It’s Rememberance Day in Israel today, and the wire services are full of solemn memorial services to the Israeli victims of terrorism [Ed.:–Corrected w/ apologies for the mix-up]. Including this shot, taken by AP stringer Sebastian Scheiner:
With the Dome of the Rock Mosque in the background, Israeli soldiers empty their rifles after a ceremony for Israel’s annual Memorial Day at a military cemetery on the Mount of Olives, overlooking the Old City of Jerusalem, Monday, May 9, 2011. Israel marked its Memorial Day for fallen soldiers and victims of militant attacks Monday, with ceremonies and a wailing siren that brought the country to a standstill in two minutes of silence. (AP Photo/Sebestian Scheiner)
Notice the composition carefully — The soldiers, firing their rifles in rememberance of those who lost their lives to terrorists over the years, are superimposed over the golden Dome of the Rock at al-Aqsa Mosque, a source of frequent outbursts of anti-Jewish anger and terrorism by the muslim world. The implication of this particular visual alignment is even stranger when one considers the fact that the graveyard at which this honor guard is performing their duties is nowhere near al-Aqsa.
Take a look at the AFP shot below, which illustrates exactly how far apart these two locations really are:
Notice the tiny golden circle there?
Yeah, that’s the Dome of the Rock. And from where these soldiers are standing, it really is quite a distance away.
Israeli soldiers unload their rifles after a memorial ceremony for fallen soldiers at the military cemetery on Mount of Olives overlooking the Dome of the Rock mosque in Jerusalem on May 9, 2011. Remembrance Day is followed immediately by the 63rd anniversary of the creation of Israel in 1948 according to the Jewish calendar. AFP PHOTO/GALI TIBBON (Photo credit should read GALI TIBBON/AFP/Getty Images)
So why did our AP stringer go through so much effort to zoom the dome into the background of their shot? I can safely assume that it’s not an innocent accident, as the Dome has very clearly been purposefully enlarged via zoom lens to fit exactly where it did. So if it’s not a mistake, why was the photo arranged the way it was?
Every picture tells a story, after all. And from where I’m sitting, this particular story seems to be ginned up to aggravate the Muslim world, and to enflame the passions of Islamic Rage Boys everywhere.
Which makes me wonder: Is the Associated Press really reporting the news in Israel these days? Or are they trying to invent it?
Mohammad, Mashaal, Fayyad, Abu Mazen, Hillary Clinton, Hitler, Arafat, Barghouthi, Ahmed Yassin, Ahmadinejad, Nasrallah, Rosie O’Donnell, McKinney, Abdullah, Chomsky, Mel Gibson, Ted Turner, Erdogan, Assad, al-Husayni, Obama, Ron Paul ,Helen Thomas, Elvis Costello, Chavez, and of course Osama bin Ladi
Israel and the Palestinians are once again negotiating their future relationship. One of the most difficult issues they confront is the status of Jerusalem.
On September 22, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton congratulated Saudi King Abdullah on the occasion of his country’s national day. She reserved special praise for Abdullah’s support of the Arab Peace Initiative (API), which calls for an Israeli withdrawal from all territories gained in 1967 and for East Jerusalem to be the capital of a Palestinian state. She suggested that this plan would serve as a philosophical basis for the ongoing talks. “As we continue working to support direct talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians, the principles enshrined in the Arab Peace Initiative are more important than ever,” Clinton wrote.
Jews and Christians know that Israel’s claim to Jerusalem is rooted in the ancient Jewish connection to that city. Israel’s declaration of independence speaks of both “natural and historic right.” Jerusalem is the centerpiece of that historic right.
What about the Muslim claim?
For Muslims, Jerusalem is thought to be sacred for two reasons: First, Muslims were initially commanded to pray toward Jerusalem. But when the Jews refused to convert to Islam, Muhammad changed the prayer direction toward Mecca. Second, Muslims believe that Muhammad ascended to heaven and back from “the Rock” which much later after his death was interpreted to mean what is today the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem.
