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Why and When was the Myth of al-Aqsa Created?

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 13.11.2014 08:42

Why and When was the Myth of al-Aqsa Created?

How did Jerusalem become so important to Muslims?
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Published: Monday, November 10, 2014 6:56 AM

Dr. Mordechai Kedar
Dr. Mordechai Kedar is a senior lecturer in the Department of Arabic at...
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The importance of Jerusalem for Jews and Christians is beyond dispute, since the connection of this city to Judaism and Christianity is part of universal concepts about history and theology. However, when it comes to modern politics, we hear over and over that Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims demand that Jerusalem become the capital of the future Palestinian state, owing to its holiness to Islam. The question is how and when this city became holy to Muslims.

After Palestine was occupied by the Muslims, its capital was Ramle, 30 miles to the west of Jerusalem, signifying that Jerusalem meant nothing to them.
When the Prophet Muhammad established Islam, he introduced a minimum of innovations. He employed the hallowed personages, historic legends and sacred sites of Judaism, Christianity, and even paganism, by Islamizing them. Thus, according to Islam, Abraham was the first Muslim and Jesus and St. John (the sons of Miriam, sister of Moses and Aaron) were prophets and guardians of the second heaven. Many Biblical legends ("asatir al-awwalin"), which were familiar to the pagan Arabs before the dawn of Islam, underwent an Islamic conversion, and the Koran as well as the Hadith (the Islamic oral tradition), are replete with them.

Islamization was practiced on places as well as persons: Mecca and the holy stone - al-Ka'bah - were holy sites of the pre-Islamic pagan Arabs. The Umayyad Mosque in Damascus and the Great Mosque of Istanbul were erected on the sites of Christian-Byzantine churches - two of the better known examples of how Islam treats sanctuaries of other faiths.

Jerusalem, too, underwent the process of Islamization: at first Muhammad attempted to convince the Jews near Medina to join his young community, and, by way of persuasion, established the direction of prayer (kiblah) to be to the north, towards Jerusalem, in keeping with Jewish practice; but after he failed in this attempt he turned against the Jews, killed many of them, and directed the kiblah southward, towards Mecca.

Muhammad's abandonment of Jerusalem explains the fact that this city is not mentioned even once in the Koran. After Palestine was occupied by the Muslims, its capital was Ramle, 30 miles to the west of Jerusalem, signifying that Jerusalem meant nothing to them.

Islam rediscovered Jerusalem 50 years after Muhammad's death. In 682 CE, 'Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr rebelled against the Islamic rulers in Damascus, conquered Mecca and prevented pilgrims from reaching Mecca for the Hajj. 'Abd al-Malik, the Umayyad Calif, 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 (17,1 = sura 17, verse 1) which states (trans. by Majid Fakhri):

"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, He is indeed the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing."

The meaning ascribed to this verse (see the commentary in al-Jallalayn) is that "the furthest mosque" (al-masgid al-aqsa) is in Jerusalem and that Muhammad was conveyed there one night (although at that time the journey took three days by camel), on the back of al-Buraq, a magical horse with the head of a woman, wings of an eagle, the tail of a peacock, and hoofs reaching to the horizon. He tethered the horse to the Western Wall of the Temple Mount and from there ascended to the seventh heaven together with the angel Gabriel. On his way he met the prophets of other religions who are the guardians of the Seven Heavens: Adam, Jesus, St. John, Joseph, Idris (=Seth?), Aaron, Moses and Abraham who accompanied him on his way to Allah and who accepted him as their master.

Thus Islam tries to gain legitimacy over other, older religions, by creating a scene in which the former prophets agree to Muhammad's mastery, thus making him Khatam al-Anbiya' ("the Seal of the Prophets"). According to this legend, Islam came to the world in order to replace Judaism and Christianity rather than to live side by side with them.

