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Palestine Moslem Hostility to Grand Mufti and Moslem World Congress: Opposition Tells J.t.a. Mufti H

Within a few days of the Moslem World Congress called in Jerusalem by the Grand Mufti, which is due to open on Monday, the 7th. inst., and with a number of delegates from Persia, Iraq and Jugo-Slavia already in Jerusalem, the group of important Palestine Moslem leaders, including the members of the powerful Nashashibi family, who issued a proclamation against the Congress a fortnight ago, reaffirmed their opposition to-day in a statement given to the J.T.A., in which they declare that their opposition to the Congress is unrelaxed.

The Grand Mufti, they state, has rejected the conditions which the opposition presented to him (among them a demand that a meeting of the leaders of the Palestine Moslems should be held to select a representative committee to arrange the Congress which at present, they say, is unauthorised), and consequently the opposition abides by the proclamation which was issued in November against the Congress.

The proclamation referred to, signed by fifty Moslem notables in Palestine, including Abdul Rahman Rahgi, member of the Supreme Moslem Religious Council; Ragheb Bey Nashashibi, the Mayor of Jerusalem; Omar al Beitar, member of the Palestine Arab Executive; Hassan Budeiri. of Jerusalem; the Mayor of Ramleh; the Mayor of Jenin; the Chairman of the Arab Chamber of Commerce in Jaffa; Omar Saleh, member of the Palestine Arab Executive; Sheikh Assad al Shuqairi, a number of Mayors, advocates and members of the Palestine Arab Executive; the President of the High Sharia Appeal Court; the ex-Chief Qadi of Transjordan; and Hassan Sidqi el Dajani; former General Manager of Wakis (Moslem Religious Endowment Property), began with a statement that a Congress aiming to benefit Moslems in general and Arabs in particular is to be welcomed, as should be any representatives or delegates honouring Palestine with their presence in order to help the country, but went on to complain of the “wilful arbitrariness which has obscured the projected Congress and the methods used for the purpose, which have caused consternation, not only in Palestine, but in other Moslem countries”.

The Mufti, Haj Ameen Effendi el Husseini, the proclamation said, has not taken counsel with any notable Palestine Moslems; he sent out invitations in the name of the Supreme Moslem Council, al though the Council had not decided to call such a Congress; he published announcements in the name of an Organising Committee of which Palestine Moslems knew nothing, in spite of the repeated requests that the names of this Committee be made public; he has not published an agenda of the Congress, a procedure followed at all such Congresses; no invitations have been sent out to any Moslem or ganisation or a single prominent Moslem in the country, and none of them have been given an opportunity to consider the question.

As the proposed session draws near, the proclamation went on, we consider it our duty publicly to express our view. For the Congress to succeed, the following means should be employed: A meeting of the leaders of the Palestine Moslems should be called to select a representative committee of the kind that would guarantee the success of the Congress. This Committee should publish an agenda for the Congress, taking-account of Islamic interests outside Palestine. The Organisation committee should invite representatives of Palestine Moslem societies, thus ensuring that Palestine, too, is represented.

If the arrangements continue along the present Wines, the proclamation concluded, we are certain that the Congress will fail. We state this for the good of the public, or the land and the Moslem people.

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