The Al-Aqsa under fire -business as usual?

Last Friday in occupied Jerusalem, one of the holiest sites in Islam, the Al-Aqsa mosque was violently attacked during the Juma’a prayers – the most significant prayer of the week – by illegal armed “Israeli” settlers and then by foreign occupation soldiers firing live rounds rubber bullets, gas and stun-grenades.

The leaders of the Muslim “Ummah” (people), however, did precisely nothing about it, leaving western leaders to continue their bottomless support for “Israeli” crimes.

In other words: it was business as usual.

The western part of Jerusalem was violently seized and ethnically cleansed more than sixty years ago. The eastern part likewise, in 1967.

All demands by the so-called “international community”, the passage into international law of successive UN resolutions demanding “Israeli” withdrawal from the stolen property, have been treated with contempt.

Indeed, “Israel” has gone further and illegally annexed the Holy City of Jerusalem, an annexation recognised by nobody. This recognition however, has now been promised by both Mitt Romney and President Barak Obama over the last few weeks.

The ethnic cleansing and Judaeisation of Jersualem has been well charted elsewhere, best of all by the Jewish academic Illan Pappe in his book The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (2006), who is now in exile at Oxford University and a hero and intellectual giant of the struggle for justice for the Palestinian people.

What happened last Friday is just the latest terrorist attack upon Palestinian Muslims in their own city, but its significance to the nearly two billion Muslims in the world cannot be underestimated.

If Jerusalem is no ordinary city, then the twin Mosques on the Haram al Sharif – the Al Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock – are no ordinary Mosques.

Before Mecca was liberated by the Muslims in 624, Jerusalem was, because of its significance to the People of the Book, their first direction for prayer.

And it is from the roof of Al-Aqsa, Muslims believe, the Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) ascended to the heavens on the Night Journey, where he met and prayed with earlier Prophets (peace be upon them) like Abraham, Moses, Enoch, Joseph and Jesus, and returned with Revelations.

The sight of fire, smoke, clouds of gas and the sound of guns and grenades erupting from the weapons of foreigners from Brooklyn, London, Paris and Moscow last Friday in such a holy place reverberates mightily.

The sound of silence from the Muslim leaders however, echoes even louder.

Many Muslims will contrast their inability to even raise a finger in defense of the Al-Aqsa, with their hyper-activity, guns and money being spent in attacks upon other Muslims, whilst “Israel” destroys the Arab character of Jerusalem.

And they will be nursing their wrath, to keep it warm…

[George & Gayatri]