Here is Part 3 of the series, Zero-Sum Historiography: The Palestinian Assault upon History. Reprinted by permission of Paul and from The Bayview Review. See the links at the end for direct access to the rest of the series. This is an important series as Palestine and the myths and misunderstandings around it propagated by the mainstream media (MSM) and the Western intelligentsia (to use an oxymoron) are rampant.
“Islam’s Third Holiest Site”
Every day we are reminded by our media, our intellectuals, our politicians, and (most fervently of all) by our church leaders that Jerusalem, al-Quds, is “Islam’s Third Holiest Site.” And we are given to understand by these same authorities that this consideration is somehow a sound basis for a claim by the Arabs to a sovereign State of Palestine, with its capital at al-Quds.
Those who have not looked closely at Muslim attitudes towards other religions may be puzzled that Muslims would not concede that their Third Holiest Site (on a long list whose length no one truly knows) might, at least out of courtesy, co-exist in the vicinity of the Only Holy Site of the Jews. This zeal for al-Quds becomes more problematical still when one discovers in the pages of Islam’s own Holy Book that Muhammad, disappointed by the Jews’ rejection of his claims to inspired prophecy, turned his backs upon the Jews and their history.
In the early days of his mission (610 CE until 623), Muhammadestablished it as a Muslim duty to pray exclusively towards Jerusalem, and he ordered a Qibla, a mark pointing in the correct direction, to be set in every mosque; but then he changed the policy and the Qibla was re-oriented towards the Kaaba in Mecca. Mainstream Islamic teaching today is that when the Qibla moved to indicate Mecca, Jerusalem did not cease to be an Islamic site. This conforms to the fundamental premise that nothing that has ever belonged to Islam can ever be considered surrendered.