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Jerwsalem: Tir Sanctaidd

Jason delves into the truth of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem

Jason Mohammad goes on a personal journey to explore religion, history and culture in Jerusalem, in his new series, Jerwsalem: Tir Sanctaidd, starting on Sunday, 6 April on S4C.

In the first programme of four, Jason will be delving into the history of the Temple Mount, Jerusalem - one of the most sacred places on earth. To the Jew, it's the site of Solomon's Temple; for Christians, it's the location of Herod's temple, where Jesus walked; and Muslims believe that from here Mohammed rose to heaven.

Jason was born in Cardiff but his father is originally from Pakistan, and Jason was raised in the Muslim faith.

Before going to Jerusalem, Jason - who still lives in Cardiff with his wife and three children - expected to see tension between followers of the different faiths, reflecting what is often reported in the news. But he was surprised by what he saw there.

"The city is remarkably beautiful. There are problems there of course and lots of soldiers. I must admit, as a Moslem, I didn't feel comfortable seeing them. Two months before I went to film, there were riots and violence - Muslim protesters reacting to threats by Jews to occupy the site. One of the protesters died - a 25 year old man. But people from every faith meet in the market, and everyone mingles together - we forget about this when we see stories about the troubles on television."

The visit was an unforgettable experience for Jason who discovered more about his faith and learned more about other religions. He found praying in the Al Aqsa Mosque, the third most sacred place in the Islamic faith, a moving and spiritual experience.

"Since the seventh century, Muslims have come here to worship, and parts of the mosque have been standing for close to a thousand years. Until recently, Islam's leaders were encouraging the faithful to stay away, as a protest against Israeli actions. It's good to see this advice has now been changed. It was a fantastic experience, to be in a place which is so sacred. I would like to go back. At the time I couldn't believe I was there!"

At the heart of the controversy today are archaeologists. Their work is crucial to the battle over the holy ground of Jerusalem. Some believe that finding Solomon's Temple or King David's Palace here would settle the argument once and for all. But there's a fundamental problem. No one is allowed to dig on the Temple Mount. On the programme, Jason will speak to some of the archaeologists and try to delve into the truth of the Temple Mount.

"Filming this series," says Jason, "has been a fantastic privilege - I've been walking on some of the most sacred ground on earth."