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Media double standards on reporting Mosque attacks

A catalogue of terror attacks on Mosques in Palestine

Four Israelis were killed and several injured as two men armed with a pistol and meat cleavers attacked a West Jerusalem synagogue on 18 November 2014. There has been much coverage of this incident in the media.

Whilst it is not surprising that an attack on a place of worship and the killing of people therein is deserving of such coverage, and rightly so, what is surprising is the double standards of these media outlets in showing consistency in reporting such attacks.

Since the Israeli occupation of Palestine, hard-line Jewish extremists have staged over a hundred attacks on Mosques without any recourse.

Historical attacks

In 1969 the Al-Aqsa Mosque was set on fire. The entire south wing was burnt down including the precious Mimbar (pulpit) of Nuradeen Zingi commissioned 700 years ago and installed by the great Muslim hero, Salahuddin al-Ayubi, (raḥimahumā Allāhu). The man found guilty was Dennis Michael Rohan, an Australian tourist who was termed responsible for the arson and was found to suffer from a psychiatric condition by the Israeli courts meaning he avoided being imprisoned for his heinous crime.[1]

On February 25th 1994, a US-born Israeli military physician, Baruch Goldstein walked into the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron armed with a Galil assault rifle. It was early morning during the holy month of Ramaḍān, and hundreds of Palestinians were crammed inside and as they bowed in prayer. Goldstein unleashed a cowardly attack killing 29 worshippers and injuring another 125. He was eventually overcome and beaten to death by survivors of the massacre. For those who do not know, this is the Mosque wherein lies the graves of Ibrāhim (ʿalayhi al-Salām), Yʿaqūb (ʿalayhi al-Salām), Isḥāq (ʿalayhi al-Salām), Yūsuf (ʿalayhi al-Salām) and many other members of the family.[2] So how does Israel remember such a criminal? Israelis in Hebron commemorate Goldstein by holding a memorial for him,[3] and what is worse is the gravesite has become a pilgrimage site for Jewish extremists; a plaque near the grave reads: “To the holy Baruch Goldstein, who gave his life for the Jewish people, the Torah and the nation of Israel.” At least 10,000 people have visited the grave since the massacre.[4]


On December 9th 2009, the Hasan Khadr Mosque at the village of Yasuf near Salfit was burnt, with ‘price tag’ written on the wall and scrawling of Nazis slogans in Hebrew reading “revenge” and “we will burn all of you.” Other scrawls read “price-tag-greeting from Effi” – Effi a Hebrew. The Mosque was the largest of four mosques in the village of 2000 inhabitants.[5]


On May 4th 2010 extremist Jewish settlers torched the main Mosque of the al-Lubban al-Sharqiyya village, its extensive carpets and Qur’āns, south of Nablus. The fire caused excessive damage to the property of the Mosque, including its ceiling, its ceiling fans and walls. Its 450 square meters of carpet and eight air conditioners were also burnt.[6]

Later that year, on October 3rd 2010, extremist Jewish settlers suspected of coming from Gush Etzion set fire to rugs, several copies of the Qur’ān were defaced and burnt, and the words “revenge” was scrawled on the walls of the Mosque of Al Fajjar/Beit Fajar near Bethlehem. On one wall of the mosque were the words, in Hebrew, “A mosque must be burned”.[7]


On June 6th 2011 a Mosque was damaged and its walls defaced by the spraying of Hebrew messages in Al Mughayyir, near Ramallah. Videos taken at the Mosque showed burned carpets and blackened walls.[8]

On September 5th 2011 a Mosque in the West Bank village of Qusra, south of Nablus, was set on fire by extreme Jewish settlers through the use of burning tires. Several of its windows were broken hours after Israeli police officers destroyed three illegal structures in the settlement outpost of Migron.[9]

Three days later on September 8th 2011 extremist Jewish settler youths made an attempt to deface the Mosque of the village of Yatma, near Rechelim and Kfar Tapuach, in the Nablus. Graffiti was sprayed on the Mosque wall: “life is short”.[10] [11]

