Jerusalem (Dec. 4)
Shaukat Ali, the Indian Moslem leader, accompanied by his son and by Sheik Taftazni, arrived in Jerusalem this morning from Cairo, to attend the Palestine Moslem Congress, which is opening here on Sunday evening.
The Grand Mufti met Shaukat Ali, and Fakhri Nashashibi, one of the members of the opposition to the Grand Mufti, received Sheik Taftazni.
The Grand Mufti kept away from the arrivals all newspapermen, except those who are Moslems and his own supporters. Even Mr. Drazny, a well-known Egyptian Moslem publicist, who is representing a Turkish newspaper, was not allowed to see them.
A few British newspaper correspondents have been invited to attend the formal opening of the Congress on Sunday evening, but only Moslems will be permitted to be present at the actual deliberations, which will take place in the Mosque of Omar area.
The decisions adopted by the Islamic Congress which is opening in Jerusalem on Sunday evening, will be binding on all Moslems in the same way as a decision of the College of Cardinals is binding on all Roman Catholics, Maulana Shaukat Ali declared in an interview published to-day in the “Bourse Egyptienne”, which he gave to a correspondent of the paper while he was in Cairo on his way to Palestine.
I am responsible for convening this Congress, Shaukat Ali claimed, and its chief aim is to protect the Moslem World against the danger of European culture, which is poisoning our youth.
The Congress will also deal with the question of the Moslem Holy Places in Palestine, he said, and will determine the place of Jerusalem as a Holy Centre for Moslems. The projected Moslem University in Jerusalem is a need of the hour, he said, because we must provide opportunities for the Moslem youth to study, in addition to Moslem literature and culture, all other subjects taught at a modern University, in order to train good and faithful Moslems, who will be capable of carrying on the fight for Moslem existence.
Turning to the question of Zionism, Shaukat Ali said “the Balfour Declaration means nothing to us. We have never accepted it and we never shall accept it”.
Jewish immigration to Palestine must be stopped in order to prevent unemployment in the country, he went on, and if in spite of our demands Jewish immigration continues, we shall find the necessary ways and means of organising a Moslem immigration to Palestine, and we shall see who will win.
I am taking an active interest in Palestine, Shaukat Ali explained to the interviewer, because Palestine is sacred to Moslems in the same way as Mocca, and there is no power in this world that can prevent us Moslems from giving our attention to this question.
I do not oppose an understanding between Arabs and Jews, Shaukat Ali concluded, although I am against a Jewish National Home, and I have nothing at all against an understanding being reached with those Zionists who are already in Palestine, so that they may remain there, but only on condition that the Jews give up their demand for special rights and privileges in Palestine.