Christians, Jews praying on Temple Mount ‘seek religious war’

Muslim authorities say even right to talk to God on holy site exclusively theirs

By Ryan Jones, WND

If Jerusalem’s Temple Mount stands at the heart of the Middle East conflict, and if Muslim intransigence regarding the religious rights of others at the site is any indication, then it would appear all talk of regional peace is somewhat premature.

In an interview with Israel Today, Azzam Khatib, director of the Islamic Trust (or Waqf) that safeguards the mosques that sit atop the Temple Mount, said that Jews and Christians who try to pray at the ancient holy site are effectively declaring war.

Any non-Muslim “who seeks such an approach is really seeking a religious war,” said Khatib, Who insisted that the Temple Mount is an exclusively Muslim site and that Jews and Christians should not even want to pray there.

Khatib even took issue with the use of the term “Temple Mount,” angrily demanding the site be called al-Haram al-Sharif, or Noble Sanctuary.

Khatib refused to consider the possibility that the site was once home to the First and Second Jewish Temples, calling such claims unsubstantiated myths. When presented with a citation from a 1929 tourist guide published by the Supreme Muslim Council that acknowledged the Temple Mount as the site of Solomon’s Temple, Khatib rejected the idea that such a book was ever published by a Muslim authority.

According to Khatib, when the Muslims first arrived in Jerusalem 1,400 years ago, the Temple Mount area was barren, and no hard evidence of previous structures remained, making any non-Muslim claims to the hilltop mere speculation.

“When the Muslims came here they never found any standing building or any culture still alive, so they never threatened any standing building,” said the Waqf director. “We are not going to entertain theories about buildings that may or may not have been here before.”

Always a fount of contradiction, the Muslim officials later negated their own claims that the Temple Mount was empty in 600 A.D. with their stories of Mohammed’s midnight visit to the Al Aksa Mosque that today towers over the southern end of the raised compound.

Pointing to a massive retaining wall, which if the Muslim officials are to be believed should also not have existed 1,400 years ago, a Waqf guide identified the spot where Mohammed tied his horse, Buraq, after legend has it he traveled thousands of miles in the span of just a few hours.

Various Waqf officials also failed to provide a single, cohesive answer as to why the gate on the eastern side of the Temple Mount, known in the Bible as the Golden Gate, is sealed shut. Historical Muslim sources state that the gate was sealed and a cemetery planted in front of it to prevent Jesus’ prophesied return.

But Khatib said the gate was closed simply because it was built in front of a cemetery and “it’s difficult to approach a gate while passing through cemeteries, through graves.”

When pressed as to why a gate would be built where a cemetery already existed, Khatib’s aide and translator chimed in and altered the story, saying that the gate had been there first and “after the blocking of the gate, and people stop using the gate, people made use of the area (by burying their dead).”

A third explanation was provided by a Waqf official identified as Abu Qatis, who mumbled something about a Crusader massacre of Muslims at the gate.

Returning to the issue of protection of access to and religious freedom at the Temple Mount, Khatib and his aide vigorously denied suggestions that Jewish and Christian visitors are ever denied entry. Moments later, however, Khatib defended the practice of turning away
visiting Jews and Christians as legitimate payback for Israeli security measures that deny access to the Temple Mount to Palestinian Arab Muslims from outside Jerusalem’s municipal boundaries.

“You cannot expect us to allow in everyone when Palestinians from just outside Jerusalem cannot come here and pray,” said Khatib.

An Israeli police officer standing guard at one of the Temple Mount’s entrances told us that the restrictions on Muslim access are only enforced occasionally, and were only made necessary because of past Muslim riots at the site that ended with stones being hurled onto
Jewish worshippers at the Western Wall.

“This is just an excuse,” insisted Khatib. “Tell me, during the last five years in Jerusalem, what riots do we have in this area?”

Clearly unfamiliar with having their positions challenged, Khatib and his aide abruptly ended the interview when it was suggested that perhaps the lack of violence over the past five years was due to the Israeli measures.

