Israeli media is reporting that Israeli authorities are considering taking action against an Israeli Muslim Brotherhood leader, accusing him of instigating rioting at the Temple Mount holy site in Israel. According to one report:
The Police Chief, Commissioner Dudi Cohen promised Monday morning to take immediate steps against the man they believe is responsible for instigating the rioting, Sheikh Raed Salah. Salah, Head of the Northern Islamic Movement, slammed on Friday Netanyahu for resuming construction work around the holy sites, calling him “a political madman, who might burn everything”. Salah, who is currently staying at the east Jerusalem neighborhood Wadi Joz along with hundreds of his supporters, began marching from Temple Mount back to Wadi Joz after police forces refused them entrance to the al-Aqsa mosque premise. Salah continued to call worshipers to come to Temple Mount, saying: “With blood and fire we will liberate al-Aqsa”. According to sources in the Islamic Movement, dozens of worshipers still remain inside the mosque since Sunday…. According to Commissioner Cohen “Salah has seven police files against him. We are examining the statements he made and will take steps in the next few days.””We recognize sources that try instigate and incite the crowds, and are doing everything we can to maintian the order. The police will take all steps necessary against the Islamic Movement,” said Aharonovitch. Commander Franco rejected Salah’s accusations, in which he says Israeli is compromising the status quo around the holy sites, saying “many things written in newspapers don’t reflect reality, many of them are lies. The status quo will be kept strictly, including in the Temple Mount. Unfortunately people create an atmosphere of war in order to turn the place into a battlefield. We will not allow that to happen.”
Sheikh Raed Salah is the head of the Northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, considered to be the most extreme wing of the movement that essentially comprises the Muslim Brotherhood in Israel. In May 2003, Salah was arrested along with other Northern Islamic Movement officials on suspicion of transferring funds to Hamas under the pretense of humanitarian aid. He was released after two years under the terms of a plea bargain. In August 2007, Salah was indicted for “inciting racism and violence” for calling for a “third Intifada,” or uprising, to defend the mosque and in 2008 Israeli security forces raided the offices of the Islamic Movement in northern Israel accusing it of aiding Hamas. In May of this year, Salah said that Israel has a ‘diabolical plan” to cause the Al–Aqsa Mosque to collapse “in a way that would appear as is happening as a result of natural causes, such an earthquake.”
Salah’s statements are consistent with an earlier post that reported claims by the global Muslim Brotherhood that the Al-Aqsa 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.) Previous posts have also 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 and that Israel plots against the Al-Aqsa mosque are harbingers of this coming conflict. Developments over the past days continue to suggest that the unrest at the Al-Aqsa Mosque is being instigated by the global Muslim Brotherhood. These developments include:
- The opening of an incendiary website on the mosque by Islam Online, the Islamic news portal associated with Youssef Qaradawi. Qaradawi has also called for demonstrations and a “day of rage” in support of the al-Aqsa mosque this Friday (Qaradawi used the same expression when calling for demonstrations over the Danish cartoon issue).
- The European Muslim Brotherhood, represented by the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE), issued a statement claiming that “Occupation forces and gangs of Israeli extremists launched a new assault, en masse, on the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the peaceful worshippers praying there” calling it “one of the gravest of the escalating Israeli assaults on Jerusalem”. The statement called for various actions including inviting ” Muslims in Europe and their institutions to organise various civic actions, to condemn this new attack on the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque.”
- The Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood orchestrated a sit-in saying that the events at the mosque were part of “several attempts to destroy the mosque.”
It should be noted that in September, even prior to the disturbances, Qaradawi and FIOE had falsely claimed on the anniversary of the 1969 fire at the Al-Asqa Mosque that Jews were responsible although the fire in question was actually set by a mentally-ill Christian tourist from Australia who thought it would help him become “king over Jerusalem and Judea.”