The World’s Muslims: Religion, Politics and Society
A new Pew Research Center survey of Muslims around the globe finds that most adherents of the world’s second-largest religion are deeply committed to their faith and want its teachings to shape not only their personal lives but also their societies and politics. In all but a handful of the 39 countries surveyed, a majority of Muslims say that Islam is the one true faith leading to eternal life in heaven and that belief in God is necessary to be a moral person. Many also think that their religious leaders should have at least some influence over political matters. And many express a desire for sharia – traditional Islamic law – to be recognized as the official law of their country.
The percentage of Muslims who say they want sharia to be “the official law of the land” varies widely around the world, from fewer than one-in-ten in Azerbaijan (8%) to near unanimity in Afghanistan (99%). But solid majorities in most of the countries surveyed across the Middle East and North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia favor the establishment of sharia, including 71% of Muslims in Nigeria, 72% in Indonesia, 74% in Egypt and 89% in the Palestinian territories.
At the same time, the survey finds that even in many countries where there is strong backing for sharia, most Muslims favor religious freedom for people of other faiths. In Pakistan, for example, three-quarters of Muslims say that non-Muslims are very free to practice their religion, and fully 96% of those who share this assessment say it is “a good thing.” Yet 84% of Pakistani Muslims favor enshrining sharia as official law. These seemingly divergent views are possible partly because most supporters of sharia in Pakistan – as in many other countries – think Islamic law should apply only to Muslims. Moreover, Muslims around the globe have differing understandings of what sharia means in practice.
The survey – which involved more than 38,000 face-to-face interviews in 80-plus languages with Muslims across Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa – shows that Muslims tend to be most comfortable with using sharia in the domestic sphere, to settle family or property disputes. In most countries surveyed, there is considerably less support for severe punishments, such as cutting off the hands of thieves or executing people who convert from Islam to another faith. And even in the domestic sphere, Muslims differ widely on such questions as whether polygamy, divorce and family planning are morally acceptable and whether daughters should be able to receive the same inheritance as sons.
In most countries surveyed, majorities of Muslim women as well as men agree that a wife is always obliged to obey her husband. Indeed, more than nine-in-ten Muslims in Iraq (92%), Morocco (92%), Tunisia (93%), Indonesia (93%), Afghanistan (94%) and Malaysia (96%) express this view. At the same time, majorities in many countries surveyed say a woman should be able to decide for herself whether to wear a veil.
Overall, the survey finds that most Muslims see no inherent tension between being religiously devout and living in a modern society. Nor do they see any conflict between religion and science. Many favor democracy over authoritarian rule, believe that humans and other living things have evolved over time and say they personally enjoy Western movies, music and television – even though most think Western popular culture undermines public morality.
The new survey also allows some comparisons with prior Pew Research Center surveys of Muslims in the United States. Like most Muslims worldwide, U.S. Muslims generally express strong commitment to their faith and tend not to see an inherent conflict between being devout and living in a modern society. But American Muslims are much more likely than Muslims in other countries to have close friends who do not share their faith, and they are much more open to the idea that many religions – not only Islam – can lead to eternal life in heaven. At the same time, U.S. Muslims are less inclined than their co-religionists around the globe to believe in evolution; on this subject, they are closer to U.S. Christians.
Few U.S. Muslims voice support for suicide bombing or other forms of violence against civilians in the name of Islam; 81% say such acts are never justified, while fewer than one-in-ten say violence against civilians either is often justified (1%) or is sometimes justified (7%) to defend Islam. Around the world, most Muslims also reject suicide bombing and other attacks against civilians. However, substantial minorities in several countries say such acts of violence are at least sometimes justified, including 26% of Muslims in Bangladesh, 29% in Egypt, 39% in Afghanistan and 40% in the Palestinian territories.
These are among the key findings of a worldwide survey by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life. The survey was conducted in two waves. Fifteen sub-Saharan African countries with substantial Muslim populations were surveyed in 2008-2009, and some of those results previously were analyzed in the Pew Research Center’s 2010 report “Tolerance and Tension: Islam and Christianity in Sub-Saharan Africa.” An additional 24 countries in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa were surveyed in 2011-2012; results regarding religious beliefs and practices were first published in the Pew Research Center’s 2012 report “The World’s Muslims: Unity and Diversity.” The current report focuses on Muslims’ social and political attitudes, and it incorporates findings from both waves of the survey.
