Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Last Days of Mecca and Medina

Rajan Parrikar sent me this news-item.

" What we are witnessing are the last days of Mecca and Medina."

Sami Angawi, quoted in the Independent (UK).

As per this news article, the Sauds are in the final stages of a vandalism that will erase all physical traces of the Prophet Muhammad's history when it is complete. To me this is not different from blowing up the Bamiyan Buddhas.

The grave of Amina bint Wahb, the mother of the Prophet, found in 1998. was bulldozed and gasoline was poured on it.
The house of Khadijah, first wife of the Prophet was demolished to make way for public lavatories.
The house of Abu Bakr, a companion of the Prophet and the first Caliph, made way for a Hilton hotel.
The birthplace of the Prophet will be covered with a concreted car park.

Hardline clerics have their eyes on the cave where the Prophet is said to have received the first verses of the Quran. They want it destroyed.

Behind this destruction is the idea that people's reverence for these sites is idolatry, and that doesn't fit in with the Saudi version of Islam. So the historical geography of these ancient cities needs to be destroyed. Fourteen hundred years they have stood, and are now gone in fanatic madness.

Just about a thousand years ago, Mahmud of Ghazni, a professed follower of the Prophet, swept with his army like a tornado across Northern India. Of the magnificent ancient city of Mathura he estimated that it would take two hundred years and untold gold and craftsmen to create the like. And then he had it razed to the ground. Today the Prophet's relics face the same insanity. Poetic justice, some might say. But it is an occasion for sorrow. Though no doubt, it is of less importance than cartoons published in some newspaper in Denmark.