Identity, Equality, Unity
Alarming news stories in Russian and English papers while the Muslim world keeps quiet about sacrilegious attacks on Islamic heritage. People of all faiths should unite and and demand a new approach to management of the Holy Mecca and Medina. This is not at all unexpected, Saudi Wahhabi Fatwas openly call for destruction of Islamic history. The goal of Saudi Monarchy is no different than the Abbasids or Omayyads more power to the King as Caliph of the Muslim world. To achieve this the extreme ideology must be spread and the tolerant history destroyed.
An ”idealistic” approach to redefining custodianship of the holy lands
Saudi Arabia to raze Prophet Mohammed’s tomb to build larger mosque
Courtyard of the Prophet Mohammed Mosque in the Saudi holy city of Medina (AFP Photo / Mahmud Hams)
The key Islamic heritage site, including Prophet Mohammed’s shrine, is to be bulldozed, as Saudi Arabia plans a $ 6 billion expansion of Medina’s holy Masjid an-Nabawi Mosque. However, Muslims remain silent on the possible destruction.
Work on the Masjid an-Nabawi in Medina, is planned to start as soon as the annual Hajj pilgrimage comes to a close at the end of November.
After the reconstruction, the mosque is expected to become the world’s largest building, with a capacity for 1.6 million people.
And while the need to expand does exist as more pilgrims are flocking to holy sites every year, nothing has been said on how the project will affect the surroundings of the mosque, also historic sites.
Concerns are growing that the expansion of Masjid an-Nabawi will come at the price of three of the world’s oldest mosques nearby, which hold the tombs of Prophet Mohammed and two of his closest companions, Abu Bakr and Umar. The expansion project which will cost 25 billion SAR (more than US $6 billion) reportedly requires razing holy sites, as old as the seventh century.
The Saudis insist that colossal expansion of both Mecca and Medina is essential to make a way for the growing numbers of pilgrims. Both Mecca and Medina host 12 million visiting pilgrims each year and this number is expected to increase to 17 million by 2025.
Authorities and hotel developers are working hard to keep pace, however, the expansions have cost the oldest cities their historical surroundings as sky scrapers, luxury hotels and shopping malls are being erected amongst Islamic heritage.
A room in a hotel or apartment in a historic area may cost up to $ 500 per night. And that’s all in or near Mecca, a place where the Prophet Mohammed insisted all Muslims would be equal.
“They just want to make a lot of money from the super-rich elite pilgrims, but for the poor pilgrims it is getting very expensive and they cannot afford it,”Dr. Irfan Al Alawi of the Islamic Heritage Research Foundation, told RT.
A general view of the Prophet Mohammed Mosque in the Saudi holy city of Medina (AFP Photo / Mahmud Hams)
Jabal Omar complex – a 40 tower ensemble – is being depicted as a new pearl of Mecca. When complete, it will consist of six five star hotels, seven 39 storey residential towers offering 520 restaurants, 4, 360 commercial and retail shops.
But to build this tourist attraction the Saudi authorities destroyed the Ottoman era Ajyad Fortress and the hill it stood on.
The Washington-based Gulf Institute estimated that 95 percent of sacred sites and shrines in the two cities have been destroyed in the past twenty years.
The Prophet’s birthplace was turned into a library and the house of his first wife, Khadijah, was replaced with a public toilet block.
Also the expansion and development might threaten many locals homes, but so far most Muslims have remained silent on the issue.
“Mecca is a holy sanctuary as stated in the Quran it is no ordinary city. The Muslims remain silent against the Saudi Wahhabi destruction because they fear they will not be allowed to visit the Kindom again,” said Dr. Al Alawi.
The fact that there is no reaction on possible destruction has raised talks about hypocrisy because Muslims are turning a blind eye to that their faith people are going to ruin sacred sites.
“Some of the Sunni channels based in the United Kingdom are influenced by Saudi petro dollars and dare not to speak against the destruction, but yet are one of the first to condemn the movie made by non Muslims,” Dr. Al Alawi said.
