Islamic and Christian leaders gathered in Amman, Jordan, on Wednesday (21 August) for a special service to commemors???
Islamic and Christian leaders gathered in Amman, Jordan, on Wednesday (21 August) for a special service to commemors??? the fifth anniversary of the burning of the Al-Aksa mosque in Jerusalem. The service was held in the Islamic College, and guests included Father Abide Khoury, representing the Greek Orthodox Church and the Mayor of Jerusalem, Mr. Al-Khatibe.
An Australian visitor to Israel, Denis Michael Rohan, was arrested and charged with having set the fire, which damaged part of the mosque's 500-year-old roof and destroyed the pulpit. A court in Jerusalem found that Rohan could not be punished under law because he acted on an uncontrollable pathological impulse. He was committed to a mental hospital.
There were reports from Tel Aviv in May this year that Rohan had been "secretly" returned to Australia. However, the Australian Embassy in the Israeli capital refused to confirm or deny the report.
The burning of the mosque was followed by calls for a "Holy War" throughout the Islamic world.
The call is made only when an Islamic country is considered threatened by an alien religion or power.
In the ensuing years, there have been outright charges that Rohan was an Israeli agent. The Islamic and Arab worlds also blame the Israelis for a fire at the mosque on May 18, this year. And in June the Islamic Congress appealed to the United Nations to prevent Israel from committing alleged "blatant aggression" against Holy Places.
SYNOPSIS: Flashback to August, nineteen sixty-nine, and the blaze at the Al-Aksa Mosque in Jerusalem. An Australian visitor to Israel, twenty-eight-year-old Denis Michael Rohan, was arrested and charged with setting the fire, which in turn set off a storm of protest in the Arab and Islamic worlds. A Jerusalem court found that Rohan was not punishable by law, because he had acted on an uncontrollable pathological impulse. He was committed to a mental hospital.
On Wednesday - five years after the fire - the Islamic College, Amman, was the setting for a commemorative service.
Among the guest speakers was Father Adibe Khoury, representing the Greek Orthodox Church.
In the gathering also were representatives of the Christian and Islamic Churches, and also the Mayor of Jerusalem. Since the August nineteen sixty-nine fire, which damaged the five hundred-year-old roof and destroyed the pulpit, a number of charges have been levelled at Israel. the Islamic States have claimed Rohan was an Israeli agent and have also blamed Israel for a recent fire.