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Stealing Religious Thunder

Erol,
According to your extremely flawed arguments....there were no Jews in Egypt at the time of the pharaohs? And no pharaohs were Jewish? But perhaps you still have it backwards. Perhaps the pharaohs WERE practicing a form of Hebrew-ism....which would account for the duplicity between pharaohs and Biblical Hebrews. First you say they weren't there, then you discuss a very real Hebrew Abraham....Jesus was a myth? Invented centuries later? Then why was he also mentioned in the Quran? Why is Jesus remembered by Pilate's soldiers in their reports? Why is he revered by Muslims even today? Are they all worshipping myths?

Then Mohammed must be a myth too, because nothing of his life was written down during his lifetime, and records exist of how many "other" Qurans existed before it settled into its final form centuries later...the changes to Quran are even more substantial than changes you allege took place in the Bible! I tell you that Islam has attempted to this day to erase all traces of Hebrews from Egypt...traces that scholars outside Islam can readily see!

Mordechai Kedar, and Egyptian, wrote this:
"When the Prophet Mohammad established Islam, he introduced a minimum of innovations. He employed the hallowed personages, historic legends and sacred sites of Judaism and Christianity, and even paganism, by Islamizing them. Thus, according to Islam, Abraham was the first Moslem and Jesus and St. John (the sons of Miriam, sister of Moses and Aron) were prophets and guardians of the second heaven. Many Biblical legends ("asatir al-awwalin"), which were familiar to the pagan Arabs before the dawn of Islam, underwent an Islamic conversion, and the Koran as well as the Hadith (the Islamic oral tradition), are replete with them.

Islamization was practiced on places as well as persons: Mecca and the holy stone - al-Ka'bah - were holy sites of the pre-Islamic pagan Arabs. The Umayyad Mosque in Damascus and the Great Mosque of Istanbul were erected on the sites of Christian-Byzantine churches - two of the better known examples of how Islam treats sanctuaries of other faiths.

Jerusalem,like Egypt, and like all other lands it conquered underwent the process of Islamization: at first Muhammad attempted to convince the Jews near Medina to join his young community, and, by way of persuasion, established the direction of prayer (kiblah) to be to the north, towards Jerusalem, in keeping with Jewish practice; but after he failed in this attempt he turned against the Jews, killed many of them, and directed the kiblah southward, towards Mecca.

Muhammad's abandonment of Jerusalem explains the fact that this city is not mentioned even once in the Koran. After Palestine was occupied by the Moslems, its capital was Ramlah, 30 miles to the west of Jerusalem, signifying that Jerusalem meant nothing to them.

Islam rediscovered Jerusalem 50 years after Mohammad's death. In 682 CE, 'Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr rebelled against the Islamic rulers in Damascus, conquered Mecca and prevented pilgrims from reaching Mecca for the Hajj. 'Abd al-Malik, the Umayyad Calif, needed an alternative site for the pilgrimage and settled on Jerusalem which was then under his control. In order to justify this choice, a verse from the Koran was chosen (17,1 = sura 17, verse 1) which states (trans. by Majid Fakhri):

"Glory to Him who caused His servant to travel by night from the Sacred Mosque to the Farthest Mosque, whose precincts We have blessed, in order to show him some of Our Signs, He is indeed the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing."

The meaning ascribed to this verse (see the commentary in al-Jallalayn) is that "the furthest mosque" (al-masgid al-aqsa) is in Jerusalem and that Mohammad was conveyed there one night (although at that time the journey took three days by camel), on the back of al-Buraq, a magical horse with the head of a woman, wings of an eagle, the tail of a peacock, and hoofs reaching to the horizon. He tethered the horse to the Western Wall of the Temple Mount and from there ascended to the seventh heaven together with the angel Gabriel. On his way he met the prophets of other religions who are the guardians of heaven: Adam, Jesus, St. John, Joseph, Idris (=Seth?), Aaron, Moses and Abraham who accompanied him on his way to Allah and who accepted him as their master. Thus Islam tries to gain legitimacy over other, older religions, by creating a scene in which the former prophets agree to Mohammad's mastery, thus making him Khatam al-Anbiya' ("the Seal of the Prophets").

Not surprisingly, this miraculous account contradicts a number of the tenets of Islam: How can a living man of flesh and blood ascend to heaven? How can a mythical creature carry a mortal to a real destination? Questions such as these have caused orthodox Moslem thinkers to conclude that the nocturnal journey was a dream of Mohammad's. The journey and the ascent serves Islam to "go one better" than the Bible: Moses "only" went up to Mt. Sinai, in the middle of nowhere, and drew close to heaven, whereas Mohammad went all the way up to Allah, and from Jerusalem itself.

What are the difficulties with the belief that the al-Aqsa mosque described in Islamic tradition is located in Jerusalem? For one, the people of Mecca, who knew Muhammad well, did not believe this story. Only Abu Bakr, (later the first Calif), believed him and thus was called al-Siddiq ("the believer"). The second difficulty is that Islamic tradition tells us that al-Aqsa mosque is near Mecca on the Arabian peninsula. This was unequivocally stated in "Kitab al-Maghazi" (Oxford UP, 1966, vol. 3, pp. 958-9), a book by the Moslem historian and geographer al-Waqidi. According to al-Waqidi, there were two "masjeds" (places of prayer) in al-Gi'ranah, a village between Mecca and Ta'if, one was "the closer mosque" (al-masjid al-adana) and the other was "the further mosque" (al-masjid al-aqsa), and Muhammad would pray there when he went out of town. This description by al-Waqidi which is supported by a chain of authorities (isnad), was not "convenient" for the Islamic propaganda of the 7th century.

