Saudis Say Temple Mount and Al Aqsa Not Important to Islam

In further departure from Palestinian narrative, Saudis recognize Jewish connection to the Temple Mount

By Israel Today Staff | | Topics: Temple Mount, Islam, Saudi Arabia
Saudis recognize Jewish connection to Temple Mount
Photo: Yossi Zamir/Flash90

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was first published last year, and has again gained relevance amidst the ongoing violence atop the Temple Mount, fueled by the confluence of Ramadan and Passover.

Palestinian politicians, clerics and terrorist warlords tireless invoke the Temple Mount and Al Aqsa Mosque as a rallying cry to stir up pan-Muslim emotions against Israel. The Jews are threatening to “Judaize” this Islamic holy site, claim the Palestinians, even as they reject the biblical history of Mount Moriah.

But according to a bunch of Saudis and other Middle East Arabs on social media, the Temple Mount and even, gasp(!), Al Aqsa itself aren’t all that holy to them.

Last week on Twitter, Saudis conducted a campaign promoting Islam’s true holy sites, Mecca and Medina, while downplaying the importance of Jerusalem in their religion. (See: Islam’s Dome of the Rock in a Synagogue?)

One of the more viral tweets was posted by Saudi cartoonist Fahd al-Jabiri, who wrote that “the direction of the prayers of the Jews is not important to us, what is important to us is only our homeland.” By referencing the “direction of the prayers of the Jews,” al-Jabiri implicitly recognized the Jewish connection to the Temple Mount, thus contradicting the Palestinian narrative on the matter.

An English-language tweet from Morocco really got people heated by not only emphasizing that the Temple Mount is of no particular importance to Muslims, but also by expressing hope that the Third Jewish Temple will soon be built there.

There were a flood of tweets expressing support and even love for Israel. Most were in Arabic, but the few in English were no less heart-warming. One reacted to a previous tweet calling Jerusalem the “occupied” Palestinian capital. The Saudi corrected the original by noting that Jerusalem is actually the “eternal capital of the Jewish people.”

Another expressed his deep desire for there to soon be peace between Israel and Saudi Arabia so he can visit Tel Aviv and meet “our cousins,” the Jews.

Tom Nissani, head of the Temple Heritage Foundation, told Arutz 7 that this is a golden opportunity.

“In the end, it is becoming increasingly clear that the main obstacle – the Temple Mount – is in our hands,” he said. “This is a historic opportunity to expel the hostile Waqf from the Temple Mount and transfer it to full Israeli management that will allow full freedom of access and religion to the mountain in cooperation with the Emirates, Saudis and Moroccans, Jews and non-Jews who will attain shared goals.”

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