Jul 10, 2017

When Religion Gets Aggressive

It was sublime being in Jerusalem on the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War, including walking through Lion’s Gate on the morning of June 7. This route, taken by IDF troops on their way to unfurling the Star of David atop the Temple Mount, is also the shortest path to Mt. Moriah.

Most of you know what happened next: IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Dayan returned control of the 35-acre plaza to the Palestinians. He wanted, of course, to minimize chances of an Arab uprising, should the Israelis maintain strict control of what Muslims call Haram al-Sharif.

In the decades since Israel’s miraculous victory, we have seen continual weak posture from the West, regarding dealings with the Palestinians.

Among those weaknesses is a failure to respond correctly to the aggression of Islam. Whether that failure is a result of ignorance of the religion, or a wish to avoid conflict, I cannot say.

As an aside, it is part of the human condition to want to avoid conflict. Most take that to the extreme, never confronting evil. Much evil has flourished as a result.

It has always rankled me that half the time when I visit Jerusalem, I cannot visit the Temple Mount. As a Christian pilgrim, wishing to visit a place so central to my faith, I can’t be there…for one reason.

This year, Ramadan was the reason given when I asked a policeman inside the Dung Gate whether the Temple Mount was open. It wasn’t, because we must not offend the sensibilities of Muslims. This acquiescence only emboldens them, obviously.

Think of the irony: Israel fights and wins an existential war, surrounded by Muslim armies. Yet today, Jews and Christians can rarely visit the spiritual center of the universe, and cannot pray on the Temple Mount!

Israel does control East Jerusalem, but Palestinians have virtual free reign in the Old City. Ramadan is the ninth month in the Muslim calendar, and commemorates the alleged first revelation of the Koran to Muhammad. The month-long period of fasting compels practitioners of this works-based religion to push their religious needs on others.

And not only on the Temple Mount, but virtually everywhere else Jews and Christians allow Muslims to impede others’ abilities to practice their faith.

Think of the rare person who has a single opportunity to visit the Holy Land, and wishes to step foot on the Temple Mount. You get to the guard shack that leads up the ramp to the Mount, and find that because Muslim sensibilities have been inflamed (due to Ramadan, or a leaf blowing, or Allah getting up on the wrong side of the bed), Jews and Christians are barred.

I predict that a showdown is coming between East and West over the aggression of Islam. One day, pacifists will not have the luxury anymore of being dhimmis in the face of Islam.

But that will be a human showdown. I look forward to the day the King of kings sets foot on the Temple Mount and ushers in an era of harmony.

Come quickly!