Other key findings include:
At least half of Muslims in most countries surveyed say they are concerned about religious extremist groups in their country, including two-thirds or more of Muslims in Egypt (67%), Tunisia (67%), Iraq (68%), Guinea Bissau (72%) and Indonesia (78%). On balance, more are worried about Islamic extremists than about Christian extremists.
Muslims around the world overwhelmingly view certain behaviors – including prostitution, homosexuality, suicide, abortion, euthanasia and consumption of alcohol – as immoral. But attitudes toward polygamy, divorce and birth control are more varied. For example, polygamy is seen as morally acceptable by just 4% of Muslims in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Azerbaijan; about half of Muslims in the Palestinian territories (48%) and Malaysia (49%); and the vast majority of Muslims in several countries in sub-Saharan Africa, such as Senegal (86%) and Niger (87%).
In most countries where a question about so-called “honor” killings was asked, majorities of Muslims say such killings are never justified. Only in two countries – Afghanistan and Iraq – do majorities condone extra-judicial executions of women who allegedly have shamed their families by engaging in premarital sex or adultery.
Relatively few Muslims say that tensions between more religiously observant and less observant Muslims are a very big problem in their country. In most countries where the question was asked, Muslims also see little tension between members of Islam’s two major sects, Sunnis and Shias – though a third or more of Muslims in Pakistan (34%) and Lebanon (38%) consider Sunni-Shia conflict to be a very big problem.
Muslims in sub-Saharan Africa are more likely than Muslims surveyed in other regions to say they attend interfaith meetings and are knowledgeable about other faiths. But substantial percentages of Muslims in sub-Saharan Africa also perceive hostility between Muslims and Christians. In Guinea-Bissau, for example, 41% of Muslims say “most” or “many” Christians are hostile toward Muslims, and 49% say “most” or “many” Muslims are hostile toward Christians.
In half of the countries where the question was asked, majorities of Muslims want religious leaders to have at least “some influence” in political matters, and sizable minorities in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa think religious leaders should have a lot of political influence. For example, 37% of Muslims in Jordan, 41% in Malaysia and 53% in Afghanistan say religious leaders should play a “large” role in politics.
Support for making sharia the official law of the land tends to be higher in countries like Pakistan (84%) and Morocco (83%) where the constitution or basic laws favor Islam over other religions.
In many countries, Muslims who pray several times a day are more likely to support making sharia official law than are Muslims who pray less frequently. In Russia, Lebanon, the Palestinian territories and Tunisia, for example, Muslims who pray several times a day are at least 25 percentage points more supportive of enshrining sharia than are less observant Muslims. Generally, however, there is little difference in support for sharia by age, gender or education.
*Note: 7 US Service Members were aboard this plane and all 7 were killed in the crash.
Turkey and U.S. – backed Al-Qaeda FSA hang some of the heads on the entrance of the towns. They offered to give the headless bodies to the families, but for a ransom of about 100,000 Syrian Pound.
The Shiite towns of Nubbol and AlZahraa a home for over 60,000 Syrians had been under siege for the last 10 months now by the “rebels”. The towns have reached the end of their rope. Children started dropping dead because of hunger.
Knowing the danger still some of the residents ventured out, to bring food and supplies. That’s what happened to the latest group, twenty Shia men, who left to bring food to their families and children a week ago.
Turkey and U.S.-backed Al-Qaeda FSA hang some of the heads on the entrance of the towns. They offered to give the headless bodies to the families, but for a ransom of about 100,000 Syrian Pound.
The manager of the medical center in Nubbol Dr. Hussein Najjar warned of an eminent human crisis in the besieged towns.
“The towns are suffering from the lack of essential services, no water or electricity, and a siege that won’t allow even food or children’s milk in.”
“Many diseases have spread like Maltese fever, cutaneous leishmaniasis and scabies because of lack of water and of medical supplies.”