Muslim pilgrims walk in the courtyard of the Prophet Mohammed Mosque in the Saudi holy city of Medina (AFP Photo / Mahmud Hams)Source: saudi-arabia-prophet-mosque-615
Medina: Saudis take a bulldozer to Islam’s history
Authorities are building a mosque so big it will hold 1.6m people – but are demolishing irreplaceable monuments to do itFRIDAY 26 OCTOBER 2012
Three of the world’s oldest mosques are about to be destroyed as Saudi Arabia embarks on a multi-billion-pound expansion of Islam’s second holiest site. Work on the Masjid an-Nabawi in Medina, where the Prophet Mohamed is buried, will start once the annual Hajj pilgrimage ends next month. When complete, the development will turn the mosque into the world’s largest building, with the capacity for 1.6 million worshippers.
But concerns have been raised that the development will see key historic sites bulldozed. Anger is already growing at the kingdom’s apparent disdain for preserving the historical and archaeological heritage of the country’s holiest city, Mecca. Most of the expansion of Masjid an-Nabawi will take place to the west of the existing mosque, which holds the tombs of Islam’s founder and two of his closest companions, Abu Bakr and Umar.
Just outside the western walls of the current compound are mosques dedicated to Abu Bakr and Umar, as well as the Masjid Ghamama, built to mark the spot where the Prophet is thought to have given his first prayers for the Eid festival. The Saudis have announced no plans to preserve or move the three mosques, which have existed since the seventh century and are covered by Ottoman-era structures, or to commission archaeological digs before they are pulled down, something that has caused considerable concern among the few academics who are willing to speak out in the deeply authoritarian kingdom.
“No one denies that Medina is in need of expansion, but it’s the way the authorities are going about it which is so worrying,” says Dr Irfan al-Alawi of the Islamic Heritage Research Foundation. “There are ways they could expand which would either avoid or preserve the ancient Islamic sites but instead they want to knock it all down.” Dr Alawi has spent much of the past 10 years trying to highlight the destruction of early Islamic sites.
With cheap air travel and booming middle classes in populous Muslim countries within the developing world, both Mecca and Medina are struggling to cope with the 12 million pilgrims who visit each year – a number expected to grow to 17 million by 2025. The Saudi monarchy views itself as the sole authority to decide what should happen to the cradle of Islam. Although it has earmarked billions for an enormous expansion of both Mecca and Medina, it also sees the holy cities as lucrative for a country almost entirely reliant on its finite oil wealth.
Heritage campaigners and many locals have looked on aghast as the historic sections of Mecca and Medina have been bulldozed to make way for gleaming shopping malls, luxury hotels and enormous skyscrapers. The Washington-based Gulf Institute estimates that 95 per cent of the 1,000-year-old buildings in the two cities have been destroyed in the past 20 years.
In Mecca, the Masjid al-Haram, the holiest site in Islam and a place where all Muslims are supposed to be equal, is now overshadowed by the Jabal Omar complex, a development of skyscraper apartments, hotels and an enormous clock tower. To build it, the Saudi authorities destroyed the Ottoman era Ajyad Fortress and the hill it stood on. Other historic sites lost include the Prophet’s birthplace – now a library – and the house of his first wife, Khadijah, which was replaced with a public toilet block.
Neither the Saudi Embassy in London nor the Ministry for Foreign Affairs responded to requests for comment when The Independent contacted them this week. But the government has previously defended its expansion plans for the two holy cities as necessary. It insists it has also built large numbers of budget hotels for poorer pilgrims, though critics point out these are routinely placed many miles away from the holy sites.
Until recently, redevelopment in Medina has pressed ahead at a slightly less frenetic pace than in Mecca, although a number of early Islamic sites have still been lost. Of the seven ancient mosques built to commemorate the Battle of the Trench – a key moment in the development of Islam – only two remain. Ten years ago, a mosque which belonged to the Prophet’s grandson was dynamited. Pictures of the demolition that were secretly taken and smuggled out of the kingdom showed the religious police celebrating as the building collapsed.
