UK Media Watch prompts Times of London correction on holiness of the Temple Mount

A few days ago we noted that Gregg Carlstrom, in a July 10th article at Times of London (Israeli tunnels ‘wrecking holy sites in Jerusalem’) became the latest British journalist to obfuscate the undeniable fact regarding the Temple Mount’s status as Judaism’s holiest site.

Temple-Mount-Dome-of-the-Rock-631.jpg__800x600_q85_cropHe wrote the following:

original Times of London language on Temple Mount

Interestingly, however, it was Carlstrom himself, back on Oct. 31, 2014, Nov. 1st, 2014, and April 22, 2015 who definitively stated that the Temple Mount – where the First and Second Jewish Temples once stood – was the “holiest site” in Judaism.

We contacted Times of London editors to alert them about the error, and they promptly revised the misleading passage.  It now reads:


We commend Times of London editors on the prompt correction.

8 replies »

  1. I’ve often marveled at the how successful Islamic propaganda is in mainstreaming its views to an unquestioning public. What exactly does it mean that the Temple Mount is the “third holiest” site in Islam? What other religion has such a hierarchy of holiness? For instance, what is Catholicism’s second, let alone third, holiest site? And since we are constantly reminded that there is no Islamic equivalent to the Pope, who decided this anyway?
    It doesn’t seem to be a question of sanctity, so much as politics or imperialism: we know it is your holiest site but we conquered it in the 7th century, so, not only is it now ours forever but it’s not even the most important thing to us. But it’s still ours, not yours.

    • Very good point. One wonders what the fourth holiest site to muslims might be? And is this really the order of holiness for ALL muslims? No, it is not.

      One also wonders whether the rebuilding of the Jewish temple might see it shoot further up the muslim charts. IIRC the “third holiest” tag is a relatively recent invention. As is the whole “buraq wall” schtick.

  2. The Times is paywalled so I’ve not been able to check the rest of the article. Does it mention the Palestinian damage to the site or to other sites?

    • I’m thinking of this for instance:

      In 1999, the Wakf dug out hundreds of truckloads of dirt from caverns known as Solomon’s Stables beneath the upper plaza (more than 1,600 square meters in area and 15 meters deep) without any archaeological supervision or records. Thousands of tons of earth rich in archaeological remains from all periods of the Temple Mount were haphazardly dumped into the Kidron Valley and the city garbage dump at El-Azaria. The Wakf also destroyed stonework done by Jewish artisans 2,000 years ago in the underground “double passageway.

    • Daniel Pipes has long argued that Jerusalem’s religious standing in Islam, depends on political needs.

      One would think if the site was so important that millions of Muslims would come to visit but very few do. Since 1967 the Old City of Jerusalem is in Israeli hands but the Muslims could still come if they wanted to from the states that have diplomatic recognition with Israel such as the majority Muslim states of the former Soviet Union (Uzbekistan, etc.), Turkey, India (100 million Muslims), Jordan, Egypt or even those with travel arrangements like Morocco. In addition there are Muslims from America, Britain, Canada, France, Australia, etc. who could come but don’t.

      Even 1948-1967 when every Muslim could come, they ignored it. No Muslim head of state thought it important enough to visit.

      One should compare this with the Jews who risked their lives to visit in that same 1948-1967 period.

      We have to lump the ‘third holiest site in Islam’ claim, with Gaza as the ‘most densely populated place in the world’ and ‘world’s largest open-air prison’ as successful advertising without foundation that much of the media accept without checking.

  3. One astonishing thing about Israel Haters who ridicule Jewish religious claims as fairy tales is that they allow the Muslim religious claim that Mohammad flew to a mosque, not built in his lifetime, in one night, from Mecca, on a winged horse with the face of a woman to pass without comment.

  4. Islam has TWO holy sites so the term “third-holiest for Muslims” is totally meaningless. That was an invention of the Grand Mufti to get money in the 1930s.