A comparison of Jewish and Arab names proves that Jews are indigenous in the land of Israel, Palestinian Arabs came from Arab Countries
by Ezequiel Doiny
Hebrew is only spoken in Israel, a State smaller than New Jersey while Arabic is spoken in most of the 22 States of the Arab League.
Every Jewish boy is circumcised at 8 days. During the circumcision ceremony the Rabbi gives the child his Hebrew name which can be the same or different than his secular name. The most popular Jewish names come from the Torah: Abraham, Isaak, Yaakov, Shlomo, David, Benjamin, etc. The meaning of some of those names are:
Abraham (from the Hebrew “exalted father”)
Aharon (from the Hebrew “light, teaching, enlightening”)
Ariel (from the Hebrew “lion”)
Binyamin (from the Hebrew “son of the right, son of old age”)
David (from the Hebrew “friend”)
Imanuel (from the Hebrew “God is with us”)
Levi (from the Hebrew “attached to me”)
Menachem (from the Hebrew “Comforter”)
Solomon (from the Hebrew “God gives peace”)
Joshua (from the Hebrew “God will save”)
Judah (from the Hebrew “Thank God”)
Joseph (from the Hebrew “May God add”)
Isaac (from the Hebrew “Rejoiced”)
Ezekiel (from the Hebrew “God should strengthen”)
Jacob (from the Hebrew “the heal”)
Rafael (from the Hebrew “God has healed”)
Six centuries after the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and renamed the Kingdom of Judah to Palestine, waves of Arabs invaders colonized the land, although some Muslims adopt the Arabic version of Hebrew names from the Jewish scripture such as Ibrahim (for Abraham) the most popular Muslim names are Arabic:
Amir (from the Arabic “prince” or “ruler”),
Omar (from the Arabic “prosperous”),
Ali (from the Arabic “high and lofty”),
Mohammed, the name of the Prophet of Islam who lived in Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia but never visited Israel (from the Arabic “worthy of praise”),
Malik (from the Arabic “King” a derivative of Allah),
Nasir (from the Arabic “helper”),
Ahmed (from the Arabic “most praiseworthy”),
Jamal (from the Arabic “beauty”),
Hussein (from the Arabic “works his way up to incredible heights”),
Mustafa (from the Arabic “chosen”),
Kareem (from the Arabic “generous),
Yassir (from the Arabic “wealthy”),etc…
Notice that Palestinian Arab officials today carry Arab names:
Yasir Arafat, Mahmoud Abbas, Saeb Erekat, Farouk Kaddoumi, Yasser Abed Rabbo, As’ad Abdel Rahman, Ghasan Shakaa, Riya al-Khudri, Ahmad Qurei, etc.
In the land of Israel not only names of people but names of cities also have Hebrew roots. The word Jerusalem comes from the Hebrew “Yirah-Shalem” (Perfect Fear) founded by King David as described in the Bible.Jerusalem has always been the only spiritual capital of the Jewish People. The spiritual capital of the Arabs is Mecca. Jews face Jerusalem when they pray around the World. Muslims face Mecca, even when they pray in or around Jerusalem.
The Muslims want to rename Jerusalem with the Arab name Al-Quds the same way they renamed Constantinople to Istambul. The Arabs call it “Al-Quds” because they don’t speak hebrew and need to rename it in Arabic. Many other cities that the Arabs claim also have Hebrew names: Hebron (described in the Bible as the city where the Jewish Patriarcs Abraham, Isaac and Yaakov (but not the Muslim Prophet Muhammad) are buried), Belem (from the Hebrew “Bait Lehem”, house of bread))
The name “Judaism” comes from “Judea”, the name of the Kingdom that was located where today is the West Bank named after “Judah” one of the sons of the Jewish Patriarch Jacob.
Until 1948 Jews were a majority of the population in Jerusalem. On December 11, 2017 Amb. Dore Gold wrote in the Jerusalem Center of Public Affairs “By the mid-19th century, the British Consulate in Jerusalem made the following determination, according to this report, which I found in the Public Record Office in Kew, it states that Jews were a majority in Jerusalem, when? already in 1863 – that’s long before Theodor Herzl, before the Britt’s arrived, or Lord Balfour.