The disregard for Islam’s early history is partly explained by the regime’s adoption of Wahabism, an austere and uncompromising interpretation of Islam that is vehemently opposed to anything which might encourage Muslims towards idol worship.
In most of the Muslim world, shrines have been built. Visits to graves are also commonplace. But Wahabism views such practices with disdain. The religious police go to enormous lengths to discourage people from praying at or visiting places closely connected to the time of the Prophet while powerful clerics work behind the scenes to promote the destruction of historic sites.
Dr Alawi fears that the redevelopment of the Masjid an-Nabawi is part of a wider drive to shift focus away from the place where Mohamed is buried. The spot that marks the Prophet’s tomb is covered by a famous green dome and forms the centrepiece of the current mosque. But under the new plans, it will become the east wing of a building eight times its current size with a new pulpit. There are also plans to demolish the prayer niche at the centre of mosque. The area forms part of the Riyadh al-Jannah (Garden of Paradise), a section of the mosque that the Prophet decreed especially holy..
“Their excuse is they want to make more room and create 20 spaces in a mosque that will eventually hold 1.6 million,” says Dr Alawi. “It makes no sense. What they really want is to move the focus away from where the Prophet is buried.”
A pamphlet published in 2007 by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs – and endorsed by the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Abdulaziz al Sheikh – called for the dome to be demolished and the graves of Mohamed, Abu Bakr and Umar to be flattened. Sheikh Ibn al-Uthaymeen, one of the 20th century’s most prolific Wahabi scholars, made similar demands.
“Muslim silence over the destruction of Mecca and Medina is both disastrous and hypocritical,” says Dr Alawi. “The recent movie about the Prophet Mohamed caused worldwide protests… and yet the destruction of the Prophet’s birthplace, where he prayed and founded Islam has been allowed to continue without any criticism.”
Mecca and Medina in numbers
12m The number of people who visit Mecca and Medina every year
3.4m The number of Muslims expected to perform Hajj (pilgrimage) this year
60,000 The current capacity of the Masjid an-Nabawi mosque
1.6m The projected capacity of the mosque after expansion
In addition to destroying Islamic history and archaeology Saudi Arabia is exporting its fundamentalist thinking world wide. This is growing world wide extremism, terrorism and fundamentalism. Saudi Wahhabis were considered a heretical cult. British agents armed them to take down the Ottoman Empire.
The Roots Of Salafi Jihadism
Scholars will argue that the roots of Salafism extend back to the time of Mohammed and the immediate generations that follow him.
In Islam, as with Judaism and Christianity, there has always been movements to return to the religion that has veered of its course to its roots.
The modern-day Salafi Jihadist however has much more recent roots.
Back during the time United States was fighting its revolution the America’s were not the only place the colonialist British Empire had it sites on.
The British also had their eyes set on the Middle East but at that time it under complete control of the Muslim Ottoman empire.
Britain realized that Muslims would not fight one another because it was against their religion so they conjured up a plan to divide and conquer empire.
The British sent 9 spies into the empire to create a new interpretation of Islam that would pit the Muslims against one another under the guise of Jihad.
Under this new interpretation those who did not follow a strict fundamentalist interpretation of Islam were not considered Muslims.
This new interpretation not only allowed, but required, its followers to take up Jihad against the impure infidels to bring a pure Islam to entire world.
The founder of this new sect of Islam was Mohammed Abdul Wahhab and was done so under the influence of the British named Hempher.
With assistance from Hempher Wahhab was able to popularize his Islam purification ideologies and eventually made an alliance with the rich and powerful House of Ibn Saud, which is known today as the Saudi Royal family.
It was through Wahhab’s movement the House of Ibn Saud was able to quickly conquer much of Saudi Arabia using brutal tactics of terrorism.