Not surprisingly, this miraculous account contradicts a number of the tenets of Islam: How can a living man of flesh and blood ascend to heaven? How can a mythical creature carry a mortal to a real destination? Questions such as these have caused orthodox Muslim thinkers to conclude that the nocturnal journey was a dream of Muhammad's. The journey and the ascent serves Islam to "go one better" than the Bible: Moses "only" went up to Mt. Sinai, in the middle of nowhere, and drew close to heaven, whereas Muhammad went all the way up to Allah, and from Jerusalem itself.

What are the difficulties with the belief that the al-Aqsa mosque described in Islamic tradition is located in Jerusalem? For one, the people of Mecca, who knew Muhammad well, did not believe this story. Only Abu Bakr, (later the first Caliph), believed him and thus was called al-Siddiq ("the believer"). The second difficulty is that Islamic tradition tells us that al-Aqsa mosque is near Mecca on the Arabian peninsula. This was unequivocally stated in "Kitab al-Maghazi" (Oxford University Press, 1966, vol. 3, pp. 958-9), a book by the Muslim historian and geographer al-Waqidi. According to al-Waqidi, there were two "masjeds" (places of prayer) in al-Gi'irranah, a village between Mecca and Ta'if, one was "the closer mosque" (al-masjid al-adna) and the other was "the further mosque" (al-masjid al-aqsa), and Muhammad would pray there when he went out of town.

This description by al-Waqidi which is supported by a chain of authorities (isnad), was not "convenient" for the Islamic propaganda of the 7th century. In order to establish a basis for the awareness of the "holiness" of Jerusalem in Islam, the Caliphs of the Ummayad dynasty invented many "traditions" upholding the value of Jerusalem (known as "fadha'il bayt al-Maqdis"), which would justify pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the faithful Muslims. Thus was al-Masjid al-Aqsa "transported" to Jerusalem. It should be noted that Saladin also adopted the myth of al-Aqsa and those "traditions" in order to recruit and inflame the Muslim warriors against the Crusaders in the 12th century.

Another aim of the Islamization of Jerusalem was to undermine the legitimacy of the older religions, Judaism and Christianity, which consider Jerusalem to be a holy city. Islam is presented as the only legitimate religion, destined to replace the other two, because Jews and Christians had changed and distorted ("ghyyarou wa-baddalou") the Word of God, each in their turn. On the alleged forgeries of the Holy Scriptures, made by Jews and Christians, see the third chapter of: M. J. Kister, "haddithu 'an bani isra'il wa-la haraja", IOS 2 (1972), pp. 215-239. Kister quotes dozens of Islamic sources).

Though Judaism and Christianity can exist side by side in Jerusalem, Islam regards both of them as betrayals of Allah and his teachings, and has always done, and will continue to do, all in its power to expel both of them from this city. It is interesting to note that this expulsion is retroactive: The Islamic broadcasters of the Palestinian radio stations consistently make it a point to claim that the Jews never had a temple on the Temple Mount and certainly not two temples. (Where, then, according to them, did Jesus preach?)

Arafat, himself a secular person (ask the Hamas!), did exactly what the Caliphs of the Umayyad dynasty did 1300 years ago: he marshaled the holiness of Jerusalem to serve his political ends. He could not give control of Jerusalem over to the Jews since according to Islam they are impure and the wrath of Allah is upon them ("al-maghdhoub 'alayhim"; Koran 1,7, see al-Jalalayn and other commentaries; note that verse numbers may differ slightly in the various editions of the Koran). The Jews are the sons of monkeys and pigs (5,60). (For the idea that Jews are related to pigs and monkeys see, for instance, Musnad al-Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, (Beirut 1969) vol. 3, p. 241. See also pages 348, 395, 397, 421, and vol. 6, p. 135.) The Jews are those who distorted the holy writings which were revealed to them (2,73; 3,72) and denied God's signs (3,63). Since they violated the covenant with their God (4,154), He cursed them (5,16) and they are forever the inheritors of hell (3,112). So how could Arafat abandon Jerusalem to the Jews?

