|Cotton Merchant's Gate. Until the 20th century |
Jews came here to pray. Its the closest you can get to
the Foundation Stone without stepping on the mount
It's wrong when Haredim ban progressive women from praying at the kotel in the manner that they wish, and its wrong - for the exact same reason - when Muslims ban non Muslims from entering the Temple Mount compound.
The solution, I think, is for us to fight the intolerable state of affairs at the Temple Mount in the same way that the Women of the Wall have fought discrimination at the kotel.
I am asking and encouraging interested parties to do the following, and to capture it on video. A cash reward - details to be announced - will be paid to the first one to provide a recording of the following exchange exclusively to me at email@example.com. You video should show this:
- Seek to enter the Temple Mount at any of the entry points other than the Moughabi Gate. (I recommend the Iron Gate as its closest to the Kotel Hakatan, which is often frequented by Jews)
- When denied entry. demonstrate that you are not carrying weapons, siddurim or any other religious articles. Show the police that your pockets are empty.
- When denied entry a second time, pronounce the Muslim conversion formula. Say: Ash-hadu an la ilaha ill Allah. (I bear witness that there is no deity but Allah) Then say: Wa ash-hadu ana Muhammad ar-rasullallah. (And I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.)
- Inform the policeman that, as a Muslim, you are entitled to enter the compound, like any other Muslim.
- When denied a third time, ask the policeman why he is forbidding a Muslim from entering the Temple Mount. Capture his reply on video.
- In addition to banning Non Muslims from entering through any gate other than Moughabi, Non-Muslims are banned from praying in a non-Muslim manner, and are not permitted to bring any religious items on to the Mount. That rule must also be challenged, but I prefer to take small steps. After the absurdity of banning non-Muslims from the site has been defeated, we can take on the absurdity of prohibiting their free expression once admitted.
- The Rambam in Iggerot Hashmad rules that the Muslim conversion formula has no power when it is said without sincerity. in any event, all frum Jews accept the first part of it. We all agree that there is no deity other than Allah (Allah is Arabic for God). The second part - And I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah - may not be true, but can be said by a Jew)
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