Jewish holy sites taken over by Arab Muslims

A list of Jewish Holy Sites destroyed by Arab Muslims as well as sites where they built mosques as a symbol of Islamic supremacy over Judaism.

Ezequiel Doiny

OpEds Illustrative: Palestinian graffiti at Joseph's Tomb
Illustrative: Palestinian graffiti at Joseph's Tomb
Flash 90

Below is a list of Jewish Holy Sites where Arabs built mosques as a symbol of Islamic supremacy over Judaism: 

  •  Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Holiest site for Judaism. Site of the two Jewish Temples. The Muslims built two mosques there.

  •  Cave of the Patriarchs in Hevron. The Jewish Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are undeniably buried there. The Muslims built a mosque there.  

  • Ezekiel’s tomb in Iraq. The 2500 year old tomb of the prophet Ezekiel used to be a common pilgrimage site for Iraqi Jews. In 1860 the local Arabs tried to take the site from the Jews but the British government intervened and ruled that the site belonged to the Jews.  

-Diarna.org reported … “In 2003, the Torah scrolls belonging to the synagogue along with other books were  stolen from the synagogue and have not yet been recovered …"

-"In 2010, a Hebrew inscription was erased by Iraqi workers who were renovating the neighboring mosque          …"

-Ariel Arkham reported in the American Thinker, “… various watchdog groups have reported that the Iraqi Cultural and Antiquities Authority are implementing plans to erect a mosque on top of Ezekiel’s Tomb."

-"Last month, the process began as the ancient Hebrew inscriptions adorning the inside of the Tomb were defaced, perhaps irrevocably, and covered over by plaster. With the not-so-distant memory  of the Taliban’s destruction of Buddhist statuary in Afghanistan still in mind, the impending Islamification of the Jewish  shrine of the Tomb might seem like the product of a uniquely  modern cultural phenomenon. But in  reality, the history of Ezekiel’s Tomb reflects the millennial ebb and flow of Islamic power…” 

  • The Tomb of the prophet Jonah in Mosul, Iraq..  

-On July 24, 2017 Sigal Samuel wrote in the Atlantic about the destruction of Jonah’s tomb in Mosul “As we saw the first images of Jonah’s Tomb destroyed in Mosul on July 24, 2014, we felt shocked and deeply uneasy… 

-It was believed to be the final resting place of the biblical prophet Jonah, who got swallowed by a whale and who warned inhabitants of the Assyrian city of Nineveh (now Mosul) that God would destroy them if they did not repent for their sins…it was a constant, potent symbol. 

-Overlooking the city, it reminded all Maslawis of the interconnectedness of Iraq’s diverse religious populations. It was the antithesis of sectarianism. 

-As such, ISIS’s decision to blow it up read as an attempt to erase the shared history of the many religious populations that Mosul housed…Sigal was raised in a family of Iraqi Jews, but has never been able to visit Iraq. Desperate to escape the persecution that followed the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, her grandfather fled Iraq, along with almost the entire Jewish population. Despite never having seen Jonah’s Tomb, she felt it was a constitutive part of her history and personal identity. She grew up hearing the Book of Jonah read in synagogue on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar. 

-The tomb was a visible reminder that Jews had flourished in Iraq for centuries: Mosul was once home to many synagogues, although they are now reportedly used as garbage dumps…” 

  •  Destruction of Joseph’s tomb.

-In 2000 the Palestinians destroyed Joseph’s tomb.

-Sidney Brounstein wrote for the Los Angeles Times “Oct. 8: Where is the outrage? Imagine what would have happened if Jewish police stood by and allowed a Jewish mob to destroy a Muslim holy place! Does the destruction of a Jewish holy place by an Arab mob while Palestinian police stand by (after promising to protect it) deserve no more than inclusion in a list of other damage done by rioters? Is this an acceptance of attacks on Jews and things Jewish as a normal part of life?”

-“It makes a mockery of any thought of giving Arabs any control of Jewish holy places. The destruction of dozens of such places in the Old City of Jerusalem from 1948 to 1967, along with the exclusion of Jews entirely from their most holy site, the Western Wall, was clearly of a piece with the current destruction.”

  •  Destruction of Daniel’s tomb.

-The Prophet Daniel has two possible tombs: one in Iran, one in Iraq-both were destroyed. The Complete Pilgrim reports “Daniel’s service to the Babylonian and Persian rulers was instrumental in keeping the Jews intact as a people. 

