Aqsa Week 6th – 12th March 2021(live on our YouTube)
Aqsa Week will coincide with al-Isra wal-Miraj (11th March) to bring the love of Al-Aqsa to the global community under the banner of #LoveAqsa.
Aqsa Week is about creating conversations on why we #LoveAqsa
This year, Friends of Al-Aqsa (FOA) has partnered with American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) to deliver an exciting educational week in order to bring a global focus to Al-Aqsa and the Palestinian people.
We are calling upon university societies, families, mosques, work places, halaqas, local councils and parliaments around the world to hold events under the banner of #LoveAqsa.
Aqsa Week should be marked by organising varied events that bring to fore the centrality of Al-Aqsa and the plight of the Palestinians. The events should also recognise other oppressed and colonised people. Aqsa Week should be used to teach Muslim and non-Muslims of the great heritage of Masjid Al-Aqsa and how to support the occupied people around the world.
FOA and AMP have organised a week of events (6 – 12 March) to give a direction on how you can organise programmes in your network or organisation.
Join our #LoveAqsa Facebook event page to let us know your thoughts and spread the word.
In our sixth year of running Aqsa Week we have now gone global!
It has garnered worldwide support from a number of countries and organisations, including: Ministry of Awqaf Jerusalem, International Union of Muslim Scholars, Ministry of Religious Affair Turkey as well as support from Palestine, South Africa, Malaysia, Indonesia, Iraq, Bangladesh, United States, Canada, Hong Kong, United Kingdom, India and Pakistan.
Aqsa Week Support and coverage
Aqsa Week has garnered worldwide support including: Ministry of Awqaf Jerusalem, Jamiatul Ulama in South Africa, MJC, International Union of Muslim Scholars, Ministry of Religious Affair Turkey, Ministry of Religious Affairs in Malaysia, as well as support from Iraq, Indonesia, Bangladesh, United States, Canada, Hong Kong, India Pakistan and other countries across Europe and Africa.
For resources on Aqsa Week, please click on the categories below
Israel continues its violations against Palestinian children with the murder of 15 year Ali Abu Alia on 4 December 2020. Ali was killed as a result of a shot fired to his abdomen by Israeli forces whilst observing a peaceful demonstration. This follows the murder of Amer Abdel-Rahim Snobar in October, who was helping a friend move a car when Israeli forces arrived. Doctors stated he likely died from asphyxiation as a result of strangulation by the Israeli forces.
Israel use unwarranted lethal force against Palestinian children as well as live ammunition against children, which is a violation of United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Israel routinely subject Palestinian children to night raids and force them to sign confessions without any legal representation.
Currently, 15 Palestinian children are being held in solitary confinement and 186 children in ‘security’ detention.
Write to you MP now.
For the last 23 years, FOA has been at the forefront of the pro-Palestinian movement in the UK. As a grassroots organisation we have over 12 branches across the UK, each led by passionate and enthusiastic volunteers.
We have organised hundreds of events to raise awareness and provide a crucial avenue for the community to become active.
Our campaigns and literature are researched and referenced to provide a reliable platform for people to use.
Over the last 20 years, we have successfully run effective campaigns, which has changed the discourse on Palestine in the UK.
FOA is one of the organisations which hosted the mass demonstrations in response to Israel’s atrocities. The demonstrations have brought together over hundreds and thousands of protesters to oppose Israeli war crimes.
In July 2017 FOA hosted the first PalestineExpo at the prestigious central London location, Queen Elizabeth II Centre. The second event took place in July 2019 at Olympia London. Both events attracted over 25,000 attendees and is the Biggest Palestine event in Europe.
In July 2020 FOA hosted an online version, PalestineExpo Online, which saw 350,000 people tune in from around the world.
The occupation of Palestine has been going on for decades. The occupation continues to get worse. With your support we will keep Palestine at the forefront of people’s mind and we will continue to campaign until there is justice for the Palestinian people.
By becoming a member, you are giving FOA the much-needed help to put an end to this illegal occupation.
Puma is the main sponsor of the Israel Football Association (IFA), which has several football teams in illegal Israeli settlements. Just as the Football Association (FA) is the governing body for football in England, the IFA is the governing body for football in Israel.
Six teams that belong to IFA are located in illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. Settlements are built up Israeli communities on stolen Palestinian land. Pre-existing Palestinian communities are forcibly removed from their homes and deprived of access to their land.
The United Nations and several Human Rights groups have deemed Israeli settlements as illegal and a violation of international law.
By sponsoring the IFA, PUMA is supporting illegal Israeli settlements which violate Palestinian rights and international law.
More than 200 Palestinian sports clubs have called on PUMA to stop supporting the IFA & violating international law. In 2018, Adidas announced it would no longer sponsor the IFA after receiving 16,000 signatures.
Let’s do this again and stop PUMA from supporting Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine!
Central Bottling Company (CBC) is an Israeli manufacturer and distributor of soft drinks, dairy products and alcoholic beverages.
Coca-Cola profits from the occupation by working with CBC which sells its drinks in Israel. CBC has a Coca-Cola factory in Atarot illegal Israeli settlement. Israeli settlements are built on land stolen from Palestinians and are illegal under international law.
By having it’s Israeli franchise in illegal settlements, Coca-Cola ignores international law and profits from the illegal occupation.
FOA is calling for Coca-Cola to cut ties with CBC.
Buying from companies which work in settlements such as Coca Cola means we as consumers are turning a blind eye to the illegal occupation of Palestinian land.