August 3, 2008 | 10 Comments »

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  1. Arabs profane our Holiest Site daily, praying with their backsides to the Holy of Holies. Michele Nevada

    Tumbleweeds & Terrorists
    by Michelle Nevada

    Look, I don’t know what to do about terrorists called “Palestinian Militants” any more than a distant “expert” would understand what to do with my pile of Russian Thistles called “tumbleweed.” But I will trust that those who deal with the problem on an every-day basis, those closest to it, understand best what must be done.

    Sunday, I was blessed. I had the opportunity, for the first time this season, to get outside and eradicate the tumbleweed on my acre. The reason I was so blessed is that I almost missed out completely. This season has been so dry and so windy that the fire department was reluctant to allow open burning at all. Now, I know most of you are not from the rural western United States, so you may not understand why I would want to openly burn my tumbleweed. So, before you start screaming about air quality and environment, please give me some time to explain the context of my situation.

    First of all, tumbleweed, even though it has been present in every movie about the Old West for the last 50 years, is a non-native species. It’s real name is “Russian Thistle,” and it doesn’t belong here. Tumbleweed is opportunistic and aggressive, and, once established, will crowd out the native species ? destroying both plant and animal habitat. It is especially prolific. Tumbleweeds can grow to giant size, topping five or six feet in height and sometimes as much as eight feet across. They grow in communities, protecting one another from the elements. When they are mature, they turn from a bright and vibrant green to woody beige, break off at the root, and go tumbling across acres of land, blown by the wind, dropping seeds everywhere.

    These seeds are not innocuous little discs, they are thorny burrs with brittle, needle-sharp spines. These burrs grow by the thousands up and down every branch of the tumbleweed. There are very few things as terrible as stepping on a branch of tumbleweed with bare feet, as you can’t see the tiny and exceedingly painful thorns. They break off and embed themselves in your skin, sometimes for days or weeks, before you can get them out.

    Okay, so you have some context. Now you know why I can’t just leave them alone. If left alone, they will just make more tumbleweed to destroy the land. They might look romantic, and they may operate in the minds of writers as a “symbol” for the free and open desert landscape, but they are really no more than a horrible thornbush that crowds out the native species.

    As I stand in the acre behind my house and prepare to burn tumbleweed, the scene crystallizes into metaphor: “Palestinian Militants” are like “tumbleweeds.” They have been given a name by those who want to romanticize their murder into some sort of fight for freedom, but it isn’t their real name. They might be made to look romantic, and they may operate in the minds of liberal journalists as a “symbol” for some sort of fight for freedom, but they are just terrorists who want to destroy the native species. Like the tumbleweeds in the American west that have spread so successfully across the land, terrorists have spread across the land of Israel. These terrorists, prolific and opportunistic, have tried to claim the land of Israel for their own. They argue they are “fighting for their land”, that they belong there: but they are not native to the land. They are an invasive species. They are nothing more than Arabs who want to destroy Israel and replace it with another Arab autocracy.

    I stand in my acre and I think about the Russian Thistle called “Tumbleweed” and the terrorists called “Palestinian Militants” while I listen to a news report of smoke over Jenin. I think of how similar my situation is to that of the Israelis when I hear the pundits on the news say there are other ways to take care of the terrorist infrastructure in Israel.

    ?Those are just like the so-called environmental experts who have never dealt with tumbleweed,? I mutter to myself, ?They say there are other ways to take care of the mounds of thorns in my yard, but I know there aren’t.?

    I can’t compost them, because they will reproduce in the compost (and they are covered with sharp barbs). I can’t take them to the dump, because they will drop seeds all the way there and, once at the dump, spread by tumbling around. You see, I am here. I know what tumbleweed are like, how nasty they are, and the danger they pose. But these “experts” across the country, in a different context, can’t possibly know, without me explaining, why I choose to burn something that you might consider part of the “romantic image” of the West: the beloved tumbleweed. Although you might make environmental arguments against my practice, I know I am doing what is best to protect the native species of both plants and animals from the incursion and destruction of a non-native species. Standing where they are, the “experts” don’t know that tumbleweed are ?stickery?. They don’t know that they are one of the main causes of damage to the land, and they might assume that I was doing something really terrible.

