a different side of Israel

Muslim “Zionism”: Do Muslims have a National Home, like Jews do?

By Maurice Picow

Al Aksa JerusalemMany Palestinian Muslims talk about a ‘law of return’ to the lands they had to flee during the ‘double Naqba’ of 1948 and 1967. They feel that just as Jews have a Law of Return, they, the Palestinians should also have a homeland, much of which includes what is now modern Israel. And in respect to these feelings of ‘Muslim Zionism’ the city of Jerusalem is considered to be no less important to them than it is to the Jewish People.

Jerusalem MosquesMuslims have several reasons to be interested in Jerusalem. First of all, since they have control of the Temple Mount, known to them as Kareem al Shariff, they know that their possession of this place, considered sacred to Jews, will prevent the Jewish People from rebuilding the Temple. Their mosques, Al Aqsa and the Mosque of Omar (Dome of the Rock) are considered by Muslims to be the third holiest shrines in Islam (for Sunni Muslims anyway). The Dome of the Rock contains the large boulder on which the Patriarch Abraham was supposed to have almost sacrificed his son Isaac, until God intervened, and gave Abraham a ram to sacrifice instead.

Jerusalem Market Stand

Whether this is the real location is anybody’s guess. The Mosque, Masjidal Haram, containing the Qaaba, the black, square building that devout Muslims circle during the annual Hajj, is located in the Arabian city of Mecca, a good 800 km to the south of Jerusalem. For Abraham to be in both locations at approximately the same time, is a bit far fetched, to say the least. Other revered sites in Mecca include the miraculous spring, Zamzam, that God revealed to Hagar, Ishmael’s mother, after they were expelled by Abraham into the dessert.

East JerusalemThe city is the desired location for the capital of a Palestinian state, at least the eastern or Arab part, that is. There’s no denying that the city has religious significance for Muslims; but, since Muhammad later directed his followers to pray towards Mecca, and not Jerusalem, it means that Mecca became the more important place insofar as Islam goes. Muslims are also buried with their heads toward Mecca and feet towards Jerusalem, the direct opposite of Jews.

If the city were not so important to Jews, Muslims would probably not be so keen to possess it so much. As noted in numerous articles, Jerusalem, or Al Quds as the Muslims refer to it, became a holy ‘city of convenience’ for them. After all, in the 19th and early 20th centuries, the city was an impoverished dirty ‘backwater’ of a place, and definitely not a glorious place to visit. Muslims throughout the centuries, including famous travelers like Ibn Batutta, made numerous pilgrimages to Mecca and Medina. Ibn Battuta went on the Hajj no less than seven times, the same number of times the faithful must circle the Qaaba.
Muslims have their own version of ‘Zionism’, which changes when they feel the need. The Palestinian’s call for a law of return to places they once lived, in both Israel and Palestinian held areas, is designed for one main purpose: and that is the ultimate destruction of Israel – by sheer demographics if nothing else.


  1. Thank you Maurice! This is interesting stuff! I’ve heard it taught that the Church of The Holy Sepulcher is where Abraham was going to sacrifice Isaac. One day, all will be revealed. It would make more sense for ZamZam to be their most revered, as it was here that God promised to make them a Great Nation of their own. The Temple will be rebuilt in the very near future. Every day is one day closer!

  2. Virginia,

    I believe that the Muslim holy sites in Mecca and Medina, including the Kaaba, and of course the spring called Zam Zam are very revered to them.

    Due to this and the sensitivities involving the holy places in Jerusalem, building a 3rd Temple is not something that is a very good idea. Muslims should respect holy places of both Jews and Christians in Jerusalem. Unfortunatley, they appear to not do this, as events have shown.

  3. Maybe when they learn to respect one anothers within their own nation, they’ll respect ours too. One can only hope (and pray).

  4. Isn’t it odd that only Muslims can visit Mecca and Medina, whereas ALL the holy sites in Jerusalem, including those on the Temple Mount, are available to everyone.

    So whose fair after all?

  5. Not odd at all, it stems from a superiority complex. I stand in awe at how the Jewish people have preserved the Holy sites, and their willingness and even egarness to share them with the rest of the world. Thank You God, thank you Israel!

  6. There is Earth Mecca and Heaven Mecca. Koran Sura 56

  7. Totally zombionic. I’m praying for you Love, when you see the light (you’ll know it), please come back and share it with us.

  8. Excuse my english, but.
    A new temple, nebbich.
    What for ? The idea of a new temple is naches !
    Judaism is based on thora, and in the thora there is writen
    no need for á temple.

  9. Even, there is no law of or right for return.
    Where should this law been writen or fixed ?
    If there is a law for return, I might argue,
    I´m a son of a son of a son … of Adam,
    and therefore I´ve got the right of return to paradise.
    There is in basics only the right of respect other human beings,
    an if Jerushalaim the holy city for three releigions,
    why not,share it.
    Religion, every, is invented to make life better
    and humans happier,
    not the other way round.

  10. Ralf, you are right. Our own heart is best temple. Jerusalem is shared. It is the Islamic Holy sites that are not shared. True, they were to be a nation of their own, and their Holy sites may not hold the same meaning for others, but still…they are brothers.

  11. Muslims certainly are ‘brothers’. But we should all recall that God asked Cain: “where is Abel they brother (after Cain ,killed him). And also, that Ishmail was Isaac’s half-brother.

    Since then, tho, not much is happening concerning “brotherly love”!

  12. Maybe because brothers are meant for adversity. But what purpose could that possibly serve?

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