“The residents of Nubbol and AlZahraa are forced to survive on diet of grass because of lack of food. If the siege doesn’t end soon 60,000 lives are in danger.”
Al-Qaeda FSA terrorist groups recently started a siege on the villages surrounding Nubbol and AlZahraa, thirteen villages in total. Still the ‘humanitarian’ west keeps rewarding those killing Syrians with aid and weapons.
The War in the Womb: America’s Holocaust
More than 50 Million Babies Slaughtered Since 1973
By Todd Starnes
A New York abortion counselor advised a woman who was considering a late-term abortion to flush the baby down the toilet in the event the child survived the procedure and a Washington, D.C. abortion provider refused to offer assistance in the result of a live-birth abortion, according to an undercover video sting by a national pro-life organization.
Live Action, a national pro-life organization, targeted a number of abortion clinics that specialize in late-term abortions. Employees of the abortion providers were filmed on a hidden camera.
“If it comes out, then it comes out,” a counselor at the Dr. Emily Woman’s Health Center told the woman. “Flush it. Put it in a bag or something and bring it to us.”
Lila Rose, president of Live Action, told Fox News she is calling on state and federal prosecutors to investigate the abortion clinic as well as others that specialize in late-term abortions.
“Dr. Kermit Gosnell is not alone,” she said. “The gruesome and inhumane practices exposed in Gosnell’s House of Horrors are business as usual for the abortion industry in America. This isn’t choice –this is murder.”
A receptionist at the abortion clinic said no one would be available to comment until midweek. The New York Dept. of Health did not return calls seeking comment.
The Bronx abortion provider can be seen on video explaining what happens if an aborted baby is born alive.
“If it did come out in one piece, it’s very small,” she said. “So they would still have to put it in a container – like a jar – with solution and send it to the lab.”
In the event the baby was still moving, the counselor said they would put the child in a jar of toxic solution – ensuring its death.
“The Bronx video is horrific,” Rose told Fox News. “It illustrates the inhumane and illegal practices taking place in the abortion industry.”
She said the footage demonstrates the brutality of late term abortions.
“These are children who deserve our care, our respect and our compassion – not to be flushed down toilets or killed in jars of toxic solution,” she said.
The abortion provider in the Washington, D.C. case was not revealed – but the video shows a worker explaining they would not try to keep any aborted baby alive. That brought condemnation from the Susan B. Anthony List.
“It is an outrage that within blocks of the White House, children capable of feeling excruciating pain can legally have their lives brutally ended or be left to die without care,” SBA List president Marjorie Dannenfelser said. “What is the difference between killing a baby minutes before delivery compared to moments after? Only the barest of legal nuances. That’s why it is critical that we enact lifesaving protections for unborn children in the District, beginning with those capable of feeling pain.”
Rose said they plan on releasing more undercover videos proving that Gosnell is not alone.
“Americans were outraged that we’ve allowed an abortionist to butcher live infants,” she said. “But Gosnell is not alone. When we allow the killing of unborn children, this is the result. We see the lines are blurred.”
“Thank you” to LiveAction.org
By Enza Ferreri
“We don’t debate unprofessional councillors, unprincipled journalists, and self-righteous community organizers; we turn the tables on them”: this is how British barrister Gavin Boby, also known as the “mosque buster”, describes the activity of his organization, the Law And Freedom Foundation. He uses the law to stop the building of mosques in the UK by demonstrating to local councils that the building of a mosque or an Islamic centre is actually in violation of British law. And he succeeds: the count so far is 16 victories out of 17 cases.
Gavin Boby is a 48-year-old planning lawyer from Bristol, South-West England. He deals with planning permissions or zoning permissions.
Like many other people in Britain, for almost 10 years Boby had witnessed the progressive penetration of Islam in his country, but like many other people he watched idly not knowing what to do about it.
It was the same feeling of impotence that most of us shared. But then, a couple of years ago, he had this idea. Many mosques disrupt neighbourhoods and drive out long-time residents. Non-Muslim women in particular are made to feel uncomfortable in those areas. Why not use his legal skills to help local communities resist planning applications for mosques?
