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      Jerusalem Mufti: Watch Out for Religious War

      Moslem cleric lighting one match too many? Mufti Muhammad Hussein says Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem, Hevron could start religious war.
      By Hillel Fendel
      First Publish: 8/18/2010, 10:51 AM / Last Update: 8/18/2010, 10:43 AM

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      Is a Moslem cleric making one war-provoking statement too many? Jerusalem Mufti Muhammad Hussein says Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem, Hevron could start a religious war.

      Muhammad Hussein, known as the “Mufti of Jerusalem and Palestine,” calls on all Moslems to take action to save the “holy places” and to support the Palestinian intifada. In keeping with the recent Moslem line that Judaism is barely linked with the Holy Land, Hussein says that Israel is “working subversively to take over Moslem holy sites," Arab affairs correspondent Dalit HaLevi reports.

      Speaking with the Arabic-language internet site Ilaf on Tuesday, Hussein said that Israel has invested great efforts to erase the Islamic characteristics of Jerusalem, Hevron and other cities, in order to falsely prove Judaism’s connection with these places.

      Just a few decades ago, however, it was Jerusalem’s Supreme Moslem Council (Waqf) itself that debunked the Arab Moslem position that the Temple Mount is not Jewish. The Waqf published a Temple Mount guide in 1925 in which it stated clearly that the site’s “identity with the site of Solomon's Temple is beyond dispute. This, too, is the spot, according to universal belief, on which 'David built there an altar unto the L-rd...'”, citing the source in Samuel II 24,25.

      The pamphlet also makes reference to the underground area in the south-east corner of the Mount, which is refers to as Solomon's Stables. "Little is known for certain of the history of the chamber itself," the guide reads. "It dates probably as far back as the construction of Solomon's Temple. According to Josephus, it was in existence and was used as a place of refuge by the Jews at the time of the conquest of Jerusalem by Titus in the year 70 A.D."

      Bethlehem and Hevron, Too
      Muhammed Hussein also now denies that Hevron, where the Patriarch Abraham purchased what is now the Machpelah Cave and the area around it, and Bethlehem, where the Patriach Jacob buried his wife, the Matriarch Rachel, are Jewish sites. 

      He said that the recent Israeli decision to includes them in the list of special Jewish legacy sites is an “attempt to take over the religious places and create facts on the ground… We are now in a period of war – not one with tanks and rockets, but one of religion, faith, and distorting Islamic history and tradition… This proves that Israel has no cultural roots in this land.”

      Hussein added that all Moslems must know that Israel is preparing to “annex the Al-Aqsa Mosque [on the Temple Mount] in order to demolish it and build the fake Holy Temple in its place… This is taking place in the framework of the plan by the Zionist enemy to Judaize Jerusalem…”

      The Dangers of PA Incitement
      Palestinian Media Watch, which monitors and publicizes anti-Israel incitement in the Palestinian Authority’s media and schools, explains, “The Israeli and world media keep portraying reality as if the PA has peaceful intentions. However, the PA school books and media are full of incitement to hate and violence, glorification of terrorists, denial of Israel’s right to exist as well as demonization of Jews and Israelis… The only answer to these hate messages is to expose them - even if it is again and again - in whatever versions they appear, so that we do not become immune to them. Unless hate education and incitement is stopped, it will destroy any chance for peace.”