Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Virtual Tour Sparks Condemnation

The holiest site in Judaism is the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Currently by order of the Israeli government Jews are forbidden to ascend the mount and pray there. Even moving one’s lips can get you into trouble. The right to pray at the Temple mound is reserved exclusively for Muslims. So basically Jews make do with the Kotel or Western wall below the mount. Although, I would be remiss if I did not point out that a great many religious Jews feel that to ascend to the Temple Mount and pray there before the arrival of the messiah is a profane act of great presumption.

Be that as it may, even discussing the significance of the Temple Mount can run you afoul from those from the religion of perpetual outrage. The Jerusalem Post:
A brief course offered by the Chabad Hassidim about the Temple endangers the Aksa Mosque, Islamic Movement spokesman Zahi Nujidat said Tuesday. The three-part seminar, which is being held this week and next week at some 200 Chabad Houses throughout the country, comes less than two weeks before Tisha Be'av, which marks the destruction of the Temple.

"We view this as a serious and drastic move toward the fruition of extremist organizations to establish a temple in place of al-Aksa Mosque," Zahi Nujidat said. "This represents a real danger to al-Aksa." A similar condemnation was issued in Arabic this week by the Aksa Foundation.

The Aksa Foundation was cynically pointing to the courses, which are held in three sessions, as proof that the Israeli establishment wants to damage the mosque, Chabad spokesman Rabbi Menachem Brod said. "This is a pure provocation by an organization that is exploiting any opportunity to incite the Arab public to violence against Israel," he said. "Every time they are looking for some other excuse to incite, and now they found it in the course."

The courses, which are being attended by "tens of thousands" of young students, include a "virtual tour" of the Temple Mount and explanations of daily Temple life, as well as the job of the kohanim (priests), Brod said.

What can I say? Politics, politics.

1 comment:

stageleft said...

Religious intolerance is probably one of the most profound forms of intolerance that exists, state sanctioned intolerance even more so.

As I said earlier, the fact that Jewish people may not pray at a common holy place speaks volumes for the intolerance of those who seek to restrict it.