See the guy on the right, William Seward, he was Secretary of State of the United States during the American civil war, under President Abraham Lincoln.
When Seward’s term ended, he visited the holy land, he visited Jerusalem. And he wrote a memoir. And in his memoir, it is written, “There is a Jewish majority in Jerusalem.”
see William Seward, Travels Around the World (1873)
Arabs claim Jews have no right to live in East Jerusalem. The same way it would be racist to say Arabs cannot live in West Jerusalem, it is racist to say Jews cannot live in East Jerusalem where they were a majority of the population until they were expelled through ethnic cleansing in 1948 by the Jordanian Arab Legion and to where they returned in 1967. In 1948 British General Glubb Pasha lead the Jordanian Arab Legion to expel all the Jews from Hebron, East Jerusalem and the West Bank. Not only they did ethnic cleansing but they destroyed dozens of ancient synagogues and 60,000 Ancient Jewish Tombstones in the Sacred Ancient Jewish Cemetery of Mount of Olives to try to erase all evidence of Jewish History.
There are 57 Muslim Countries while there is only one small Jewish Country smaller than New Jersey. Islam is a colonizing power. While there is only one Jewish State smaller than New Jersey with a population of about 7 million Jews, Islam has expanded from Saudi Arabia to the 57 countries member states of the Organization for for Islamic Cooperation with an estimated population of 1.6 billion Muslims.
Lyn Julius comments about George Bensoussan’ book Juifs en pays arabes: le grand deracinement 1850 – 1975:
“…Bensoussan, threatens to stand the notion of ”Jewish colonialism” on its head: it is the Jews who lived under Muslim rule who were the true victims of colonialism…By the time the Arab conquerors had swept over the Middle East and North Africa, the Jews had been living in the region for 1,000 years…Under Islam, according to the eighth-century Pact of Omar, indigenous Jews and Christians were permitted to practise as long as they acquiesced to the ”dhimmi” condition of inferiority and institutionalised humiliation…”
“… Bensoussan observes that the Islamic order was built on a ”colonial” notion – submission. The Muslim submits to Allah, the Muslim woman submits to her husband, the non-Muslim dhimmi submits to the Muslim. At the very bottom of the pile is the slave… He produces incontrovertible evidence that, 100 years before Israel was established, most Jews in Arab and Muslim lands lived in misery and fear….Jews were regularly mobbed, robbed, their possessions looted, beaten up on the slightest pretext, or false charge brought by a jealous neighbour. Jews were feminised in the Muslim imagination – cowardly, submissive, unable to stand up for themselves.
“…Bensoussan”s great achievement is not just to blow out of the water the myth of Arab-Jewish coexistence predating the creation of Israel, but unfashionably to place the colonial boot on the Arab foot…A sovereign Jewish state in the land of Israel begins to look like the liberation of a colonized, indigenous people from 14 centuries of subjugation…”
On December 28, 2017 the blogger Elder of Zion described a British Naval Intelligence handbook on Palestine and Jordan from 1943 “People who consume the news today about the Middle East would be very surprised to learn many of the facts brought up in the book. For example, Arabs hardly ever referred to the area as “Palestine,” calling it “Southern Syria.”And the Arabs in the region likewise didn’t call themselves Palestinians, but (at best) Southern Syrians…Arabs from Palestine and Syria were dead set against “Palestine” being separated from Syria…Amazing how a little bit of history can destroy 70 years of lies.”
(see “Palestine and Transjordan” by Naval Inteligence Division)
Not only Arabs in the region didn’t call themselves “Palestinians” but most of the Muslims living in “Palestine” when the state of Israel was declared were Muslim Colonists from other parts of the Ottoman Empire who had been resettled. In my article “The Muslim Colonists” published in Gatestone Institute I wrote “The current Palestinian narrative is that all Muslims in Palestine are natives and all Jews are settlers. This narrative is false. There has been a small but almost continuous Jewish presence in Palestine since the destruction of Jerusalem by Rome two thousand years ago, and, as we will see, most of the Muslims living in Palestine when the state of Israel was declared in 1948 were Muslim colonists from other parts of the Ottoman Empire who had been resettled and living in Palestine for fewer than 60 years.
