‘Jihad tourism’ on the rise at Temple Mount

Many of these Muslim tourists — particularly from Turkey — have participated in violence on the Temple Mount.

By Baruch Yedid, TPS

Sources in the Islamic Waqf, which administers the Temple Mount, told TPS on Monday that marriage contracts will now be processed at the Al Aqsa Mosque rather than in a Sharia Court office in eastern Jerusalem.

The aim is to strengthen the Muslim presence on the Temple Mount by bringing Palestinian residents to the mosque.

It was also learned that there has been a significant increase in the number of Muslim delegations visiting the Jerusalem holy site after visits dropped during the coronavirus pandemic.

Waqf officials estimate that 700 Muslims from Turkey, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and South Africa visit the Temple Mount plaza every day.

In eastern Jerusalem, these visits are known as “Jihad Tourism.”

Many of these tourists — particularly from Turkey — have participated in violence on the Temple Mount, as TPS has previously reported based on police sources.

Islamic religious rulings (fatwas) differ on “Jihad Tourism.”

Some fatwas forbid Muslims from visiting the Temple Mount as a tourist because this is considered legitimizing the “Israeli occupation” of the holy site. These rulings tend to be issued by more extremist Muslim figures.

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Other more moderate fatwas allow Muslims to visit Al Aqsa Mosque as a tourist based on freedom of religion.

The Palestinian Authority has previously called on Muslims to coordinate their visits with Ramallah.