Yes, Donald Trump really called Islam's third-holiest site the 'Al-Aqua mosque'

Yes, Donald Trump really called Islam's third-holiest site the 'Al-Aqua mosque'
The combination of mosque and water park is Trump's latest gaffe.
3 min read
29 January, 2020
Who knew Al-Aqsa could bring to mind a '90s pop group? pGetty]
US President Donald Trump appeared to stumble over his teleprompter on Tuesday during the much-anticipated reveal of his so-called "Deal of the Century" peace plan, terming Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque the "Al-Aqua" mosque.

The Twitterverse reacted with shock and a characteristic onslaught of memes after the bizarre slip-up, which was notably not Trump's first hilarious mispronunciation.

Also known as the Dome of the Rock, Al-Aqsa is one of the most contested sites in the Israel-Palestine conflict. Located in the heart of Jerusalem's old city, the mosque is considered the third-holiest site in Islam.

But the mosque is also located on what is known as the Temple Mount, considered the holiest site in Judaism as the location of the historic Second Temple.

The mosque is administered by the Jordanian waqf but Israeli security forces retain control over admission to the site, with severe restrictions on Palestinians from the occupied West Bank and besieged Gaza Strip often limiting access. 

Its important status has made it a flashpoint for violence over the course of the conflict, with an extremist Israeli organisation plotting to blow up the mosque in the 1980s and the controversial visit of then-opposition leader Ariel Sharon to the compound provoking the Second Intifada in 2000.

Working alongside Jordan's King Abdullah, Israel would "ensure that the status quo of the Temple Mount is preserved" under the peace plan, guaranteeing that "all Muslims who wish to visit peacefully and pray at the al-Aqua mosque will be able to do so", Trump said on Tuesday.

The gaffe spawned some hilarious reactions on Twitter. Here are some of the best:

For some, Trump's slip of the tongue brought to mind a Muslim water park.

Could Jason Momoa - AKA Aquaman - be the next imam of Islam's third-holiest site?
For others, the slip-up reminded them of an aquarium:

Children of the '90s thought of iconic pop group Aqua and their 1997 anthem "Barbie Girl":

The nerds of Twitter turned to history puns:

While others pointed to the similarity between Trump's "Al-Aqua" slip-up and the Arabic word "Al-Aqwa", meaning strongest:

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