60% of Jordanians have never heard of 'Al-Aqsa'

A new survey offsets a basic Islamic belief: Most Jordanian students do not know about the ‘Holy’ mosque in Jerusalem.

Shoshana Miskin,

Dome of the Rock
Dome of the Rock
Flash 90

A new survey published by the University of Jordan raises a startling statistic which challenges quite a few deeply-rooted fundamental assumptions surrounding the Temple Mount.

The survey, conducted among 6,000 Jordanian students, asked only one question: What is al-Aqsa Mosque? The result: More than 60 percent of the students did not know how to answer.

Following the embarrassing results, the Islamic Council of Jerusalem, which operates in the Muslim University, presented the data as a severe blow and implemented new rules requiring students to pass a course on the "Jordanian Al-Aqsa Mosque."

Meir Zemach of the Lach Yerushalayim organization, which works to promote Israeli sovereignty of the capital, responded to the survey by saying this should strengthen the understanding in Israel that Jerusalem and the Temple Mount in particular, are merely being used by Islamists as a pretext for acts of terrorism in recent times.

Since the emergence of the Muslim religion in the 6th century, its two holiest cities were Mecca and Medina. Islamic scholars - including the Waqf - openly acknowledged that the Temple Mount in Jerusalem was the holiest site of the Jewish faith, and had only minimal religious significance to Muslims.

All of that changed around the early-to-mid-20th century, when "Al Aqsa" became a convenient, religiously-charged rallying cry in the battle against Zionism.

"This survey has proven once again the weak claim by Islamic movements surrounding the attachment and belonging of the Arab community to the Temple Mount," Zemach said.

It should be noted that Jordan is today in charge of the Waqf, and considers itself a "guardian" of the Temple Mount. The Waqf is vehemently opposed to any Jewish presence, be it large and small, in the complex, insisting the site should be entirely Muslim.




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