72. Al Aqsa Intifada
Written & performed by The Rootsman & Muslimgauze
From the CD Rootsman Meets Muslimgauze (Third Eye, UK 2002)



One: About The Rootsman

‘The Rootsman (John Bolton) is a musician and DJ based in Bradford, England. Bolton’s musical career began when he was living in Edinburgh, Scotland and taught himself to play guitar in 1978 at the age of 13 and formed his first punk band. With his group ‘State Oppression’ he performed his debut gig in 1981, supporting punk rock band the Angelic Upstarts. After 3 concerts, he decided that being a guitarist in a band was not for him and he retired from that aspect of the music business. He moved to Bradford in 1983 and quickly immersed himself into the local reggae scene. He worked for over two years in the local Roots Record Shop, where he began to be known as ‘Rootsman’.

A collaborative mini-CD from Rootsman with the late genius Muslimgauze called ‘Al Aqsa Intifada’ was also released in 2002 as a limited edition taster for their forthcoming ‘Amahar’ album.’

- Rootsman biography

Two: About Muslimgauze

‘Muslimgauze was the one-man musical project of Bryn Jones, a prolific British electronic music artist, strongly influenced by everything to do with the Middle East. The name Muslimgauze was derived from the word ‘muslin,’ which is a type of gauze, and changed into an adjective describing the area in which he was interested. He was a staunch supporter of Hamas and the PLO, and he believed Palestine should be ‘freed from the Zionists.’ Born in Manchester, England, he never visited the Middle East, explaining, ‘I don’t think you can visit an occupied land. It’s the principle. Not until it’s free again.’

On Wednesday, December 30, 1998, Bryn was rushed to the hospital in Manchester with an unknown illness. He had a rare fungal infection in his bloodstream, and he had to be heavily sedated all the time. His body eventually shut down, and he died at 22:50 GMT on Thursday, January 14, 1999.’

- Muslimgauze biography
http://www.sayapimaji.multiply.com/journal/item/81 via http://www.freepalestina.multiply.com/journal/item/110

Three: About the al-Aqsa Mosque

‘In Islam, a mosque in Jerusalem in the area annexed by Israel after its conquest in the Six-Day War, but claimed by Palestine. The al-Aqsa Mosque rests on the southern part of an area known as Haram ash-Sharif, or Har ha-Bayit in Hebrew, in which also the Dome of the Rock rests. The area makes up about 15% of the entire walled city of Jerusalem and it is the city’s largest mosque, housing up to 5,000 at a time.

The outer size of the mosque is 55 x 75 metres. It has no minaret but a dome covered by silver. The interior is made up of 7 aisles, divided by columns. The ceiling opens up into the dome, which is held up by 4 arches. Decorations are both made in tree and as mosaics. Al-Aqsa Mosque is considered the 3rd most holy shrine of Sunni Islam, after the Haram Mosque in Mecca and Mosque of the Prophet in Madina.

The background for al-Aqsa’s prominence, is the myth of Muhammad, the founder of Islam, who shall have performed a heavenly journey beginning right here. According to the stories told in extra-Koranical Muslim texts (hadiths), Muhammad first made a nightly journey from the ‘sacred mosque’, which is the one in Mecca to the ‘The most remote mosque’, ‘aqsa’ in Arabic, although there didn’t exist any mosque here at the time. To this story is also linked the brief period of which Muslims turned towards Jerusalem when praying (see qibla).

Among many Shi’is, other mosques rank as ‘third’ holiest of their religion. Other mosques given this position are usually either the one around the grave of Ali in Najaf or the one around the grave of Husayn in Karbala.

Israeli control of the al-Aqsa Mosque is considered a symbol of hostility towards Islam, reflecting the Muslim view that non-Muslim control degrades the sanctity of the mosque. Still, the administration of the mosque is fully in the hands of a Muslim council, a right granted by the Israeli government. The mosque is normally open for non-Muslim visitors outside prayer hours.


705: The construction of the al-Aqsa Mosque is begun.
715: The al-Aqsa Mosque is completed.
747: The mosque is partly destroyed in an earthquake, after which a much larger structure is built.
780: Rebuilt with 20 aisles.
1016: The mosque is destroyed in an earthquake.
1033: A new earthquake brings the mosque to ruins, after which it was rebuilt to a structure close to the present.
1099: In conjunction to the Crusades, the mosque is converted into a Christian church.
1118: Knights Templer are founded, named after the then previous al-Aqsa Mosque.
1187: Jerusalem is conquered by the Muslims under the leadership of Saladin. Al-Aqsa is converted back to a mosque.
1927: Heavy earthquake destroys much of the al-Aqsa Mosque.’

