, but like we say sometimes “hada el 7aki ma be6a3mi khobez” :p
    There is a simple law of physics that says “two objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time”. Apply this to Jerusalem now. Do we tear down the mosque that muslims have and raise the temple that the jews want, or do we preserve the mosque and forget about the temple?

  5. How about multi floor option; top floor for Christians ( closer to heaven), middle for Moslems (since they like moderations-wasateyyeh), and ground level to jews (so they can control who enters and who doesnt enter the building); did I introduce a new thing to dispute over ! who gets which floor !

  6. I applaud king Abdullah’s tolerance and moderation,but wonder how much support he will get from other Muslim nations.I also worry that his comments and efforts will outrage more radical members of his faith,some of whom have already threatened to murder him.
    Although I support Israel’s right to exist,I can’t deny the fact that Christians are discriminated against,both officially and unofficially.
    As for the temple and mosque sharing the same location in Jerusalem…that will only be resolved through divine intervention,and probably quite soon.

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