You don’t have to be an expert on Palestine, you just need to care.
On Wednesday 3rd February, along with Association of Student Activism for Palestine we want students all over UK to meet with their MP’s (online) and raise three crucial issues on Palestine.
It is possible you will not be alone when meeting your MP as fellow supporters in your constituency will also request a meeting with their MP.
On 26th Januaryat 7pm we will host an online briefing event where expert speakers will cover the four issues that you will be discussing with your MP. This will be an opportunity to get a bit more information and ask any questions you may have.
We will be at hand online throughout the student lobby day for any questions you may have, and provide you with an information pack to give to your MP.
How it works
Arranging the Meeting
- Contact your MP now by entering your post code (in the action above) to find your MP and send the template email (amend it if you wish) to request a meeting with your MP.
- Once your MP replies back with a time to meet online on 3rd February, let us know so we know they have responded and we will be aware if others will join you.
- Your MP should send you the meeting link some point before the online lobby day
Before the Meeting
- We will send you an easy to understand, short briefing pack for you to read through, which you can use to speak to your MP.
- The evening before the student lobby day we will host an online briefing event for you to attend.
- At any point if you have any questions, you can email email@example.com to arrange a meeting with us.
On the Day
- We will be create an online briefing room, where you can drop in all day to ask any questions before your meeting or if you would like another briefing.
- Join the meeting with your MP on the link they sent at the agreed time.
- Pop back into the online room and let us know how it went.
On Wednesday 3rd February, during your meeting we want you to provide your MP with information about these key issues on Palestine:
A UN report has stated Gaza is now uninhabitable due to siege that is now in its 13th year.
Action for MP: Call for an end to the illegal Siege on Gaza signing an open letter to the Foreign Secretary (link to the letter will be provided).
Components made in the UK have been used by the Israeli military to bomb Gaza.
According to the UN so far in (Jan-Oct) 2020, 21 Palestinians have been killed and 2186 injured
Action for MP: Cancel all arms licensing to Israel and ban all arms imports from Israel.
Israel has approved the building of more settlements in 2020 than any year in the last decade. This is despite settlement building being illegal under international law and accepted as such by the UK government. Companies operate businesses from these settlements and export their goods to the UK.
Action for MP: Sign a statement to uphold international law and ban all settlement goods to the UK. (link to be provided)Israel’s treatment of Palestinian children violating UN convention of the rights of the Child.
Israel’s treatment of Palestinian children violating UN convention of the rights of the Child.
Why is the Palestine e-Lobby day important?
It will be a year since the new government had been elected. There are 140 MPs who are new to parliament who have not been given information on Palestine. Even the MP’s who had been re-elected need to be reminded of the ongoing violations of international law by Israel and the role MPs can play to end the illegal occupation of Palestine.
The #HandsoffAlAqsa campaign is about educating people about the significance of Masjid al-Aqsa as the third-holiest site in Islam, which is currently physically deteriorating under the Israeli occupation.
We want to put al-Aqsa on the global political agenda in order to protect Masjid al-Aqsa from occupation and preserve this fundamentally sacred space.
For the past six years FOA have also been running an annual event focused on the plight as well as the importance of masjid Al-Aqsa. Aqsa Week is a week full of workshops, talks and activities dedicated to this sacred sanctuary. We hope you always get involved in this important event and spread the word!
During the month of Ramadan Muslims fast from dawn to sunset. Ramadan is a time for spiritual reflection and to get closer to God. It is also about remembering the unfortunate and the poor.
The end of each day of fasting is marked by having iftar, this is the meal to end the days fast. Iftar usually begins by eating a date.
Unfortunately, many Muslims break their fast with Israeli dates. These dates help maintain the illegal occupation of Palestine.
Breaking fasts with Israeli dates counter the essence of justice and fairness that Muslims try to instil within themselves during Ramadan.
Please check the label and not buy Israeli dates to break your fasts. Israeli dates are labelled from Israel, West Bank and Jordan Valley.
Dates from West Bank and the Jordan Valley are most likely grown from illegal Israeli settlements, on land stolen from Palestinians.
Israeli settlements are extremely harmful for the Palestinian people. For an Israeli settlement to be built Palestinian people are forcibly removed from their homes, their homes are demolished and they are then denied access to their own land.
As a part of the process of colonisation of Palestine, Israel takes over Palestinian land, sets up companies on that stolen land and they then employ some Palestinians who have no option but to work there since Israel has taken away the opportunity for them to work for themselves. Palestinians would rather have their land back and than have called for a boycott of Israeli goods.
So, what can you do about this?
1) When doing your Ramadan shopping, #CheckTheLabel on the date package to see the ‘origin of’/’produce of’.
Do not buy dates labelled from Israel, West Bank and the Jordan Valley. Some Israeli brands to avoid are shown in the image below.
If you shop online, before you add the dates to your cart, check where the dates are from as this information is usually listed.
To confuse the customer, some Israeli brands have labelled themselves as ‘Produce of Palestine’. Our research, at present, can only verify genuine Palestinian brands as shown in the image below.
2) Email the foreign secretary urging the UK government to ban trade with Israeli settlements.
The UK government repeatedly condemn Israeli violations and settlements, but continue to trade with them. This is evident in the fact that the UK is Israel’s second largest market for dates that in 2020 was worth nearly £28 million. Trade is a huge aspect in sustaining these illegal Israeli settlements.
You can email the foreign secretary above.
Make sure this Ramadan you are not helping Israel maintain its occupation by eating Israeli dates.