Special to WorldTribune.com
The push to codify Al-Aqsa Mosque as a major Islamic holy site doesn’t seem to be catching on in Jordan.
A recent poll published by the University of Jordan found that 60 percent of students surveyed had never even heard of the holy mosque in Jerusalem.
“This survey has proven once again the weak claim by Islamic movements surrounding the attachment and belonging of the Arab community to the Temple Mount,” said Meir Zemach of the Lach Yerushalayim organization, which works to promote Israeli sovereignty of Jerusalem.
Jordan is today in charge of the Waqf, an Islamic trust for controlling and managing the Islamic edifices around and including the Al-Aqsa Mosque and considers itself a “guardian” of the Temple Mount. The Waqf is opposed to any Jewish presence at the complex, insisting the site should be entirely Muslim.
After the embarrassing results of the poll, conducted among 6,000 Jordanian students, the Islamic Council of Jerusalem instituted new rules that require students to pass a course on the “Jordanian Al-Aqsa Mosque.”
Islam’s two holiest cities have been Mecca and Medina since the Muslim religion was founded in the 6th century. Islamic scholars long acknowledged that the Temple Mount in Jerusalem was the holiest site of the Jewish faith and had little religious significance to Muslims.
That changed in the early-to-mid-20th century when “Al Aqsa” became a rallying cry in Islamists’ battle against Zionism.
Zemach said that Jerusalem, and the Temple Mount in particular, are “being used by Islamists as a pretext for acts of terrorism in recent times.”