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What Jerusalem Means To Us: Muslim Perspectives and Reflections

posted on: Aug 7, 2021

What Jerusalem Means To Us: Muslim Perspectives and Reflections
A book review by Rita Mashni

Saliba Sarsar and Carole Monica C. Burnett, eds. What Jerusalem Means To Us: Muslim Perspectives and Reflections N. Bethesda, MD: Holy Land Books/Noble Book Publishing Incorporated, 2021

By: Rita Mashni / Special to Arab America

What Jerusalem Means to Us: Muslim Perspectives and Reflections is a publication of the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF), in partnership with the Royal Institute for Inter-Faith Studies (RIIFS) in Jordan. The book consists of a remarkable collection of twelve powerful essays written by Palestinian Muslim scholars, academics, and public servants who share their personal perspectives and reflections on Jerusalem and its unbreakable tie to the Muslim faith.

From its abundance of factual details emerges a clear picture of the Muslim commitment to maintaining Jerusalem’s profound sacredness as well as its multi-religious and multi-cultural character. The essays reveal aspects of the past and present history of the city that shed light on the suffering of Palestinians at the hands of a harsh Israeli occupation that seeks to erase their identity from the holy city.

This book not only provides a penetrating view of the Palestinian narrative but also exposes Israel’s attempt to falsify the demographic identity of Jerusalem and its sacred connection to both the Muslim and the Christian faith. A motif that runs through the book is optimistic hope for a future built on justice, freedom, and equality for all. 

This book is also a perfect companion volume to What Jerusalem Means to Us: Christian Perspectives and Reflections, another outstanding book that provides a platform for illumination and inspiration regarding Jerusalem and its people.

Published in 2018, it is a collection of essays by Christian scholars, clergy members, authors, administrators, educators, and former diplomats, who express a variety of perspectives while sharing a steadfast dedication to preserving and nurturing the welfare of Jerusalem. Such nurture entails resistance to all attempts to monopolize the city for any single religious or ethnic group. At the same time, people of goodwill must strive together to ensure that all the inhabitants of Jerusalem have sustainable living conditions in which they can thrive in peace, justice, and dignity. 

For more information: or at HCEF 

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