05:09 GMT09 May 2021
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    The historicity of Jesus Christ, let alone his nationality, still remains a debatable issue. Most people argue, citing the Biblical account, that the messiah was Jewish, but some disagree.

    Linda Sarsour, one of the most prominent Muslim political advocates in the United States, has suggested that Jesus Christ was “Palestinian of Nazareth”, sparking a historic online debate with political overtones.

    The Palestinian-American activist apparently invoked Hadith, the record of traditions and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, where Jesus is described as a brown-skinned man with long hair.

    In a series of tweets that followed, she went on to refer to ‘Jesus of Bethlehem’ to back up her claim that Jesus was a Palestinian. Bethlehem, the city where the Bible says Jesus was born, is in the West Bank; Nazareth, his “childhood home” is in Israeli territory.

    She did not deny, though, that Jesus was a Jew.

    Sarsour – one of the organisers of Women’s March and Black Lives Matter rallies – also said that someone had flagged her post suggesting that Jesus was Palestinian, but Twitter did not do anything about it because the tweet did not violate its terms of service.

    “Jesus was born in Bethlehem which is in Palestine. Move on,” she added.

    Quite a number of people could not help but cast doubt on her claim.

    The ‘Jesus was Palestinian’ notion is nothing new for pro-Palestinian political figures. In April, US congresswoman Ilhan Omar ignited a social media storm after re-tweeting the claim.

    Officials of the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority have referred to Jesus in the past as “the first Palestinian martyr” and “the first Palestinian”.

    Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has also called Jesus “a Palestinian messenger who would become a guiding light for millions around the world” in his annual Christmas message in 2013.

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