I have visited the Haram esh-Sharif (= Temple Mount) many times and know the rough outline of the attempt by the Australian Christian, Denis Michael Rohan, to burn down the el–Aqsa Mosque—21 August 1969.
For those who might be interested, Ynet Magazine has an interesting article that describes this event in more detail—The ‘king of Jerusalem‘ who almost burnt down Al Aqsa [mosque]. It is about a 4 minute read.
The article is very informative, at least to me, but I did recognize several oddities in it—there may be more:
- “set fire to the mosque’s stage“ (stage is an odd translation of the Arabic minbar or raised platform from which the mosque’s leader delivers messages). Since only one person at a time occupies it, a better translation (if that is possible) might be “pulpit”—as in a Christian church.
View in the interior of the present “Tomb of the Patriarchs” looking east at the Minbar, or pulpit. On the right side are wooden doors that open to a staircase that leads up to an elevated platform from which the Imam addresses the assembled faithful. This wooden minbar was constructed in Ashqelon in A.D. 1091 and moved by Saladin to Hebron ca. 1191.
- “a plume of black smoke billowed above the golden dome.” (the dome of the el-Aqsa has never been “golden,” as the Dome of the Rock. It has been “black/grey” = lead or “silver-colored”).