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Only Tolerance of Moslems Permitted Jews to Pray at Wailing Wall, Mystic Says

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Only Moslem tolerance has permitted the Jews to pray at the Wailing Wall and now the Jews are trying to take advantage of this tolerance by building a synagogue in the Haram area, declared Mohammed Altaf Tazani, a member of the Sufis, a mystic Mohammedan sect, and the guardian of the Egyptian Moslems’ Wakf, in testifying yesterday afternoon before the Wailing Wall Commission.

Before Altaf Tazani took the stand the last Jewish witness, A. J. Brawer, a geographer and publicist, testified. He recalled praying in the zahweih which the Arab tenants permitted in 1913 when the pavement in front of the Wall was crowded. He also said that he had found parts of the Wall covered with dung and that on complaining about it to Sir Ronald Storrs, governor of Jerusalem, the latter sent police to investigate but the desecrator could not be found.

In the course of the cross-examination Brawer was called a liar by Abdul Abdul Auni Bey, Arab counsel. Brawer replied, “I won’t allow a Levantine to insult me. Unless my honor is upheld I shall not continue.” Brawer testified that he had once been called up to the Torah before the Wall.

Halfway through his testimony the white-turbaned and white-cloaked Altaf Tazani declared that El Burak reminds the Moslems of Mohammed’s night journey to heaven and that all Sufis must make a pilgrimage to the Burak and to the Mosque of Aksa. He said that a journey to El Burak was a source of knowledge and the Mosque of Aksa was holy. Anyone who allowed the Jews to pray near the Mosque of Aksa was a criminal, he stated.

Under cross-examination he admitted that the Mosque and Burak were inside the Haram area but he added that the pavement where the Jews pray was passed by Mohammed on his way to El Burak. He could not, however, name any Arab writer who had said that El Burak and the Wailing Wall were identical.

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