-Undoubtedly he used his influence to minimize their hardships, though he also was of genuine use to the foreign sovereigns he served. His efforts also helped to lay the groundwork of friendly relations between the Jews and the Persians that lasted well into the 19th century. 

-Amazingly, his political achievements were dwarfed by his abilities as a prophet, at least from a Biblical perspective. Daniel spent the last years of his life in the city of Susa, where he died and was buried around the time that the Babylonian Captivity came to an end.” 

-See images of the destroyed tomb of Daniel in Iran here: Christian News reported about the destruction of Daniel’s tomb in Iraq “Al-Sumaria News also reported on Thursday that local Mosul official Zuhair al-Chalabi told the outlet that ISIS likewise “implanted explosives around Prophet Daniel’s tomb in Mosul and blasted it, leading to its destruction.” 

  • Ezra’s tomb in Iraq. 

-The Complete Pilgrim reported “Ezra, on the other hand, was more focused on the restoration of the Jewish religion and heritage, which had grown lax since in captivity. He personally led five thousand Jews back to Judea, after which he read the entire Torah to the populace of Jerusalem in an effort to inspire and reinvigorate them spiritually. 

-Later, he established the precursor to the council of the Sanhedrin which would later become the supreme religious authority of the Jewish people. According to some scholars, it was Ezra who finalized the composition and canon of the books which later became the Hebrew Bible.-

-For all of these accomplishments, he is considered by many to be the father of Judaism as we know it. In later years he spent much time traveling back and forth between Judea and Mesopotamia, inspiring his fellow Jews to return. 

-He died in Mesopotamia sometime in the late 5th century BC. His shrine was one of the most venerated sites in Iraq until the 20th century, when most of the local Jews emigrated to Israel.” 

-On February 15, 2015 Arutz Sheva wrote  that Arab media had reported that Islamist forces operating in the south of the country had seized control of an ancient shrine revered as the tomb of the biblical scribe and priest Ezra.

-Pan-Arab news website Al-Araby reported that the militants had destroyed large portions of the shrine, which included both a synagogue and a mosque, and now intend to use it as their headquarters in southern Iraq. According to Al-Araby, the terrorists had cut off all access to the Tomb of Ezra to prevent journalists from reporting on their conquest and destruction of the holy site…” 

  • Tomb of Samuel north of Jerusalem's Ramot neighborhood.

- Arabs built a mosque next to the tomb and disrupt Jewish prayers there. See video here

  •  Rachel’s Tomb south of Jerusalem.

-On November 8, 2010 Nadav Shragai wrote in JCPA “UNESCO has declared that Rachel’s Tomb near Jerusalem is the Bilal ibn Rabah mosque – endorsing a Palestinian claim that first surfaced only in 1996 and which ignores centuries of Muslim tradition.

-As opposed to the Temple Mount and the Cave of the Patriarchs which also serve as the location of mosques, Rachel’s Tomb never served as a mosque for the Muslims.

-The Muslim connection to the site derives from its relation to Rachel and has no connection to Bilal ibn Rabah, Mohammed’s first muezzin.Rachel’s Tomb, located some 460 meters south of Jerusalem’s municipal boundary, has been identified for over 1,700 years as the grave of the Jewish matriarch Rachel. Although there are modern archaelogists who suggest other sites., many generations of Jews have visited the place for prayer. 

The depiction of Rachel’s Tomb has appeared in thousands of Jewish religious books, paintings, photographs, stamps, and works of art.” 

  •  Aharon's tomb in Jordan.

On August 2, 2019 Arutz 7 reported "Jordan’s Minister of Religion, Abed al Nasr abu Bassel, decided to close the grave of Aharon the Cohen in Petra to tourists.

-According to local media outlets, the decision was made after a video was made public in Jordan of Jews praying at the compound, with the claim that the pilgrimage was “illegal”.

Through its history and ideology of armed conquest, Islam sent out armies who invaded many nations. In their process of colonization, Islam erased native cultures and converted holy places into Mosques. Holy Sites stolen by Islamic Armies in the past continue to be occupied today.   

Since the creation of the State of Israel Jews can defend themselves against Islamic persecution (other minorities like the Yazidi continue to be vulnerable to persecuted by Islamic bullies today because they don't have their own State to protect them). 

For centuries Jews endured humiliation and abuse under Islamic rule, for centuries Jews were denied the freedom to pray in most of Judaism's holiest Sites converted into mosques, for centuries Jews were subject to institutionalized financial abuse in the name of Jizya.

It is time to demand compensation - and access.





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