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Sunday, May 20, 2012

For Jerusalem Day, AP pushes a Muslim lie

On the occasion of Jerusalem Day, AP has an article about how Jerusalem is important - to Muslims. (As of this writing, there is no AP article about Israel's celebrations of Jerusalem Day.)

Here is one part of the article that shows how lazy wire service reporters are in researching basic history and believing false Muslim narratives:

After decades of shying away from an ancient pilgrimage route, Muslims are visiting Jerusalem to pray at Islam's third-holiest site, the revered Al-Aqsa mosque....

While Islam's birthplace is in the Arabian Peninsula, Jerusalem is intimately tied with Islam's beginnings. Muhammad's first followers prayed toward Al-Aqsa and only later turned their prayers east to Mecca.
Muslims did indeed pray towards Jerusalem when they were trying to recruit Jews in the new religion around the year 625.  (They changed this prayer direction to Mecca when the Jews refused to join them.) But the Al Aqsa Mosque wasn't built until 690.

AP, by implicitly claiming that the Al Aqsa Mosque was a holy site during Mohammed's time, is denying the Jewish claim to the site and upholding a false interpretation of the Koranic story of Mohammed's mystical night journey, where he says he traveled to "the farthest [al-Aqsa] mosque" on a flying horse, a site not identified as Jerusalem in the Koran itself.

(The classic article on this topic is by Daniel Pipes.)