The Saudi Royal Family provided the funding and the Wahhabi movement provided the foot soldiers with the extremist ideology that carry out the attacks
Wahhab’s alliance with the Saudi Royal family marked the start of 140 years of Saudi attacks on the Ottoman empire. and his movement became known as Wahhabismwhich the dominant form of Islam in Saudi Arabia and is alternately referred to as the revival of the Salafi revival movement .
Salafism, Wahhabism, Saudi Arabia and Al Qaeda
Modern day Salafist Jihadism was born from the writings of the Muslim Brother’s Hoods Sayyid Qutb who was imprisoned after the Muslim Brother Hood attempt to assassinate the Egyptian leader in 1954.
The Saudi Royal Prince
Those writings have become the intellectual underpinnings of the modern day Salafi Jihadists by glorify the teachings of the ideology of Wahhabi.
Through Jihad the Salafists want to spread their strict fundamentalists interpretation to the Islam to the entire world.
Al Qaeda adopted the Wahhabi teachings with Sayyid Qutb having a major influence on Bin Laden and his disciples.
The arrangement between the Wahhabis and the Saudi Royal Family haven’t changed since the Wahhabism started first started.
The tactics today are still the same employed by Wahhabi during the first Saudi Dynasty.
This is clearly seen in the first video in this article and as described by the corporate media reports..
Today however Salafi Jihadist groups include Al Qaeda and many Islamic Jihadist fronts .
Those familiar with Islam realize the many different names given to the various factions of Salafism serves only to obscure the fact the groups are all one in the same.
The many different names simply hide the truth from the West that they are all trying to accomplish the same goal of fulfilling Saudi Arabia’s Jihadi mission to impose Islam on the entire world’s population.
What the west is clearly aware of is Saudi Arabia spend hundreds of billions of dollars every year across the globe to promote the violent Salafism ideology that is predominant in Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
Source: Saudi Arabia Paying UK Trained Terrorists Up To $3,000/Mo To Jihad Against Syria – by Alexander Higgins
The deadly sand fly… – by Brig Mehboob Qadir
Desert is a formidable stilling basin that can soak up volatility and bite in the human beings. It is also a great teacher in patience, determination in adversity and self-reliance against odds. It could even pass on a pinch or two of equanimity to the deserving. However, those are measures of a different scale and are directly proportionate to the capacity of each receiving vessel. Moses came out of the desert stronger in heart and soul whereas Alexander the Great lost experienced soldiers and his life crossing one. There is the third dimension to the desert that is more mundane, more physical. It is want, loneliness, dearth, disease, hunger and thirst. It deals with helplessness of waste, inevitable of aridity and uselessness of expanse. In that useless expanse is found a flying insect, which is universally known as the sand fly and is dreaded globally. This poisonous insect bites unsuspecting but careless victim and the effects begin to appear after six weeks of hatching. An ulcer forms where it had stung and then it begins to expand. It takes long to heal and leaves a permanent ugly scar behind. A sand fly can travel hundreds of miles on the back of wild grazers and attack men out of the blue.
This is not intended to talk about how dreadful a sand fly could be but it reminds one of a similar and vastly deadlier, soul-ulcerating menace that has hit the careless but unsuspecting fellow Pakistanis emanating from the hard crusted Najdis of Saudi Arabia. I am referring to the spiteful Wahabist-Salafist cult that has invaded Pakistan first by stealth, then on invitation, through complacence and finally, outright bribe. There have been two routes that it followed, both willing accomplices in their crime against our wonderfully adjusted and socially balanced belief system and trusting people. The petro-dollar grabbing mullah and power hungry, illegitimate rulers like late General Zia were the co-conspirators and willing accomplices in this despicable plot against the people of Pakistan and the region.