The BBC video above the article exposes how corrupt the process of granting mosque planning applications can be, showcasing a session in the Rochdale Council’s planning committee in the North of England, during which councillor Begum does not allow discussion before the vote is taken and rushes the other members to vote.
This is very topical in light of the recent revelations that the Boston bombers’ mosque “has been associated with other terrorism suspects, has invited radical speakers to a sister mosque in Boston and is affiliated with a Muslim group that critics say nurses grievances that can lead to extremism”, has classic jihadi texts in its library, and gave money to two terrorist charities which have been shut down by the U.S. government. But then again, when is something about the violent nature of Islam not topical these days?
Still, this is a good way to introduce the mosque buster’s work. What are mosques? As we know, mosques are not like churches or synagogues, they are far more than houses of worship and contemplation, many of them are centres of jihadist activity that indoctrinate to commit and support violence against infidels. In America, as many as 4 different studies have independently come to the same conclusion that 80 per cent of US mosques “were teaching jihad, Islamic supremacism, and hatred and contempt for Jews and Christians”.
The Law And Freedom Foundation website declares: “A mosque is not merely a place of worship. Islamic doctrine requires the application of Islamic law within its geographical reach.”
We can see the truth of that in London. It is no coincidence that sharia-law areas or self-declared Muslim areas with Muslim patrols acting like vigilantes in cities like London are near mosques. We are increasingly seeing Muslim patrols in the proximity of mosques saying to passers-by that they can’t walk a dog, wear a skirt, drink alcohol.
In an interview Gavin Boby explains that mosques are being used as the bridgehead, the forefront of the advance of Islam in a territory. What happens in neighbourhoods – usually working class districts which are not used to dealing with officialdom – where a mosque is built is that the area changes forever for its residents, who no longer recognize it and eventually have to move out, due to things like the parking jihad, general harassment, vandalism.
“The parking jihad is” he describes, “soon after the construction of a mosque, people will find no parking space there, their driveway is being blocked or even a car is parked in the driveway inside your property and if you ask them to move their car they’ll say it’s only for an hour.” The parking tends to be used as a way to establish possession and control over the area, of saying: ”This is a mosque area, we are the owners now and there’s nothing you can do about it”, and then after that it gets worse until the point when people move out.
“The Koran” the Bristol lawyer continues, ”calls 14 times for the enslavement of non-Muslims, and 3 times for killing the unbelievers wherever they are found. This is obviously against English law. You don’t need to be a good lawyer to fight it but you need to be a very good lawyer to get around it.”
Partly, the mosque buster’s approach is that of finding the contradictions and incompatibilities between Islam and Western fundamental principles (that’s the easy part), and making mosque building and planning regulations become the battleground of these ideological conflicts.
In the same way as Islam is not just a religion but also a political doctrine of supremacy and power, so the mosque is not simply a building of worship but also a political one.
This is the Islamic doctrine, every mosque is instructed to be based upon the original mosque in Medina, where Muhammad originally in the 7th century set up his religious-political doctrine of social control, and the mosque is a place of government, it is a place where treaties are made, death sentences are passed, armies are blessed and dispatched, it is primarily about political control and it is very much used as a tool of advance. Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey talked about that, the Muslim Brotherhood compared their mosques to battalions and to beehives, where Muslims will gather and then advance, and there’s nothing new about this, it goes back to the 7th century.
So, this is the why of the Law And Freedom Foundation’s operation. Now let’s see the how.
Gavin works pro bono as a barrister for anyone wishing to fight the erection of a mosque. He says:
The method is very simple. A planning application gets submitted for a mosque in an area, and it will never be called a “mosque”. It will be called a community centre; an inter-faith centre; a public community, harmony-building outreach centre, and then the neighbours contact us, and it’s usually people who have never been involved in politics before, are shy of politics and officialdom and ask us to help them to resist it. And that’s what we do, we help them to simply use established methods of consultation to tell the local authorities: “We object to this proposal because of the effect it will have on the neighbourhood, the effect on parking, the effect on noise, the effect on disturbance, the architectural effect, the effect of concentrations of people generally, the amenity for residents”. And also we give them advocacy in front of the council meeting, we’ll advocate on their behalf.
