Temple Mount activist Yehuda Glick, who was savagely attacked last October by an Arab terrorist who shot him in the chest, found himself, figuratively, in “the belly of the beast” this week – attending a post-Ramadan meal in Istanbul attended by 1,000 Muslim clerics.
How did it go? “Not bad,” said Glick, who had been invited by Adnan Oktar, a Turkish cleric better know as Harun Yahya, to attend the event. Yahya currently represents a moderate view of Islam (although in the past he was accused of anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial), and has published numerous books on Muslim philosophy, creationism, and other subjects in numerous languages. During the event, Yahya asked the audience to stand up and condemn violence, including the violence done to Glick.
Speaking to Arutz Sheva, Glick said that he accepted the invitation immediately. He said he did not fear traveling to a Muslim country, but to make him feel comfortable, Yahya provided him with a bulletproof car and two bodyguards, “things that I can only dream of getting here in Israel.”
Despite the fact that his reputation preceded him, everyone Glick met condemned the shooting, he said. “Everyone knew who I was, and they said they would pray for my health,” Glick said. “Many of the clerics said that the shooter 'injured' Islam even more than he injured me, and several recited passages from the Koran that one must respect Jews and refrain from harming them.”
The Muslims in Turkey, said Glick, did not see his activities to organize prayer for Jews on the Temple Mount as a problem. “They respect that fact that I am observant, and they realize that we do not have any designs on their prayers or worship. They see no reason why Muslims, Christians and Jews cannot pray on the Temple Mount.”
Glick said that he had not experienced any opposition to his visit, although sources told Arutz Sheva that several groups had sought to ban Glick from entering the country.
Glick – who founded and heads the LIBA Initiative for Jewish Freedom on the Temple Mount – has been recovering from an attack on October 29, in which he was shot in the chest outside the Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem. He had been speaking, minutes before being shot, at an event for Jewish rights on the Temple Mount that had hosted leading religious figures and MKs.
Despite the ordeal, friends say that Glick has made a 'miraculous' recovery from his wounds – and not only will be full-functioning soon, but is also in relatively good spirits, and in one of his first public interviews Wednesday, Glick discussed his condition, and his feelings about how police have handled the attack. Glick said that police act swiftly against Jews who incite against Arabs, such as in the vandalism against the Jerusalem Bilingual School, in which vandals spray painted anti-Arab graffiti. Police said they have opened a major investigation to apprehend the culprits.