I REFER to your report “PNG helps rebuild King Solomon’s temple” (Dec 1).
The article goes on to inform the readers about how Goroka MP Thompson Harokaqveh made a donation of K13,500 from his discretionary fund towards the rebuilding of King Solomon’s temple in Jerusalem.
This is yet another instance of some misinformed sect leading the people astray and taxpayers’ money being squandered on “pie in the sky” ventures.
Allow me to give you the facts regarding King Solomon’s temple.
The temple was built by King Solomon on what is called Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
It was subsequently demolished by the Assyrians in one of the many skirmishes for the land of Israel.
It was rebuilt by King Herod and again destroyed by the Romans in 70AD, never to be rebuilt.
The ruins of Herod’s Temple can still be seen today surrounding the Temple Mount.
In 638AD, Jerusalem was captured by the Caliph Umar and, as he wanted to have a more imposing shrine than the Christian church of the Holy Sepulcher, he cleaned up the Temple Mount and built a small mosque.
Several years later, from 687 to 691AD, another Caliph, Abd al-Malik, built the Dome of the Rock as there was a passage in the Koran that associated the Prophet Muhammad with Jerusalem and the Temple Mount.
The Dome of the Rock is the monument to the Prophet’s going up to heaven.
It is not a mosque.
The Dome of the Rock is regarded as one of the world’s most beautiful buildings and respected as such by all except a few very radical right wing Jews and some equally misled Christians who want to demolish the building and erect a replica of King Solomon’s temple on the site.
Apart from the act of sheer vandalism and desecration, it would also fuel a war the like of which we have not seen, even in the Middle East.
After Israel occupied the West Bank during the war of 1967, Israeli soldiers had to guard the Dome of the Rock from the radical Jews who wanted to demolish the building and erect the temple.
To be donating money for the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem gives truth to the adage “A fool and his (in this case, the taxpayers’) money are soon parted!”
It would be far better, and much more appreciated by his constituents, I’m sure, if the Goroka MP were to spend his discretionary allowances more wisely in the electorate for which they were intended.
Fr Philip Smith