In order to establish a basis for the awareness of the "holiness" of Jerusalem in Islam, the Califs of the Ummayad dynasty invented many "traditions" upholding the value of Jerusalem (known as "fadha'il bayt al-Maqdis"), which would justify pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the faithful Moslems. Thus was al-Masjid al-Aqsa "transported" to Jerusalem. It should be noted that Saladin also adopted the myth of al-Aqsa and those "traditions" in order to recruit and inflame the Moslem warriors against the Crusaders in the 12th century.

Mohammed said to the Jews, "You should know that the earth belongs to Allah and His Apostle (Mohammed) and I want to expel you from this land (The Arabian Peninsula), so, if anyone owns property, he is permitted to sell it." Vol. 4:392

Mohammed's last words at his deathbed were: "Turn the pagans (non-Muslims) out of the Arabian Peninsula." Vol. 5:716

This denial of Jewish places in ancient history extends to Egypt. Between June and November 1948, bombs set off in the Jewish Quarter of Cairo killed more than 70 Jews and wounded nearly 200.2 In 1956, the Egyptian government used the Sinai Campaign as a pretext for expelling almost 25,000 Egyptian Jews and confiscating their property. Approximately 1,000 more Jews were sent to prisons and detention camps. On November 23, 1956, a proclamation signed by the Minister of Religious Affairs, and read aloud in mosques throughout Egypt, declared that "all Jews are Zionists and enemies of the state," and promised that they would be soon expelled. Thousands of Jews were ordered to leave the country. They were allowed to take only one suitcase and a small sum of cash, and forced to sign declarations "donating" their property to the Egyptian government.

Another aim of the Islamization of peoples and their cultures was to undermine the legitimacy of the older religions, Judaism and Christianity. Islam is presented as the only "legitimate" religion, destined to replace the other two, because they had "changed" and distorted the Word of God, each in its turn. (ghyyarou wa-baddalou. On the alleged forgeries of the Holy Scriptures, made by Jews and Christians, see the third chapter of: M. J. Kister, "haddithu 'an bani isra'il wa-la haraja", IOS 2 (1972), pp. 215-239. Kister quotes dozens of Islamic sources).

Though Judaism and Christianity can exist side by side, Islam regards both of them as betrayals of Allah and his teachings, and has always done, and will continue. The Islamic broadcasters of the Palestinian radio stations consistently make it a point to claim that the Jews never had a temple on the Temple Mount and certainly not two temples. """
(Where, then, according to them, did Jesus preach?) This sounds just like your retoric about Egypt and the counterfit claims about Hebrews never being there..but it appears your brain has succumbed to political influences of preaviling Islamic mindset. You are trying to rewrite history and it doesn't fly in the face of facts!

Now, let's see what Graham Hancock came up with, since you seem to like him as a scholar and researcher: ""The conclusion in his investigations is that the ark of the covenant was removed from the temple at Jerusalem by faithful priests in the days of King Manasseh, because they were concerned at the introduction by the latter of idolatrous worship in the temple. However, 2 Chronicles 35:3, referred to above, reads: "And [Josiah] said unto the Levites that taught all Israel, which were holy unto the LORD, Put the holy ark in the house which Solomon the son of David king of Israel did build; it shall not be a burden upon your shoulders".

Hancock maintains that the Levites had in fact removed the ark, and it was not available for them to comply with the king's request The verse does support the idea that faithful Levites (or priests) had removed the ark for safekeeping in Manasseh's reign, but surely is telling us that the ark was in fact put back into the temple in Josiah's time. Given that this was so, the ark would surely have still been in the temple at the time of the Babylonian invasion of the land.

However, this does not affect Hancock's main theory, that the ark was removed to Egypt, since it could have been so removed immediately prior to the destruction of the city and temple by Nebuchadnezzar. There are two passages listing in some detail items looted by the Babylonians from the temple at Jerusalem - 2 Kings 25:13-17 and Jeremiah 52:17-23 - but neither mentions the ark, nor for that matter any of the items belonging to the holy place. It seems reasonable to suppose from this that they were taken away just before the destruction; and, though we cannot agree that the ark was taken out of the temple in Manasseh's day, we do accept that it could have been removed at the very end of the kingdom.

Hancock now comes up with a new idea for the origin of the Falasha Jews. The idea that they were the descendants of Jews who went to Ethiopia in Solomon's time he dismisses, correctly we believe, as pious legend. He is not satisfied, either, with the normally accepted idea that they originated from Jewish immigrants in the first and second centuries A.D. He discovered from books written by two nineteenth-century travellers amongst the Falashas that they practised the Jewish feasts apart from Purim, instituted at the time of Esther, and Hanukkah, instituted at the time of the Maccabees. Since both these feasts originated after the Babylonian captivity, he concluded that the Falashas had left Israel before that time. This view was confirmed by an interview with a Falasha rabbi, who also had emigrated to Israel, who said that his ancestors were Jews who had lived in Egypt, and had built a temple there."""

So in view of all the above contradictions to your theories, just who is stealing whose thunder?

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