There are two important historical events usually overlooked in the Arab-Israeli conflict.
One is the use that Muslim rulers made of the jizya (a discriminatory tax imposed only on non-Muslims, to “protect” them from being killed or having their property destroyed) to reduce the quantity of Jews living in Palestine before the British Mandate was instituted in 1922. The second were the incentives by the Ottoman government to relocate displaced Muslim populations from other parts of the Ottoman Empire in Palestine.
Until the late 1800s entire ancient Jewish communities had to flee Palestine to escape the brutality of Muslim authorities. As Egyptian historian Bat Ye’or writes in her book, The Dhimmi:
“The Jizya was paid in a humiliating public ceremony in which the non-Muslim while paying was struck in the head. If these taxes were not paid women and children were reduced to slavery, men were imprisoned and tortured until a ransom was paid for them. The Jewish communities in many cities under Muslim Rule was ruined for such demands. This custom of legalized financial abuses and extortion shattered the indigenous pre-Arab populations almost totally eliminating what remained of its peasantry… In 1849 the Jews of Tiberias envisaged exile because of the brutality, exactions, and injustice of the Muslim authorities. In addition to ordinary taxes, an Arab Sheik that ruled Hebron demanded that Jews pay an extra five thousand piastres annually for the protections of their lives and property. The Sheik threatened to attack and expel them from Hebron if it was not paid.”
The Muslim rulers not only kept the number of Jews low through discriminatory taxes, they also increased the Muslim population by providing incentives for Muslim colonists to settle in the area. Incentives included free land, 12 years exemption from taxes and exemption from military service.
Bat Ye’or continues:
“By the early 1800s the Arab population in Palestine was very little (just 246,000) it was in the late 1800s and early 1900s that most Muslim Colonists settled in Palestine because of incentives by the Ottoman Government to resettle displaced Muslim populations because of events such as the Austro-Hungarian Occupation of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Crimean War and World War 1. Those events created a great quantity of Muslim Refugees that were resettled somewhere else in the Ottoman Empire… In 1878 an Ottoman law granted lands in Palestine to Muslim colonists. Muslim colonists from Crimea and the Balkans settled in Anatolia, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria and Palestine.”
Justin McCarthy, a professor of history at the University of Louisville, writing in his Annotated Map, “Forced Migration and Mortality in the Ottoman Empire,” also notes that there were about five million Muslims displaced due to the Austro-Hungarian occupation of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Crimean War, Balkan wars, the Turkish war of independence and World War I.
Sergio DellaPergola, from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, in his paper “Demography in Israel/Palestine: Trends, Prospects and Policy Implications,” provides estimates of the population of Palestine in different periods. As the demographic data below shows, most Muslims living in Palestine in 1948 when the State of Israel was created had been living there for fewer than 60 years:
1890: Arab Population 432,000
1947: Arab Population 1,181,000
Growth in Arab population from 1890 to 1947: 800,000
The Yazidi in Iraq and the Christian Copts in Egypt are not “settlers” and “occupiers;” neither are the Jews in Israel. They are victims of a common enemy that seems to want a Middle East free of non-Muslims.
Part 2 – The second Wave: During British Mandate Palestine
Daniel Pipes in his book review for Joan Peter’s “From Time Immemorial”:
“Joan Peters came across a “seemingly casual” discrepancy between the standard definition of a refugee and the definition used for the Palestinian Arabs. In other cases, a refugee is someone forced to leave a permanent or habitual home. In this case, however, it is someone who had lived in Palestine for just two years before the flight that began in 1948…
…Miss Peters came across a statement by Winston Churchill that she says opened her eyes to the situation in Palestine. In 1939 Churchill challenged the common notion that Jewish immigration into Palestine had uprooted its Arab residents. To the contrary, according to him, “So far from being persecuted, the Arabs have crowded into the country and multiplied till their population has increased more than even all world Jewry could lift up the Jewish population…Arabs crowded into Palestine? As Miss Peters pursued this angle she found a fund of obscure information that confirmed Churchill’s observation. Drawing on census statistics and a great number of contemporary accounts, she pieced together the dimensions of Arab immigration into Palestine before 1948…Miss Peters concludes that “the Arab population appears to have increased in direct proportion to the Jewish presence…Although the Jews alone moved to Palestine for ideological reasons, they were not alone in emigrating there. Arabs joined them in large numbers…
…Non-Jewish immigrants came from all parts of the Middle East, including Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Transjordan (as Jordan was once known), Saudi Arabia, the Yemens, Egypt, Sudan, and Libya. Thanks to British unconcern, Arab immigrants were generally left alone and allowed to settle in Mandatory Palestine. So many Arabs came, Miss Peters estimates, that “if all those Jews and all those Arabs who arrived in … Palestine between 1893 and 1948 had remained, and if they were forced to leave now, a dual exodus of at least equal proportion would in all probability take place. Palestine would be depopulated once again.”