Interestingly, Islamic sources from the first 50 years or so after Muhammad’s death make clear that Jerusalem had absolutely no holy status for Muslims.
Some centuries later, Ibn Taymiyya (1263–1328) another important Muslim cleric with an encyclopedic knowledge of the Koran and Hadith, wrote extensively about Jerusalem, and how there were only two holy cities in Islam – Mecca and Medina. He eventually became the intellectual godfather of Wahhabism, the dominant Islamic doctrine of the Saudi government. He claimed that Muslims must rid themselves of all non-Muslim innovations and return to the early Islam of Muhammad and the first four caliphs. The rulers of Ibn Taymiyya’s time saw him as a threat and imprisoned him. Even so, he did not recant.
Ibn Taymiyya went to great lengths to explain that the veneration of Jerusalem in nothing more than the “Judaization” of Islam. He wrote that after the second caliph ‘Umar conquered Jerusalem in 637 he and his aide Ka’b al-Aḥbār [a Jewish convert to Islam], went up to view the Temple Mount. ‘Umar asked his aide: “Where do you think I should build a place of prayer for Muslims?” Ka’b replied: “Build it behind (i.e., north of) the Rock.” Angrily, Umar said to Ka’b: “Oh you son of a Jew, is your Jewishness dominating your view?” ‘Umar was accusing Ka’b of Judaizing Islam by saying that they should build a place to pray north of the Rock where the Jewish Temple had once stood. If they had done so, they would have been bowing down both towards the Rock and Mecca. That is why ‘Umar decided to build the place to pray on the southern part of the Temple Mount – the place today known as the Aqsa Mosque. ‘Umar’s choice of location meant that the Muslims bowed down only to Mecca and that their backs (rear ends) were facing the Rock.
Ibn Taymiyya wondered how Muslim clerics could have accepted Ka’b’s attempts to incorporate Jewish traditions into Islam, because Ka’b did not cite any of Muhammad’s companions as the source of his claim.
Ibn Taymiyya also accused Ka’b of fabricating Muslim traditions and incorporating Jewish writings, i.e., the Bible, Talmud, etc., into Islam. Ibn Taymiyya admitted that the original prayer direction was Jerusalem but he emphasized that Muhammad and the Muslims abandoned that tradition in order to differentiate themselves from the Jews.
Later, Ibn Taymiyya discussed the first caliphs and showed that when they ruled over today’s Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Israel, neither they nor any of the early governors nor any clerics made any attempt to build any structure over the Rock on the Temple Mount. This demonstrated, according to Ibn Taymiyya, that they did not attach any importance to it; as the early rulers and companions of Muhammad knew his views and his religion better than later generations of Muslims, no later scholar could disagree with them nor with the traditions they observed. They clearly did not attach any Islamic significance to today’s Aqsa Mosque nor to the Temple Mount in general. How then, Ibn Taymiyya reasoned, could we who never knew them nor Muhammad have the right to disagree? There is no way we could know more about Islam than they. We therefore have no right to sanctity al-Aqsa because they did not do so.
In order to further strengthen his argument against Jerusalem’s sanctity, Ibn Taymiyya wrote that during Muhammad’s night journey to heaven from Jerusalem, there is no mention of the (Temple) Rock in the story. Therefore, since the Rock is not even mentioned, it has no importance in Islamic tradition.
So we see that according to the intellectual godfather of the Saudis, the Aqsa Mosque and the Temple Rock have absolutely no Islamic religious significance. As he proved, these are nothing more than Judaic traditions that have penetrated Islam, and, as non-Muslim innovations, must be expunged from Islam.
