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October 27, 2016 / 25 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘mosque’

Marseille Synagogue Becomes Mosque, French Muslims Want Churches Converted As Well

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

The Or Thora synagogue on Rue Saint-Dominique in Marseille, established in 1962, has been purchased by the Al Badr organization, which runs a small mosque on the same street, The Local reported. The sale is under review by the city council and it is expected that the new mosque will open for business in a few months.

Zvi Ammar, President of the Marseille Israelite Consistory, said the move was positive. “For the past 20 years or so we have seen the shift of the Jewish community to other neighborhoods,” he said, adding, “We all have the same God, the main thing is for this to proceed in harmony.”

In January, Ammar said that the Jews of Marseille should avoid wearing their yarmulkes on the street. So much for harmony.

Marseille’s Jewish population has left the city center for the suburbs in recent years, and the Or Thora synagogue sometimes has fewer than ten worshippers at services. Meanwhile, the mosque down the street has been full to capacity during Friday services, with people forced to pray outside on the pavement.

Marseille’s 70,000 Jews are among Europe’s largest Jewish communities. Out of the city’s two million residents, an estimated 220,000 are Muslim.

France has an estimated 2,500 mosques, with another 300 under construction, but demand is even higher, according to some Muslim leaders. Dalil Boubakeur, Rector of the Grand Mosque in Paris, told Europe1 radio that some of France’s 40,000 churches should be turned into mosques. He said, “It’s a delicate issue, but why not?”

Why, indeed?

David Israel

Jordan Adds to Western Wall Mixed-Gender Prayer Controversy

Sunday, February 7th, 2016

Jordan is demanding that Israel “return jurisdiction” over part of the Western Wall to the Islamic Waqf controlled by Amman.

The demand followed the decision by the Israeli government last week to set aside the southernmost section of the Wall, known as Robinson’s Arch, as a place for mixed-gender prayer. Jordan refers to the same place as the “Umayyad Palaces.”

Jordan contends that the decision violates the jurisdiction of the Waqf Islamic Authority over Jerusalem’s holy places, an agreement made between the two countries in 1967.

On Saturday, Jordanian Minister of Communications and Media Affairs Muhammad Momani “urged Israel not to meddle with the Umayyad Palaces area and to ensure its return under the jurisdiction of the Jordanian Jerusalem Waqf Department, which is the entity responsible for administering and safeguarding the site,” the Jordan news agency Petra reported in the Jordan Times.

“Israeli occupation forces have recently settled internal differences among followers of different Jewish sects at the expense of the area of the Umayyad Palaces,” Petra said.

“Israeli occupation forces had decided to expand a platform to allow more Jewish worshippers into the area. The violation against the Umayyad Palaces is the latest in a long series of assaults and violations against the site. Occupation forces have carried out several excavation works there, destroying Arab and Islamic heritage,” Petra added on behalf of Jordan’s government.

Israel’s government approved plans last week to expand the Western Wall plaza in order to accommodate the increasing demands for non-Orthodox prayer at the site. A small wooden platform at Robinson’s Arch has already been set up for mixed-gender prayer.

Jordan’s lamentation over Israeli “occupation” is a bit spurious, given the Hashemite tenure itself as custodian over parts of Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria lasted only from 1948 to 1967 – a total of 31 years.

Jerusalem has long since been reunited and whole for a period much longer than that: June 2017 will mark half a century since the restoration of the Temple Mount, the Western Wall and elsewhere in Jerusalem and the Land to the Jewish State of Israel.

However, to be fair, the dismay of the Hashemite Kingdom over the compromise over non-Orthodox prayer allowed by the government is also reflected among some Muslims in Israel and ironically is shared with some observant Jews locally and globally as well.

Mixed-gender prayer has never been allowed at the Western Wall – in fact, historically it was not allowed in either Holy Temple. In Torah law, women are not counted among a minyan (quorum) of men.

Not that this grants validity to the Jordanian claim of authority and hopes to win Waqf control of the site, which is more of a simple attempt at another political territory grab.

The Umayyad Palaces were two buildings which archaeologists say were built by the Umayyads who ruled for a period of 100 years in the late seventh century. They were destroyed in an earthquake and lay buried until they were unearthed by Israeli archaeologists in a 1970s excavation, creating a public history park to educate all.

The Western Wall is part of Judaism’s most sacred site on the planet, the Temple Mount, located alongside. The site is also the third holiest in Islam. The Wall is part of the outer retaining wall of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, its sole material remnant that has survived throughout the centuries. In Islam, it is believed that the prophet Mohammed rose up to Heaven on his mighty steed el-Buraq from a site near the Western Wall.

