The global Muslim Brotherhood is reacting to clashes at the Al-Aqsa mosque by repeating claims that the mosque was being threatened by “Jewish extremists.” Western media had generally reported that Western tourists had entered the mosque compound following an earlier group of “religious Jews” that had assembled outside the gates. According to one report by AFP:
Jerusalem’s Old City remained calm on Monday after several people were wounded the day before in clashes at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, a flashpoint site sacred to both Muslims and Jews. Shops throughout the Muslim quarter of the Old City reopened after staging a partial strike following the violence, in which 17 Israeli police and around a dozen Palestinians were injured. The fighting broke out when a group of tourists entered the compound, which is considered the holiest site in Judaism and the third-holiest in Islam, and which has been a central fault-line in the decades-old Arab-Israeli conflict. Around 150 Muslim worshippers surrounded the group and began throwing rocks at Israeli police guarding them, and they responded with stun grenades. Police said the visitors were French tourists, but the Palestinians insisted they were Jewish extremists, part of a group of some 200 religious Jews who had assembled earlier outside the gates to the compound. The Palestinian Authority accused Israel of deliberately raising tensions amid a US-led push to relaunch the stalled peace process, while the Arab League in Cairo expressed “extreme anger” and Jordan summoned the Israeli ambassador. The compound, referred to as the Temple Mount by Jews and Al-Haram Al-Sharif (The Noble Sanctuary) by Muslims, was the epicentre of the 2000 Palestinian uprising, which erupted exactly nine years ago.
In response to the incident, Jordan’s influential Muslim Brotherhood movement leader Hammam Saeed on Sunday called for annulling the peace treaty Jordan and Israel signed in 1994 and expelling the Israeli ambassador from Amman. He said in a statement that breaking into the mosque killed hopes for peace and reaching a settlement to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, calling on the Arab countries to take action to deal with the Israeli stark violation of the sanctity of the holy shrine.
Islam Online, the Islamic news portal associated with Youssef Qaradawi, reported that Israeli policemen had attacked worshipers who had “repulsed an attempt by Jewish extremists to hold Talmudic rituals at al-Haram al-Sharif.” The IOL report also accused Israeli police of using “poisonous gases”:
Dozens of Palestinians were hurt, two seriously, on Sunday, September 27, when crack Israeli policemen attacked worshipers who had just repulsed an attempt by Jewish extremists to hold Talmudic rituals at al-Haram al-Sharif. “When the zealots were repulsed rather peacefully, the police became very outraged,” Mahmoud Abu Atta, an eyewitness, told IslamOnline.net. “As many as 70 policemen attacked us indiscriminately, young and old, with full force, using rubber-coated bullets, truncheons, tear gas and even poisonous gas.”
The IOL statement also cited remarks by Sheikh Ikrima Sabri, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, who called on Muslims to protect Al-Aqsa from “Zionist plots and evil designs”:
“Hence it is the responsibility of the entire Umma to protect and safeguard this holy place from Zionist plots and evil designs,” Sheikh Sabri told IOL.“Hence it is the responsibility of the entire Umma to protect and safeguard this holy place from Zionist plots and evil designs,” Sheikh Sabri told IOL. Muslim officials in Al-Quds (occupied East Jerusalem) had earlier called on Muslims throughout the city to go to al-Haram al-Sharif to protect it from Jewish fanatics trying to gain a foot-hold. “We constantly urge Muslims here to maintain a permanent and uninterrupted presence at the Aqsa Mosque,” Dr. Sheikh Ikrma Sabri, the imam of Aqsa Mosque, told IOL.
Previous posts have discussed numerous claims by Youssef Qaradawi and other elements of the global Muslim Brotherhood that Israelis are conspiring to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Qaradawi has written that all Jews and all Muslims will fight each other in a final battle in which Muslims will emerge victorious. Qaradawi has also written that Israel plots against the Al-Aqsa mosque are harbingers of this coming conflict.