Demanding the Right to Pray

Jews campaigning for the right to worship on the Temple Mount are portrayed as fanatics and extremists  Such a demand is a provocation, it is claimed, and many justify Arab terror by accepting that attempts to do so are bothering Muslims. Those who are critical ignore Articles 9 and 11 of the Jordan-Israel Peace Treaty which assures “freedom of access to places of religious and historical significance” and “interfaith relations among the three monotheistic religions, with the aim of working towards religious understanding, moral commitment, freedom of religious worship, and tolerance and peace” as well as to “foster mutual understanding and tolerance based on shared historic values, and…to abstain from hostile or discriminatory propaganda against each other…”.

Can anyone imagine this following news item passing quietly in the world’s media and the US State Department (as if Said Arikat wouldn’t ask a leading question):-

Jews in Jerusalem demand right to pray at the Haram E-Sharif

On Saturday thousands of Jewish worshippers descended on Jerusalem’s world famous Haram E-Sharif compound, also know as Al-Aqsa and the Temple Mount, as well, the location of the towering monument, the Dome of the Rock, to demand the right to pray there, it has been reported.

A Rabbi led a prayer in front of the vast building that was once the site of two Jewish Temples, as well as a Crusader-era basilica, before the compound was turned into an exclusive Muslim enclosure which know contains four mosques.  The masses of Jews called for it to be restored as a Jewish place of worship.

“Let the chains break, open Har Habayit [the Hebrew term for Temple Mount],” chanted the crowds who gathered in the Western Wall plaza in front of the holy site, according to various news agencies.

“In the name of thousands of our brothers we demand to be allowed to pray inside the Har Habayit,” said MK Yehuda Glick, the president of the LIBA Association which organised the demonstration coinciding with Jerusalem Day celebrations for the anniversary of Israel’s conquest of the former Jordanian-held portions of the city in 1967.

Fantastic, no?

But it really did happen, just in Turkey:

Muslims in Turkey demand right to pray at Hagia Sophia

30.05.2016

On Saturday thousands of Muslim worshippers descended on Istanbul’s world famous Hagia Sophia, the towering former Byzantine church that is now a museum, to demand the right to pray there, Turkish media reported.

An imam led a prayer in front of the vast building that was once a Greek Orthodox basilica, then a mosque and now a museum before crowds called for it to be restored as a Muslim place of worship.

“Let the chains break, open Hagia Sophia,” chanted the crowds who gathered on the plaza in front of the museum, according to Turkey’s Dogan news agency.

“In the name of thousands of our brothers we demand to be allowed to pray inside the Hagia Sophia mosque,” said Salih Turhan, the president of the Anatolia Youth Association which organised the demonstration coinciding with celebrations for the anniversary of the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople.

We’ll be following up on this development – not a new one and not happening only in Turkey but in Spain, too – to gauge reactions.

Who knows, maybe we can learn something from the Turks but do it so much better.

About the Author
Yisrael Medad, currently is a Research Fellow at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem and Deputy Editor of the English Language Anthology of Jabotinsky's Writings. American-born, he and his wife made Aliyah in 1970. He resides in Shiloh since 1981. He was a member of the Betar Youth Movement World Executive and is a volunteer spokesperson for the Yesha Council. He holds a MA in Political Science from the Hebrew University and is active is many Zionist and Jewish projects and initiatives.
Related Topics
Related Posts
Comments