Illustrative photo by Andrew Shiva [CC BY-SA 3.0 or Attribution], via Wikimedia Commons

Saudi politician encourages Muslims to stake a claim in heart of Jerusalem

Iyad Madani, secretary-general of the Saudi-based Organization of Islamic Cooperation, makes first official visit to Jerusalem on Jan. 5. He says he encourages Muslims from all over the world to go to Al-Aqsa and “confirm that this mosque is a part of their faith.” The mosque was built to the south of the site of the First and Second Jewish Temples approximately 1,000 years after the Temples were destroyed.

Photo Credit: Andrew Shiva [CC BY-SA 3.0 or Attribution], via Wikimedia Commons

He is visiting the Aqsa mosque compound on the Temple Mount after meeting in Ramallah with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Tensions have flared surrounding the holy site, which has been the nexus of ongoing violent altercations in Israel’s capital last year.

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