On Friday, November 18, according to Arab websites, 60,000 Muslims visited the Al Aqsa Mosque complex on the Temple Mount. Elder of Ziyon has reminded us here that before the Six-Day War, far fewer Muslims would visit Al-Aqsa or the Temple Mount compound.
Here are pictures of Muslim worshippers on Temple Mount today, and in 1960:
Elder of Ziyon says:
If you walk there on a weekday, it is far less crowded, but there are always hundreds of Muslims that can be seen there.Here’s what it looked like on Thursday, August 11, 1960, under Jordanian rule.
He has more photos from 1960 here.
The visitor, a Christian, noted a few people inside the Al Aqsa mosque, saying that more would show up at prayer times. He was told that the mosque could hold as many as 5,000 people.Even if we assume on holidays that 5,000 people showed up – okay, double it and make it 10,000 – there is no way that there were ever 60,000 people on the Temple Mount at any time under Muslim rule. If there were so many visitors, there wouldn’t be weeds between the pavement stones.During Ramadan, Muslim authorities sometimes claim as many as half a million Muslims on the site, although I don’t think it can fit more than 150,000. Either way, it is indisputable that far more Muslims have visited Al Aqsa under Jewish rule than ever did under Jordanian, Ottoman or any other Muslim (or British) rule. (The entire Muslim population of Jerusalem was 54,000 in 1967.)If the Jews are oppressing Muslims so much, then please explain why far, far more Muslims visit the Temple Mount on an average Friday under Jewish rule than ever visited before 1967?
When Jordan possessed all of the Old City of Jerusalem, before the Six-Day War of 1967, Muslims gave no thought to showing up en masse to pray at Al-Aqsa, as a way of laying claim to the Temple Mount. The Haram al-Sharif, as the Temple Mount is called by the Muslims, already was theirs and, they were sure, it would never be taken from them. That dreamy belief lasted until the Six-Day War of 1967, when three Arab armies – those of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan – tried again to wipe out Israel, to make up for the humiliating Nakba of the 1948 war. The Jewish state managed to defeat all three of those Arab armies and, astonishingly, among its other territorial gains achieved through force of arms, Israel came into possession of the Old City of Jerusalem, which included the Western Wall and the Temple Mount.
Since then, Muslims have been showing up at Al-Aqsa and its compound by the tens of thousands – sometimes as many as 150,000 have arrived at one time (the Muslims even claim that up to half a million worshippers have appeared for Friday Prayers, but this is doubtful) – to pray at Al-Aqsa and outside the Mosque, on the Temple Mount. These massive gatherings of worshippers are religio-political in nature. They serve to stake a claim, plant the flag, declare through the tens of thousands of worshippers kneeling and bowing Mecca-wards in synchrony as they chant their prayers, that the 35-acre Al-Aqsa compound has always been, and always will be, eternally and exclusively Muslim. Israel, and 3000 years of history, beg to differ.