Museum of Secular Humanism to be built on Temple Mount
After years of falling attendances and rising maintenance costs, owners of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock have sold the land to an Atheist charity group who have announced that they will use the site to build a museum of Secular humanism.
"Things were just not working out" admitted Aaqib Javed, the former owner. "No one was bothering to turn up to worship. Our Muezzin developed vocal nodules and had to retire. He had a lisp, so no one listened to him anyway."
Although the site is one of the most holiest places in Islamic history, it appears as though the modern Muslim has moved on to a more private, family-centred faith. Modern Mosques also offer many amenities that more traditional ones do not offer, such as cry-rooms, mixed-gender gatherings and Turkish coffee shops operating in the foyer.
Typically, the sale of the land to the atheist group has raised few eyebrows in Jerusalem, one of the most liberal and progressive cities in the Middle East.
"They're turning it into a museum?" said Ben Cohen, owner of a grocery store within walking distance of the Dome, "Well, I suppose it might increase tourism. That'll be good for business."
"It is ugly" admitted jogger Benazir Ali, referring to the Dome, "I hope the new building makes the city look better"
The plans for the Museum involve a complete restructuring of the site, including a removal of millions of tonnes of rock and old building material underneath the current buildings.
"The foundations under the Dome and Mosque are very old" admitted Murray O'Hair, chairman of the museum's architectural committee. "Inspections from structural engineers and geologists indicate that the remains of previous buildings lie directly underneath the current structures."
"There's no way the new museum can be built without removing these old remains."
O'Hair also pointed out that an old well underneath the structures will need be be "stopped up and filled in" to ensure that the museum's foundations remain strong.
Demolition work will begin in October, 2005.
From the Department of Attempted Humour
© 2005 Neil McKenzie Cameron, http://one-salient-oversight.blogspot.com/
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.5 License.