Saudi Twitter users are playing down the importance of Jerusalem for Muslims, insinuating that the Jews should control the Temple Mount.
By Yakir Benzion, United With Israel
Saudi Twitter users have recently been pushing a new line of thought that plays up the importance of Muslims praying towards the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, while downplaying the importance of the Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, Israel National News(INN) reported Sunday.
The controversial campaign appears to be designed to push the message emphasizing the importance of the Saudi cities of Mecca and Medina as the holy places of Islam, and to eliminate the importance of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount for Muslims, thereby decreasing any Islamic authority the Palestinians have over the site.
One of the messages reportedly comes from well-known Saudi cartoonist Fahd al-Jabiri, who tweeted that “the direction of the prayers of the Jews is not important to us, what is important to us is only our homeland.”
Another English-language tweet is by a Moroccan user named Ibtissam Zegiga whose profile says he studies Hebrew and wants peace, and calls on “dear brothers and sisters” to join in the movement.
“This recent Saudi twitter movement believes that there is no importance of the temple mount to Muslims, and the waiting for the [Jewish] third temple. A new era, one of peace.”
According to the report, the Saudi campaign is in response to the Palestinian insults online and chants against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia heard at at demonstrations at the Temple Mount after prayers on Fridays. The Saudis have quietly supported the recent Abraham Accords the established peace between four Arab countries and Israel, and that has infuriated the Palestinians.
The reaction of the Saudis is to emphasize that the Al-Aqsa in Jerusalem is simply a mosque like all mosques, but the direction of prayer for all Muslims no matter where they are on the planet is only towards to the city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia.
One tweet from the account Saudi Arabia In Numbers said Muslims were not religiously obligated to help the Palestinians by fighting for Jerusalem, where the Palestinians constantly emphasize that the Al Aqsa mosque is the “third holiest site in Islam.”
“Our Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, did not leave us with a commandment, even with one word, that Jerusalem must be liberated,” the tweet read, adding, “The only two holy mosques are in [the Saudi cities of] Mecca and Medina.”
“In the end, it is becoming increasingly clear that the main obstacle to achieving the realization of the cry ‘the Temple Mount is in our hands,’ is us ourselves,” Tom Nissani, CEO of the Temple Mount Heritage Foundation, told INN.
“Now the Saudis and Moroccans also emphasize the strong connection of the Jewish people to the Temple Mount and the diminution of its importance to Islam,” Nisani noted. “This is a historic opportunity to expel the hostile Waqf from the Temple Mount and transfer it to full Israeli management that will allow full freedom of access and religion to the mountain in cooperation with the Emirates, Saudis and Moroccans, Jews and non-Jews who will attain shared goals.”