A month later on October 3rd 2011 there was the burning of a Mosque at the Bedouin town Tuba-Zangariyye in the North District of Israel. The words “price tag”, “revenge” and “Palmer” – the last name of extremist Jewish settler father and son killed in Kiryat Arba the month previously – were spray-painted at the scene.[12]

On December 7th 2011 extremist Jew arsonists tried to set fire to the Mosque of the Palestinian village of Burkina, near the settlement of Ariel, and also torched two Palestinian vehicles in a suspected ‘price tag’ assault. Flaming tires were thrown into Mosque’s entrance, with the terrorists scrawling the words “Hero of Ariel” on its walls.[13]

A week later, between the 13th–14th of December 2011, the Ukasha Mosque in Jerusalem was burned. This Mosque consists of the burial site of the companion of the Messenger of Allāh (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) Ukāsha b. Al-Mihsan (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanhu) who was the companion entrusted by the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) to lead a group of Muslims in a successful expedition against the Banu Assad b. Qhuzayama tribe in the 6AH (627 AD). Ukasha later settled in al-Quds, Jerusalem, following its peaceful conquest at the hands of the Muslims in or around 638AD. The Mosque also consisted of the burial site of a number of prominent soldiers from Salahuddin’s army. Not only was this Mosque burned, it was the subject of price tag action which consisted of the blackening of walls and graffiti reading “Price Tag,” and anti-Islamic phrases such as “Muḥammad is Dead,” “Muḥammad is a Pig”.[14]

Only a day later on the 15th of December 2011 extremist Jewish settlers defaced and torched the Mosque at the Palestinian village of Burqa near Nablus, The slogans “Mitzpe Yitzhar” and “War,” were scrawled on the Mosque.[15]

Several days later, on December 18th 2011, hate slogans and the signature ‘price tag’ defaced the walls of the Mosque of Bnei Naim, east of Hebron. On one of the walls surrounding the mosque, the words “Yitzhar” was scrawled and other defamatory slogans against Prophet Muḥammad (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam).[16]


Not too far into the new year, on 11th January 2012, a Mosque at the West Bank Palestinian village of Dir Istiyya was defaced with graffiti, reading “Price tag” and “Gal Arye Yosef’”(an illegal outpost, demolished some days earlier, near Itamar), in Hebrew, and three cars nearby were torched.

On the 19th of June 2012 The ‘Grand Mosque’ the West Bank village of Jab’a was set alight and sprayed with the graffiti “The war has begun”. “You will pay the price” was spray-painted on the Mosque’s walls.[17]


On 7th April 2013 extremist Jews vandalised and defaced two Mosques, and slashed the tires of several cars in the Palestinian village of Tekoa. A month later on 13th May 2013 three cars were torched near a Mosque at the village of Umm al-Qutuf in Wadi Ara. The Mosque wall was defaced with graffiti reading “price-tag” together with a Star of David and “Eviatar”.[19]

On 10th October 2013 a Mosque in the West Bank Palestinian village of Burqa was defaced with a slogan reading “Redemption of Zion loves Tomer Hazan” (referring to an IDF who was killed in Qalqilyah in September whilst in the act of oppressing).[20] Two months later on 8th December 2013, the Mosque of Baqa al-Gharbiyye was defaced by graffiti reading “Muḥammed is a pig” whilst Muslims were praying the Fajr prayer.[21]


On 15th January 2014 a Mosque in the village of Deir Istiya near Ariel was set fire to, and the slogans “Arabs Out” was sprayed on its walls.[22]

On 18th April 2014 the door of the Abū-Bakr Al-Siddiq Mosque at Umm al-Fahm was set alight and a slogan reading “Arabs out” was scrawled on its wall.[23] In the same month, a Mosque in the town of Fureidis was vandalised.[24]

On 14th October 2014 the Mosque of Aqraba, near the settlement of Itamar near Nablus, was torched by a firebomb and graffiti was sprayed on a wall nearby. Prior to the attack, Palestinians in the village discovered that dozens of their mature olive trees had been felled and Hebrew graffiti was sprayed on nearby rocks.[25]

12th November 2014, extremist Jewish settlers set ablaze the Mosque at al-Mughayyir burning down large parts of the structure and racist slogans were spray-painted at the site.[26]