…What took hundreds of thousands of Arabs to Palestine? Economic opportunity. The Zionists brought the skills and resources of Europe. Like other Europeans settling scarcely populated areas in recent times—in Australia, Southern Africa, or the American West—the Jews in Palestine initiated economic activities that created jobs and wealth on a level far beyond that of the indigenous peoples. In response, large numbers of Arabs moved toward the settlers to find employment.
The conventional picture has it that Jewish immigrants bought up Arab properties, forcing the former owners into unemployment. Miss Peters argues exactly the contrary, that the Jews created new opportunities, which attracted emigrants from distant places. To the extent that there was unemployment among the Arabs, it was mostly among the recent arrivals.
This reversal of the usual interpretation implies a wholly different way of seeing the Arab position in Mandatory Palestine. As C. S.Jarvis, governor of the Sinai in 1923-36, [DP: this corrects the 1984 text, which wrongly ascribed the following quote to Winston Churchill] observed, “It is very difficult to make a case out for the misery of the Arabs if at the same time their compatriots from adjoining states could not be kept from going in to share that misery.” The data unearthed by Joan Peters indicate that Arabs benefited economically so much by the presence of Jewish settlers from Europe that they traveled hundreds of miles to get closer to them.
In turn, this explains why the definition of a refugee from Palestine in 1948 is a person who lived there for just two years: because many Arab residents in 1948 had immigrated so recently. The usual definition would have cut out a substantial portion of the persons who later claimed to be refugees from Palestine.
Thus, the “Palestinian problem” lacks firm grounding. Many of those who now consider themselves Palestinian refugees were either immigrants themselves before 1948 or the children of immigrants. This historical fact reduces their claim to the land of Israel; it also reinforces the point that the real problem in the Middle East has little to do with Palestinian-Arab rights.”
Jerusalem has always been the spiritual capital of Judaism. The Muslims have Mecca, Medina, Najaf, Karbala. Mohammed never visited Jerusalem. There is no evidence Mohammed was describing Jerusalem in his “night journey” story. In 2001 Daniel Pipes wrote in Middle East Forum that “The Jewish connection to Jerusalem is an ancient and powerful one. Judaism made Jerusalem a holy city over three thousand years ago and through all that time Jews remained steadfast to it. Jews pray in its direction, mention its name constantly in prayers, close the Passover service with the wistful statement “Next year in Jerusalem,” and recall the city in the blessing at the end of each meal. The destruction of the Temple looms very large in Jewish consciousness; remembrance takes such forms as a special day of mourning, houses left partially unfinished, a woman’s makeup or jewelry left incomplete, and a glass smashed during the wedding ceremony. In addition, Jerusalem has had a prominent historical role, is the only capital of a Jewish state, and is the only city with a Jewish majority during the whole of the past century. In the words of its current mayor, Jerusalem represents “the purist expression of all that Jews prayed for, dreamed of, cried for, and died for in the two thousand years since the destruction of the Second Temple.”1
What about Muslims? Where does Jerusalem fit in Islam and Muslim history? It is not the place to which they pray, is not once mentioned by name in prayers, and it is connected to no mundane events in Muhammad’s life. The city never served as capital of a sovereign Muslim state, and it never became a cultural or scholarly center. Little of political import by Muslims was initiated there.
