Monday, August 08, 2011

"Israeli police remove worshipers from Al-Aqsa"

That's the headline in a Ma'an article.

The headline would lead one to believe that Israeli police are wantonly entering the holy site during Ramadan just to randomly and forcibly remove peaceful Muslims just trying to pray. The first three paragraphs of that article reinforces that idea:

Israeli police entered the Jerusalem compound housing Al-Aqsa Mosque on Sunday evening and forcibly removed worshipers, a Ma'an correspondent said.

Israeli police forces raided the Haram Ash-Sharif complex after the Tarawih, the additional extended prayers performed during the holy month of Ramadan after the last obligatory prayer, Ma'an's reporter said.

The police removed from the site a group of around 30 people, who were spending a special time of seclusion in the area where the mosque and Dome of the Rock stand, as part of Ramadan devotion.
Only in the next two paragraphs can you get an inkling that these facts are not so clear:
They had at first refused to leave, the correspondent said, as they wanted to prevent further raids by right-wing Israelis on the compound, which is revered as the third holiest site in Islam.

On Friday night, a group of right-wing Israelis entered the Haram Ash-Sharif where they clashed with local youth.
Ah, so Jews tried to peacefully enter their holiest spot and Arab youths violently stopped them.

(While Ma'an is quick to note that the Al Aqsa Mosque is the third holiest site in [Sunni] Islam, it ignores the sites much more extreme holiness to Jews.)

These same violent Arabs are staying there, not to worship, but to stop any Jews from ascending on the week that is the anniversary of the Temple's destruction, 1,941 years ago tomorrow.

The Israeli police were not attacking worshipers but enforcing a weak form of equality of access to a holy spot. They aren't randomly attacking worshippers but  removing bigoted Muslims who are violently trying to keep Judaism's holiest spot free of Jews.

That's a bit different.