So how did Jerusalem become holy in Islam? In the 680s, a civil war erupted among the Muslims. The caliph who ruled from Damascus wanted to put down a revolt by the people who controlled Mecca, the place of pilgrimage. In order to weaken them, he decided to build a counter-pilgrimage site and at the very least siphon off people who during the pilgrimage might have decided to take up the rebel’s cause. He therefore chose to build a dome over the Rock in Jerusalem and to encourage people to make pilgrimages there instead of to Mecca. That is when Jerusalem became holy in Islam. So in essence, Jerusalem’s sanctity to Muslims stems from a local revolt which occurred some 50-plus years after Muhammad’s death.
The Saudi regime follows Ibn Taymiyya to a tee. Those who disagree with his philosophy do so at their own peril. When a Saudi editor published an article questioning something that Ibn Taymiyya had written, he was quickly fired on the orders of the information minister. So it is rather curious that the Saudis have included, as one of the basic principles of their plan for peace between Israel and the Arabs, the idea that East Jerusalem must be the capital of a Palestinian state. Why have they rejected their godfather’s stance on Jerusalem? Ibn Taymiyya must be turning over in the grave.
Islam rediscovered Jerusalem 50 years after Muhammad’s death. In 682 CE, ‘Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr rebelled against the Islamic rulers in Damascus, conquered Mecca and prevented pilgrims from reaching Mecca for the Hajj. ‘Abd al-Malik, the Umayyad Caliph, then needed an alternative site for the pilgrimage and settled on Jerusalem which was at that time under his control. To justify this choice, a verse from the Koran was chosen (17,1 = sura 17, verse 1) which states (trans. by Majid Fakhri):
“Glory to Him who caused His servant to travel by night from the Sacred Mosque to the Farthest Mosque, whose precincts We have blessed, in order to show him some of Our Signs, He is indeed the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing.”
The meaning ascribed to this verse (see the commentary in al-Jallalayn) is that “the furthest mosque” (al-masgid al-aqsa) is in Jerusalem, and that Muhammad was conveyed there one night (although by camel the journey took three days), on the back of al-Buraq, a magical horse with the head of a woman, wings of an eagle, the tail of a peacock, and hoofs reaching to the horizon. He tethered the horse to the Western Wall of the Temple Mount and from there ascended to the seventh heaven together with the angel Gabriel. On his way, he met the prophets of other religions who are the guardians of the Seven Heavens: Adam, Jesus, St. John, Joseph, Idris (=Seth?), Aaron, Moses and Abraham — who all accompanied him on his way to Allah and accepted him as their master.
Islam tries in this way to gain legitimacy over other, older religions: It creates a scene in which the former prophets agree to Muhammad’s mastery, and make him Khatam al-Anbiya’ (“the Seal of the Prophets”).
According to this legend, Islam came to the world to replace Judaism and Christianity, not to live side by side with them.
Ironically, this miraculous account contradicts a number of the tenets of Islam: How can a living man of flesh and blood ascend to heaven? How can a mythical creature carry a mortal to a real destination? Questions such as these have caused orthodox Muslim thinkers to conclude that the nocturnal journey was a dream of Muhammad’s. The journey and the ascent serve Islam to “go one better” than the Bible: Moses “only” went up to Mt. Sinai, in the middle of nowhere, and drew close to heaven, whereas Muhammad went all the way up to Allah from Jerusalem itself.
There are difficulties, however, with the belief that the al-Aqsa mosque described in Islamic tradition is located in Jerusalem:
For one, the people of Mecca, who knew Muhammad well, did not believe this story. Only Abu Bakr (later the first Caliph), believed him and was therefore called al-Siddiq (“the Believer”).
A second difficulty is that Islamic tradition tells us that the al-Aqsa mosque is near Mecca on the Arabian peninsula. This was unequivocally stated in “Kitab al-Maghazi” (Oxford University Press, 1966, vol. 3, pp. 958-9), a book by the Muslim historian and geographer al-Waqidi.