One comparison makes this point most clearly: Jerusalem appears in the Jewish Bible 669 times and Zion (which usually means Jerusalem, sometimes the Land of Israel) 154 times, or 823 times in all. The Christian Bible mentions Jerusalem 154 times and Zion 7 times. In contrast, the columnist Moshe Kohn notes, Jerusalem and Zion appear as frequently in the Qur’an “as they do in the Hindu Bhagavad-Gita, the Taoist Tao-Te Ching, the Buddhist Dhamapada and the Zoroastrian Zend Avesta”—which is to say, not once.2
The city being of such evidently minor religious importance, why does it now loom so large for Muslims, to the point that a Muslim Zionism seems to be in the making across the Muslim world? Why do Palestinian demonstrators take to the streets shouting “We will sacrifice our blood and souls for you, Jerusalem”3 and their brethren in Jordan yell “We sacrifice our blood and soul for Al-Aqsa”?4 Why does King Fahd of Saudi Arabia call on Muslim states to protect “the holy city [that] belongs to all Muslims across the world”?5 Why did two surveys of American Muslims find Jerusalem their most pressing foreign policy issue?6
Because of politics. An historical survey shows that the stature of the city, and the emotions surrounding it, inevitably rises for Muslims when Jerusalem has political significance. Conversely, when the utility of Jerusalem expires, so does its status and the passions about it. This pattern first emerged during the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad in the early seventh century. Since then, it has been repeated on five occasions: in the late seventh century, in the twelfth century Countercrusade, in the thirteenth century Crusades, during the era of British rule (1917-48), and since Israel took the city in 1967. The consistency that emerges in such a long period provides an important perspective on the current confrontation…
…Politics, not religious sensibility, has fueled the Muslim attachment to Jerusalem for nearly fourteen centuries; what the historian Bernard Wasserstein has written about the growth of Muslim feeling in the course of the Countercrusade applies through the centuries: “often in the history of Jerusalem, heightened religious fervour may be explained in large part by political necessity.”104 This pattern has three main implications. First, Jerusalem will never be more than a secondary city for Muslims; “belief in the sanctity of Jerusalem,” Sivan rightly concludes, “cannot be said to have been widely diffused nor deeply rooted in Islam.”105 Second, the Muslim interest lies not so much in controlling Jerusalem as it does in denying control over the city to anyone else. Third, the Islamic connection to the city is weaker than the Jewish one because it arises as much from transitory and mundane considerations as from the immutable claims of faith.
Mecca, by contrast, is the eternal city of Islam, the place from which non-Muslims are strictly forbidden. Very roughly speaking, what Jerusalem is to Jews, Mecca is to Muslims – a point made in the Qur’an itself (2:145) in recognizing that Muslims have one qibla and “the people of the Book” another one. The parallel was noted by medieval Muslims; the geographer Yaqut (1179-1229) wrote, for example, that “Mecca is holy to Muslims and Jerusalem to the Jews.”106 In modern times, some scholars have come to the same conclusion: “Jerusalem plays for the Jewish people the same role that Mecca has for Muslims,” writes Abdul Hadi Palazzi, director of the Cultural Institute of the Italian Islamic Community.107
The similarities are striking. Jews pray thrice to Jerusalem, Muslims five times daily to Mecca. Muslims see Mecca as the navel of the world, just as Jews see Jerusalem. Whereas Jews believe Abraham nearly sacrificed Ishmael’s brother Isaac in Jerusalem, Muslims believe this episode took place in Mecca. The Ka‘ba in Mecca has similar functions for Muslims as the Temple in Jerusalem for Jews (such as serving as a destination for pilgrimage). The Temple and Ka‘ba are both said to be inimitable structures. The supplicant takes off his shoes and goes barefoot in both their precincts. Solomon’s Temple was inaugurated on Yom Kippur, the tenth day of the year, and the Ka‘ba receives its new cover also on the tenth day of each year.108 If Jerusalem is for Jews a place so holy that not just its soil but even its air is deemed sacred, Mecca is the place whose “very mention reverberates awe in Muslims’ hearts,” according to Abad Ahmad of the Islamic Society of Central Jersey.109
This parallelism of Mecca and Jerusalem offers the basis of a solution, as Sheikh Palazzi wisely writes:
separation in directions of prayer is a mean to decrease possible rivalries in management of Holy Places. For those who receive from Allah the gift of equilibrium and the attitude to reconciliation, it should not be difficult to conclude that, as no one is willing to deny Muslims a complete sovereignty over Mecca, from an Islamic point of view -notwithstanding opposite, groundless propagandistic claims – there is not any sound theological reason to deny an equal right of Jews over Jerusalem.110
To back up this view, Palazzi notes several striking and oft-neglected passages in the Qur’an . One of them (5:22-23) quotes Moses instructing the Jews to “enter the Holy Land (al-ard al-muqaddisa) which God has assigned unto you.” Another verse (17:104) has God Himself making the same point: “We said to the Children of Israel: ‘Dwell securely in the Land.’” Qur’an 2:145 states that the Jews “would not follow your qibla; nor are you going to follow their qibla,” indicating a recognition of the Temple Mount as the Jews’ direction of prayer. “God himself is saying that Jerusalem is as important to Jews as Mecca is to Moslems,”111 Palazzi concludes.
