The burning of Notre Dame Cathedral in France has overshadowed the burning of another house of worship.
Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem (Israel) caught fire around the same time, though that appears to just be a coincidence. The building is one of the holiest sites in Islam and a focal point of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Footage showing smoke and fire emerging from the roof of a structure known as the Marwani Prayer Room, or Solomon’s Stables, could be seen on social media. The Palestine News Agency, the official outlet of the Palestinian National Authority, cited a guard as saying Monday that “the fire broke out in the guard’s room outside the roof of the Marwani Prayer Room, and the fire brigade of the Islamic Waqf handled the matter successfully.”
No injuries or damage was reported during the short blaze.
No foul play is suspected in this fire, either. Rather, the cause is attributed to unsupervised children in the area (though nothing has been confirmed just yet).
While the cathedral is arguably more famous than the mosque, the destruction (or potential destruction) of these houses of worship have ripple effects that go well beyond the believers themselves. We saw the same thing with the (active, hate-based) burning of three predominantly black churches in Louisiana.
When a faith community stands to lose a meaningful symbol, it affects them, and that means it affects all of us.
(Image via Shutterstock)