- al Aqsa Mosque, by Tore Kjeilen, Looklex Encyclopaedia

Four: About the Western Wall


1000 BC: Purchasing Mount Moria. King David conquered Jerusalem, which was a Jebusite city located on the Ophel hill, southeast of today’s Old City area. He bought a neighbouring hill, which was later identified with Mount Moria (the site of Isaac’s sacrifice), on which he placed the Ark of the Covenant.

950 BC: The Construction of the First Temple. King Solomon, the son of David, built the First Temple on Mount Moria, which is known today as the Temple Mount.

586 BC: The Destruction of the First Temple. Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, conquered Jerusalem, burnt the Temple and exiled the Jews to Babylon.

515 BC: The Construction of the Second Temple. In 537 BC, after 50 years in the Babylonian exile, the Jews were allowed to return to Jerusalem and began to rebuild the city and the Temple. The Second Temple was completed in 515 BC.

37- 4 BC: Herod’s Temple. Herod the Great was appointed to the King of Judah and begun to reconstruct the Second Temple and to build the Temple Mount. He built an incredibly magnificent temple and a retaining wall around the Temple Mount enclosure.

70 AD: The Destruction of the Second Temple. The Great Revolt of the Jews against the Romans led to the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple by Titus. The only remnant left was the western part of the Temple Mount’s retaining wall, which became the focal point of the Jewish people throughout the centuries.

May 14, 1948: The Western Wall Falls to Jordanian Hands. A few hours after the official proclamation of the state of Israel, the Arab armies of the neighbouring countries invaded Israel, and the terrible War of Independence begun. The Old City of Jerusalem, with the Western Wall in its center, fell to Jordanian legionnaires.

June 7, 1967: Israel Regains Control of the Western Wall. During the Six Days War and after 19 years, in which the access to the Wall was prevented from the Jews, the Israeli army recaptured the Old City of Jerusalem, and liberated the Western Wall.’

- Virtual Tour: The Western Wall Time Line Jerusalem

The Western Wall or the Wailing Wall (called in Islamic tradition Ha’et El-Buraq and by the Jews Hakotel Hama’aravi) is a focus of Judaism, a symbol of a people and a nation. The massive stretch of wall seen today by visitors and Jewish pilgrims, is believed to be a large segment of the sustaining wall of the Western side of the Temple Esplanade, the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, which was destroyed by Titus in 68 BC.

The Talmud (Brachos 32) mentions that when the Temple was destroyed, all the Gates of Heaven were closed except for one, that is the Gate of Tears. The Western Wall therefore also became known as the Wailing Wall, because of all the tears Jews have shed there. Jews come here from all over the World to bemoan the destruction of their Temple. Among the customs observed by Jewish pilgrims who pray below these great, two thousand years old, stone blocks is that of leaving, in the cracks between the stones, little pieces of paper with vows and prayer written on them.

Atlas tours. For inquiries and more information, please visit our online help desk.

Atlas Travel & Tourist Agency is a 35 years experienced incoming and outgoing Jordanian tourism company, aiming to make your visit to Jordan, Holy Land, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and Sinai (Egypt), a satisfying and treasured vacation. It has been established in 1972 by Mr. Khaled Steitieh the owner and General Manager.

In 1974 Atlas Travel has been appointed IATA Agent by International Air Transport Association, in 1977 we became active member in the American Society of Travel Agencies (ASTA), and in 1974 IATA member Mr. Steitieh was assigned Swiss Air manager from 1961 till 1972 and the president of the Jordan Society of Travel and Tourist Agents (JSTTA) from 1968 till 1972.

Our Family Atlas Travel & Tourist Agency is a private ownership managed and run by highly experienced management and staff, work as a solid family like atmosphere who have proven themselves during the past 35 years to be very efficient, competent, reliable and courteous.’

- Atlas Tours Profile

Five. The search for the Temple of King Solomon

‘In the 1980s, the Israelis started an archaeological project in the area of the Dome of the Rock (Masjid Al-Aqsa). They began excavation claiming that they were searching for the Temple Of King Solomon.

They were unable to locate the Temple Of King Solomon, but in the process discovered the tunnel of King Je-hoia-chin. The Israelis claimed that the search was a success only because they discovered the collapsed tunnel of King Je-hoia-chin, which is in no way related to the Temple of King Solomon.

This tunnel has no religious significance, it only has historical significance. The entrance was then sealed and today has been reopened without justification. The significance to the Muslims is well understood, they fear for Masjid Al-Aqsa and its foundation, and that in some way this excavation can damage the Holy Mosque.

The significance of this dig to the Jews is not yet understood, clearly there is no religious significance. Prime Minister Netanyahu has said this openly in his news conference at the White House. The question thus remains, why if this archaeological dig can lead to so much unrest, do the Israelis insist that it remain open?’

- History of Al Aqsa Mosque – The Tunnel of King Je-hoia-chin and Its Religious Significance, by Kais Al-Kalby with Emad J. Meerza



<   >