In Judaism, it is believed that somewhere on the grounds of the Temple Mount lies the site of the “Holy of Holies” of the two Holy Temples of Jerusalem – the inner sanctum where the High Priest (Kohen Gadol) communed with G-d Himself during sacrifices and services. No one other than the Kohen Gadol was ever allowed to enter this place, and to this day countless rabbis forbid Jews to tread upon the Temple Mount grounds for fear of erroneously entering this area.

The Israeli government does not allow Jews to pray within the Temple Mount in accordance with a status quo agreement with the Jordanian Waqf. Within the Temple Mount grounds are built the Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, where Muslims are allowed to pray.

Hana Levi Julian

Jerusalem Silences Plan to Turn Down the Volume of Mosque Loudspeakers

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

Jerusalem officials have quietly shelved a previously announced plan to turn down the sound from Muslim mosque loudspeakers in some eastern Jerusalem areas and give Jews, and some Arabs, a bit of peace and quiet.

The $80,000 project won screaming headlines eight month ago, when officials said the ear-splitting screams of the “muezzin” in mosques, starting in the pre-dawn hours, would be toned down in certain eastern Jerusalem areas, such as Jabel Mukhaber, between Talpiot and the Old City.

Anyone who has visited the Western Wall or the Patriarchs’ Cave (Maharat HaMacpelah) in Hebron know that the wails from the mosques are turned up full volume, even, if not especially, when Jews are praying.

The plan was supposed to include measuring the sound levels of the loudspeakers, which often blast far beyond legal limits, and to ask the clerics to turn the loudspeakers in the direction of the centers of Arab villages.

Loudspeakers in the Arab neighborhood of Beit Tzfafa, in southern Jerusalem, were discovered to be turned up during the escalation of the recent wave of terror.

The clerics also were asked to buy new loudspeakers with volume controls, and Jerusalem workers were to make their rounds and make sure the noise level is more tolerable.

Not surprisingly, Muslim clerics were furious and called the idea a “shame and disgrace.”

The city has explained that the plan has been “temporarily” shelved because the money is needed to build 23 new rooms in kindergartens.

The municipality added that after the Ministry of Education transfers more money to the city, the funds for the project will be returned for general use.

Meanwhile, Jerusalem residents can use ear plugs.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

France Shuts Down 3 ‘Radical’ Mosques Under Emergency Laws

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

The French government has shut down three mosques under emergency laws passed in the wake of the Nov. 13 terrorist massacre in Paris.

Those laws gave police sweeping new authority until February 2016, despite rights groups and politicians who expressed concerns about reports of police abuses of power.

“Measures to close down mosques on the grounds of radicalization … have never been made by any previous government, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve noted in his briefing with media on Wednesday.

He added that police have carried out 2,235 raids across France since the massacre; 334 weapons were seized, including 24 military-grade assault weapons.

The criticism was dismissed by the Interior Minister, however. “It is terrorism, not the state of emergency, which threatens freedoms,” said Cazeneuve.

The multi-site attack by Da’esh (ISIS) operatives and suicide bombers claimed the lives of 130 victims and wounded 350 others.

One of the mosques that was closed is located in the eastern Paris suburb of Lagny-sur-Marne, according to France 24. During the process, nine people were placed on house arrest. Another 22 were banned from leaving the country.

“Police searches [there] turned up a 9mm caliber pistol, a hidden hard drive, documents and files on jihad and a life insurance policy subscribed in 2012,” Cazeneuve said, according to the RFI news outlet.

“The Council of Ministers will now dissolve these three pseudo-cultural organizations which used clandestine prayer rooms on the premises,” he added. Mosques in Lyon (in central eastern France) and Gennevilliers (near Paris) were also closed on grounds of spreading radicalism as well.

Hana Levi Julian

Canadian Synagogue Invites Muslims in after Mosque Firebombed

Sunday, November 29th, 2015

(JNi.media) The Beth Israel synagogue in Peterborough, Central Ontario, Canada, invited Muslim worshipers at the Masjid al-Salaam mosque to pray in their building, after it had been firebombed on Nov. 14 by arsonists, Canadian media reported. The damage to the mosque was estimated at $80 thousand.

On Saturday night, the synagogue’s website published an announcement stating, “Yesterday, Friday November 27, Beth Israel became a house of worship for the local Muslim community.” On Friday, Beth Israel hosted two prayer sessions for local Muslims and a potluck dinner.

