A prominent Jordanian Muslim cleric last week said that Jews should be permitted to pray atop Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, which is Judaism’s holiest site. Though the holy site is currently under Israeli sovereignty, Jews and Christians are strictly prohibited from even mouthing silent prayers while visiting.
Like most Jews and many Christians, Sheikh Yassin Al-’Ajlouni ascertained that control of the Temple Mount is “the most important issue of our times,” but said he saw no problem in permitting Jews to pray there.
In a video posted to YouTube, Sheikh Al-’Ajlouni acknowledged that the Jews have a connection to the Temple Mount, what he calls the Beit Al-Maqdis, noting that it “is the place sanctified by Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph, as well as by Jesus son of Mary and by the Muslims.”
Given that history, Al-’Ajlouni called “upon the Islamic world and upon the Hashemite [Jordanian] sovereign to allocate for the peaceful among the Jewish Israelites a house of prayer within Beit Al-Maqdis.”
Of course, he believes this newfound religious freedom for Jews on the Temple Mount should happen under the sovereignty of Jordan and the Palestinians, the former controlling the Temple Mount itself and the latter administering the eastern half of Jerusalem.
“There should be a special place of worship for the Jews among the Israelites under Hashemite and Palestinian sovereignty, and in agreement with the Israeli regime,” said the preacher.
Interestingly, when referring to the Byzantine Christian inhabitants of Jerusalem at the time of Caliph Omar, after whom the Dome of the Rock is named, Al-’Ajlouni called them “Israelites who were Christians,” drawing a clear connection between all followers of Yeshua (Jesus) and the Nation of Israel.
While a handful of Muslim clerics like Al-‘Ajlouni recognize the Jews’ connection to the Temple Mount and have no problem with Jewish prayers there, the Jordanian-controlled Islamic Trust (Waqf) that oversees the holy site has repeatedly threatened violence if any but Muslims worship atop the sacred plateau.
Palestinian Muslims vigorously deny the Jewish connection to the Temple Mount, and regularly harass and even assault Jews who dare to ascend and tour the site.