His analysis has a clear and sensible implication: just as Muslims rule an undivided Mecca, Jews should rule an undivided Jerusalem.”
S.M.Zwemer, a respected American Christian missionary who lived in Muslim Countries for many years , in his book “Mohammed or Christ, an account of the rapid spread of Islam…” wrote in 1915 “Mecca has not loss its importance in the passing of the centuries…it is still the heart of Islam…Mecca is not only the religious capital of the cradle of the Muslim faith and the birth place of their prophet but it is the central shrine of Islam towards which for centuries prayers and pilgrimages have gravitated. The whole narrative… both in the Koran and in tradition, finds in Mecca its real environment. Adam and Eve meet each other in Mount Arafah. Eve lies buried in Jiddah. God himself appointed the place for the Kaaba, and the stone is still sacred on which Abraham stood when he erected the building!…seen from an airplane, there would be concentric circles of living worshippers covering an even widening area, and one would also see stretched out vast areas of moslem cemeteries with every grave built towards the sacred city…Mohammed …reasserted the sanctity of the black stone that “came down from heaven” ; he ordained that everywhere throughout the World the Moslem should pray looking towards the Kaaba, and enjoined him to make the pilgrimage thither. Mecca is to the Moslem what Jerusalem is to the Jew.”
On May 2016 blogger Elder of Zion wrote “According to Shia Islam, Najaf and Karbala are holier than Jerusalem with some even claiming that Karbala is holier than Mecca and Medina…Sufi Muslims have a completely different list of top holiest sites.
Describing the Al Aqsa Mosque as the third holiest site in Islam is simply wrong. At best, it is the third holiest site in Sunni Islam. (You can also argue about whether Mohammed was describing Jerusalem in his “night journey” story – it is not at all clear that he was.)…”
Muslims have 4 holy cities, why can’t Jews have one? Jerusalem has always been the only spiritual capital of Judaism, the Muslims have Mecca, Medina, Najaf, Karbala.
“Mecca is a city in Saudi Arabia…As the birthplace of Muhammad and the site of Muhammad’s first revelation of the Quran (specifically, a cave 3 km (2 mi) from Mecca), Mecca is regarded as the holiest city in the religion of Islam…”
“The Hajj (Arabic: “pilgrimage”) is an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, and a mandatory religious duty for Muslims that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by all adult Muslims who are physically and financially capable of undertaking the journey, and can support their family during their absence…there were approximately 2,000,000 pilgrims in 2015…”
Medina is a city in Saudi Arabia. The city contains al-Masjid an-Nabawi (“the Prophet’s Mosque”), which is the burial place of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, and is the second-holiest city in Islam after Mecca.
