The Israeli embassy in Cairo has expressed happiness over statements made by Egyptian writer, Youssef Ziedan, who said that the mosque located in Jerusalem is in fact not the al-Aqsa mosque and that “Jerusalem is not a holy place.”
On their Facebook page the embassy said: “We were very happy with the statements of established writer Youssef Ziedan on Sunday evening in his interview with Amr Adib on ONTV. Ziedan described the good relationship between the Jews and Muslims that existed even before Prophet Mohammad PBUH, and until this day.”
“There is no doubt that the message of Ziedan, which is the need to stop this culture of hatred between the two sides, is a very important one in our view. The cooperation between Jews and Muslims will benefit both Egyptians and Israelis, and will be a great service to coming generations of both peoples,” the post read.
The Facebook post attracted a lot of negative responses. One such response said, “We Muslims have always been peaceful, but you stab us behind our backs, kill our children, our elderly and our young ones, and you are still not satisfied.”
A number of Egyptian members of parliament criticized Ziedan for his mockery and questioning of the existence of the Aqsa mosque. Ziedan had previously condemned the Palestinians ‘victimizing’ themselves, saying that “launching slogans like ‘al-Aqsa is wounded’ and ‘Jerusalem is captured’ will not benefit anyone.”
They also criticized his persistent offensive statements about al-Azhar, saying that it is the “cause of widespread backwardness in Egypt.” Parliament members stressed that his ‘false facts about historical and events’ must be stopped.
Zeidan has been stirring controversy for a while because of his opinions on Islamic history that are considered outlandish to many, specifically coming from a person of Arab descent. He has been often described as the “faithful servant of Israel” because of that.