Therefore the approach is twofold. The most commonly employed is to use the effects on and the desires of the local communities as tools in the consultation process which is local authorities’ standard procedure before a planning or change of use permission is granted.
As an example, the last two refusals to mosque building from local authorities were motivated by: loss of the retail floorspace; harm to the character, function, vitality and viability of the neighbourhood centre; possible harm to the surrounding transport network in respect of movements to and from the site for both pedestrians and vehicles; loss of employment use in a Locally Significant Industrial Site and potential harm to the viability and function of the remaining Locally Significant Industrial Site; low public transport accessibility inappropriate for a large-scale community facility; lack of adequate on-site parking with resulting overspill on-street parking likely to cause unacceptable traffic management problems and traffic congestion, to the detriment of traffic flow and road safety in the vicinity of the site.
From these you can have an idea of the broadness and scope of reasons that can be used. Other common issues are noise, and congestion at particular times like Fridays at prayer times or when there are Koran lessons for children.
The second approach – although what is predominantly used is the first – goes more to the core of what Islam is. The organization’s website states: ”Also, it is hard to see how a Local Authority has the power to grant planning permission for a mosque, since the purpose of a mosque is to promote a doctrine that incites killing, enslavement and war. You don’t need to be a skilled lawyer to understand this point – you have to be a skilled lawyer to find a way around it.”
This conviction was evident when the mosque buster was asked how he responds to people who say this is an infringement of freedom of religion. He answered:
I understand people who say that, and it would be the case if Islam were simply about private contemplation and reflection, the way that Christianity in a parish church is, but the problem is that you have two legal principles that conflict. You have this issue of freedom of religion and you have the public order issue, it’s not an issue of censorship, it’s a public order issue that [you have] if you have people preaching warfare, preaching violence, preaching killing and enslaving against another part of the population: that is against the most founding principles, [which were established] before freedom of religion was established within English law, within any law.
The British barrister clarifies the relationship between these approaches when he advises his clients: “Don’t focus on the religious and political aspects, focus on the technical ones, but what we are doing is trying to stop the area from being Islamized”. But the two issues, i.e. the political question and the concern about community safety, are in fact indissolubly interconnected; he acts from knowledge of the intimidation and violence that the mosques regularly bring with them.
He observes that mosques are increasingly being built in the UK in numbers which are disproportionate to the need for them, and often in areas with hardly any Muslim population.
The Law and Freedom Foundation also offers advice to local activists on how to go about the business of mosque busting. Gavin Boby’s is an original approach, even the way he talks gives you the immediate impression that he brings something new and different (lawyer-like but this time in a good sense) to the anti-Islam movement.
Boby has become a household name in the counterjihad movement, and others outside the UK are following his example, like Geert Wilders in Holland, whose party recently launched the “MoskNee” (“MosqueNo”) project. Still to remain in continental Europe, the mosque buster spoke at the Brussels ICLA conference on July 9 2012.
He was also invited to speak in Ottawa, Canada by the organization Act for Canada, which points out that the University of Alberta’s former Chair in Islamic Studies explained how the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood Hassan al-Banna hoped to change “the status of the Mosque, bringing it from a static place of worship to a center of Islamic revolution”, while Youssef Qaradawi, unconditionally endorsed by leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood operating in Canada, wrote: “It must be the role of the mosque to guide the public policy of a nation, raise awareness of critical issues, and reveal its enemies. From ancient times the mosque has had a role in urging jihad for the sake of Allah“. Gavin also spoke in Toronto and Montreal.
In August/September 2012 Mr Boby toured Australia on invitation of the Q Society of Australia, according to which many Australians still do not fully understand how important mosques and mosque-building are in Islamic doctrine and how crucially different a mosque is from a church or synagogue. Many Australians did not know that in their country there are already over 340 mosques and Islamic prayer rooms, many of which are rooms in once secular public buildings and public spaces.
As can be expected, there is controversy and attempts to stop this mosque-busting lawyer from giving speeches wherever they are scheduled, and he has been vilified by the mass media.
