New Podium for Al-Aqsa

WorldNetDaily‘s Aaron Klein notes the new Salah-al-Din Podium being installed at the Al-Asqa mosque:

“This historic occasion proves that the extremist Jews will never achieve their goals of taking over the [Temple Mount.] It shows that we are much closer to liberating the Al Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem from Israeli occupation,” said Waqf chief Adnan Husseini.

…The new stand replaces a 1,000-year-old podium believed to have been shipped to Jerusalem by the Islamic conqueror Saladin. That stand was destroyed in 1969, when an Australian tourist set fire to the Al Aqsa Mosque.

The “Australian tourist” was, in fact, a mentally-ill follower of Herbert Armstrong (Al-Jazeerah appears to have withdrawn an article describing him as “an extremist Australian Jew”, although some other reports repeat the error).

Klein also enjoys himself noting the views of local Islamists who deny that the Jewish Temple was ever located at the same spot – which, Klein alleges, is also the line of most of the Waqf officials who control the site:

In an interview with WND, Kamal Hatib, vice-chairman of the Islamic Movement, which will take part in the podium installation ceremonies, claimed the Al-Aqsa Mosque was built by angels, and that a Jewish Temple may have existed, but not in Jerusalem. The Movement, which works closely with the Waqf, is the Muslim group in Israel most identified with the Temple Mount.

Such a perspective is, of course, a perversion of history – the whole point in building the Al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock was to restore honour to a place that had been neglected and despised during centuries of Byzantine Christian rule. It’s also bad news for Palestinian rights, since falsifying history concedes the idea that the reality of ancient Israel justifies Palestinian dispossession today (needless to add, such an bogus position also undermines Palestinian credibility more generally).

To his credit, the hawkish pro-Likud Klein does give us a Muslim who understands this:

Last June, in a widely circulated WND interview, a former senior leader of the Waqf contradicted his colleagues, saying he has come to believe the first and second Jewish Temples existed and stood at the current location of the Al Aqsa Mosque.

[The existence of the Jewish Temple at the site is obvious] according to studies, researches and archaeological signs that we were also exposed to….We learned [in oral tradition] that the Christians, especially those who believed that Jesus was crucified by the Jews, used to throw their garbage at the Temple Mount site. They used to throw the pieces of cotton and other material Christian women used in cleaning the blood of their monthly cycle. Doing so they believed that they were humiliating, insulting and harming the Jews at their holiest site. This way they are hurting them like Jews hurt Christians when crucifying Jesus.

However, there’s more than one way to misrepresent the meaning of the Al-Aqsa; Jerusalem Newswire offers an extremist Jewish perspective:

The Arab usurpers of Israel’s holiest site have proclaimed that their imminent installation of a new podium in the Al-Aqsa Mosque is proof that Mount Moriah is exclusively Islam’s.

Israel is uncomplainingly enabling the Muslim takeover of the site where Abraham offered up Isaac and where the First and Second Temples were built.

How Arabs “usurped” a site that had been ruined for centuries is not explained.

A report carried by the Pakistan Daily Times gives a bit more background to the new podium:

“The burnt pulpit was destroyed into pieces,” Adnan Husseini, a senior official in the Waqf, which oversees Muslim religious sites, told AFP. “The new one was constructed on the model of the original. Once the plans were drawn up, it took four years to construct it,” Husseini said. The cost of the new pulpit stood at 1.5 million dollars, donated by Jordan’s King Abdullah II, said Luay Dabbur, a deputy dean at Jordan’s Balqa Applied Sciences University where the pulpit was built.

One Response

  1. Each person’s spiritual journey is inherently different. There are many spiritual pathways leading to the same destination.

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