Islamic Waqf officials tried removing an Israeli archaeologist because he referred to the Temple Mount as the Temple Mount instead of by its Islamic name, “Haram al-Sharif.”
Officials on the Temple Mount belonging to the Jordanian Islamic Waqf attempted to have Israeli police remove a veteran Israeli archaeologist from the site, according to a report in the Times of Israel.
What peeved the officials of the Waqf, an Islamic religious trust organization that enforces its religious standards on visitors at the site, was that the archaeologist, Dr. Gabriel Barkay, referred to the site as “the Temple Mount” instead of by the Islamic name, Haram al-Sharif.
Barkay had been speaking to a group of UCLA students. Two Waqf members following the tour group protested against his use of the term “Temple Mount,” and after the second time, brought him to the Israeli police to have him removed.
Police Advise Adherence to Islamic Order
The police clarified that there were no legal grounds for ejecting Barkay from the site, but suggested that the archaeologist avoid using the term “Temple Mount” for the duration of the tour.
The visiting students were reportedly troubled after being introduced to the reality of an arrangement on the Temple Mount in which the Waqf exercises its authority to forbid Jews and other non-Muslims from praying at the site.
“Everyone was sort of thrown off by the incident,” said Nima Ostowari, one of the UCLA students, according to Times of Israel. “The man just coming up and saying that we couldn’t use the words ‘Temple Mount’ was, in a way, saying that the Jewish people don’t have a connection to the land, which I think borders on problematic.”
Violent Muslims regularly confront Jewish visitors with verbal – and occasionally physical – abuse, often in large crowds, with the aim of discouraging Jews from setting foot on the holiest site in Judaism. In many cases, Israeli police have had to close the Mount to Jewish visitors due to extreme hostility.
UN Resolution Supports Muslim Claim
The United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (UNESCO) recently passed an absurd resolution, denying the ancient Jewish connection to Jerusalem’s holy sites. The resolution, initiated by the Palestinians, states that the Temple Mount, where the First and Second Holy Temples stood, is holy to Muslims only.
The Temple Mount is Islam’s third-holiest site, second to Mecca and Medina. The UNESCO resolution uses the Muslim name Haram al-Sharif, meaning “Noble Sanctuary,” but not the Hebrew term, Har HaBayit, which translates to “Temple Mount.”
The Waqf was handed back its religious authoritative control over the Temple Mount after the 1967 Six Day War, during which Israel, in a war of self-defense, won back eastern Jerusalem, as well as Judea and Samaria, from Jordan, which held the territory since capturing it from the fledgling State of Israel in 1948.
Jordan’s King Abdullah II recently expressed a desire to crack down on Israeli “extremists” who want to change the status quo on the site.
By: World Israel News Staff