Originally published under the title, "A 'Pig' Incident in Jerusalem."

Women of the Murabitat, who daily harass non-Muslim visitors to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, don't like being insulted.

As most non-Muslim visitors to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem can attest, groups of screaming female banshees accost them, yelling Allahu akbar and other Islamic slogans, making for a highly unpleasant experience. (Called the Murabitat, or the Steadfast, they are funded by an Islamist organization.)

On schedule, this recurred on July 23, when a Jewish group visited the holy area.

Worse, the banshees followed the group outside the Temple Mount and into a surrounding street, harassing and threatening the group.

Irritated, a female member of the Jewish group, Avia Morris, 20, responded into a video camera sent out by the Jerusalem Information Center (Markaz A'lam al-Quds) with two words: "Muhammad khanzeer," Arabic for "Muhammad is a pig," obviously a very pungent insult.

The next day, Israeli police arrested Morris. Despite this, the video went viral and may have contributed to Sunday's riots on the Temple Mount.


(1) Morris has explained the situation and her reaction to it, as related in the Jerusalem Post:

For the entire 40 minute walk through the Old City to the Temple Mount, a group of Arab women followed us yelling Allah Akbar and Itbach al-Yahud [Kill the Jews in Arabic], as well as a number of curse words," she said. "We asked the police to keep them further away but they did not stop them. Instead, they let the women continue insult the Jewish faith and the Jewish people in our holiest place in the world.

Morris knew that she would be arrested immediately if she said anything while on the Temple Mount itself, so she remained stoic along with the rest in the group. However, the same group of women returned as soon as the group left the Temple Mount. Morris said she could no longer stay quiet as they continued their taunts and even made the symbol of Islamic State.

By that point, I felt if I continued to stay quiet and if we continue to hide our heads, we would be like the Jews in exile who are afraid of non Jews and that aren't able to fight back. So I decided that it would be a disgrace to not say something back so I said 'Muhammad is a pig'... and after that, they were finally moved away from us.

Ironically, then, the tactic worked, at least in the short term.

(2) It happens all the time: Islamists openly stride the streets while the victim of Islamist aggression pays the price. Think of Geert Wilders being housed in a jail cell for his protection or look at the fortress-like synagogues in France. Even the president of Egypt sleeps in an unidentified location, fearing Islamist assault.

(3) This fits into a pattern going back at least to 1997, of the Israeli authorities arresting non-Muslims who offend Islamic sensibilities. For details, see my "Israelis Insult Muslims, Face Criminal Charges."

(4) This arrest can lead to trouble. What if thousands of Israelis uploaded videos of themselves saying "Muhammad khanzir": Would the police arrest them all? And if not, how could it indict Morris?

Daniel Pipes is President of the Middle East Forum