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Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem. Source: andyross / Adobe Stock.

Is This the World's Most Contested Religious Site? (Video)

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In Jerusalem's Old City lies the Alexa mosque within the Dome of the Rock, a site of profound religious significance. For Jews, it's the Temple Mount, while for Muslims, it's the noble sanctuary. This location stands as one of the most contested religious sites globally, steeped in historical and spiritual significance. Jews hold a deep belief that the first and second temples once graced this ground, while Muslims revere it as the place where Mohammed ascended to heaven. This 37-acre area is under strict Islamic control, prohibiting non-Muslims from prayer or any religious activity. For some, like Rahab Vizier, the restrictions are uncompromising, but opinions vary. A fringe of right-wing Israelis challenges these constraints, while mainstream Jewish visitors increase.

This surge in visitors raises concerns about potential provocations leading to conflicts, exemplified by recent altercations between Muslims and Jews. Despite the tensions, visitors of all faiths are generally welcome. However, religious Jews require an escort from Israeli police and an Islamic guard to ensure they refrain from praying or demonstrating religious activities. Worshippers like Max Frieden, a Russian immigrant, visits daily, hoping for increased access to this sacred site, though not necessarily for the construction of a new temple. His desire is simply to worship freely without impediments. In a city teeming with history and devotion, this site remains at the heart of a profound religious divide, where beliefs collide, and tensions persist.

Top image: Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem. Source: andyross / Adobe Stock.

By Robbie Mitchell

 

Comments

The Al-Aqsa (not Alexa) Mosque is not inside the Dome of the Rock. It's the mosque with the gray dome at the South end of the Temple Mount.

I don’t want to spoil anyone’s beliefs but it seems that the Dome of the Rock is a Christian building. Just go to YouTube > Thomas Alexander-channel > ‘The Origins of Islam - 7.2 The Shrine Archetype’.

According to the ‘Revisionist view of Islam’ the first two centuries of Islam were… Christian!

And the original ‘Muhammad’ probably was conqueror Umar who was a Christian. But later in the late eighth or ninth century, Umar by the Abbasid's was demoted to ‘Caliph’ (‘successor’) because the Abbasid Arab dynasty wanted a ‘Prophet’ more to their liking – a 100% Arab so a totally new story was created. It was Umar who conquered Jerusalem! In seventh century texts, it is said that ‘Muhammad’ was learned in the laws of Moses, i.e. The Torah. So possibly Umar was a Messianic Jew, half Arab half Jew. On coins from Umar’s time, Umar is depicted with the word ‘Muhammad’ and crosses on his crown and staff! ‘Muhammad’ (‘the praised one’) then was a word with which Jesus was titled or named. Common people who paid with these coins associated Umar with the word / name ‘Muhammad’. And so Umar was the first living person who was named ‘Muhammed’.

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Robbie

I’m a graduate of History and Literature from The University of Manchester in England and a total history geek. Since a young age, I’ve been obsessed with history. The weirder the better. I spend my days working as a freelance... Read More

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