Thursday, June 07, 2007

Today, 40 years ago, Jerusalem was retaken.

Debbie Schlussel writes on the sudden Muslim attention to the Jewish city of Jerusalem:

Jerusalem is mentioned exactly ZERO times in the Koran. On the other hand, it appears in the Torah--the Jewish Bible--at least 667 times. It appears in the Christian New Testament 154 times.

Nothing of Islamic significance ever happened in Jerusalem, unless you count the building of the Al-Aqsa Mosque ("The Farthest Mosque")on top of a Church, which was built on top of the Holy of Holies of the Jewish Temple, the "Beit HaMikdash." (The fact that many Islamic terrorists met in Jerusalem to plot attacks on Jews and Christians there and elsewhere, does not establish an Islamic religious claim to the city.)

Although many authorities on Islam have written about how Jerusalem suddenly became of such fictional import to the "Religion of Peace," the best summary is by Dr. Mordechai Kedar, Professor in the Department of Arabic Studies at Bar Ilan University, which appeared on the excellent site, IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis). Another great article, "Jerusalem in the Sources," by Moshe Kohn, also on IMRA, also exposes the empty Muslim claim to Jerusalem.

Kohn notes that until the 10th Century, Muslims called Jerusalem, "Ilya." From the 10th Century on, Muslims used names with Jewish references: "Beit Al-Makdis," the Arabic version of Beit HaMikdash (the Hebrew name for the Jewish Temple), "Al Quds"--a version of "Ir HaKadosh" (Hebrew for Holy City) and even "Siyyun" (Zion). The 13th Century Arab biographer and geographer, Yakut, wrote:

Mecca is holy to Muslims, and Jerusalem to the Jews.

The holiest cities in Islam are Mecca and Medina. Period. So, what about the Al-Aqsa Mosque, you ask?

As Dr. Kader notes:

Islam rediscovered Jerusalem 50 years after Mohammad's death. In 682 CE, Abd Allah Ibn Al-Zubayr rebelled against the Islamic rulers in Damascus, conquered Mecca and prevented pilgrims [Hajjis] from reaching Mecca for the Hajj. Abd Al-Malik, the Ummayad caliph, needed an alternative site for the pilgrimage and settled on Jerusalem, which was then under his control.

In order to justify this choice, a verse from the Koran was chosen (sura 17, verse 1), which states:

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 . . . .

Clearly there is nothing here noting that Jerusalem is the site of the "Farthest Mosque." The site is actually and had always been Mecca. But because Abd Al-Malik needed a place to send the Hajjis, and needed a solution fast--with Mecca blocked by warring Muslims--he randomly chose Jerusalem and made up a story to justify it.

Dr. Kedar writes that Abd Al-Malik made up all kinds of stories to justify this new, apocryphal version of Islam. He claimed Mohammed was conveyed to Jerusalem one night (even though at the time the journey took three days by camel) on a magical horse with the head of a woman, wings of an eagle, and the tail of a peacock. But many Muslim thinkers believed that it was just a dream of Mohammed, that he was never in Jerusalem. And the people of Mecca at the time, who knew Mohammed well, did not believe the story. Before that, Al-Aqsa--the "farthest mosque"--was well-known to be in Mecca in what is now Saudi Arabia.

Since then and in keeping with his new, creative story, the Ummayad Islamic dynasty invented many "traditions" as a basis for the new-found "awareness" of the "holiness" of Jerusalem in Islam.

Jerusalem simply wasn't a Muslim city. Ever.


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