Temple Mount – Muslim lies

In his piyut, Tzomoh Nafshi, the Ibn Ezra  makes an assertion, which, considering that  he lived in a Muslim dominated world, is  bold indeed. Borrowing from Shlomo’s  judgment between the two women who  quarreled over the maternity of a living  infant (I Melochim chap. 3), the Ibn Ezra  describes the ancient controversy between  Yitzchok and Yishmoel in similar terms,  “See! To the true mistress the maidservant  says: No, for your son is the dead one and  my son the live one!” In other words, Islam  is part of Yishmoel’s attempt to usurp the  inheritance of Sarah’s offspring. 

The Winged Lie 
Yishmoel’s big lie of passing off a fiction  as the genuine article includes a number of  subsidiary falsehoods. One well-known example  is the Muslims’ substitution of Yishmoel  for Yitzchok in the Akeida story. Pilgrims  to Mecca tread the path they imagine  Avrohom followed on his way to sacrifice  Yishmoel. En route, they pause to stone a  pillar they believe is the ossified form of  Satan when he attempted to persuade Avrohom  to give up and go home. Restricted to  the sandy wastes around Mecca, such identity  fraud is relatively innocuous so far as  the Jews are concerned.

Not so is another claim much closer to  home: the Muslim claim to Har Habayis  as part of their religion. Although their ridiculous  claim of ownership of the Temple  Mount has no direct source in their Scriptures,  it is reinforced by their wish that it  should be so. All Muslim Scripture says is  that a mysterious winged horse once carried  the founder of Islam on a nocturnal flight to  the “farthest mosque,” which, objectively  speaking, could be sited almost anywhere.  But eventually Sunni Muslims decided that  the “farthest mosque” refers to Har Habayis.

Therefore, Muslims consider the Temple  Mount the third holiest site in Islam, with  the result that it has become a political  flashpoint of the Middle East and the entire  world. Based on this claptrap, Palestinians  scream in the streets, “We will sacrifice our  blood and souls for you, Jerusalem.”

There is cruel irony in this. In earlier  times the Bais Hamikdosh was the highpoint  of the Chashmonaim’s victory over  the Greeks and contributed to setting off the  Bar Kochva revolt when Emperor Hadrian  sacrificed pigs on its precincts. Now, the  Arab world has hijacked this location as the  highpoint of their struggle against the Jews.  In a 2001 article Daniel Pipes, made the  case that Arab reverence towards Yerushalayim  is more political than religious.

“An historical survey shows that the  stature of the city, and the emotions surrounding  it, inevitably rises for Muslims  when Jerusalem has political significance,”  he writes. “When the utility of Jerusalem  expires, so does its status and the passions  about it.”

This pattern first emerged during the lifetime  of the Prophet Muhammad in the early  seventh century, he explains. Since then, it  has been repeated on five occasions: in the  late seventh century when Muslim rulers in  Damascus were trying to play down the importance  of Mecca, during the twelfth century  and thirteenth century Crusades, during  the era of British rule (1917-48), and  since Israel took the city in 1967. At other  times, the city is left to shrivel on the vine.  Islam’s interest in Yerushalayim was first  kindled when the new religion was interested  in adding Jews to its roster. To draw  in Jews, Mohammed instructed his flock to  pray while facing Yerushalayim. When the  Jews failed to rise to the bait, Mohammed  ordered his followers to henceforth pray towards  Mecca.

Muslim interest in Yerushalayim was  kindled a second time, Pipes writes, when  Mecca rebelled against the Damascus based  Umayyad dynasty in 680. To offset  Mecca’s influence, the Umayyad ruler  Mu’awiya built Islam’s fi rst grand structure  ever, the Dome of the Rock. Thirty-five  years later, in 715, his dynasty constructed  the smaller Al-Asqua Mosque, cunningly  naming it the Furthest Mosque; this retroactively  hooked it up to a strange story of  the Koran where Mohammed sets off on a  nocturnal jaunt to the unidentified Furthest  Mosque, taken there by a winged horse  named Baraq. 

Faking the Wall 

Besides linking the Temple Mount with  the Koran, the clever nomenclature of the  new mosque eventually led to the Islamation  of the Western Wall in 1929, when a  new version of Mohammed’s winged horse  story claimed that he had tethered it to this  particular wall during his nocturnal spree,  in contrast to earlier interpretations of the  story, which theorized that the horse was  tied to the eastern or southern walls of  Har Habayis. This linking of the steed to  the Wall was a potent factor in the famous  Muslim attempt to stop Jewish prayer at the  Kossel during the British Mandate.

The 1930 report of the British commission  determining the rights and claims  of Muslims and Jews in connection with  the Western Wall summarized the Muslim  claim to the wall as follows:

“The sanctity of the Wall and of the passage  in front of it is due to the fact that on  the Prophet’s above mentioned journey his  winged steed (Al Baraq) came there and  was tethered to the Western Wall of the  Haram.”

