World Bulletin / News Desk
45 years ago today on August 21, 1969, an Australian fanatic by the name of Michael Dennis Rohan attacked and set alight to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem - one of the holiest sites in Islam - just two years after it fell under Israeli occupation.
Rohan, a Christian and a member of the Church of God congregation, claimed that he had set fire to the mosque in order to hasten the prophesized coming of the Messiah. He was later diagnosed as suffering from a mental disorder and deported from Israel.
Many historical artefacts were lost in the blaze, including the famous wooden pulpit which was planted in the mosque after the victory of Salahuddin al-Ayyubi over the Crusaders.
Since the fire, every year on August 21, Palestinians gather at the Al-Aqsa Mosque to remember that fateful day, and in 2007 they remade the wooden pulpit based on the original.
The pulpit was remade in Jordan, with the Jordanian government donating $1.75 million to remake it with the help of two Turkish carpenters over a period of four years. The surviving parts of the original pulpit were were put on display in the mosque's museum section.Last Mod: 03 Eylül 2014, 10:14