A Southeast Asian Muslim initiative, the online platform, has gone live and aims to provide enyclopedic knowledge about the Al Aqsa Mosque.
A multi-lingual Malaysia-funded website, Aqsapedia was launched on Tuesday on the premise of raising awareness about the importance of the Al Aqsa Mosque for Muslims and its historical relevance.
The website is one of the projects of the Al Quds Foundation Malaysia. The supporters and staff of the website have recently participated in an event to mark the launch of the “knowledge-based Encyclopedia”.
“We are now witnessing a significant event not only for Muslims but for all free humans who believe in the importance of human rights, respect religions, and reject violence,” said Mukhriz Mahathir, the Chief Minister of Kedah, who is also the son of Mahathir Mohamad, the current Prime Minister of Malaysia.
“We are here for Palestine and the Holy Al Aqsa Mosque,” Mohamad said.
What is Aqsapedia?
Aqsapedia wants to present “documented information” on Al Aqsa Mosque, contrasting “the Zionist narrative”, which claims that it’s part of Jewish heritage because the mosque has a close proximity to the location of the Second Temple, the most sacred place according to Judaism.
According to prominent experts, the Zionist state aims to weaken the foundations of the mosque by launching extensive excavations at the holy site to damage Islamic heritage.
"The Israel excavations beneath the Al Aqsa Mosque compound have been in full swing in the past 60 years," said Jamal Amro, an archaeology professor.
"The diggings, however, have gone under the foundations of the compound in the past 15 years," the professor added.
Aqsapedia aims to challenge the Israeli narrative as it exposes “the brutal practices of the Israeli occupation against Al Quds and its Islamic and Christian sanctities”, according to its website.
The website wants to be a central place to disseminate thorough research about the construction, development and history of the mosque, informing the Muslim public about the importance of Al Aqsa for Islamic heritage.
Why is the website being launched?
Aqsapedia, particularly, targets Southeast Asian nations, where sizeable Muslim populations live from Malaysia to Indonesia, to increase their awareness on the signifance of the mosque for Islamic heritage.
“The reason for the launch of this great endeavour is found in the dangerous lack of knowledge and published information surrounding the Holy Aqsa Mosque on the internet in multiple foreign languages… especially in local languages throughout South and Southeast Asia,” said Sharif Amin Abu Shammala, an expert on Al Quds and its history, who is leading both the Al Quds Foundation and the Aqsapedia research effort.
“This is to the point that we found multiple Islamic websites in these countries taking fake news from Zionist sources,” Abu Shammala viewed.
The website will be available in several Southeast Asian languages including Malay and Indonesian and will also provide a Thai content soon.
Aqsapedia provides a library, where readers can read online PDF books and various articles on the significance of the mosque in Islamic sources and Muslim history.