- Published on Thursday, 09 August 2012 12:44
The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom has issued a report that criticizes Israel's prevention of non-Muslims, "especially Jews", from praying in al-Aqsa mosque, arguing that it prevents religious freedom.
On its website on Thursday 9th August, Israel Channel 7 stated that the report criticizes the Israeli policy that prevents non-Jews from praying at the Temple Mount, also called the 'Al-Aqsa mosque yards'.
The report, which was published in Washington, claims that Israel gives security reasons for not allowing non-Muslims to pray at Al-Aqsa mosque while Israeli policy is also to promote religious freedom. This is despite the Israeli Supreme Court's decision to allow non-Muslims to pray at Al-Aqsa, and Israeli security forces accompanying Jews who wish to pray in the mosque.
The report also criticized Israel's prevention of Christian Missionary Groups from entering the country. They called on the Israeli Interior Ministry to review this decision, saying that, "When Israel doubts that these groups are Christian Missionary Groups, they are prevented from entering."
Israeli newspaper Haaretz also reported recently on the implementation of the law, proposed by Israeli right wing MK Arieh Aldad, that allows for Jews to pray in al-Aqsa mosque at specific times, and considers it as a holy place for all religions, as he claimed.
This new decision would allow Jews to pray and practice their religious freedom at separate times from Muslims.
Aldad claimed, "Temple Mountain is the most sacred place in Israel and Al-Aqsa mosque is a sacred place for Muslims. The Mosque has a special place in the hearts of Muslims and Christians, and there will be certain hours in which Jews would be allowed to pray in it."
The report follows the Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Mohammad Hussein, warning of the possible serious consequences of the Israeli plan to divide al-Aqsa mosque and calling on Arab and Islamic countries to intervene to prevent the mosque being opened to non-Muslims.