In Other Breaking News (That the Networks Didn’t Carry…): There Was a Fire at the Al Aqsa Mosque Today Too!

While it isn’t surprising that the US news media didn’t cover it with seconds of breaking news, let alone hours of such coverage, there was also a fire today at the al Aqsa Mosque.

From Newsweek:

fire broke out at the revered Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem just as flames ravaged the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

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.”

News of the incident at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam and central to the ongoing Arab-Israeli conflict, was largely overshadowed by a much larger blaze engulfing the Notre Dame Cathedral at the same time.

The Marwani Prayer Room is located underneath the southeastern corner of the Temple Mount, known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif, which contains both the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque. Sheikh Azzam al-Khatib, director general of the Jerusalem Waqf and Al-Aqsa Mosque Affairs Department, told Jordan’s Al-Mamlaka TV that the fire broke out in the courtyard and preliminary information suggested that it may have been caused by children tampering in the area.

The good news here is that no one appears to have been hurt and the damage was far, far less severe than that at the Cathedral of Notre Dame. While Newsweek has reported that the al Aqsa fire might have been caused by mischief, it is unclear what started it and there are reports of this being an electrical fire.

Apparently it is going to be one of those weeks!

Open thread.

26 replies
  1. 1

    Ah jeez! Hopefully this one is also mischief-free.

  2. 2
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Happy Infrastructure Week!

  3. 3
    mike in dc says:

    Wilmer finally releases his tax returns, 10 years worth. Nothing too interesting, though he is of course a mill-yuh-neer now.

  4. 4
  5. 5
    Mnemosyne says:

    Yikes! Bad day for religious buildings. Hopefully the caretakers of, say, Westminster Abbey and Angkor Wat are doing anxious and careful fire assessments right now.

  6. 6

    @mike in dc: if you had “he was just being a stubborn ass about it,” you may collect your winnings.

  7. 7
    Mnemosyne says:

    @mike in dc:

    Honestly, I’d rather have someone I trust comb through them rather than rely on media reports. Nobody cared about Hillary’s “Wall Street speeches” until Wilmer’s minions decided to weaponize them.

  8. 8
    Baud says:


    I’m sure someone will. There’s a good chance he was just being an ass though.

  9. 9
    Ohio Mom says:

    @mike in dc: Part of me — the six year old part — is disappointed because it was such an easy taunt: Where are your tax returns, you’re as bad as Trump!

    Still, lots more left to dislike about old Bernie.

  10. 10
    eemom says:

    It’s times like these I thank God I’m not religious. 🤣

  11. 11
    West of the Rockies says:

    Had Trump been emperor of Rome when it burned, he’d not have played violin but Tweeted instead: “Such a waste. Those loser senators should have listened to me and none of this would have happened. I alone can put out the fires. Sad!”

  12. 12
    Sab says:

    @mike in dc: Released to whom? I want to see them. I ain’t a forensic accountant but I do know a bit about tax returns, and I want to see them.

  13. 13
    MomSense says:

    Of all the times for this to happen what with the situation in the Golan Heights. This has been a horrible no good very bad day for the people of the book.

  14. 14
    JaySinWA says:

    @Ohio Mom: You can always join the “but what happened in 2008?” chorus. Someone is pushing a theory that he delayed so that he could claim 10 years without showing 2008 because….

  15. 15
    Mnemosyne says:


    Apparently at least some of the “returns” are partials or summaries. Hmmmm. 🤔

  16. 16
    satby says:

    @JaySinWA: I’m in that chorus. There’s something more he doesn’t want people to know about.

  17. 17
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @mike in dc: The question is: what was in year 11 or later that he didn’t want anyone to see in 2016 when he didn’t release any?

  18. 18
    Mnemosyne says:


    Brachiator has a link in the thread below and he’s looking at the returns. I believe that he is a tax professional of some kind, and that he will be fair to Wilmer even if it annoys the rest of us. 😉

  19. 19
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @MomSense: Jealous, vengeful, wrathful deities will do that…

  20. 20
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Yup. Bernie has been excessively coy about his taxes for the past three years. I can’t help wondering (as I do for his opposite number, the asterisked POTUS*) — WHAT THE HELL IS HE HIDING? I don’t trust him any farther than I can spit.

  21. 21
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Had not heard one peep about El Aqsa Mosque until now. WTF is wrong with our news media?*

    *Rhetorical question, to be sure.

    ETA: Fixed stupid autocorrect autocorrection.

  22. 22
    Adam Geffen says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    😬😭 It is very telling that there was not one bit of this on the news.

  23. 23
    Amir Khalid says:

    Caused by childish mischief and no damage of consequence. That’s a relief.

  24. 24
    Miss Bianca says:

    Good God, please don’t let a major synagogue be next.

  25. 25
    Bill Arnold says:

    Looked quizzically at this. Maybe pressures on Fox are causing internal policies to be adjusted a bit.
    Fox News Anchors Shut Down Conspiracy Theories About Notre Dame Fire – Neil Cavuto hung up on a guest mid-conversation while Shepard Smith openly scolded one who echoed baseless speculation about the horrific fire. (Justin Baragona 04.15.19)

    Smith interrupted, informing Karsenty, who was once convicted of defamation for accusing a French media outlet of staging a Palestinian boy’s death, that he would not allow such speculation on-air.

    The Fox News anchor interjected, letting Donohue that while he appreciates his time, “we cannot make conjectures about this.” Cavuto then dropped the call.

  26. 26
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    Good God, please don’t let a major synagogue be next.

    Abrahamic religions. On the third hand, Israel (well, private company) crashed a moon lander this last week. On the fourth hand, the recent election cycle and results there were unsettling.

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