According to al-Waqidi, there were two “masjeds” (places of prayer) in al-Gi’irranah, a village between Mecca and Ta’if, one was “the closer mosque” (al-masjid al-adna) and the other was “the farther mosque” (al-masjid al-aqsa), where Muhammad would pray when he went out of town. This description by al-Waqidi, however, supported by a chain of authorities (isnad), was not “convenient” for the Islamic propaganda of the 7th century.
To establish a basis for the “holiness” of Jerusalem in Islam, the Caliphs of the Ummayad dynasty invented “traditions” upholding the value of Jerusalem (known as “fadha’il bayt al-Maqdis”), and which would justify a pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the faithful Muslims. Thus was “the farther mosque,” al-Masjid al-Aqsa, “transported” to Jerusalem.
Saladin also adopted the myth of al-Aqsa and these “traditions” to recruit and inflame the Muslim warriors against the Crusaders in the 12th century.
Another aim of the Islamization of Jerusalem was to undermine the legitimacy of the older religions, Judaism and Christianity, which consider Jerusalem to be a holy city. As Jews and Christians had changed and distorted (“ghyyarou wa-baddalou”) the Word of God, each in their turn, Islam is presented as the only legitimate religion, destined to replace the other two.
“The Day of Judgement will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Muslims, O Abdullah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, (a certain kind of tree) would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews.” (related by al-Bukhari and Muslim).
don’t believe the http://xrl.us/Deception
Tolerance becomes a crime when applied to evil -Thomas Mann
I suggest people look up Mohammad Amin al-Husayni before debating further. Ask yourself does Fatah recognize the Holocaust? and why not? the answer is because the root of the creation of the so called Palestinian people is part of the “Final Solution”. The Holocaust against the Jews never stopped, it merely changed it’s language and created a fictional identity. Jerusalem is not a holy city in the works of Mohammad. In fact there was never a Mosque in Jerusalem during his lifetime. This is historical fact. The entire recreation of history is merely an attack on Jews. Since http://xrl.us/Islamic doctrine has more violence in it then the works of Adolf Hitler this is not a surprise that they would revision such things.
Toilet in Islam
Remember Islam is not just a Religion (subject to conjecture), but a COMPLETE way of life.
Toilet protocols, as prescribed in Islam, are mandatory to all Muslims. Islamic toilet instructions contains obnoxious, tasteless, indecent, and uncivil manners and customs. Allah will never forgive a Muslim for deviating from His standard of Islamic toilet habits as demonstrated by Muhammad.
The Qur’an says a Muslim must emulate Muhammad’s manners, traditions, and practices at all time. In verses 3:132 and 4:80 Allah says that obeying Him and Muhammad (i.e., Muhammad’s examples) is mandatory.
This means Muslims have no choice but to follow Muhammad’s deeds, as this constitutes the obeying the commands of Allah. A similar command is echoed in verse 33:36 where Allah stipulates that provisions (rules and examples, even toilet rules) set by Allah and Muhammad is binding to all Muslims; there are no alternatives.
Ibn Kathir adds more punch to Allah’s command He writes that this verse is general in meaning and applies to all matters, i.e., if Allah and His Messenger decreed a matter, no one has the right to go against that, and no one has any choice or room for personal opinion on that case.
Allah decrees in verse 33:21 that He has made Muhammad an excellent example for the believers to follow and in verse 68:4 Allah reminds the Muslims that Muhammad is the exalted (ultimate/excellent) standard of character. Ibn Abbas says that Muhammad has great character traits with which Allah has honoured him.
Allah promises great rewards for emulating Muhammad’s habits, manners, and instructions. In verse 33:71 Allah declares that obeying Allah and Muhammad are the highest achievements, and in verse 3:31 Allah sets a condition that if any Muslim loves Allah then he/she must follow Muhammad, and Allah will forgive his/her sins. Verse 4:13 guarantees paradise for those who blindly obey Muhammad.
