Myths and facts about Jerusalem and Temple Mount One of the most popular lies that has become universally accepted as if it was an indisputable truth is the myth about Jerusalem being the third sacred place to Islam. It is quite rare to hear the honest truth, that Jerusalem is the First and Only Holiest place to Judaism! As a matter of fact, Jerusalem is not mentioned at all in the koran, and Muhammad has never been there (perhaps he did not even know about the existence of Jerusalem!). The tale about his dream flight has been related with Jerusalem in a very recent time for political strategy purposes. 1) The Islamic claim to the Temple Mount is very recent - Jerusalem's role as "The Third Holiest Site in Islam" in mainstream Islamic writings does not precede the 1930s. It was created by the grand mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini. Most of the problems surrounding Jerusalem can be traced to two areas of dispute: the political area that asks Jerusalem to be the capital of both Israel and the hypothetic Palestine; the other and most contentious problem is the holiness of Temple Mount to both Judaism and Islam. The role Jerusalem has in the Hebrew Holy Scriptures is well known and not open to debate; however, there are varying opinions on the holiness of Jerusalem, specifically Temple Mount to Islam. Many if not most opinions that counter Islam's claim point out the Jerusalem is not mentioned in the qur'an and did not occupy any special role in Islam until recent political exigencies transformed Jerusalem into Islam's "third holy site". This falsehood was created by the grand mufti, Haj Amin al-Husseini. The mufti knew that nationalist slogans alone would not succeed in uniting the masses against arriving Jewish refugees; he therefore turned the struggle into a religious conflict. He addressed the masses clearly, calling for a holy war. Since the moment when he was appointed to the position of mufti, Haj Amin worked vigorously to raise Jerusalem's status as an Islamic holy centre. 2) The Islamic claim to Jerusalem is false - There were no mosques in Jerusalem in 632 c.e. at the death of Muhammad... Jerusalem was [then] a Christian-occupied city ‒by Dr. Manfred R. Lehmann, writer for the Algemeiner Journal. Excerpts of the article originally published in the Algemeiner Journal, August 19, 1994‒ The muslim "claim" to Jerusalem is allegedly based on what is written in the koran, which although does not mention Jerusalem even once, nevertheless talks of the "furthest mosque" (in Sura 17:1): «Glory be unto Allah who did take his servant for a journey at night from the sacred mosque to the furthest mosque». But is there any foundation to the muslim argument that this "furthest mosque" (al-masujidi al-aqsa) refers to what is today called the Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem? The answer is, NO! In the days of Muhammad, who died in 632 of the Common Era, Jerusalem was a Christian-occupied city within the Byzantine Empire. Jerusalem was captured by caliph Omar only in 638 c.e., six years after Muhammad's death. Throughout all this time there were only churches in Jerusalem, and a church stood on the Temple Mount, called the Church of Saint Mary of Justinian, built in the Byzantine architectural style. The Aqsa mosque was built 20 years after the Dome of the Rock, which was built in 691-692 by caliph Abd el-Malik. The name "Omar mosque" is therefore false. In or around 711, about 80 years after Muhammad died, Malik's son, Abd el-Wahd ‒who ruled in 705-715‒ reconstructed the Christian-Byzantine Church of St. Mary and converted it into a mosque. He left the structure as it was, a typical Byzantine "basilica" structure with a row of pillars on either side of the rectangular "ship" in the centre. All he added was an onion-like dome on top of the building to make it look like a mosque. He then named it El-Aqsa, so it would sound like the one mentioned in the koran. Consequently, it is crystal clear that Muhammad could never have had this mosque in mind when he wrote the koran (if he did so), since it did not exist for another three generations after his death. Rather, as many scholars long ago established, it is logical that Muhammad intended the mosque in Mecca as the "sacred mosque", and the mosque in Medina as the "furthest mosque". So much for the muslim claim based on the Aqsa mosque. With this understood, it is no wonder that Muhammad issued a strict prohibition against facing Jerusalem in prayer, a practice that had been tolerated only for some months in order to lure Jews to convert to Islam. When that effort failed, Muhammad put an abrupt stop to it on February 624. Jerusalem simply never held any sanctity for the muslims themselves, but only for the Jews in their domain. 3) The present Arabic name of Jerusalem is "Al-Quds"... but "Al-Quds" is an abbreviation for "The Jewish Temple"! The Arabic name for Jerusalem is "Al-QuDS" (The Holy), which is abbreviation for another Arabic name used for Jerusalem until the last century, "Bayt al-MaQDeS" (The Holy House), since the 10th century c.e. The name "Bayt al-MaQDeS" is a translation of the Hebrew "Beyt ha-MiKDaSH", which means "House of Holiness", "Temple". But Islam has no Temple, only the Jews did. Thus the Arabic name for Jerusalem makes no reference to Muhammad's alleged trip to Heaven, but rather refers to the Jewish Temple! In fact, it can be seen that significant Islamic interest in the Temple Mount does not precede the Six-Day War in 1967. The greatest lie ever told about Jerusalem ‒by Emanuel A. Winston, a Middle East analyst & commentator; January 7, 2001‒ The 13th century Arab biographer Yakut noted: «Mecca is holy to muslims; Jerusalem is holy to the Jews». The terrorist PLO leader Yassir Arafat and the Arabs claimed the Holy Jewish Temple Mount and Jerusalem based upon one extraordinarily huge lie told over and over again. Here then is a brief history of the religious war against the Jewish people, the Jewish State of Israel and her 3000 year old Eternal Capital, Jerusalem. Would be conquerors invariably issue false claims to provide justification for their march to conquest. The more recent call to "Jihad" against the Jews of Israel was first called in 1947 after the U.N. partition in a "fatwa" (religious ruling) by the Saudis ‒ supposedly to save the Al-Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount from the Jews. Thus, Yassir Arafat, with the full support of the Arab nations, later claimed the Jewish Temple Mount as the third holiest site for Islam - including all of Jerusalem. Therefore, as in the past, this claim has its root in a classic religious war - in addition to other spurious reasons offered. This myth of Jerusalem as Islam's third holiest city based upon the mythical ascension of Muhammad from Al-Aqsa to Heaven has grown exponentially in the recent telling since 1967. When you tell a Big Lie and repeat it often, it achieves credibility and legs of its own. In Islam, telling a lie to infidels for the sake of enlarging your own believers' faith or defeating the infidel is acceptable, even desirable.