Yes defiance! Defend Islam against the new attackers, colonialists
and neo-crusaders! Don't we hear some of our academics talk about
new crusaders? These are interesting times.
I am one who absolutely has no problem of building a mosque beside
a church - as if the principle here is the matter. What matters
most is the true spirit of people on the ground. The threats, the
violence and yes this defiance, as if Christians are enemies. But
sometimes you don't want even your own brother to build his home
beside yours. When there are good reasons, holy shrines can be
wall to wall. But remember it is NOT a must. It is NOT a law. It
is a matter to brotherly communication and mutual agreement.
My son goes to a Christian elementary school, with some 150 students.
Now, there are THREE Christian students in this school, my son is
one of them. All the other students are Muslims. May be this says
something about tolerance, and about other things as well.
At 07:42 ã 22/11/99 EST, LabibKobti@aol.com wrote:
>Subj: AFP: Defiant Muslims to lay cornerstone for Nazareth mosque
>Date: 11/22/99 4:14:56 PM Pacific Standard Time
> Monday, November 22 11:20 PM SGT
>Defiant Muslims to lay cornerstone for Nazareth mosque
> NAZARETH, Israel, Nov 22 (AFP) -
> Muslim activists prepared Monday to lay the cornerstone of a
> controversial mosque in Nazareth, defying appeals by Islamic
> authorities and a protest shutdown of Christian churches throughout
> the Holy Land.
> Around 200 Muslims gathered for open-air prayers to maintain their
> claim on the mosque site, which has been at the centre of a sometimes
> violent two-year dispute in the town of Jesus's boyhood.
> Salim Sharara, an official with the Islamic Movement, a fundamentalist
> group approved by Israel, said at least ten times as many would attend
> Tuesday's ceremony near the Church of the Annunciation, one of the
> holiest sanctuaries in Christendom.
> He said Nazareth's Muslims were not swayed by the two-day closure of
> Christian sides in Israel and the Palestinian territories taking place
> Monday and Tuesday.
> "Any decision taken by the churches is a religious one for them alone
> ... it's up to them," Sharara said.
> The Shihab al-Din mosque is to be built, under a compromise brokered
> by the Israeli government, to honour the reputed nephew of Muslim hero
> Saladin who drove the Crusaders out of Jerusalem in the 12th century.
> "Violating Shihab el-Din is an attack on all Muslims," read one banner
> strung around the area, where protestors have held an almost daily
> vigil since the dispute erupted, souring relations between Muslims and
> Christians in the northern Israeli town.
> An enormous black tent which had served as a makeshift mosque was
> taken down two weeks ago but the banners remain.
> Nearby, bulldozers worked to clear a small plaza a short distance from
> the Church of the Annunciation, where according to Christian belief
> Mary was told she was to give birth to the son of God.
> But on Monday, the gates to the church were shut.
> "This was a Christian town," said one 17-year-old Palestinian Roman
> Catholic resident of Nazareth, looking across at the mosque site.
> "They should shut the churches for a month. That's the only way the
> Israeli government will listen," said the youth, who did not want to
> be named.
> "Here everything is chaos."
> The closure of the Church of the Annunciation 100 metres (yards) up
> Casa Nova Street left visiting pilgrims non-plussed.
> "It's unbelievable," said Joseph Witsiers, 55, a pilgrim who had
> walked with his wife from his native Netherlands since May.
> "A big fight in the place where Jesus grew up? A big fight doesn't fit
> this city," he said.
> "Building a mosque should not be a reason at all to close this church.
> This should be a reason more to keep it open," Witsiers said.
> Others said that they had heard of the planned closure but wanted to
> visit Nazareth anyway.
> "We thought we'd try," said Anne Furgal from San Diego, California,
> who was on her first visit to the Holy Land. "It's very nice but the
> highlight is disappointing."