By Ryan Jones
A prominent Israeli-Arab Muslim leader at the weekend blasted Evangelical Christian support for Israel as a misguided effort to hasten the return of the Messiah.
Speaking to WorldNetDaily’s Aaron Klein, Islamic Movement Vice-Chairman Sheikh Kamal Hatib said the âcrazyâ Christian support âis based on their faith that the return of the Messiah…would be in Israel.â
[Ed. Note â Muslims in general accept that Jesus is the âmessiah,â but do not regard him as mankind's savior. Nor do they accept that he was a Jew, but rather a âPalestinianâ adherent of Islam.]
âTherefore,â Hatib continued, â[the Christians] support Israel, because they believe that the continuation of Israel to exist hastens the arrival of the Messiah.â
âAllah forbid!â the sheikh exclaimed.
He surmised that this belief has led these Christians to desire âa war of civilizationsâ between themselves and Islam, which George W. Bush, a born again Christian, is currently leading.
Ignoring that the Bush-led war on terror began as a direct result of unprecedented Islamic attacks on the United States, Hatib condemned what he saw as the true Christian rationale for the conflict.
âThe Messiah can never be the reason for war,â he stated.
Readers of the Bible know that the Book of Revelation tells of a time when Messiah himself will engage in unparalleled acts of warfare prior to establishing his rule from Jerusalem. (Revelation 19:21)
The Bible also indicates Messiah will only return following the rebuilding of Israel’s temple to the Almighty (Malachi 3:1, Ezekiel 43:2-5), something Hatib insists the Jews have no right to do atop Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.
The sheikh echoed discredited Muslim claims that the mosques currently occupying the Temple Mount have been in existence since the time of Adam, and that the children of Israel never had a temple atop Mount Moriah.
âWe the Muslims believe that Al Aqsa was built since the time of Adam â Allah bless him,â Hatib said. âThere is a very clear historical event mentioned in the Koran concerning the mosque that was built by Adam and where all our prophets prayed.â
The Koran in fact does not once mention Jerusalem, where, at the time of the Koran’s writing, the Temple Mount was occupied by a Byzantine Christian trash dump rather than a mosque.
That did not stop Hatib from insisting the âAl Aqsa [literally 'the furthest mosque'] of the Koran is the same Al Aqsa of our days, not any other mosque.â
As for the Jewish temples, âwe believe that [they] existed, but we deny they were built near Al Aqsaâ – in other words, on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.
âWhen the First Temple was built by Solomon â Allah bless him â Al Aqsa was already built,â said Hatib. âWe don’t believe that a prophet like Solomon would have built the Temple at a place where a mosque existed.â
Islam, of course, had its beginnings some 1,500 years after the time of Solomon.
Klein noted that what the sheikh was saying âcontradicts reality. There is no serious scholar or archeologist in the world who argues Al Aqsa was built before the Jewish Temples.â
Hatib’s Islamic Movement is the largest Muslim organization in Israel. It’s top leader, Sheikh Raed Salah, has spent time in an Israeli prison for using the organization to fund raise for Hamas.