The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA) has published a report on the current Al-Aqsa mosque tensions titled “The Muslim Schism over Jerusalem.” The report concludes:
- Amid the systematic destruction of mosques and holy places in the Arab world, it is precisely Israel’s responsibility for security at the mosque compound on the Temple Mount that protects the mosques there from a similar fate.
- The Sunni controversy between the Salafis – from whom Al-Qaeda emerged – and the Muslim Brotherhood is about what constitutes the center of Islam. Whereas the Salafis view the Arabian sites of Hijaz and Mecca as the center of the faith, the Muslim Brotherhood locates it at the ancient Cairo Al-Azhar University.
- Because Cairo has no special religious holiness, the Brotherhood regards Jerusalem as their religious center. From the Salafis’ standpoint, the Muslim Brotherhood’s enhancement of the special status of Jerusalem poses a danger to the status of Mecca. Jerusalem was at the bottom of agenda for the Prophet and his successors, and Mecca was at the top.
- The Palestinian Authority is the weakest force in the Al-Aqsa plaza. In visiting the site recently, the PA minister of religious affairs was almost lynched.
The report begins:
The notion of a “conflict over Jerusalem” immediately brings an association with the Arab-Israeli conflict over the Holy City. Surprisingly, however, amid the systematic destruction of mosques and holy places in the Arab world, it is precisely Israel’s responsibility for security at the mosque compound on the Temple Mount that protects the mosques there from a similar fate.
To understand the nature of the danger to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, one needs to understand the disputes within the world of Islam over the mosque and over the importance of Jerusalem in general.
Islam is divided into the Shia and the Sunna, but the Sunna is also divided into two main groups: the Salafis and the Muslim Brotherhood. There are other groups as well, such as the Sufis, but that does not concern us in this discussion.
Read the entire report here.
The Al-Aqsa Mosque is often the subject of various Global Muslim Brotherhood conspiracies theories involving alleged Israeli plots and plans to destroy the mosque.The GMBDW has been covering recent instances of incitement over the issue:
- We reported yesterday that Hamas has joined the chorus of incitement by the Global Muslim Brotherhood over the Al-Aqsa Mosque issue by calling for a “Day of Rage.”
- We reported earlier this week on a statement issued by an “interfaith” coalition including the US Muslim Brotherhood that blamed Israel for recent violence at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
- We reported last week on a call by the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), headed by Youssef Qaradawi, for Palestinians to ‘Rescue al-Aqsa’ and rise up against Israel.
- We also reported reported last week that the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood had issued a statement condemning what it called “an attack” by Israeli police Sunday on the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
- At the end of last month, we reported that the country’s Internal Security minister had asked the Minister of Defense to urgently ban two organizations operating on the Temple Mount and funded by the Muslim Brotherhood in Israel (the charities were subsequently banned.