The second-in-command of an illegal Islamic movement that seeks to install Islamic law in Israel claims that Jerusalem will be the capital of the Islamic caliphate (the term “caliphate” refers to a state or nation that is officially governed by Islamic law and teachings). Sheikh Kamal al-Khatib, Deputy Head of the illegal Islamic Movement in Israel, recently published an article in the Gaza newspaper Falestin, that outlined the movement’s future plans for Jerusalem. Emphasizing a more militant approach to spreading Islamic influence, al-Khatib praised those that “are active on the ground, hold Islamic activities in the mosque, renovate Muslims’ homes in the Old City of Jerusalem, and were arrested or forced to pay a fine for their activities.” Interestingly, the Islamic Movement in Israel has close ties with Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, but al-Khatib offered a sharp critique of the Palestinian Authority saying, the Palestinian Authority is “competing with us in their love for Jerusalem but they are also the ones who negotiated Jerusalem during the Oslo Accords and were willing to negotiate regarding Jerusalem. Today, when Jerusalem is becoming more Jewish, they cry crocodile tears. The city of Al-Quds [the Islamic term for Jerusalem] is the capital city of the Islamic Caliphate, which is run properly,” al-Khatib wrote adding “With the help of Allah, this will soon become reality.”
A Recurring Theme
This is not a new idea within Islam. In fact, al-Khatib’s made this same claim on Palestinian television in 2014 stating “Jerusalem will not be only the capital of the Palestinian state, but also the capital of the coming righteous Islamic caliphate.” He repeated his views several times and said that “the entire Earth” would “become subordinate to the Islamic caliphate one day.” This idea is not unique to al-Khatib and has been circulating for more than a decade. In 2006 Israeli Arab Muslim cleric Sheik Ra’ad Salah declared to a crowd of 50,000 who were gathered to protest Israeli claims to the Temple Mount area that Jerusalem would become the capital of an Islamic nation. Yet, perhaps the most troubling part of such claims is that they are deeply embedded in Islamic thought. A book published in 2006 by Islamic scholar Ismail Patel rambles on for almost 150 pages extolling the virtues of the city of Jerusalem and its importance to Islam.
Relevant Bible Passages
Such an attitude cannot help but remind us of the events surrounding the end times invasion of Israel by the enemies that surround her. Many prophetic passages of the Bible can be easily understood in light of the aggressive Islamic attitude toward Jerusalem and the ease with which they could be ideologically driven to launch a major war against Israel (cf. Psalm 83; Ezekiel 38-39; Zechariah 12; 14). Interestingly, the book of Revelation also uses Ezekiel’s prophecy about Gog and Magog to portray a unique end-times attack on the nation of Israel (Revelation 20:8-9). Such a future attack would obviously focus on Jerusalem. Thus, we should be in prayer.
Pray: Pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6) and pray for the safety of the citizens of Israel as they live with such tensions on a daily basis.