Medina was Muhammad’s destination after his Hijrah from Mecca, and became the capital of a rapidly increasing Muslim Empire, first under Muhammad’s leadership, and then under the first four Rashidun caliphs, Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, and Ali. It served as the power base of Islam in its first century where the early Muslim community developed. Medina is home to the three oldest mosques, namely the Quba Mosque, al-Masjid an-Nabawi, and Masjid al-Qiblatayn (“the mosque of the two qiblas”). Muslims believe that the chronologically final surahs of the Quran were revealed to Muhammad in Medina, and are called Medinan surahs in contrast to the earlier Meccan surahs…
Medina’s importance as a religious site derives from the presence of al-Masjid an-Nabawi. The mosque was expanded by the Umayyad Caliph Al-Walid I. Mount Uhud is a mountain north of Medina which was the site of the second battle between Muslim and Meccan forces.
The first mosque built during Muhammad’s time is also located in Medina and is known as the Quba Mosque. It was destroyed by lightning, probably about 850 CE, and the graves were almost forgotten. In 892, the place was cleared up, the graves located and a fine mosque built, which was destroyed by fire in 1257 CE and almost immediately rebuilt. It was restored by Qaitbay, the Egyptian ruler, in 1487.
Masjid al-Qiblatain is another mosque also historically important to Muslims. It is where the command was sent to Muhammad to change the direction of prayer (qibla) from Jerusalem to Mecca according to authentic Hadith…”
“…Though not a part of Hajj, pilgrims may choose to travel to the city of Medina and the Al-Masjid an-Nabawi (Mosque of the Prophet), which contains Muhammad’s tomb. The Quba Mosque and Masjid al-Qiblatayn are also usually visited”
“Najaf is a city in Iraq ….Najaf is considered sacred by both Shi’a and Sunni Muslims. Najaf is renowned as the site of the tomb of Ali ibn Ab? Talib also known as “Imam Ali”, the First Imam of the Shiites, the cousin and son-in-law of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, whom the Shi’a consider to be the righteous caliph. Sunnis consider Ali the fourth Rashidun (rightly guided Caliphs). The city is now a center of pilgrimage from throughout the Shi’a Islamic world. It is estimated that only Mecca and Medina receive more Muslim pilgrims. As the burial site of Shi’a Islam’s second most important figure, the Imam Ali Mosque is considered by Shiites as the third holiest Islamic site”
“…The Secretariat General of the Holy Shrine of Imam Ali in Najaf province assured that the number of the pilgrims who visited the province on Eid al-Fitr reached up to million visitors.
The Director of the Media Department within the Holy Shine’s administration stated to IraqiNews.com “The number of the visitors who headed to the holy shrine of Imam Ali in Najaf during the Eid al-Fitr occasion reached more than a million.”
“Karbala is a city in Iraq….The city, best known as the location of the Battle of Karbala (680), is believed to be the holiest city for Shia Muslims before Mecca, Medina and the noble sanctuary in Jerusalem because tens of millions of Shia Muslims visit the site twice a year, which is more than the total Shia visitors of Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem combined (see list of largest peaceful gatherings in history). Karbala is home to the Imam Hussein Shrine. Karbala is famous as the site of the martyrdom of Hussein ibn Ali (Imam Husain), and commemorations are held by millions of Shias annually to remember it. Karbala is considered sacred by Shias and rivals Mecca as a place of pilgrimage…”
“The Arbaeen Pilgrimage is the largest religious gathering that is held every year. It is held at the end of the 40-day mourning period following Ashura, the religious ritual for the commemoration of the Prophet Mohammad’s grandson Hossein ibn Ali’s death in 680. Arba’een marks a “pivotal event in history” in which the pilgrims make their journey to Karbala on foot, where Husayn ibn Ali, the third Imam of Shia, and his army were killed and beheaded by the army of Yazid I. Some of the pilgrims make their journey from cities as far as Basra, about 500 km away by road…Over 19 million people from 40 countries of the world participate in this occasion…”
Despite having other cities holier than Jerusalem Ayatollah Khamenei wrote a book proclaiming himself “The flagbearer of Jihad to liberate Jerusalem.” On August 11,2016 Newsmax reported “: “Supreme ruler Ayatollah Khamenei of Iran has published a book on how to destroy Israel, arguing that his position is based on “well-established Islamic principles.”
The 416-page book is titled Palestine. An item on the books’ back cover describes Khamenei as “The flagbearer of Jihad to liberate Jerusalem.” The book explains that land that falls under Muslim rule, even briefly, can never again be ceded to non-Muslims, the Post reported. “What matters in Islam is ownership of a land’s government, even if the majority of inhabitants are non-Muslims.”