Allah prescribes sever punishment for not emulating Muhammad. In verse 47:33 Allah says that if Muslims do not obey Muhammad, then He will nullify all their good deeds. In verse 48:13 we read that Allah has prepared a blazing fire for those who reject Him and his apostle Muhammad. In verse 58:5 Allah has decreed that those who reject Allah and His messenger (Muhammad) will be reduced to dust.
Here is what Ash Shifa (p.316) writes about imitating Muhammad absolutely:
It is also known that the Companions were in the habit of imitating the actions of the Prophet, whatever they were and in every way, just as they obeyed whatever he said. They threw away their signet rings when he threw his away.
They discarded their sandals when he discarded his. They used as a proof for facing Jerusalem when going to the lavatory the fact that Ibn ‘Umar saw him doing so. Others found a proof for other actions both in the category of worship and general custom by saying, “I saw the Messenger of Allah do it.”
In Islam, there is no date of expiry of Muhammad’s traditions and practices they are eternal.
It is also important to keep in perspective the primitive toilet facilities in Muhammad’s household. The truth is: Muhammad, including his wives, used to relieve themselves in the open desert, under the open sky. The males could defecate any time of the day or night, but Muhammad’s wives were restricted to answer their calls of nature only at night.
♦ Described by a few hadith, we have a glimpse of the abject toilet facilities in Muhammad’s family.
Here are a few examples:
Wives of Muhammad answered the call of nature in the open field…(Sahih Bukhari, 1.4.148, 149).
During Hajj some of Muhammad’s companions had their penises dripping with prostrate fluid…(Sunaan Abu Dawud, 2.10.1785)
When defecating together (two men) do not converse, do not look at each others private parts…(Sunaan ibn Majah, 1.342)
Carry three stones while relieving yourself in desert…(Mishkat, 1.186)
To be certain, let us read in full, one hadis from Sahih Bukhari:
Sahih Bukhari Volume 1, Book 4, Number 148:
The wives of the Prophet used to go to Al-Manasi, a vast open place (near Baqia at Medina) to answer the call of nature at night.
♦ We will now examine a few outstanding features of Islamic toilets.
Jinns and Devils Haunt Islamic Toilets
If we happen to be in an Islamic Paradise, we might be completely surprised that many Muslims still believe these Islamic voodoos.
For example, if you are in a village in Bangladesh or Pakistan, you will come across with many devout Muslims who will vouch that they had seen jinns inside their primitive latrines.
A few of them might even swear that the local Imam or an Islamic mendicant had been able to chase out jinns and devils from their toilets when the jinns or devils caught their women in the toilets. Note that it is usually the women (pretty ones) who fall victims to the jinns and devils residing in rural Islamic latrines.
In Sunaan Abu Dawud (1.0006) we read that toilets are frequented by jinns and devils. Sunaan ibn Majah (1.296) writes that devils visit public toilets.
Let us read in full the first hadith: Sunaan Abu Dawud, Book 1, Number 0006: Narrated Zayd ibn Arqam:
The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) said: These privies are frequented by the jinns and devils. So when anyone amongst you goes there, he should say: “I seek refuge in Allah from male and female devils.” Pray Before Entering an Islamic Toilet
Since jinns and devils visit Islamic toilets, Muhammad instructed his followers to offer prayer when entering a lavatory.
Pray when answering the call of nature…(Sahih Bukhari, 1.4.144)
When you enter a lavatory say, “O Allah, I seek refuge in Thee from wicked and noxious things.”…(Sahih Muslim, 3.0729)
When entering a toilet, say a prayer: O’ Allah I seek refuge with you from all offensive and wicked things (evil deeds and evil spirits)…(Sunaan Nasai, 1.19)
To screen you from jinns, when visiting toilet say Bismillah…(Sunaan Tirmidhi, 130)
Do Not Hold Your Penis With Your Right Hand
In Islam, it is haram to hold your penis with your right hand when you defecate or urinate.
Regarding your penis manner while in an Islamic Toilet, there are many hadith, in all the Sahih Sitta (the six authentic) on this specification of Allah.
