Model of Second Temple
Model of Second TempleiStock

Sheikh Ikhrama Sabri, the head of the Supreme Islamic Council in Jerusalem, attacked what he called the intentions of "extremist settlers" to slaughter and burn the ashes of the 'Red Heifer' on the Temple Mount.

Under Jewish law (halakha), the only way to remove the ritual impurity that comes from contact with or being in proximity to the dead such as by entering a cemetery is through a ritual that includes sprinkling the ashes of a completely red heifer on the person with the impurity.

Last month, a Red Heifer was displayed at the Ancient Shiloh site in Binyamin Regional Council after being brought to Israel, the first of three to be brought to Shiloh. The completely pure Red Heifers will be housed at the Ancient Shiloh biblical heritage site in the Binyamin Regional Council. In the coming month, a heritage center will be inaugurated at the site, with the goal of furthering research on the Red Heifer and promoting this aspect of Jewish heritage.

Sabri called the idea of performing the ritual in modern times "a dangerous idea against the Al Aqsa Mosque, Jerusalem, and the holy places."

He claimed that the bringing of five Red Heifers from the US to Israel was based on a "false belief" by Jewish "extremists" who seek to "Judaize" the Al Aqsa Mosque and thereby desecrate it.

"For every action that the occupation carries out in Jerusalem or in the blessed Al Aqsa Mosque, they dress up the religious aspect in order to promote their view and encourage the Jews of the world to immigrate to Palestine," he stated.

Sabri claimed that there has been no archaeological evidence showing that any Jewish Temples stood on the Temple Mount. "Therefore, they invented the story about the five cows that were imported from the US, and this shows the failure that befell the Zionist movement and the occupation after they did not find a single stone during the excavations and drilling that would prove that they had anything to do with the so-called Temple of Solomon or any proof that it had anything to do with Hebrew history."

Despite Sabri's claim, there is abundant historical and archaeological evidence proving the existence of the First and Second Temples, including an ancient stone inscription warning non-Jews not to enter the Holy Temple.

Sabri mentioned the outcry that followed the installation of magnetometers at the entrances to the Temple Mount following a terrorist attack in which two policemen were murdered in 2017 and said that any attempt to bring a Red Heifer to the mount would be met with similar resistance.

"The conflict with the Zionist occupation takes place on all levels, religious, political, civilizational, cultural and existential, since the occupation opened the campaign in its broad aspects, and therefore there is no justification to separate the religious conflict from the political conflict and the cultural conflict," he said.