& occasionally about other things, too...

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Chasing a Mirage – The Tragic Illusion of an Islamic State - II

Excerpts from Tarek Fatah's book:

The Saudi’s can do anything they wish and yet face no scrutiny. Take, for example, the case of the Prophet’s 1,400-year-old home in Mecca. The Saudi plan to demolish it. What makes this planned demolition worse is the fact that the home of the Prophet is to make way for a parking lot, two fifty-storey hotel towers and seven thirty-five storey apartment blocks – a project known as the Jabal Omar Scheme – all within a stone’s throw of the Grand Mosque. Had the site been destroyed by non-Muslims or some occupying Western army, the entire Muslim world would have seethed with outrage. But the news of the demolition was met with a defeaning silence. By November 2007, not a single Muslim country, no ayatollah, no mufti, no king, not even an American or Canadian imam had dared utter a word in protest. Such is the power of Saudi influence on the Muslim narrative.

Compare this to events in December 1992, when a mob of 150,000 Hindu nationalists attacked a 16th
-century mosque in the Indian city of Ayodhya. Within hours the mosque was reduced to a rubble, and in the weeks to follow, thousands of Indians died in Hindu-Muslim riots. The Muslim world reacted with outrage. Among the countries that expressed anger at the destruction of the centuries-old Indian mosque by Hindu extremists was Saudi Arabia. In United States and Canada, imams gave fiery sermons and urged congregations to protest. Although more than a dozen years have passed since the destruction of the mosque, there is still bitterness in the air. Muslims worldwide feel a sense of betrayal and impotence at not being able to control their own destiny and protect their historical religious sites.

The question is this: Why is it that when the Babri mosque in Ayodhya was demolished, hundreds of thousands of Muslims worldwide took to the streets to protest, but when Saudi authorities plan to demolish the home of our beloved Prophet, not a whisper is heard?

...Daniel Howden of The Independent quoted Irfan Ahmed al-Alawi, the chairman of the Islamic Heritage Foundation, which was established to help protect the holy sites, pointing to another outrage. Alawi told The Independent about the case of the grave of Amina bint Wahb, the mother of the Prophet. “It was bullbozed in Abwa and gasoline was poured on it. Even though thousand of petitions throughout the Muslim world were sent, nothing could stop this action.

Howden noted that there were now fewer than twenty structures remaining in Mecca that dated back to the time of the Prophet. He listed lost history as including the house of Khadijah (wife of the Prophet), demolished to make way for public toilets; the house of Abu-Bakr (companion of the Prophet), where there is now a Hilton hotel; the house of Ali-Oraid (a grandson of the Prophet) and the Mosque of abu-Qubais, which is where the king now has a palace in Mecca.

Couldn't newspapers such as Al-Ahram of Cairo or the Dawn of Karachi or the Millet of Istanbul have reported this act of cultural genocide? They could have, but chose not to...

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