The Palestinian Arab media these days are full of messages of Jihad, calling to broaden the national-political war between Israel and the Palestinians into a religious-Islamic war between the Jews and the Muslims. READ THEIR LIPS: for them Christianity is no better than Judaism, since both "forfeited" their right to rule over Jerusalem. Only Islam - Din al-Haqq ("the Religion of Truth") - has this right, and forever. This was and still is the leitmotiv in Friday sermons in Palestinian mosques and official media. (Note: photo acccompanying this article is a keffiya showing the hoped-for taking Jerusalem from Israel and the destruction of Israel on the scarf. On the right side it says "Jerusalem is ours" and the left: "Palestine" with no Israel on the map.)

Since the holiness of Jerusalem to Islam has always been, and still is no more than a politically motivated holiness, any Palestinian Arab politician would be putting his political head on the block should he give it up. Must Judaism and Christianity defer to myths related in Islamic texts or allegedly envisioned in Muhammad's dreams, long after Jerusalem was established as the ancient, real center of these two religions which preceded Islam?

Should the world reshape the Middle East map just because Muslims decided to recycle the political problems of the Umayyads 1250 years after the curtain came down on their role in history?
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Maryland Muslims Say No to Christmas in Public Schools

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 13.11.2014 11:03

Maryland Muslims Say No to Christmas in Public Schools

Posted 12 hours ago by Gary DeMar Filed under 1st Amendment, Atheism, Bible, Christianity, Constitution, Education, Email Featured, Evolution, Liberal Hypocrisy, Religion
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Who needs terrorism when you can just surrender to Islam? You’ve heard the saying, “Give 'em enough rope, and they'll hang themselves.” That’s what many of our government institutions are doing. If one Muslim is offended, then all of us must pay for that offense.

The same is true of atheists. When a child’s atheist grandparents complained about a Noah’s Ark display at a Newark, Delaware, playground, the display was removed. “[S]ome atheist grandparents . . . did not want their grandchildren to see the Bible verses or the cartoon rendition of the Noah’s Ark story.” Who are the censors now?

It didn't matter that probably 99 percent of those who use the park had no problem with the display. It had to go because a couple of atheists were offended.

Vladimir Lenin (1870-1924), the first leader of the Soviet Union, said, “The Capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them.”

We aren’t selling the rope to Islam; we are giving it away and begging them to hang us with it. Forest Gump’s mother was right, “Stupid is as stupid does.”

Here’s the latest capitulation to Islam and one more reason to get your children out of government-run and government-controlled “public” (government) schools.


The Montgomery County [Maryland] Board of Education on Tuesday voted to strip the names of Christian and Jewish holidays from its school calendar amid complaints from the parents of Muslim children seeking recognition for Islamic holidays.

The schools still will be closed on the holidays, but the board voted 7-1 to move the religious references from the calendar.

The surprise development came after Muslim community leaders complained that the Eid al-Adha holiday was not getting equal recognition on next year’s school calendar as the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, which both will fall on Sept. 23.

Superintendent Joshua P. Starr recommended that the board adopt a plan that removed calendar references to Yom Kippur and another Jewish holiday, Rosh Hashanah.

But while considering the superintendent’s suggestion during a meeting Tuesday, school board member Rebecca Smondrowski introduced a motion to remove references to all religious holidays.

“It is about equity,” Ms. Smondrowski told MyMCMedia. “I made the motion because if we are closing for operational reasons, then there should be no need to make reference to religion. That is the most equitable solution that I could see while recognizing that we need to be seriously addressing the criteria for how these things are decided in the future.”

The board’s decision will apply only to the 2015-2016 school year and won’t affect references to federal holidays, schools spokeswoman Gboyinde Onijala said.

“Any federal or state holiday will remain as it has on our calendar,” Ms. Onijala said. “This is specifically for religious holidays.”