But what really matters is that it works. Maybe his activity can be the inspiration to find other specialistic, professional ways to use the law against the Islamization of our countries.
by, J. Schuyler Montague | sharia unveiled
The information contained herein is based on numerous conversations with muslim males of varying age groups. All of this information has been confirmed through multiple independent sources. The details below were provided by muslim males to individuals that they believed to be “other than” Jewish or Judeo-Christian.
It has come to our attention that there is currently an international concerted effort by muslim males to seek out Judeo-Christian females for marriage and conversion to Islam. This is a planned initiative that originated from inside the mosque and is now taking root inside the church. This is currently taking place in every nation around the world. It is being used as a method of infiltration. The stated goal is to: “form a relationship with a Christian female, marry her, convert her to Islam and raise the offspring as muslims.
Here is the logic: A muslim male marrying a Christian female, then converting her to Islam is not simply a numerical loss of one or gain of one. The subtraction of one from Christianity and the addition of one to Islam is a numerical value shift of two, in the balance between Christianity and Islam itself. Then, any children that the female gives birth to that would have been Christian children, will now be muslim children. This pattern would continue from generation to generation. So, the result of a single muslim male marrying and converting just one Christian female can result in a great reduction of Christians and many more muslims over a period of time. Now, consider that this same process is being utilized thousands of times. The resulting shift can be staggering.
We have also received numerous reports of muslim males utilizing social media as a primary method of initiating these “relationships.” Facebook is the social forum where the greatest number of reports of older muslim guys, searching out and contacting younger Christian girls has occured. There have also been several reports of older muslim males “stalking” younger Christian girls and sending pornographic material to younger Christian girls, that are often under the legal age of consent. There are individuals and groups that have been monitoring the various social media networks for this activity and are compiling the data. We are asking that everyone be vigilant in this effort. We must all make sure that we are properly educating and warning our young girls about this constant threat. Whether it be on the internet, in their school or at the mall. We must make sure that we are educating young Christian females to be aware of this threat from Islam.
It is very important that we get this message out. Please share this message with your daughters, Pastors, youth leaders and teachers. We must all make a concerted effort to ensure that, first and foremost, our young girls and women are safe. We must also make sure that we are not turning a blind eye to yet another dangerous form of child exploitation and islamic infiltration.
video courtesy of: bare naked islam
By Daniel Greenfield
Technically Basri wasn’t freed. He was allowed to go home to visit his “sick wife” and then left unguarded for hours. In a completely inexplicable set of circumstances that the authorities could not have possibly imagined would occur… he escaped.
Basri should have received the death penalty for the murder of 3 Christian schoolgirls. The three girls, Theresia Morangke and Yarni Sambue, both 15, and 17-year-old Alfita Poliwo, had their heads cut off. One of the heads was placed in a bag along on the steps of a church along with a note reading, “We will murder 100 more Christian teenagers and their heads will be presented as presents.”
What did he mean by presents? Basri and his fellow Muslims were celebrating the end of the Islamic Ramadan. It’s an event that Obama annually commemorates at the White House, but Basri really got into the spirit of the season.
Basri said he and two others killed the girls and took their heads to the group’s headquarters as a “gift” to mark the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
The bodies, dressed in school uniform, were left by the roadside near the execution site, but the heads were carried in a backpack.
Basri claimed he was sorry “not just from my mouth but from deep in my heart.” But he nevertheless joked and laughed as he described how it took two swipes of his machete to lop the head off one of the girls.
Basri, whom the Indonesian authorities for all intents and purposes set free, received weapons training from Al Qaeda’s affiliate Jemaah Islamiyah. And he had confessed to beheading one of the girls personally.
Despite all this Basri only received a comparatively short jail term. It’s not that Indonesia doesn’t have the death penalty or doesn’t use it as casually as most Muslim countries do. A 56-year-old woman from the UK is facing the death penalty for drug smuggling. And since she isn’t a Muslim, she has something to worry about. It’s safe to say that no one will be taking her to visit any sick relatives while leaving her unguarded.
If you want to understand the difference between Islam and every other religion on earth, you could do worse than read this single paragraph describing how the spiritual musings of the mastermind of these atrocities.
