Israel Trying to Destroy Al-Aqsa Mosque

Israel braces for reaction to proposed law that would allow Jews to pray in the grounds of Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque.

Occupied East Jerusalem – Until a few weeks ago, most Israeli and Palestinian pundits dismissed the possibility of a Palestinian uprising in the near future.

However, a draft Israeli law granting Jews the right to pray at the al-Aqsa Mosque esplanade – one of the three most holy sites in Islam – is forcing some observers to reconsider their previous assessments.

The draft law, which is being discussed in the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, would designate “time and space” for Jews wishing to pray there.

The haram al-sharif, or “noble sanctuary”, has been an exclusively Islamic shrine since the Arab conquest of Palestine in the 7th century AD.

Since the Israeli army occupied Jerusalem in 1967, the site has borne witness to several provocative events. In 1969, an Australian Christian-Zionist named Denis Michael Rohan torched the mosque’s exquisite pulpit, which was put in place by Saladin upon retaking Jerusalem from the Crusaders in 1187. In 1982, Alan Goodman – a Jewish American Israeli soldier – fired an automatic rifle at Muslim worshipers in the Dome of the Rock, killing two and wounding 11.

And in 2000, then-Israeli opposition leader Ariel Sharon visited the Temple Mount, accompanied by 1,000 policemen, asserting that the site would remain perpetually “in our hands” – an act that helped to spark the Second Intifada.

Muslims view any Jewish encroachment on the site as being at their expense and constituting an assault on their faith. Sheikh Muhammed Hussein is the head of the Supreme Muslim Council, which manages the site. “[The mosque] is part of our creed: It is expressly mentioned by name in the Holy Quran,” he said. “Thus, an Israeli aggression against the mosque and the haram al-sharif is tantamount to attacking the Kaaba in Mecca, the most sacred spot in Islam.”

He added: “I cannot imagine that Muslims around the world will remain idle as they see Jews desecrating their holy site. This issue transcends politics. It is greater than politics.”

Allah says in the Quran:

“Exalted is He who took His Servant by night from al-Masjid al-Haram to al-Masjid al- Aqsa, whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him of Our signs. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Seeing.” [Quran, 17:1]

Heart of Judaism

Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of Rock.Israelis, too, claim the place as holy. Until a few years ago, the Chief Rabbinate in Israel strictly prohibited Jews from praying or even walking in the area known to Jews as the Temple Mount. Observant Jews would instead only pray at the outside wall. But in recent years, the Rabbinate seems to have somewhat relaxed its prohibitions in this regard, perhaps to appease Zionists who adopt a messianic ideology combining Judaism and political Zionism.

However, spokespersons of the Chief Rabbinate vehemently deny any policy change regarding the prohibition on praying at the spot. Yefrach Toker, a spokesperson for Israel’s Chief Rabbi, David Lau, said the ruling forbidding Jews to pray at the Temple Mount “is still in effect”:

“The edict remains unchanged. I am giving you the official Jewish religious judgement.” Toker did not answer when asked why some Jews ignore the Rabbinate’s instructions forbidding them to pray and walk in the area. However, it is widely believed that most of the non-abiders are affiliated with politically inspired right wing factions, which do not always heed the Rabbinate’s rulings.

Zeev Maor, also a Rabbinate spokesperson, said that “according to halacha or Jewish religious law, no Jew may walk in the designated area”, due to ritual impurity and the need to avoid stepping on the holiest spot on the site, where the Ark of the Covenant was said to have been kept. “For thousands of years, the Temple Mount was the centre of Jewish religion,” he explained. “Hence, it is inconceivable that Jews would cede the place to non-Jews.”

Some Muslim religious leaders, however, dispute the site’s importance to Judaism. “Judaism survived thousands of years without the Temple and without Jerusalem,” argued Ikrema Sabri, an imam at the al-Aqsa Mosque. “This place has been an exclusive Muslim house of worship almost uninterruptedly for 14 centuries. We as Muslims cannot succumb to Jewish myths and whims.”

Tinder box

Both Palestinian and Israeli officials agree that the controversy over the site has the potential to spark an uncontrollable conflagration. “There is no doubt that this issue has the potential of provoking ordinary people like no other issue does,” said Ihab Bsiso, head of the Palestinian government press office in Ramallah.

“This is why I can say that the Israeli government is really, really playing with fire. Israel must rein in its pyromaniacs.”

An Israeli Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, who didn’t want her name published because she was voicing her personal opinion, concurred: “I agree that this issue is very sensitive and could spark off a huge explosion. I believe that the draft law allowing Jews to pray at the holy site won’t pass. The government and the prime minister are aware of the potential disastrous ramifications of such a decision.”

But Hani al-Masri, a prominent Palestinian political analyst, is not sure that this is the case. “We are accustomed to seeing Israel embark on foolish acts that provoke our people,” he said. “I am sorry; I can not give the Netanyahu government the benefit of the doubt.”

Source:  Al Jazeera

 

Did You Know Facts about Al-Aqsa Mosque

  • It was built 40 years after the Kaaba in Makkah.
  • Most scholars are of the opinion that Masjid Al Aqsa was first built by Prophet Adam.
  • Ibrahim (as) rebuilt the Masjid Al Aqsa in Jerusalem as he and Ismail rebuilt the Kaaba in Makkah.
  • Prophet Dawud (as) began the rebuilding of Masjid Al Aqsa.
  • It was Prophet Sulayman (as) who finally completed the building of Masjid Al Aqsa.
  • Masjid Al Aqsa built by Sulayman (as) was destroyed in 587 BC by Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon.
  • The Jews call this same Masjid Al Aqsa built by Sulayman as their Temple.
  • The Jews re-built their Temple on them same site in 167 BC but was destroyed in 70 AD and Jews banished from Jerusalem.
  • The site of Masjid Al Aqsa remained barren and was used as a rubbish tip for nearly 600 years until the Great Khalifah Umar bin Khattab liberated Jerusalem in 637/8 AD.
  • The Khalifah Umar bin Khattab began the foundation of Masjid Al Aqsa and a timber mosque was built.
  • The Umayyad Khalifah, Abd’ al Malik ibn Marwan in 691/2 [72/73 AH] began the construction of, Dome of the Rock – today this is the Golden Domed Mosque (Al Sakhrah Mosque).
  • The al Buraq wall or Western Wall where Prophet Muhammad tied his animal the Buraq on the night journey of al Isra is what the Jews call the wailing wall.
  • To Muslims it is the land or the Haram Sharif area which is most holy and important.
  • The Haram area of Al Aqsa has within it the Masjid Al Aqsa [Black Domed Mosque] and Dome of the Rock [the Golden Domed Mosque].
  • Israel occupied Masjid Al Aqsa in 1967.
  • That, the fundamentalist Jews have made 100’s of attempts to destroy Al Aqsa since 1967 when they occupied it. A fire in 1967 started by their help destroyed the 900 year old Mimbar installed by Saladin Ayub, the Great Muslim Hero.
  • That, the fundamentalist want to blow up and destroy Masjidul Al Aqsa and replace it with a Jewish Temple.
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