Egypt’s ancient pyramids are under threat, as the country’s new
leader receives calls to destroy the age-old structures. Radical
Islamists have deemed the monuments “symbols of Paganism,” and are
encouraging the president to tear down the relics.
Bahrain’s president of National Unity, Abd al-Latif al-Mahmoud, has called on Cairo to demolish the pyramids and “accomplish what the Sahabi Amr bin al-As could not.”
is a reference to the Muslim Prophet Muhammad’s companion, Amr bin
al-As, and his ancient tribesmen, who invaded and conquered Egypt in
641.An Islamization process was begun under his rule – which saw many Egyptian monuments destroyed as “relics of infidelity."
However, demolishing the pyramids was prohibited during the 7th century, so the structures remained untouched.
al-Mahmound, who is also known as the “Sheikh of Sunni Sheikhs,” isn’t
the only Muslim cleric adamant on having the ancient burial tombs
destroyed.Saudi Sheikh Ali bin Said al-Rabi’i also refers to the structures as “symbols of paganism.”
It’s not the first time radical Islamists have pushed for the ruin of historical monuments.
Tuesday, Islamist fighters destroyed two tombs at the famous
Djingareyber mosque in the Malian city of Timbuktu. Witnesses say
militants shot into the air to warn people away while they smashed the
A still from a video shows Islamist militants destroying an ancient shrine in Timbuktu on July 1, 2012 (AFP Photo)The mosque is a UNESCO World Heritage site and contains shrines dedicated to Islamic saints.
The Al-Qaeda-linked Ansar Dine group claimed responsibility for the act, saying the shrines were idolatrous.
The International Criminal Court has condemned the destruction of the tombs, and warned that it could constitute a war crime.
The act has led many to ask why Islamic militants would choose to demolish their own religious heritage.
spokesman for the Ansar Dine group, Oumar Ould Hamaha, told AP that
the organization has “divine orders” to destroy any grave that is over
20cm tall, because anything taller encourages people to direct their
prayer toward the deceased, rather than to God.
residents of Timbuktu need to get their priorities straight and stop
confusing the saints with Allah. He claims the destruction is for their
own good.But the militants aren’t solely focused on demolishing
Muslim heritage; other religions have fallen victim to destruction, as
well.In 2001, the Taliban’s supreme leader issued an order against un-Islamic graven images.
edict resulted in members using exposives, tanks, and anti-aircraft
weapons to blow apart two images of Buddha in eastern Afghanistan.As
Egypt’s president Mohammed Morsi settles into his new role, the
question remains whether the Muslim Brotherhood leader is “pious” enough
to destroy the last remaining “Wonder” of the Seven Wonders of the
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