The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood has released a statement on the forty-seventh anniversary of the date on which an individual who has been described as a “deranged” Australian Christian attempted to set fire to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. According to the Brotherhood statement, the arson attack is linked to what it calls “barbaric attacks and incursions by herds of Zionists”:
August 23, 2016 On the forty-seventh anniversary of its tragic torching on August 21, 1969, Al-Aqsa Mosque – Muslims’ first Qiblah and third holiest shrine – is still groaning under barbaric attacks and incursions by herds of Zionists.
Over 47 years, Al-Aqsa Mosque faced – and still faces – a fierce campaign of Judaization and excavations right under its foundations that threaten to collapse and destroy it, while Jerusalem Palestinians who try to defend it are subjected to murder, expulsion, exile and detention.
After forty-seven years, Al-Aqsa bears witness to the ingratitude of the nation, and how they forgot this holiest of shrines, leaving it alone to face Zionist aggressions and atrocities time after time, and how Al-Aqsa steadfastness and resilience repel those attacks fearlessly. It is as if Al-Aqsa says to the nation with all pride: ‘I am the Mosque… the House of God. He protects me’.
Unfortunately, we are shocked – on this sad anniversary – at the arrival of a Zionist plane in Cairo, carrying a high-level delegation to discuss the so-called resumption of the negotiations process, from which Arabs have only reaped repeated humiliating losses.
Today, Arab and Muslim lands witness the crushing trampling of peoples’ rights and popular will, and the confiscation of freedoms. But all that shall not break Muslims’ will; nor will it quench their yearning to liberate Al-Aqsa.
The Muslim Brotherhood pledge steadfastness on the path of liberating Al-Aqsa and all Palestine, as long as we have a beating heart. We will not be deterred or intimated by all those seemingly crushing troubles and tribulations, no matter how long it takes.
Dr Talaat Fahmi
Muslim Brotherhood Media Spokesman
Scholar Daniel Pipes has written a succinct description of the incident at the mosque that appears to comport with the known facts:
In August 1969, a deranged Australian Christian by the name of Michael Dennis Rohan (which many Muslims turned into Cohen) set fire to that mosque. Though Israeli firefighters quickly extinguished the blaze and Rohan soon after confessed to setting it, Muslims around the world convinced themselves that the Israeli authorities had paid Rohan between $50,000 and $100 million to burn the mosque. Bellicose pronouncements echoed from all parts of the Middle East and rioting erupted in India, leading to widespread loss of life. King Faysal of Saudi Arabia capitalized on these passions to convene 25 Muslim heads of state at a meeting in Rabat, Morocco. Out of that meeting came the OIC.
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. For example, Raed Salah is the leader of the so-called Northern branch of the Islamic Movement, essentially comprising the Israeli Muslim Brotherhood. He is noted for often alleging that Israel is conspiring to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
For a compendium of the extremist/anti-Semitic statements made by the deposed Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood PresidentMohamed Morsi, go here.