Last week, a panel devoted to the question of Jerusalem’s importance to Muslims highlighted a few politically incorrect truths: from the days of Islam’s founder Muhammad, Muslims have been “raising or lowering Jerusalem’s importance in accordance with [their] political concerns.” As a matter of fact, the city that has been holy to Jews for millennia is not mentioned even once in the Koran.
But while Muhammad decided to downgrade Jerusalem’s importance for the followers of his newly established faith when his hopes to be accepted as a prophet by the Jews of what is now Saudi Arabia proved futile, Ayatollah Khomeini concluded that the chances to export his “Islamic revolution” beyond Iran would greatly benefit from efforts to rally all Muslims – whether Shiites or Sunnis – around the city that the re-established Jewish state had re-united in 1967. Khomeini lost no time, and in August 1979, shortly after taking power, he called on “Muslims all over the globe to consecrate the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan as Al-Quds Day and to proclaim the international solidarity of Muslims in support of the legitimate rights of the Muslim people of Palestine.” Khomeini also expressed his hopes “for the victory of the Muslims over the infidels.”
Some ten years later, during the First Intifada in January 1988, the Jerusalem Committee of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference found it useful to follow suit and decided that “Quds Day” should be commemorated in public events throughout the Arab world.
By now, many in the Western media have dutifully taken to describing Jerusalem as Islam’s “third holiest city” – while mentioning Jerusalem’s status in Judaism and Christianity is somehow less popular…
To take matters a bit further, there are now efforts to popularize the rather ridiculous concept of the “Judaization” of Jerusalem. A recent conference on Jerusalem in Qatar ended with a (not entirely coherent) declaration that invokes this notion repeatedly.
Yet another effort to protest the “Judaization” of Judaism’s millenia-old spiritual capital is being planned for the end of this month, when activists hope to mobilize one million people to set out from Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt to storm Israel’s borders and march on to Jerusalem. Thanks to a great initiative by Cif Watch, all the relevant information about this planned “Global March to Jerusalem” (GMJ) is available on a special website.
The most recent post on the site’s blog provides a good idea about the people behind the planned march: as explained there, the official GMJ website has sided with Gaza’s terrorists by issuing a condemnation of what it termed “criminal Israeli assassinations of Gaza civilians.” Referring to the recent events in Gaza, the GMJ website declared:
“We, the Global March to Jerusalem, condemn the Zionist campaign of killing Palestinian citizens and imprisoning the Palestinians of Gaza in an open-air prison, just as we condemn the continued occupation of Palestinian land and the intentional destruction and Judaisation of Jerusalem, as well as all of historic Palestine.”
Another recent post provides a comprehensive background paper originally published by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. In addition to lots of interesting information on the already mentioned Qatar conference on Jerusalem and other relevant issues, you can find there gems like this declaration by the European Preparatory Committee for the Global March to Jerusalem:
“We say no to Zionism; and to an exclusive Jewish colonial state, which reacts to the legitimate struggle of the indigenous Palestinian people with the expansion of its Apartheid rule.”
It may sound like a lot of pathetic sloganeering, but the intent of the people who put so much energy into organizing this “Global March to Jerusalem” is clear enough: to “de-Judaize” Jerusalem and the Jewish state. And yes, we live in a time when such an odious idea attracts a lot of enthusiastic support – and very little official condemnation.
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Cross-posted from my JPost blog.
Here’s a great clip of an Al Jazeera interview where Professor Mordechai Kedar of Bar-Ilan University gets accused of rewriting the Koran because he points out to the interviewer that Jerusalem is not mentioned in the Koran.