Jerusalem happens to be sacred to the Jewish people because of its First Temple built some 1,000 years before Christ and 1,700 years before Islam.
After the expansion of Islam in the 7th century, al-Aqsa Mosque was specifically built over the Temple. Around 680, because of a revolt in Mecca, the Ummayads constructed the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa mosque on the Jewish Temple mount as an alternate site for pilgrimage,ï¿½andï¿½in order to smother the revolt in Mecca.
It is then that we, Sunni Muslims, developed the tradition that the phrase in the Quran – Majsid al-Aqsa -meant Jerusalem and the Night Journey or Israï¿½ and Mi’raj was where our Prophet Muhammad was believed to have traveled from Mecca to Jerusalem even though the Koran makes no mention of Jerusalem.
In other words, we, Sunni Muslims, in order to remove all Judaic traces, built al-Aqsa OVER the Temple and memorialized its existence by inventing a tradition of a physical journey that we established many years after our Prophet died and where the Koran makes no mention of.
Muslims have the two Holly Cities of Mecca and Medina both of which are revered by Muslims the world over. Jews, on the other hand, have but the Temple in Jerusalem. One Holly place, older than Islam and as old as Jerusalem as a city.
But, it is not enough that we have two Holly Places, we created some tradition to have Three even though the Third one was specifically built to erase the existence of another religion. Our greed knows no limits.
I say, Mecca and Medina are Islamic; and Jerusalem is Jewish. That is real peace for the region.