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The Jerusalem Post is reporting that the former mufti of Jerusalem, Ikrema Sabri, has made the claim that there never was a Jewish temple on the Temple Mount, and the Western Wall was really part of a mosque.
The former mufti of Jerusalem, Ikrema Sabri, has made the claim that there never was a Jewish temple on the Temple Mount, and the Western Wall was really part of a mosque.
“There was never a Jewish temple on Al-Aksa [the mosque compound] and there is no proof that there was ever a temple,” he told The Jerusalem Post via a translator. “Because Allah is fair, he would not agree to make Al-Aksa if there were a temple there for others beforehand.”
Sabri rejected Judaism’s claim to the Western Wall as part of the outer wall of the Second Temple.
“The wall is not part of the Jewish temple. It is just the western wall of the mosque,” he said. “There is not a single stone with any relation at all to the history of the Hebrews.”
Asked if Jews would ever be allowed to pray on the Temple Mount under Muslim control, he replied: “It is not the Temple Mount, you must say Al-Aksa. And no Jews have the right to pray at the mosque. It was always only a mosque – all 144 dunams, the entire area. No Jewish prayer. If the Jews want real peace, they must not do anything to try to pray on Al-Aksa. Everyone knows that.”
“Zionism tries to trick the Jews claiming that this was part of a Jewish temple, but they dug there and they found nothing,” Sabri added.
Palestinian leaders, most notably the late Yasser Arafat, have consistently denied Jewish claims to the Mount.
Sabri made the comments in an interview with the Post’s Friday supplement, In Jerusalem, for a cover story on how religious leaders view the capital.
I’m not sure why the Jerusalem Post thinks this is news. In fact, it was the Jerusalem Post itself that brought Sabri’s views to our attention almost 4 years ago.
On the same day that Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat was quoted as saying that he recognizes Jewish sovereignty over the Western Wall, his mufti, Ikremah Sabri, said on Friday that there is no such thing as a “Wailing Wall.”In an interview last week, Arafat reportedly told Henry Siegman, director of the United States/Middle East Project of the Council on Foreign Relations and former executive director of the American Jewish Congress, that he accepts Jewish sovereignty over the Wailing Wall and over the Jewish quarter of the Old City.
Arafat explained: “My religion, Islam, obliges me to respect Judaism and Jewish history, whose prophets are revered in the holy Quran as God’s messengers. While we insist that East Jerusalem be the capital of a Palestinian state, and that the Haram al-Sharif, on which are situated the two mosques, Al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock, come under Palestinian sovereignty, we accept Jewish sovereignty over the Wailing Wall and over the Jewish quarter of the Old City. We accept this only because we recognize and respect the Jewish religion and the Jewish historical attachment to Palestine.”
But the mufti, who was appointed by Arafat, told thousands of worshippers attending Friday prayers at the Al-Aqsa mosque that the Western Wall is part of the Al-Aqsa mosque and that it belongs to the Muslim Wakf (trust). “Seventy years ago the Committee of the League of Nations recognized the Al-Buraq Wall (Western Wall) as being part of the walls of the Al-Aqsa mosque,” Sabri said.
In other words, the headline should be Arafat-Appointed Former Mufti of Jerusalem Still Thinks Western Wall Was Never Part of Temple.
Looking over that old blog post of mine, though, was interesting. We see some examples of palestinian desecration of Jewish holy sites, which makes a mockery of Sabri’s contention that “Because Allah is fair, he would not agree to make Al-Aksa if there were a temple there for others beforehand.” And there’s plenty of other examples.
Not that the palestinian terror campaign and lack of Islamic denunciation thereof is conducive with the notion of a “fair Allah.”
Update: Once again reading of Arafat’s reported statement that he accepted “Jewish sovereignty over the Wailing Wall and over the Jewish quarter of the Old City” was also of interest, but I doubt he really made these comments, considering his reported (contrary) official position on the issue. Needless to say, if he did make those comments, he was lying.