Muslim Moderate Urges `Shared' Jerusalem Holy Site
Says denying Jewish claims to Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif also denies its role in Islam.
BY: Elaine Ruth Fletcher
Islamic history also includes the traditional Muslim principle of ``sharing Jerusalem'' even after the city became sacred to Islam as the place from which the 6th century prophet Mohammed was believed to have ascended to heaven, the scholar said.
``When the Muslim Caliph Omar conquered Jerusalem (in 638 A.D.), a ban on the entry of Jews to the city had been enforced for six centuries, from the time of the Roman Emperor Hadrian to the Byzantine period,'' he said.
``This was regarded as unbearable by Omar, who ordered that 70 Jewish families from Tiberias should be relocated to the holy city and settled in the southwest quarter of the area bordering the Temple Mount, exactly the same area as the Jewish quarter today.''
Palazzi blamed the current conflict over the mount and mosque site on what he called the ``politicization'' of Islam over the past century.
And he said he saw no reason why Jews couldn't be permitted to pray on the mount, in coordination with Muslim authorities, or ultimately even to build another temple alongside the existing Islamic structures.
``I have heard some rabbis say that when a third temple is built, it will be built with everyone cooperating, and no one opposing,'' he said.
``If the issue is used to perpetuate the conflict, then there won't be a solution. But if it is understood that the presence of a temple close to the mosque is something that enriches both religions, when this mentality is present, finding a practical solution is not difficult," Palazzi said.