The group acknowledges the need now to compensate for the races, day camp activities, gymnastics displays, and other sacred rituals that were not performed on the Temple Mount during that period.
Jerusalem, July 27 – Religious officials at Islam’s third-holiest site plan to waste no time today upon coming back there in making up for all the parkour, soccer games, and other leisure activities they were unable to conduct at the site during a boycott over Israeli security measures there.
Following the murder of two Israeli policemen two Fridays ago by gunmen who had used weapons smuggled into the holy compound, Israel installed metal detectors and security cameras to monitor visitors from all entrances to the Temple Mount, and not only the non-Muslims. The Jordanian Waqf, which administers the site, along with the Islamic Movement and various Palestinian groups, called on Muslims not to ascend the plateau until Israel restores the status quo ante, which it finally did this morning (Thursday). In the meantime, riots and other violence related to the protests claimed several lives.
A Waqf official told reporters that while the refusal to enter the compound was a necessary tool for public political leverage against the security measures, the group acknowledges the need now to compensate for the races, day camp activities, gymnastics displays, and other sacred rituals that were not performed on the Temple Mount during that period.
“This was of course an extreme situation,” explained Shiqron Qoh. “But that does not change the fact that we now have a backlog, a deficit, of dance-offs, water fights, bubble-blowing demonstrations, juggling shows, capture-the-flag games, and aerobics instruction that were supposed to take place at the Haram al-Sharif these past two weeks. We will have to schedule make-up sessions for all of these sacred activities that we were unable to conduct.”
Making up for the missed athletics and entertainment activities so characteristic of a faith’s third-holiest shrine may take longer than expected, warned another official. “We may not be able to return to our previous full schedule of holy sports and day-camp-like scheduling for some time, as we do not yet know how many people will heed the call to continue crowing for Israeli concessions over the next few days. If interest wanes in the violent riots, we can shift back to our regular demonstrations of reverence for the sacred location, and begin to compensate for the missed activities at a noticeable pace. As a conservative estimate, I would venture closing the deficit by mid-September, but if we find some new pretext for violence between now and then, all bets are off.”
“Hmm…bets…” he mused. “Perhaps some slot machines…”
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