IDF chief rabbi Rafi Peretz downplayed Muslim religious ties to Yerushalayim and said that the majority of the followers of the Koran know nothing of its contents.
According to a transcript of a lesson at the Otzem pre-military yeshiva, published on the Kipa website, the military rabbi said on November 3 that Jews were more well-versed in the Koran than Muslims.
The IDF said in response that the remarks had been taken out of context, but apologized nonetheless.
“In the Koran, there is not even one reference to the word Jerusalem. Not even a hint. The Arabs are imagining things. Ninety percent of them don’t know what’s written in the Koran. We know far better than they do,” Peretz said.
Other than the al-Aqsa mosque, the rest of the site – including the Dome of the Rock – contains no religious significance to the worshipers, he added.
When they pray, facing Mecca “their backsides face the Temple Mount,” he said. “So what are they doing on the Temple Mount?”
Read more: The Times of Israel