The concept of "separation of mosque and state" is not only foreign to Arab leaders, it is laughable. And for those who consider Abbas a moderate because he does not quite pepper his talks in English with references to the Koran as much as Hamas leaders do (although he does do it in Arabic!), here is a small story from today's Arabic WAFA:
This would be practically a capital crime if President Bush regularly led a public Christian prayer session in the White House for some people. Why does no one blink when it happens elsewhere?Mr. President Mahmoud Abbas, today, led Friday prayers in the presidential headquarters in the town of Ramallah in the West Bank.
Preacher Sheikh Syeda Abida Hussain on Friday condemned Israeli attempts to Judaize the complicated Aqsa Mosque compound, and preventing worshipers from praying in Al Aqsa Mosque.
The President's prayers [were] accompanied by a number of civilian and military officials.