Visiting Jerusalem as a Muslim: Noor Dahri’s Experience

Visiting Jerusalem as a Muslim: Noor Dahri’s Experience

Michelle Rosenberg
Michelle Rosenberg
August 22, 2022

What’s it like for a Muslim tourist visiting Jerusalem? Anti-Israel advocates commonly refer to Israel as an apartheid government that targets Muslims.

Can a state with a population of 1.9 million Arabs all enjoying equal protection of rights and freedoms be considered apartheid?

One may need to visit and experience Israel to pass such judgments. One Muslim advocate did.

In a now-viral social media post, Noor Dahri, founder of the Islamic Theology of Counter Terrorism- ITCT, a think-tank focused on Counter Islamist Terrorism, bravely posted photographs of himself praying at both the Kotel (Western Wall) and al-Aqsa Mosque.

He shared the following about his experience:

“I was so ashamed of to see that I had free access to any Jewish religious area in Kotal to pray and no any single religious Jewish ever bothered to stop me but Jewish weren’t even allowed to come closer to Damascus Gate! (One Jewish came close and said “God Bless you” when I was filming video).

Where is freedom of religion and expression. We Muslims have right to go anywhere in Israel but Jewish people have no right to even go to certain areas of Jerusalem. This is the great example of Muslims Apartheid in Jerusalem.”

Considered one of the holiest sites in Judaism, the Temple Mount is located within the Muslim quarter at the location of the al-Aqsa Mosque (Dome of the Rock).

Tourist Israel states, “while the [Temple Mount] complex is open to all, non-Muslims are NOT permitted to enter into the Dome of the Rock.”

Christian and Jewish prayer is forbidden within the complex, as are all non-Muslim religious regalia, including prayer books, rosaries, and talit.

Muslims are permitted access and pray at all sites within the Jewish quarter, including the Western Wall.

Dahri makes similar points as U.N. Watch’s Hillel Neuer, who famously asked Arab nations, “Where are your Jews?” in an address to United Nations.


Dahri shuts down misleading messaging that Israel functions as apartheid, arguing the only apartheid that exists is at the hands of Muslims in Jerusalem.

He now faces violent backlash for his advocacy against antisemitism and support for Israel from his community, but these threats do not seem to affect his bottom line.

He responded to one threatening tweet saying, “They [haters] are calling Palestinians to stop me at Al Aqsa Mosque. I am not afraid of them.”

So, what’s it like for a Muslim visiting Jerusalem? Ask Noor Dahri, follow his journey on social media, or buy one of his books (as I just did).

Michelle Rosenberg

Michelle Rosenberg

Michelle Rosenberg is a proud holder of a Master's degree in Global Affairs with a concentration in Globalization and Security, as well as a Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice, both from Florida International University. Michelle's academic pursuits illustrate her commitment to understanding the complex dimensions of international relations and global dynamics. When she's not diving into the intricacies of global affairs, she cherishes time with her three beloved daughters and relishes exploring new places with her family

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