Muslims pray outside White House to protest Trump Jerusalem move
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Muslims pray outside White House to protest Trump Jerusalem move

Wearing traditional keffiyeh scarves or the colors of the Palestinian flag, protesters also hold placards denouncing Israeli policies in West Bank

  • A Palestinian flag waves in front of the White House on December 8, 2017, in Washington, DC, at a protest against US President Donald Trump's declaration of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. (AFP PHOTO / mari matsuri)
    A Palestinian flag waves in front of the White House on December 8, 2017, in Washington, DC, at a protest against US President Donald Trump's declaration of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. (AFP PHOTO / mari matsuri)
  • Muslim worshippers listen to a speaker in front of the White House on December 8, 2017 in Washington, DC, at a protest over US President Donald Trump's declaration of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. (AFP PHOTO / mari matsuri)
    Muslim worshippers listen to a speaker in front of the White House on December 8, 2017 in Washington, DC, at a protest over US President Donald Trump's declaration of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. (AFP PHOTO / mari matsuri)
  • Muslim worshippers gather in front of the White House for Friday prayers on December 08, 2017 in Washington, DC at a protest against US President Donald Trump's declaration of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. (AFP PHOTO / mari matsuri)
    Muslim worshippers gather in front of the White House for Friday prayers on December 08, 2017 in Washington, DC at a protest against US President Donald Trump's declaration of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. (AFP PHOTO / mari matsuri)
  • US President Donald Trump holds up a signed memorandum recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital, as US Vice President looks on, at the White House, on December 6, 2017. (AFP Photo/Saul Loeb)
    US President Donald Trump holds up a signed memorandum recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital, as US Vice President looks on, at the White House, on December 6, 2017. (AFP Photo/Saul Loeb)

WASHINGTON, United States — Hundreds of Muslims attended Friday prayers in front of the White House to protest US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Responding to the call of American Muslim organizations, worshipers laid out their prayer mats at a park in front of the president’s residence.

Wearing traditional Palestinian keffiyeh scarves or the colors of the Palestinian flag, protesters also held placards denouncing Israeli presence in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

US President Donald Trump holds up a signed memorandum after he delivered a statement on Jerusalem from the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House in Washington, DC on December 6, 2017. (AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB)

In a Wednesday address from the White House, Trump defied worldwide warnings and insisted that after repeated failures to achieve peace a new approach was long overdue, describing his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the seat of Israel’s government as merely based on reality.

The move was hailed by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and by leaders across much of the Israeli political spectrum.

Muslim worshippers listen to a speaker in front of the White House on December 8, 2017 in Washington, DC, at a protest over US President Donald Trump’s declaration of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. (AFP PHOTO / mari matsuri)

Trump stressed that he was not specifying the boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in the city, and called for no change in the status quo at the city’s holy sites.

“Trump does not own a piece of soil of Jerusalem and Palestine. He owns the Trump Tower. He can give it away to the Israelis,” Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), told AFP.

The president is “empowering Christian religious extremism in the US,” he added.

Muslim worshippers gather in front of the White House for Friday prayers on December 08, 2017 in Washington, DC at a protest against US President Donald Trump’s declaration of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. (AFP PHOTO / mari matsuri)

Speaking alongside other prominent figures from the American Muslim community during the protest, Awad called upon Trump to “put the American interests first, not those of a foreign power and its lobbies in the US.”

Another protester, Zaid al-Harasheh, told AFP that Trump’s decision is “not for peace” and will “create more chaos.”

Trump’s declaration sparked anger across the Muslim world.

The Jewish state considers Jerusalem its undivided capital, but Palestinians claim East Jerusalem is illegally occupied and seek it as the capital of their future state.

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