Before the advent of this paralysing strain of religious virus in the subcontinent, particularly in the ‘Ziaist’ Pakistan, most shades of Islam were peacefully cohabiting here. Followers of other religions like Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, Parsis and even Jews were neither threatened nor discriminated against. We had calm and mutual peace in our different religions and among various sects in Islam as a result of thousands of years of adjustment. After the attack of this black locust from the desert of Najd, it was never going to be so for a long time to come as they slow poisoned our minds and scorched our social landscape comprehensively against growth of reason, tolerance and coexistence. That we were to learn at a regrettably huge and continuing human, diplomatic and material cost.
This massacre of our culture, faith and great social values by Wahabist Saudis is a massive crime against humanity and people of Pakistan. In the traditions of Peninsular Arab, a guest is not expected to stay more than three days; thereafter, he must set off to the next destination or pay for his expenses and for good reason. In the subcontinent, we had so much in plenty and therefore, have always been generous to a guest, never ask him to leave unless he himself decides to go. Barren Najd and fertile Indus-Gangetic plains were and are two completely incompatible and vastly different worlds. Let alone us, they have never been able to reconcile with the more civilised Iraqis, Egyptians or Iranians next door to date. There is no way that their value system, social references and more importantly, mental imagery of social panorama can ever match and mix with ours. That is why this latest Arab re-conquest of Pakistan has resulted in a cultural genocide destroying our lovable traditions, easygoing popular fairs, happy folk festivals and of our inclusive and magnanimous lifestyle. Theirs is a mechanical, dehydrated and a rather stiffer version of Islam. What they can never understand and therefore, would remain averse to is that matters of faith are never mechanical; they belong to the sublime and the superior aesthetic self. It is extremely personal and never regimented. Try as much as they may but they can never understand how much one is in communication with God, at which affectionate wavelength, from which calling station, and how much honey is flowing between the two. For them religion and belief is black and white with no room for the huge humanity outside or the better ones inside. They refuse to grant that God is everybody’s and not a Wahabist monopoly. He is not a mathematical sum or a measurable quantity. God is where one could reach Him and not where you place Him.
The Imam of Kaaba visited India in 2011 and was reminded of the Saudi family promise to make sure that the management of Mecca and Medina belongs to all Muslims. A promise made in 1925 as a written agreement to appease the Muslims of India who were disturbed by the role of Wahhabis in destroying the last Caliphate of Muslisms, the Ottomans.
Reaction of some Indian Muslim Communities:
Since the worldwide Muslim majority do not subscribe to the Wahhabi ideology, the claim of Arshad Madani of the Jamiat-e-Ulama-e-Hind that “Sheikh Al Sudais is the highest religious leader of the Muslims” is misleading. In the Indian sub-continent too the Wahhabis have so far made only a limited dent among the Muslims. Deobandi, Tablighi Jamaat, Ahle Hadees and the Jamaat-e-Islami sects do not constitute more than 15 to 20% of the total population of the community. In fact Wahhabis due to their reputation of destroying all the sacred graveyards and mausoleums including those of Prophet’s family in Mecca are hardly acceptable to a majority of the Muslims..
Similarly Barelvi Muslims who constitute largest group of Muslim population in Indian sub-continent maintain that “Mecca Imam does not represent the Sunni Muslims of the world and he is not our leader”. They condemned the visit of the Imam in India on the plea that it was “Wahhabi-Deobandi nexus to popularize Wahabi extremist Ideology in Indian Subcontinent” (http://sunninews.worldpress.com/2011/03/). They also “expressed grave concerns over the false propaganda run by Urdu Media to show the Imam as most revered personality of Islamic world”. They even demanded the Mecca Imam for a clarification on the treaty made between Indian Muslim leaders and the Saudi Kingdon in 1925 in which king Abdul Azeez (Ibn Saud) had promised to hand over Mecca, Medina and other cities of Hijaj under the custodianship of a united body of world Muslim leaders after the establishment of peace in the region but the treaty has so far not been followed. They also asked the Imam to convey this message of Indian Muslims to Saudi king Abdullah. (Ibid).