The Jews responded that past Muslim  behavior indicated that their Western Wall  claim was a recent fabrication:

“The Jews deny that the Wall, the Pavement  in front of it, and the Moghrabi  Quarter can be considered a Muslim Holy  Place. According to the Jews, the Muslims  themselves do not regard them so, because  otherwise they would not have smeared the  Wall with filth as the Jews state the Muslims  have done on certain occasions, nor  permitted the construction of a water closet  close to the wall that is a direct continuation  of the Wailing Wall to the south and also  forms part of the exterior of the Haram.

“Furthermore, the route… was never,  they allege, exactly defined, and it is only  quite recently that the Muslims have begun  to make out that the prophet passed by there  and that his winged steed was tethered to  an iron ring in the wall… Moreover, the  Muslims did not, until recent years, call the  Wailing Wall Al Buraq. The official guide  to the Haram that was published by the  Muslim authorities does not mention any  special sanctity as inherent in the wall.”

Needless to say, the Muslims have never  retracted from their spurious position, leading  to non-stop accusations of the following  genre: “It seems that Shimon Peres forgot  or pretended to forget that the continued  Israeli occupation of Al-Quds and Al-Aqsa  Mosque is itself a worse violation than  Jews entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque And  he forgot or pretended to forget that the  continued violation of the Al-Buraq Wall–  which is part of the Al-Aqsa compound–  and transforming its name to the ‘Wailing  Wall,’ is itself a worse violation than Jews  entering Al-Aqsa” (Advisor to the Islamic  Movement in Israel on Jerusalem and Al-  Aqsa Affairs, Ali Abu Shaikha, 2009).  Due to Arab insistence that Har Habayis  is theirs, Israel granted management of Har  Habayis to an Islamic council known as  the Muslim Waqf in 1967. Vocal prayer of  non-Muslim visitors to the site is banned. Guards are known to scrutinize visitors to  ensure that their prayers remain in their  hearts while their lips remain still. 

Destroying the Past 

Worse was to come. There was a time  when Muslims made no attempt to deny  the past existence of the Bais Hamikdosh  on Har Habayis. The 1925 offi cial guidebook  of the Supreme Muslim Council in  Yerushalayim writes that their mosque’s  “identity with the site of Solomon’s Temple  is beyond dispute.”

In recent decades, however, committing  a historical distortion no less than Holocaust  denial, Muslims have taken to claim  that Har Habayis was never the site of the  Bais Hamikdosh. King Faisal of Saudi Arabia  was the first to raise the claim in 1973,  asserting that “the Temple of Solomon does  not exist in Jerusalem.” Arafat made the  same claim at Camp David in 2000. If so,  what was this ancient, massive structure?

An ancient mosque dating from Adam and  Chava, the Waqf authorities claim.  Of course, this nonsense flies in the face  of uncontroversial evidence such as the  Mishnayos of Midos, which describe the  site in detail, and endless archeological  evidence such as the stone that crowned  the south west corner of the Har Habayis  wall bearing the words, “To the trumpeting  place,” apparently indicating the place  on the Temple walls where trumpets were  blown to warn people of the impending arrival  of Shabbos or Yom Tov.

In 1996, the Waqf began destruction of  two underground mosques at the underground  south side of the Mount known as  Solomon’s Stables, perhaps because Crusaders  used the area to stable their mounts.  This is viewed as part of the Muslim attempt  to hide the site’s Jewish past. To  consolidate their bogus stance, the Waqf  is wantonly destroying archeological treasures  on the Mount while allowing no one  else to drive a spade into its ancient rubble.  No real archeological digs have ever been  done on the site and most archeological  knowledge of the place dates from nineteenth  century surveys by Charles Wilson  and other old time archeologists.

In October 1999, a rare opportunity  arose to explore the Mount’s treasures after  the Waqf illegally opened a new exit to the  mosque and dumped thousands of tons of  rubble in the Kidron Valley. Israeli archeologists  moved nearly seventy truckloads  of the rubble and sifted the earth heap by  heap, uncovering a wealth of treasures that  included ancient Jewish coins, Babylonian  arrowheads from the first Churban, giant  arrowheads launched by Roman catapults  at the time of the second Churban, and floor  slabs of a type Josephus describes as used  for the Har Habayis floors.

All this is part of the wider Arab tactic  of denying any Jewish attachment to Eretz  Yisroel as stated in the Palestinian charter of  1964, article 18: “The claims of historic and  spiritual ties, ties between Jews and Palestine  are not in agreement with the facts of  history or with the true basis of sound statehood.”

Unfortunately, Ibn Ezra’s dictum still  holds true: “To the true mistress the maidservant  says: No, for your son is the dead  one and my son the live one!”

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