Murabitat (defenders of the faith,[1] steadfast,[2] or garrison soldiers[3])[4][5] is an Islamist[4] political movement of Muslim women, funded by the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel.[6][7] The group organises classes at Al-Aqsa on Arabic literacy and qira'at and tajweed in Qur'anic recitation.

Members of the movement have also monitored Jewish visitation to the Al-Aqsa compound and attempts by activists to perform Jewish prayers,[4] which, per the status quo, is disallowed by the Israeli and Jordanian authorities.[3][8] Members have disrupted several such attempts by verbally abusing,[2][4] and on occasion physically assaulting, Jewish activist groups.[7][4] Israel has in turn attempted to bar access to Al-Aqsa by members of the group.[6][7]

History edit

The parallel groups, Murabiton for men and Murabitat for women, were created by the northern branch of the Islamist group, Islamic Movement in Israel in 2012.[4][3] According to Haaretz, their purpose is "to harass Jews visiting Temple Mount."[4] The groups run a daily shuttle service between the concentration of Arab towns including Umm al-Fahm and Tayibe), that is called the Triangle, as well as from the Negev and the Galilee to the Temple Mount.[4]

According to Israeli security officials, before the male and female groups were banned and the offices of the NGO funding them closed, activists were paid 3,000–4,000 shekels ($771–$1,028) per month, with some of the funds coming from the Gulf States.[4]

Incidents edit

According to Christian Broadcasting Network, the women are, "paid to harass female visitors to the Temple Mount even when they're modestly dressed."[9]

In August, 2015, the women harassed a group of visiting Members of the United States Congress, including Rep. Evan Jenkins, Rep. Trent Franks, Rep. Keith Rothfus and Mr. Jenkins' wife, Elizabeth Jenkins.[9] [10][6] Congressman Jenkins described himself as being, "struck by the level of intolerance and the confrontational attitudes and approach and actions" taken by the group."[10] He described the behavior of the Muslims on the Temple Mount that day as "shocking".[6]

Moshe Ya'alon, the Minister of Defense, has asserted that the groups' behavior leads, "to violence that could harm human life."[4]

Declared illegal edit

In August 2015, the activists were banned from Temple Mount by Israeli Minister of Public Security, Gilad Erdan, during morning visiting hours.[7] Earlier, the Arab League condemned the plan to ban the group.[11] On September 8, 2015, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon signed an order which declared the Murabitat group as an illegal organization.[12][4]

Sheikh Azzam al-Khatib, head of the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf that administers the Temple Mount, called the decision, "totally unacceptable", asserting that the government of Israel had "no right" to intervene.[13]

External links edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Hardline Israelis anger Palestinians by trying to reclaim prayer rights at Jerusalem's most famous holy site". The Telegraph. January 7, 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Al-Aqsa's women resist". Al Monitor. October 27, 2014.
  3. ^ a b c Hadid, Diaa (9 September 2015). "Israel Bans 2 Muslim Groups That Protest at Jerusalem Holy Site". New York Times. Retrieved 10 September 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Cohen, Gili (9 September 2015). "Israel Bans Two Muslim Activist Groups From Temple Mount". Haaretz. Retrieved 10 September 2015.
  5. ^ "Foreign Ministry Condemns Calls to Ban Protesting Palestinians' Entry to Al-Aqsa Mosque". Wafa. 24 August 2015. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
  6. ^ a b c d Harkov, Lahav (11 August 2015). "Arabs harass US congressmen during visit to Temple Mount". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
  7. ^ a b c d "At Temple Mount gate, banned Muslim activists vent their anger". Times of Israel. September 3, 2015.
  8. ^ Gonen, Rivka (2003). Contested holiness : Jewish, Muslim, and Christian perspectives on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Jersey City (N. J.): KTAV. pp. 149-155. ISBN 9780881257984.
  9. ^ a b Barrow, Tzippe (12 August 2015). "Muslims Harass US Congressmen on Temple Mount". CBN. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
  10. ^ a b Fields, Ben (13 August 2015). "Back in US, Jenkins recounts Israel temple incident". Herald Dispatch. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
  11. ^ "Arab League slams Israel's attempts to ban Aqsa Mosque society". Palestinian Information Center. August 28, 2015.
  12. ^ "Defense Minister Outlaws Temple Mount Screamers". Arutz 7. September 9, 2015.
  13. ^ "Israel outlaws Palestinian groups at Aqsa compound". Ma'an News Agency. 9 September 2015. Retrieved 11 September 2015.