Muslim Mayors Urge Muslims to Visit Jerusalem

October 15, 2007

Author: Staff Writer

Source: The Herald Tribune

Wire Service: AP

After praying at Jerusalem's main holy site, two Muslim mayors attending the annual Jerusalem mayors' conference are calling on Muslims to visit the holy city.

Al Haji Nasser Ntege Sebaggala from Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, and Adam Kimbisa, from Kampala, Uganda, prayed at the Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa Mosque on Sunday and said if every Muslim could see Jerusalem, their perception of Jewish control of the city would change.

"If people could visit each other frequently, these artificial barriers can be broken very easily," said Sebaggala. "Here I prayed, I walked freely, nobody was harassing me, and I felt very good. Seeing is believing."

The two Muslim shrines are built atop the ruins of the biblical Jewish temples inside the walled Old City, and the site is one of the most hotly contested in the world. Both Israel and the Palestinians demand sovereignty over the site, a dispute that has helped scuttle years of peace efforts.