♦ Here is a collection of a few interesting hadith on Islamic manners of cleaning yourself in the toilet.
Do not breath while drinking water; do not touch penis in lavatory and do not cleanse private parts with your right hand…(Sahih Bukhari, 1. 4.155)
While urinating, do not hold penis with your right hand…(Sahih Bukhari, 1.4.156)
While in a toilet do not touch penis with your right hand…(Sahih Muslim, 2.0512)
While urinating or defecating do not touch your penis with your right hand…(Sunaan Abu Dawud, 1.1.0031)
When urinating do not touch your penis with your right hand…(Sunaan Nasai, 1.24, 25)
Use left hand for private parts…(Mishkat, 1.185)
Do not touch male organ with right hand…(Mishkat, 1.183)
Use left hand for touching private parts…(Mishkat, 1.185)
♦ Rules on Islamic Defecation
Sunaan Abu Dawud, Book 1, Number 0044: Narrated Abu Hurayrah:
The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: The following verse was revealed in connection with the people of Quba’: “In it are men who love to be purified” (ix.108). He (Abu Hurayrah) said: They used to cleanse themselves with water after easing. So the verse was revealed in connection with them.
One compulsory provision of Islamic toilet manner is that during defecation a Muslim must position himself in such a manner that neither his face nor his back (that is, buttock) should face the Qibla (Kaba).
Muslims must obey this rule whether defecating in an open desert or inside a latrine in his house.
Here are a few hadith on this:
While defecating in the open space neither face nor turn your back towards Qibla (Kaba); instead, face the east or the west…(Sahih Bukhari, 1.4.146)
While excreting or urinating do not face the Qibla…(Sahih Muslim, 2.0504)
When defecating in the desert do not face Qibla nor turn your backside towards Qibla; use three sods and your right hand to cleanse your private parts…(Sunaan Tirmidhi, 128)
While defecating do not face or show backside to Allah…(Mishkat, 1.185)
Interestingly, Muhammad, at times, had violated Allah’s rules. Here is the proof:
Muhammad urinated by turning his face towards the Qibla…(Sunaan ibn Majah, 1.325)
Muhammad defecated facing Jerusalem…(Sahih Bukhari, 1.4.147)
Muhammad stipulated that if you wear a ring, you must remove it when going inside a toilet.
True to this funny Islamic Toilet protocol, a hadis in Sunaan Abu Dawud (1.0019) and Sunaan ibn Majah (1.3033) state that Muhammad used to remove his ring when visiting a toilet.
Another interesting hadith in Sahih Muslim (7.2942) says that a Muslim can defecate in a river. In this case there might not be any necessity to cleanse his anus, as river water will do the job.
Curiously, a hadis in Sunaan Nasai (1.50, 51) says that having defecated, and having cleansed yourself, you should rub two hands on earth.
♦ Here are a few more interesting ahadith on defecating in Islamic manner:
After defecating do not use bones or dung; use stones to cleanse yourself…(Sahih Bukhari, 1.4.157)
Use odd number of stones (minimum three) to clean your private parts…(Sahih Bukhari, 1. 4.162)
Use three stones to clean yourself after defecating…(Sunaan Abu Dawud, 1.0040)
When visiting a toilet carry three stones with you…(Sunaan Abu Dawud, 1.1.0040)
After you defecate, use two clods of earth; do not use dung…(Sunaan Nasai, 1.42)
If you defecate in a desert use three stones, no need to use water…(Sunaan Nasai, 1.44)
♦ Rules on Islamic Urination
If we are confounded with bizarre Islamic rules on defecating, here are more rules on urinating:
Do not urinate in stagnant water…(Sunaan ibn Majah, 1.343)
Do not urinate standing; Umar did that but Muhammad reprobated him…(Sunaan Tirmidhi, 133)
During night you may urinate in a vessel…(Sunaan Nasai, 1.32)
At night Muhammad used to urinate on a wooden vessel…(Sunaan Abu Dawud, 1.0024)
Do not urinate in a hole…(Sunaan Nasai, 1.34)
Urinate in a soft ground…(Mishkat, 1.185)
Do not urinate in a place of bath and then take bath there…(Sunaan Nasai, 1.36)
Do not return salutation when you are urinating…(Sunaan Nasai, 1.37)
After urinating sprinkle water on your private parts…(Sunaan Nasai, 1.136, 137)
As was often the case, Muhammad had violated his own rules on urination.