Muslim parents, partnering with the Maryland chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations, last year unsuccessfully petitioned the school system to cancel classes on the Islamic holidays of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of a month of fasting during Ramadan, and Eid al-Adha, the last day of Hajj.


The problem for these people is that Christmas is a federal holiday. Federal employees get Christmas day off with pay. And this latest capitulation won’t stop the employees of the Montgomery school district also from getting Christmas day off and getting paid for it.

I say make them all go to school on Christmas day to prove that they really don’t want religion in the government schools.

Better yet, get your kids out, choose how and where you want your children educated, and pay for it yourself. If we want the government out of our pocket books, then the least we can do is get them out of our children's head.


Tagged with
Christmas Delaware Eid al-Adha Islam Joshua P. Starr Maryland Montcomery County Newark Noah's Ark Display Rebecca Smondrowski Vladimir Lenin
About Gary DeMar
Ambitious Italian American who adheres to his own personal code of honor.
View all posts by Gary DeMar →

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Anti-Israel Norweigan Doctor Handed Gaza Life Ban

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 14.11.2014 20:12

Anti-Israel Norweigan Doctor Handed Gaza Life Ban

Israel cites security in blocking Mads Gilbert, co-author of anti-Semitic flap letter who was in Hamas hideout hospital during operation.
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By Ari Yashar
First Publish: 11/14/2014, 11:13 AM

Mads Gilbert
Mads Gilbert

Mads Gilbert, a Norweigan doctor with a long record as an anti-Israel activist, has been banned by Israel from visiting Gaza for life for reasons of security after almost 30 years of frequenting the terror stronghold.

Gilbert told the Norweigan NRK that during Operation Protective Edge this summer he worked at Shifa Hospital in Gaza, which Hamas used as a hideout for its top terrorist leaders.

When he tried to return to Gaza in October to "follow up on patients" and take part in several project at the hospital, he reports being stopped.

"I was asked by the Norwegian authorities to go down to continue working in Gaza. When we arrived at the Erez Crossing, I was told by Israeli soldiers that I could not go into Gaza. I had to turn back to Norway," Gilbert told the Norweigan-language paper.

Reportedly the Norweigan Embassy in Tel Aviv is seeking recourse in Gilbert's case, and likewise he says he is considering work around plans, such as entering Gaza from Egypt.

The doctor was one of the co-editors of an anti-Israel "Open Letter for the People in Gaza" published in July in the medical journal The Lancet. The letter raised an outcry, particularly after two of the primary authors - Dr. Swee Ang Chai and Dr. Paola Manduca - were discovered to have promoted an anti-Semitic video by white supremacist David Duke.

British columnist Melanie Phillips has noted of Gilbert in the past, he “appears not to be just an ordinary doctor. He is a political activist and member of the Norwegian Maoist ‘Red’ party. Not only is he viscerally hostile to Israel and a long-standing activist in the Palestinian ‘solidarity’ movement, but he even supported the 9/11 attacks."
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Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

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Amnesty International's Moral Collapse

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 17.11.2014 11:00

Amnesty International's Moral Collapse

Sunday, November 16, 2014 | David Lazarus

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On November 5, 2014, Amnesty International published its latest assault on Israel in yet another tirade accusing the Jewish state of genocide and other war crimes.

Later that same day, in a Twitter post by a senior Amnesty official, Israel was directly equated with ISIS, the barbaric jihadist terrorist organization. Amnesty International is now comparing the democratic State of Israel with rapists, decapitators and genocidal murders.

How did such a highly respected organization fall into such deep moral confusion?

Amnesty International began as a movement assisting prisoners of conscious to obtain “amnesty” from oppressive governments. They became renowned for exposing the horrible conditions suffered by political prisoners in the former Soviet Union. At that time, Amnesty was a powerful force drawing international attention to many well-known refuseniks, including Jewish prisoners Natan Sharansky and Ida Nudel.

