Why does a Jew or a group of Jews who decide to pray on the Temple Mount drive Arabs crazy? Why does it seem to touch a super-sensitive chord among Israel’s neighbors? Dr. Mordechai Kedar, who is fluent in Arabic, explains it clearly.
Replacement Theology versus Destruction Theology
The Islamic theology is not merely based on replacing the Jewish religion. It is based on the destruction of the Jewish religion. The chore of the Jewish religion is based on prayer at the Temple Mount – the holiest place on earth to the Jewish people. As the Jewish people become closer to bringing back the age-old Jewish tradition of prayer at the Temple on the temple Mount, the Arabs understand that there religion is faltering.
Therefore, as Jews pray at the Western Wall, that bothers the Arabs. But, when Jews begin approaching the Temple Mount to pray, that drives them berserk. Dr. Kedar explains that it is not so much that they are concerned about the Al Aqsa mosque. It is about the fact that they see the a basic belief of their religion crumbling in front of their eyes. Meaning, it is a purely theological issue that bothers the Arabs. It is not a real estate issue. It is certainly not about equal rights or freedom. Those are just catch words that tug on the heartstrings of liberal minds in the Western world.
Jewish Prayer on the Temple Mount Today
To say that Jews pray on the Temple Mount today is a gross exaggeration. After the Israel Defense Forces liberated the Temple Mount from the occupying Jordanians in the Six Day War of 1967, Israel’s Minister of Defense, Moshe Dayan handed the keys back to the Muslim Waqf. He basically renounced any form of religious control over the site. This was a super respectful move, but a major mistake. Israel should have held on to it’s holiest site, but worked out some form of compromise for the Arabs to pray nearby at what they consider a place of prayer. But there is no holier place to the Jewish people than the Temple Mount. However, Moshe Dayan was not a devout Jew and did not understand the historic opportunity that he had in his hands. Apparently, God thought it was not yet time for full Jewish control of the Holiest site in the world. We still have more work to do.