Points to note

These are a list of some of the attacks which Mosques in Palestine face consistently. Of course on each attack where the Mosque is burnt, it goes without saying that the items within the Mosque, most notably copies of the Qur’ān are also set ablaze. And it is not just Mosques which are attacked, but so are Churches; because it is often forgotten that a percentage of Palestinians are Christian. In 2012, an 11th-century Monastery of the Cross administered by the Greek Orthodox church was defaced with graffiti saying “Death to Arabs” and “Death to Christians”. In the same year, Vandals daubed “Death to Christianity”, “Jesus is dead,” and “Mary was a prostitute” on the Jerusalem Baptist Narkis Street Congregation Church.[27] Again on 3rd October 2012, the entrance to the Church of the Dormition on Mount Zion was sprayed with graffiti that read “Jesus, son of a bitch”,[28] whilst earlier this year on 9th May 2014 graffiti reading “King David is for the Jews, Jesus is garbage” were sprayed on the walls of the St. George Romanian Orthodox Church in Jerusalem.[29]

It should also be noted that the list above does not set out the regular incursions to the Al-Aqsa Mosque by extremist Jews and the Israeli army where live rounds, tear gas, sound bombs and grenades are used against worshippers which has resulted in the loss of hundreds of lives.[30] The hallmarks and scars of such attacks are visible to anyone visiting the Al-Aqsa Mosque with its walls and doors littered with bullet wounds. Further, it should also be noted that I have not mentioned the hundreds of Mosques in Gaza which have been subjected to deliberate attack by Israel whenever it engages in conflict in Gaza.

What does Israel have to say about all this? Although you will hear rhetoric from the occupying Zionist entity of Israel that they will catch the perpetrators for the attacks, no action is ever taken whilst coincidentally, Palestinians responsible for any acts against the occupying nation are always caught, often killed and their houses bulldozed as a means of collective punishment on the family. By not bringing to justice those who carry out heinous crimes like the ones set out above, the Israeli government and army are legitimising extremist Jewish settler attacks against Palestinians by failing to apprehend and punish terrorists involved in terrorist attacks. This is tantamount to encouraging them to commit more terror.

And when these terrorist are allowed to get away with impunity, the Israeli government is effectively telling them that you can attack Palestinians and burn mosques and have nothing to worry about. Those few that are caught are conveniently branded as suffering from a psychiatric condition of some kind and evade any action being taken against them. In turn, Palestinians aggrieved with the lack of action, together with the whole process of the occupation and what comes with it, become frustrated and incidents such as that which took place recently then arise in consequence.

What does the rest of the world have to say about the incidents listed above? The fact that the incidents set out have all been sourced from less known media sources speaks volumes that attacks against Palestinian Muslims and indeed Christians are not considered as important as those against those of the Jewish faith and they are therefore also responsible implicitly for what is unfolding today.

The Zionists Israeli policy to remove all sites of religious significance belonging to other faiths has grown in momentum and the desire to build the Third Temple on the site of Masjid al Aqsa is becoming real. Unless the occupation is ended and Israel is brought to account for its criminality, we cannot expect there to be any cessation of violence. The fact that the recent attacks on the synagogue were by leftist rather than “Islamist” perpetrators shows that the more Zionists continue their brutal behaviour, the more they are pushing all types of people into a corner where they feel they have to resort to survival and dignity by any means necessary. Isaac Newton’s third law of motion comes to mind:

For every action there is an equal and opposite re-action,”

and that is what we are seeing being played out in Palestine today.



[1] – fuge in a kibbutz and was set free after receiving psychiatric counselling






























About Z A Rahman

Z.A Rahman is a community activist and a member of a large Mosque in the UK. He has a keen interest in politics and history, particularly Islamic history. He also enjoys traveling and has visited numerous countries in the Middle East and North Africa.


  1. @ Ajmal – that is a flawed argument. More people are killed by state sponsored terrorists such as those by the Israeli state and those by America with its policy of drone kiong all across the Muslim world kills more people than what any lunatic has done in the name of Islam so please don’t come with that type of contention.

  2. do you think the media in the west is interested in covering this stuff while you have barbarians butchering people mercilessly in the name of religion.

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