Khamenei also argues that Israel is a special case because the nation is a loyal “ally of the American Great Satan,” meaning the United States; because it has warred against Muslims on many occasions; and because Israel occupies Jerusalem, which Khamenei describes as “Islam’s third Holy City.”
On May 9,2017 Hotair reported that Erdogan declared “Each day that Jerusalem is under occupation is an insult to us”
Islamic Nations may be divided in other issues but the conquest of Jerusalem is a common cause. The Charter of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation signed by its 57 Islamic Members declares:
“In the name of Allah, the most Compassionate, the most Merciful, We the Member States of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, determined:
…to support the struggle of the Palestinian people, who are presently under foreign occupation, and to empower them to attain their inalienable rights, including the right to self-determination, and to establish their sovereign state with Al-Quds Al-Sharif (JERUSALEM) as its capital, while safeguarding its historic and Islamic character, and the holy places therein…
…The Headquarters of the General Secretariat shall be in the city of Jeddah until the liberation of the city of Al-Quds (JERUSALEM) so that it will become the permanent Headquarters of the Organisation…”
Through its history of conquest, Islamic armies invaded many nations. In their process of colonization, Islam erased native cultures and converted holy places into Mosques. Holy Sites stolen by Islamic Armies in the past continue to be occupied today. Muslims have the same claim to Temple Mount as the Spanish Conquistadors had of Mayan Pyramids. It is time for modern, moderate Muslim regimes to repent for Islam’s violent past. The same way that today Germany apologizes for the crimes of the Nazis, the same way that today Spain apologizes for the Inquisition, the Muslims today must apologize for the crimes of Islam and return stolen holy sites to whom they belong.
Below is a list of non-Muslim Holy Sites, sites stolen by Islamic armies:
1. Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Holiest site for Judaism. Site of the two Jewish Temples. The Muslims built two mosques there.
2. Cave of the Patriarchs in Hevron. The Jewish Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are undeniably buried there. The Muslims built a mosque there.
3. There are 2000 Hindu Temples in India that were converted to mosques. During the reign of Aurangzeb, tens of thousands of temples were desecrated: their facades and interiors were defaced and their divine images looted. In many cases, temples were destroyed entirely; in numerous instances mosques were built on their foundations, sometimes using the same stones. Among the temples Aurangzeb destroyed were two that are most sacred to Hindus, in Varanasi and Mathura. In both cases, he had large mosques built on the sites.
4. The Babri Mosque in Ayodhya (North India) was built on the site of a Hindu Temple. In 1992 a mob of 150,000 Hindus razed the mosque. Nobel Laureate writer V. S. Naipaul has praised the act for “reclaiming India’s Hindu heritage”.
5. The great temple of Keshava Rai at Mathura was one of the most magnificent hindu temples ever built in India. The Temple was demolished in 1670 and on its site a mosque was built.
6. The Somnath Temple in India: destroyed by Muslim invaders and converted into a mosque. In AD 1025, Mahmud destroyed and looted the temple, killing over 50,000 people who tried to defend it. After independence, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel pledged on November 13, 1947, that the temple would be reconstructed. The mosque was not destroyed but carefully relocated. In 1951 Dr. Rajendra Prasad performed the consecration ceremony. The temple construction was completed on December 1, 1995. The then President of India, Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma, dedicated it to the nation.”
7. Kashi or Varanasi is the most sacred site in Hinduism and the worship of Lord Shiva as Vishveshvara goes back to ancient times. The temple was demolished several times by Muslim invaders, and was reconstructed again and again by Hindu kings. A mosque was built which still stands.
8. A surge in church-mosque conversion followed the 1974 Turkish Invasion of Cyprus. Many of the Orthodox churches in Northern Cyprus have been converted to mosques.
9. Hundreds of Greek Orthodox churches in Turkey were converted into mosques. Hagia Sophia, the seat of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, was converted into a mosque, and then, in order not to return it to the Christians, into a museum where until today Christians are forbidden to pray.
Ezequiel Doiny is author of “Obama’s assault on Jerusalem’s Western Wall”