Hasanuddin allegedly returned from a visit to members of Philippines Islamist group the Moro Islamic Liberation Front with tales of how that organisation regularly staged bombings to coincide with Lebaran, the festival that ends the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. However, after further discussion with friends, he decided that beheading Christians could qualify as an act of Muslim charity.
The Temple as seen in the Holyland Model of Jerusalem, a 21,520 sq. ft., 1:50 scale-model of the city of Jerusalem in the late Second Temple Period.
By: Sinem Tezyapar
The unique importance of the Temple Mount to Judaism and to Islam makes the location vulnerable to tensions and conflicts between Jews and Muslims. Usually, these incidents originate in rumors such as: “The Jews are coming today to bomb the mosques and build their Third Temple.” Obviously, false accusations and baseless suspicions like these turn the site from a holy place of prayer and love into a site of violent political demonstrations. And, consequently, potential escalation of tension brings more restrictions and discomfort to all. Who benefits from this? Surely not the believers.
While the Israeli government ensures limited public access to the Temple Mount regardless of religious beliefs, only Muslims are allowed to pray at the place, which is known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif. Otherwise, the government has prohibited everyone except Muslims from worshipping there since 1967, due to security concerns. Nevertheless, Muslims, too, are occasionally restricted. The Jordanian Waqf which administers the site has restricted non-Muslims from entering the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque since the year 2000. What’s more, non-Muslim religious symbols are not allowed to be worn while entering the site.
Freedom of worship is an essential issue. The Temple Mount, where the First and Second Temples stood, is the holiest place to the people of Israel. However, it is no less holy to both Muslims and Christians. Since this is a location that God has announced to be a “house of prayer for all nations,” it should be a place of festivity for all believers. As all who call on the God of Abraham are brothers, Jews and Christians should be able to offer prayers there in dignity and peace along with Muslims. To cast believers out from such a place, to prevent worship there, is a heinous and, quite frankly, cruel policy, which is an offense not only to men, but to Islam. God Himself condemns anyone who forbids worship:
“And who is more unjust than he who forbids that in places for the worship of God, God’s name should be celebrated?-whose zeal is (in fact) to ruin them? It was not fitting that such should themselves enter them except in fear. For them there is nothing but disgrace in this world, and in the world to come, an exceeding torment.” (Koran 2:214)
Likewise, the Tanakh declares the will of God to make this unique spot a common sanctuary where all people learn to coexist and pray together:
“For then will I turn clear language to the Nations, that they may all call upon the name of God, to serve Him shoulder to shoulder.” (Zephaniah 3:9)
Anywhere one prays to the One and Only Almighty God is a house of prayer. Therefore, it is an atrocious thing to forbid anyone from praying at the Temple Mount. The longings of Bnei Israel to pray in that place can never be an offense to a Muslim. On the contrary, it is very pleasant to see Jewish people praying at the Temple Mount. Indeed, all the faithful people should be able to pray there. As a matter of fact, in Istanbul’s Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and others houses of worship, foreign tourists often come and pray. Some perform their religious obligations according to their own faith, and it is something quite beautiful to see.
As a devout Muslim, I take pleasure when Jews pray to Almighty God, and their praying anywhere in the world, including at the Temple Mount, would be a glad tiding for me as well.
As a devout Muslim, it would be a joy for me to see Prophet Solomon’s Temple rebuilt as well. No, you did not hear me wrong. Prophet Solomon’s Temple being rebuilt in all its magnificence and glory would be a great delight for me, as it would be to any Muslim. Under different circumstances, in an atmosphere of trust, love and brotherhood, Muslims would welcome this with enthusiasm. The Temple of Solomon is also a historically important place, and rebuilding it would be a wonderful occasion for all believers to contemplate. Every Muslim, every believer, will want to experience the spirit of those days again, and strive to bring the beauty of those days back to life. Actually, it is everyone’s aspiration for that city to be adorned, to be beautified, and to regain the magnificent glory it had in the days of the Prophet Solomon.
Solomon’s Temple being rebuilt does not entail any harm to these shrines. So I beg my Muslim brothers and sisters not to take my words in a direction that I do not intend. They should not feel unease at all, because the al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock will stand until the Last Day. Nobody will be able to harm them, because they are under the protection of God.