Muhammad urinated standing…(Sahih Bukhari, 1. 4.226)
Muhammad had urinated standing…(Sunaan ibn Majah, 1.305
♦ Islamic Bathing Rules
Here are a few interesting rules on Islamic bath (ghusl):
Females cannot use the leftover water by males, but the males can use the leftover water by females…(Sunaan Abu Dawud, 1.0081)
Muhammad forbade the use of leftover water by females to be used by males…(Sunaan Abu Dawud, 1.0082)
Muhammad and his wives took bath from the same vessel of water…(Sunaan ibn Majah, 1.379)
Leprosy is caused by taking bath in water exposed to the sun…(Mishkat, 1.245)
♦BELIEVE IT OR NOT♦
He has to show up to do that? Why doesn’t Shiek Mohammed al-Areefi just read his Quran? isn’t that his job? Any mention of Jerusalem in there? not at all. The closest it comes to a reference is in Sura 17:1, which refers to the “furthest mosque.” Today, many Arabs claim this is a reference to the Al Aqsa Mosque, the place where Allah supposedly took Mohammed for a journey and the site from which the prophet of Islam reputedly ascended into heaven. The current Arab uprising in Jerusalem is called the Al Aqsa Intifida and centers around this claim. The so called moderates of Fatah even go so far as to suggest that there never was a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem.
What makes Jerusalem so precious? The Jews. Mecca was sanctified by Islam, even though the black stone pre-existed the founding gesture, and Jerusalem was sanctified by Judaism. Subsequent religious claims to the city are accretions to the original consecration. Jerusalem is the Christian holy land because Jesus was a Jew. And Islam’s claim is based on a scriptural injunction to supersede Judaism and Christianity. If Muslim claims to Jerusalem are not religious they are inexplicable. Ramallah would be a more suitable capital of a Palestinian state that truly intended to live peacefully side by side with Israel. Why should the world be dragged into a fierce tug of war when there is enough for everyone… if, in fact, it is a question of legitimate aspirations. The Muslim claim to Jerusalem is staked on the Al Aqsa mosque and the gilded Dome of the Rock that dominate the Temple Mount (the French call it “l’esplanade des mosquées”). And if it is granted, the heart of our civilization will be broken. The precedent established in Jerusalem will be extended to Paris, New York, London, the Hague, Detroit, Washington D.C… wherever a mosque is built, Islam will extend its political sovereignty. It will be the end of separation of church and state, the end of religious and political freedom. Al Aqsa is built on the ruins of the Jewish Temple. Europeans—so eager to impose the division of Jerusalem– finally nixed plans for mega- mosques in Rome and London. But their long-delayed awakening is trumped by the anti-Zionism of the American president.
Continue reading here. It’s superb.
I mostly agree, however my understanding of Jerusalem is that it was a town before David captured it. That doesn’t make it any less our temple, but there is a reason the Ark was originally in Shiloh. Jerusalem was a Jebusite city.
That David showed respect for the Jebusites – even their property rights –
is clear from the description of how the Israelite king acquired a site
for a sacrificial altar. Although Araunah the Jebusite, possibly the
former ruler of the city, offers it to him free of charge, David insists
on paying for it:
And the king said unto Araunah; Nay, but I will surely buy it from thee at a price; neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the Lord my God of that which doth cost me nothing. So David bought the oxen and the threshing floor for fifty shekels of silver. [II Samuel 24: 24]