“The Muslim Schism Over Jerusalem” (JCPA).
Amid the systematic destruction of mosques and holy places in the Arab world, it is precisely Israel’s responsibility for security at the mosque compound on the Temple Mount that protects the mosques there from a similar fate.
The Sunni controversy between the Salafis – from whom Al-Qaeda emerged – and the Muslim Brotherhood is about what constitutes the center of Islam. Whereas the Salafis view the Arabian sites of Hijaz and Mecca as the center of the faith, the Muslim Brotherhood locates it at the ancient Cairo Al-Azhar University.
Because Cairo has no special religious holiness, the Brotherhood regards Jerusalem as their religious center. From the Salafis’ standpoint, the Muslim Brotherhood’s enhancement of the special status of Jerusalem poses a danger to the status of Mecca. Jerusalem was at the bottom of agenda for the Prophet and his successors, and Mecca was at the top.
The Palestinian Authority is the weakest force in the Al-Aqsa plaza. In visiting the site recently, the PA minister of religious affairs was almost lynched.The notion of a “conflict over Jerusalem” immediately brings an association with the Arab-Israeli conflict over the Holy City.
Surprisingly, however, amid the systematic destruction of mosques and holy places in the Arab world, it is precisely Israel’s responsibility for security at the mosque compound on the Temple Mount that protects the mosques there from a similar fate.
To understand the nature of the danger to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, one needs to understand the disputes within the world of Islam over the mosque and over the importance of Jerusalem in general.
Islam is divided into the Shia and the Sunna, but the Sunna is also divided into two main groups: the Salafis and the Muslim Brotherhood. There are other groups as well, such as the Sufis, but that does not concern us in this discussion. Read the full story here.