Jerusalem police on Sunday arrested a Jewish man who was suspected by Islamic authorities of saying a quiet prayer atop the Temple Mount, Judaism’s most holy site.
Other Israelis who were in the same group as the arrested man told Israel National News that they were accompanied by several police officers and Islamic monitors as they toured the compound, which is currently occupied by four mosques.
Near the end of the tour, one of the participants stood quietly to the side, a little ways away from the rest of the group. An Islamic official suspected the Jewish man was saying a quiet prayer, so rushed toward him demanding he stop. The Muslim called over Israeli police officers, who removed the Jewish man from the scene and took him for questioning.
The leader of the group, David Ha’ivri, executive director of the Samaria Liaison Office, noted that prior to entering the Temple Mount, the Jewish visitors were told by an Israeli officer the following:
“Do not pray. Do not tear a garment. Do not prostrate yourself. It is forbidden to take any action that the Muslims may see as a religious act.”
Unbelievably, this blatant violation of religious freedom is being ignored by the international community, as are Israeli cries that the policy is evidence that a Palestinian state will not be a place where people of all faiths can worship freely.
But the Temple Mount policy is far more egregious than the average restriction on religious freedom. The Temple Mount is without question the holiest site on earth to every Jew. And yet, they are not allowed to say even a silent prayer while visiting the site.