Jewish Human Rights on the Temple Mount from an Islamic perspective
Various troubles are inflicted on devout Jews wishing to pray at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem; for example, that 15 devout Jews had had to cover their mouths with their hands and pretend to be speaking on mobile phones in order to pray at the Temple Mount was an incident noted by the U.S. press.
It is a flagrant violation of human rights to seek to prevent someone praying in a place that he regards as “sacred.” The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that everyone has the right to freedom of belief, opinion and religion, and that this freedom includes the right to pray. It is just as natural for a Jew to pray and worship on the Temple Mount as it is for a Muslim to pray at the Kaaba.
The allegation that “Muslims are offended by non-Muslims worshiping on the Temple Mount,” the supposed justification for the restriction on Jews’ right to pray there, has no Qur’anic basis. On the contrary, many verses of the Qur’an contain expressions praising the acts of worship of the People of the Book, Jews and Christians in other words.
For example, God says in the Qur’an;
I seek refuge with God from the accursed satan.
“… There is a community among the People of the Book who are upright. They recite God’s signs throughout the night and they prostrate. They believe in God and the Last Day, and enjoin the right and forbid the wrong, and compete in doing good. They are among the righteous.” (Qur’an, 3:113-114)
Indeed, some non-Muslim tourists visiting mosques in Istanbul, Turkey are so affected by the spiritual atmosphere that they pray in them according to their own beliefs and nobody tries to stop them.
Therefore, for a Muslim, seeing Jews in those holy lands and witnessing them worshiping is a source of joy.
Here, it needs to be made clear that the protests by some Muslims against Jews worshiping there are in no way compatible with the spirit of peace in the Qur’an and Islam. The framework of belief of some Muslims influenced by bigoted ideas causes such non-Qur’anic protests to occur. The only solution to this problem is education through the Qur’an.
The way out of this impasse that prevents devout Jews from praying at the Temple Mount is love and reconciliation between Muslims and the People of the Book, and the construction of the Third Temple on some empty land on the Temple Mount without damaging the existing Islamic sites there. The Temple of Solomon can be rebuilt, exactly as described in the Torah, on empty land on the northern end of the Temple Mount. This glorious place of worship can be opened with the participation of senior level members of all three Abrahamic faiths to the sounds of bells, trumpets and the call to prayer, and we can thus make Jerusalem a ‘City of Peace’ in line with the Hebrew meaning of the name.