Beth Israel Synagogue president Larry Gillman told CBC, “As Canadians we have to stick together. It’s not about religion, it’s not about race. Canadians do this.” According to CBC, as soon as Gillman heard about the fire at the mosque, he reached out to his synagogue’s board of directors to find out about sharing space with the Muslim congregation. They voted unanimously in favor. “I hope this can be some kind of small example to others,” Gillman said.

Kenzu Abdella, the president of the Kawartha Muslim Religious Association, told CBC, “In the beginning, it was a shock. Within 24 hours, that changed. They walked to the mosque and told us that whatever we need, they will support us. Even though it came out of a tragedy, we are working together.”

The invitation to the synagogue was the first meeting between Abdella and Gillman. Since then, Gillman has given a speech at the Muslim Institute of Toronto and his synagogue has become part of an interfaith group working to sponsor Syrian refugees to come to Canada.

“We have more similarities than differences,” Abdella told CBC. “We have so much in common — the details of worship and the ceremonies. Even the stories we hear are similar. At the end of the day, it’s a house of God.”


Jerusalem City Hall Tells Mosques to Turn Loudspeakers Down and Around

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015

In the still of the night, Jerusalemites hear the sonorous Arabic call to prayers.

And another. And it keeps going on and on, until the night — and day — is filled with the blare of the Arabic wails, at least in Jewish neighborhoods situated cheek-and-jowl with Muslim neighbors. In the past, the loudspeakers weren’t so loud.

But the long-simmering battle over the loudspeakers of the mosques is heating up in the holy city and now is approaching the boiling point.

Imams in the Arab neighborhoods of Jabel Mukabar and Sur Baher were asked to direct speakers in their mosques pointed towards the center of their own neighborhoods, which have become strongholds for terrorist cells and lone wolf Arab attackers.

In addition, neighborhood representatives were told to obtain new speakers with adjustable volume; this coming after the broadcast level was measured at or near the allowable limit.

Police have also begun to track the sermons of imams in neighborhood mosques to monitor the clerics for incitement to violence.

“This is a disgrace, and an attempt to damage the values of the religion,” claimed Jabel Mukabar activist, Mehdi Akram.

The demand to order the mosques to change the direction of their speakers and for the vehicles to obtain those with adjustable volumes followed complaints from the residents of the Armon HaNatziv neighborhood.

The residents of the Jewish neighborhood hear the wail of Islam’s call to prayer at all hours of the day and night, since Muslims are called to prayer around the clock, five times a day. The residents of the Jewish neighborhood say the Muslim loudspeakers have been wailing particularly loudly ever since the start of the current wave of terror.

Environmental Protection Department personnel sent to measure the noise level at the mosques under an initial pilot test told the Hebrew-language Ynet news site they found abnormal intensities in the neighborhood. The noise level in the Armon HaNatziv neighborhood is “absolutely unbearable” when all three mosques begin to call for prayer from Jabel Mukabar at four o’clock in the morning, Ynet reported.

Residents of the Arnona neighborhood made similar complaints about the five mosques operating in Sur Baher.

Several months ago, Jerusalem city hall approved a comprehensive program for testing the noise levels from 200 mosques in Arab neighborhoods in the city. The cost of the pilot, which tested mosques in Jabel Mukaber and Sur Baher, was approximately NIS 200,000.

Hana Levi Julian

Netanyahu Says Police Removed Arab MK from Temple Mount

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu stated Wednesday afternoon that police removed Arab Knesset Member Basel Ghattas from the Temple Mount this morning in line with his order barring legislators from visiting the holy site.

Ghattas, a Christian Arab from Nazareth, sneaked past guards who did not notice he was an MK. After he sat foot near the Al Aqsa mosque compound, cameras were whipped out to film him stating that Netanyahu and the government of Israel have no sovereignty over the Temple Mount and stop him from visiting.

Police later were seen removing him.

Ghattas is a Christian, but that has not prevented him from trying to show off to Muslims constituents how concerned he is that Jews are allowed to visit.

Netanyahu said after Ghattas’ visit:

The Temple Mount has been quiet for two weeks. We are making every effort to maintain this quiet, but it would seem that someone is disturbed by this.

MK Ghattas went up to the Temple Mount, went to the Al-Aqsa Mosque. I assure you he did not do it in order to pray, he did it solely for the purpose of provocation, only to inflame the situation.

In accordance with my general directive, the police moved him away. I will not let any Knesset member or minister ignite the Temple Mount.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/netanyahu-says-police-removed-arab-mk-from-temple-mount/2015/10/28/

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