The Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem
JERUSALEM – Not one but two terrorist organizations now are broadcasting Islamic prayer services live from the Temple Mount – Judaism’s holiest site.
Yesterday, WND broke the story Hamas’ official Al Aqsa TV has for the past week broadcast from the Temple Mount’s Al Aqsa Mosque the Tarawih prayers, or additional nightly prayers recited during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
Ramadan started last week. The Tarawih prayers include recitation of parts of the Quran and take about an hour.
Jerusalem Police spokesman Shmulik Ben Ruby told WND yesterday the police took “some measures” to ensure the Hamas transmissions from the Temple Mount were halted. He wouldn’t specify which measures were put into action.
But last night not only did the Hamas television broadcasts continue, the Islamic Jihad terror group also broadcast prayers from the Mount on Al-Quds Radio, the official network of Islamic Jihad.
Israel officially controls the Temple Mount while the Wafq – the Mount’s Islamic custodians – administer the site.
Islamic Jihad, which took credit along with Fatah’s Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades for every suicide bombing in Israel since 2005, apparently has the exclusive radio transmission of the Temple Mount prayers in the Palestinian territories.
Both Hamas and Islamic Jihad media outlets routinely call for jihad against Israel and broadcast extreme anti-Semitic and anti-American propaganda.
Hamas and Islamic Jihad have broadcast from the Temple Mount in the past.
WND broke the story of the Hamas’ official radio network broadcasting services live from the Al Aqsa Mosque for three weeks last December. At the time, Israeli police authorities immediately claimed they would halt the broadcasts, but the transmissions continued uninterrupted for several weeks.
WND also reported last year the Islamic Jihad terror group broadcasting the Tarawih prayers for two weeks from the Al Aqsa Mosque. Israeli police authorities told WND then they would halt the broadcasts, which continued unabated.
The Temple Mount is the holiest site in Judaism. The First Jewish Temple was built by King Solomon in the 10th century B.C. It was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C. The Second Temple was rebuilt in 515 B.C. after Jerusalem was freed from Babylonian captivity. That temple was destroyed by the Roman Empire in A.D. 70. Each temple stood for a period of about four centuries.
The Jewish Temple was the center of religious Jewish worship. It housed the Holy of Holies, which contained the Ark of the Covenant and was said to be the area upon which God’s shechina or “presence” dwelt. All Jewish holidays centered on worship at the Temple. The Jewish Temple served as the primary location for the offering of sacrifices and was the main gathering place for the Jewish people.
According to the Talmud, the world was created from the foundation stone of the Temple Mount. The site is believed to be the Biblical Mount Moriah, the location where Abraham fulfilled God’s test to see if he would be willing to sacrifice his son Isaac.
Jewish tradition holds Mashiach, or the Jewish Messiah, will return and rebuild the third and final Temple on the Mount in Jerusalem.
The Kotel, or Western Wall, is the one part of the Temple Mount that survived the destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans and stands today in Jerusalem.
The Temple Mount has remained a focal point for Jewish services for thousands of years. Prayers for a return to Jerusalem and the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple have been uttered by Jews since the Second Temple was destroyed, according to Jewish tradition.
Throughout all notorious Jewish exiles, thorough documentation shows the Jews never gave up their hope of returning to Jerusalem and re-establishing their Temple. To this day Jews worldwide pray facing the Western Wall, while Muslims turn their backs away from the Temple Mount and pray toward Mecca.
The Al Aqsa Mosque was constructed around A.D. 709 to serve as a shrine near another shrine, the Dome of the Rock, which was built by an Islamic caliph.
About 100 years ago, Al Aqsa in Jerusalem became associated with the place Muslims came to believe Muhammad ascended to heaven. Jerusalem, however, is not mentioned in the Quran.
Islamic tradition states Muhammad took a journey in a single night from “a sacred mosque” – believed to be in Mecca in southern Saudi Arabia – to “the farthest mosque,” and from a rock there ascended to heaven to receive revelations from Allah that became part of the Quran.
Palestinians today claim exclusivity over the Temple Mount and Palestinian leaders routinely deny Jewish historic connection to the site, but historically, Muslims did not claim the Al Aqsa Mosque as their third holiest site and admitted the Jewish Temples existed.
According to research by Israeli author Shmuel Berkovits, Islam previously disregarded Jerusalem. He points out in his book “How Dreadful Is this Place!” that Muhammad was said to loathe Jerusalem and what it stood for. Berkovits wrote that Muhammad made a point of eliminating pagan sites of worship, and sanctifying only one place – the Kaaba in Mecca – to signify the unity of God.
As late as the 14th century, Islamic scholar Taqi al-Din Ibn Taymiyya, whose writings influenced the Wahhabi movement in Arabia, ruled that sacred Islamic sites are to be found only in the Arabian Peninsula, and that “in Jerusalem, there is not a place one calls sacred, and the same holds true for the tombs of Hebron.”
It wasn’t until the late 19th century – incidentally when Jews started immigrating to Palestine – that some Muslim scholars began claiming Muhammad tied his horse to the Western Wall and associated Muhammad’s purported night journey with the Temple Mount.
A guide to the Temple Mount by the Supreme Muslim Council in Jerusalem published in 1925 listed the Mount as the site of Solomon’s Temple. The Temple Institute acquired a copy of the official 1925 “Guide Book to Al-Haram Al-Sharif,”