There is a broad expanse of land around the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock. The land there is quite convenient in that respect, and the Temple can be placed just a little way from Qubbat As-Sakhrah, and a little ahead of Masjid el-Aqsa.
The Prophet Solomon—King Solomon as the Jews call him—is a prophet to Muslims too. All Muslims have profound love for him. Prophet Solomon had a superior understanding of beauty and aesthetics, and no doubt, rebuilding of his Temple in its original form would be a splendid undertaking. Decorated exactly as it was, with the same beautiful ornaments, covered in gold, adorned with fruit trees and beautiful gardens, and restored to its former glory, would be splendid!
It is of course very exciting to remember those beautiful days, to rebuild this beautiful compound, and let this beautiful prayer house be open to all. This very much excites me as a Muslim and excites other believers as well. The very thought of Christians, Jews and Muslims cooperating to rebuild this house of worship, together hand in hand, and worshipping there together, is a matter of joy.
Think of the waste of energy and resources consumed all over the world by the contention between Arabs and Jews, which could be used to beautify these holy places, to put them in a brilliant state, instead! There is plenty of space, and there are overwhelmingly sufficient resources for everyone to live there in peace and tranquility and enjoy their freedom of worship.
How have we allowed these unending wars, sporadic clashes, security walls, unnecessary discrimination and restrictions to bar us from being able to embrace each other as brothers? Why do we take it for granted that we are under any obligation to perpetuate these senseless conflicts? Why does everyone simply presume that this is the way things are meant to be? We all want suffering to end and peace to prevail in the region! Obviously we cannot achieve this peace as long as we lack the spirit of unity.
The Jews have the exact same vision, with the Third Temple being a center for all believers, not only for Jews:
“Also the aliens, that join themselves to God, to minister unto Him, and to love the name of God, to be His servants… Even them will I bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer; their burnt-offerings and their sacrifices shall be acceptable upon Mine altar; for My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.” (Isaiah 56:6-7)
We will rebuild—not only the Temple of Solomon, but those of all the prophets too. As a matter of fact, apart from the Prophet Solomon’s Temple, the other prayer houses of other prophets, the places where they inhabited, should be rebuilt as well. The places where they worshiped should be restored and glorified. Similarly, they should be opened, and Christians, Muslims and Jews should be allowed to visit them at the same time. The places where the Prophets Abraham, Joseph, Isaac, Jacob, Aaron lived should be restored and beautified also.
The main entrance to the Old City is the Jaffa Gate. This gate was built by Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent in 1538. The name in Arabic, Bab el-Halil, or Hebron Gate, means “The Beloved,” and refers to Prophet Abraham. In the entrance hall of the Gate, there is a stone on which the following text is engraved: “There is only one God and Abraham is his friend.” It is written this way because Jews and Christians were also using this gate along with Muslims, and the text refers to our common belief in the Prophet Abraham. So this should be the spirit in this site: We all worship the same One God and we are all children of Prophet Abraham!
Let us embrace each other with respect and love! Let us talk together, and envision better days in which we can all pray, and unite in celebration and brotherhood in this Prayer House of our blessed Prophet Solomon, and praise the glory of Almighty God together! Let every Christian, every Muslim, every Jew unite in this one godly desire! Let us endeavor to achieve this together, and let us believe that it is possible for everyone to perform their prayers in joy and peace!
editorial footnote: When I first read this article.. I thought it was a joke. And, a bad one at that. First of all, the Third Temple is the Temple of Ezekiel, not Solomon. Second, the Temple Mount is a Holy Site to Jewish/Judeo-Christians only. The muslims have attempted to fabricate some false fairy tale associated with it in order to steal more land from Israel and prevent our Lord thy God’s arrival. The land and any future Temple belongs to Israel and our Lord thy God. Certainly not to a group of nomadic thieves from the land of make believe. Third, while I do agree that all people should be allowed to come into the House of our Lord thy God to worship, they must be coming to worship Him. There can absolutely, positively and unequivically be no “satan worship” permitted in the House of our Lord thy God.