Jordan replaces al-Aksa pulpit destroyed in 1969

An ornate pulpit built in Jordan to replace the 1,000-year-old stand destroyed in a 1969 attack by a deranged tourist was arriving at the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem on Tuesday evening, an Islamic official said. Adnan Husseini, head of the Wakf, or Islamic Trust, said the new pulpit would take two weeks to install in the mosque, Islam's third-holiest site, where Muslims believe the Prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven. The original wood and ivory pulpit was shipped to Jerusalem by Saladin, the legendary Muslim conqueror. It was destroyed on Aug. 21, 1969, when Michael Dennis Rohan, a tourist from Australia and a member of the "Church of God," a Protestant sect, set fire to the mosque in an attempt to hasten the coming of the Messiah. He was judged insane and deported by Israel.