With the fall of the Soviet empire, Amnesty lost its raison d'être and financial support for the organization plummeted. It needed another international concern that could raise support, and Israel provided an easy and profitable target. Their recent account of Israeli war crimes is just another example of Amnesty’s exploitation of international hatred towards the Jewish state.

Amnesty’s moral collapse truly became evident in 2002, when, at the infamous UN World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa, Amnesty officials exclusively targeted Israel.

In spite of all the blatant examples of racism and human rights abuses around the world, Amnesty officials found it necessary to single out just one nation – Israel. Amnesty’s Secretary General later conceded that the organization should have named other countries as well, but the damage had been done. The conference published an outrageous anti-Israel statement tagging the Jewish state as evil, more so than every other nation in the world.

Amnesty’s descent into moral absurdity deepened when, in 2006, they bashed Israel for crimes against humanity, while refusing to even criticize Hezbollah, which had fired 3,900 rockets into Israeli towns and cities, killed 44 Israeli civilians and wounded 1,400 more. Hezbollah was using human shields and murdering hundreds of their own people, but for Amnesty it was beneficial for their agenda to criticize only Israel.

Now, confident in their new role as leading Israel-basher, Amnesty has begun hiring anti-Semitic staff. In 2010, Amnesty hired anti-Israel activist Deborah Hyams as a researcher for their “Israel, Occupied Palestinian Territories and Palestinian Authority” section. Hyams has an extensive background in radical anti-Israel activism. She is signatory to a letter claiming Israel is “a state founded on terrorism.”

The director of Amnesty International Finland, Frank Johansson, called Israel a “scum state” on his blog in August 2010. Amnesty International Australia has had to repeatedly apologize for anti-Semitic Facebook posts praising Hitler, calling Jews cancer, and calling for death to Jews. In 2013, Amnesty awarded its Ambassador of Conscience award to Roger Waters, the Pink Floyd musician who tirelessly calls for boycotting the Jewish state, and who features a giant inflatable pig wearing a Star of David in his shows.

Amnesty Campaign Manager Krystian Benedict told a journalist that “Israel is included in the list of stupid dictatorial regimes who abuse people’s basic human rights – along with Burma, North Korea, Iran and Sudan, it’s government has the same wanton attitude to human beings.” On November 5, 2014, after Israel objected to Amnesty’s latest biased report, Benedict tweeted that Israel is equivalent to the vicious terror group ISIS.

Amnesty International has also admitted that they cooperate with a Swiss-based human rights group whose Qatari co-founder has been accused of financing Al Qaeda.

Many more examples could be given, but the picture is clear. Amnesty International has lost the moral compass it once followed, and has fallen into deep muck. Avoid all contact.


Shame for Amnesty and shame for Finland!

Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34


ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 19.11.2014 10:41


The murderous assault on innocent Jewish worshippers in the Har Nof synagogue in Jerusalem this morning is one of the bloodiest, most depraved terrorist attacks which Israel has been forced to endure in years. The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem thoroughly condemns this monstrous act of cruelty, which was doubly provocative for targeting the faithful at morning prayers.
The recent wave of violence and rising tensions in and around Jerusalem have undoubtedly been enflamed by the anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic incitement issuing forth from official Palestinian sources at all levels, and world leaders must demand that it cease immediately. Such deliberate campaigns to incite violence and murder must be condemned, not encouraged with votes supporting statehood.

We call Christians worldwide to urgent and effectual prayers for the people of Israel at this time. The entire nation is deeply shocked at this attack. The residents of Jerusalem are saddened by the suffering witnessed here today and need to regain their sense of security. Please pray that the Lord will comfort the families impacted by this massacre, that Israeli leaders will have wisdom and moral fortitude to respond appropriately, and that Israeli authorities will be able to bring calm back to the city of Jerusalem.
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Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

This Video Left me Glued to the Screen!!

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Beautifying Islam

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