    If they came here, and they saw me burning, they might become frightened by the wall of flame that shoots up, and they might think that I was being reckless. They might even think to call the fire department and declare the whole thing an emergency, or they might want take the hose in their hand and “calm down” the fire before, in their opinion, I also harmed a lot of the native species around. However, if they did, I would have to stop burning while the fire department investigated to make sure I was following all the requirements on my permit. If they had taken the hose in hand, I would have to wait for those tumbleweeds to completely dry before I could burn again. Then my burning permit would expire. And while I waited for another time that was good for eradicating tumbleweed, more would grow, the problem would worsen, and a few would even escape to tumble across my neighbor’s acres and cause great damage ? not only this season, but in many seasons to come. And those who thought they were doing what was right would, instead, have caused more damage.

    Look, I don’t know what to do about terrorists called “Palestinian Militants” any more than a distant “expert” would understand what to do with my pile of Russian Thistles called “tumbleweed.” But I will trust that those who deal with the problem on an every-day basis, those closest to it, understand best what must be done.

    I know what to do with tumbleweed. I must eliminate them, every last one.
    Michelle Nevada is a religious Jew who has a doctorate in English and lives in a small town in rural Nevada

  2. Kooks like Khatib can believe whatever they want; but Israel owns the Mount, and it does not have to tolerate such nonesense. Imagine, if someone in the US decided he was the Messiah and demanded that he take over the White House. Would we allow him to do so? Why don’t the Jews of Israel have any sense?

  3. Per, unlike everything else you named, Islam does fall under the definition of a religon, not a very sane religion, but a religion none the less.

  4. Islam is not a religion, it is an oppressive political cult. The strange thing about it is that, unlike similar cults like the cosa nostra, nazism and communism, islam appears to be accepted and even loved, even by its victims.

  5. No, although peace is desirable, it’s not possible without the recognition of Israel as a State and hostilities against the Jewish people ceasing. I know I made a statement this week that we should live in peace and try to work together to solve problems, but sometimes you just can’t – especially with people who have an agenda which is against logic, reason, or common sense. In my first encounters, ever, with an Arab person, I’m not impressed. I did, however, meet an Arab Christian this week who completely impressed me with their attitude and their love & concern for others. There are good Arabs and bad Arabs, like in every other race, there are good people and bad people. When someone who belongs to a certain ethnicity does you dirty, you can’t condemn the whole race on the basis of race, but single out that individual as another stupid person. I am by no means a racist, nor do I harbor hate against any group of people – however, if one group of people represents something that is off the God Of Israel’s Holy Ground – then they are disapproved on the basis of bad politics, bad religion, and bad policies – and not race. I know I slam “Arabs” a lot, but what I ought to say is “Arabs who hate others.” I am against Arabs who are against Israel and I am certainly against the Islamic Waqf as a group. I am also against any Arab who demonstrates suspicious behavior that intentionally hurts others and uses other people, while using lies, defamation, false accusations, race, and religion to play victim or victimize others – such as the Obama campaign does. And this is why terrorists love Obama is that they are aware of his real intentions and have a harmonious point of view about America and Israel. The future of Israel’s Temple Mount is the future of the world if we’re not careful to fight for our freedoms.

  6. It just goes to show you that when you allow your enemies to have the upper hand, they will restrict your freedoms and your rights. The fact that the Jewish people aren’t allowed to pray on the Temple Mount, carry a Torah, or freely speak, means that the Islamic Waqf is an evil presence that ought to be ousted. The fact that the Third Jewish Temple hasn’t been built yet, means that the world doesn’t want peace. I had to laugh about Arabia putting a restriction on men having dogs because the dogs are being used to flirt with women! What a bunch of homos! Then again, Olmert was too busy fulfilling his daughter’s wishes to have a gay parade march in Jerusalem to really care about ousting Hamas, finishing off Hizbollah, or giving the greatest Israeli general in modern history the right to pray on the Temple Mount. Imagine this: The U.S. and Israel using the full weight of their power against their adversaries!

  7. Someone should invent a game…

    The player has to argue with someone who denies basic reality. The identity of the other person is concealed. The game is…

    “Am I arguing with a Leftist or a Muslim”