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  The Chatter Box : Blathering On
At it again!!! by Godfather on 13 July 2005 11:27am
Just as the Taliban wanted to erase all traces of idolatory, the Saudis are thinking about demoloshing 1,400 year old structures in Mecca due to the same fear of idol worship, and replacing them with real estate and tower blocks.

Wahhabism which is the prominent form of Islam in Saudi, has a bit of a thing about old buildings (even Islamic) for fear of them being sites of pilgrimage and idol worship. Yet, the same people now urge people to only concentrate on the Kaaba.

Do these people think that historians are not "well aware" that the Kaaba stone and it's surroundings were once a Pagan worship site prior to Islam?

Muhammad and his army rode into Mecca, and Muhammad toppled every statue (i think there were 360) off their perch in the Kaaba sanctuary with his staff, took over the Kaaba and then linked it all to Islam.

Now this same area is the main Haj pilgrimage focus. Sorry but it's still a kind of idol worship isn't it?. Many of the rituals that take place during the Haj, are rooted in the original Pagan rituals there too. So it seem hypocritical.

When it comes to practical matters, some could say it would be like Britain keeping old run down buildings instead of moving with the times and progress. I can understand in some ways. But at the same time there must be some way to compromise and leave some buildings intact without knocking down everything of historical interest?

It will need care and time to do so. But in the long run, Saudi could regret it's "Clean sweep" erasure of history like the Chinese now do, after the cultural revolution.

Yahoo Article :

Re: At it again!!! by Wild in Africa on 13 July 2005 12:59pm
And the fear is that if ever the Muslim Brotherhood came to power in Egypt they may start demolishing the structures and buildings of ancient Egyptian civilisations. This threat has indeed been made.
Will the world stand idly by while our global ancient heritage is destroyed? The example of the Taliban and the Bamiyan Buddhas is not encouraging.

Most of the prominent Egyptologists are Egyptian Muslims or Copts (e.g. Dr Zahi Hawass) but their capacity to withstand a fundamentalist onslaught is questionable.

I always find it deeply saddening when our global heritage is diminished like this whether it is in Afghanistan, Saudi, the bridge at Mostar or even here in my home town of Reading when I wander the ruins of Reading Abbey and see how it was destroyed in the fundamentalist anti-Catholic rage of Henry the 8th.
Re: At it again!!! by perfectbitch on 13 July 2005 2:55pm
I also lament the loss of ancint pagan sites here in the UK by some early church buildings. Whatever the religion/culture, this sort of action is a denial of our evolutionary past.
Re: At it again!!! by Spursfan on 13 July 2005 3:02pm
I know how you feel WIA!

Perhaps naively I wish people would keep religion out of things.

Personally, I have no religion though I was born C of E and favour Buddhism if any. I don't care if people are Hindu, Moslem, christian or whatever - just as long as they don't rub my nose in their faith.

I do know that Islam is basically a very peaceful religion - and I have that on good authority from a close friend in Turkey who was an Imam. Islam says that you can have jihad agaoinst whatever (very simply put) but not against innocents.

In fact he (our friend) told us that Islam forbids killing of any sort (fellow humans that is) but I don't think that's true.

Of course, as with anything so complex, you can read what you like into the Koran, as you can with the bible or any other religious work.

My conception of Islam, rightly or wrongly, is of a religion which is anti-woman and anti-progress. In fact, the koran instructs that men should worship women, and (again simply put)that they should be put on a pedestal.

Oh well, end of rambling!!

Re: At it again!!! by Godfather on 14 July 2005 12:47am

>In fact he (our friend) told us that Islam forbids killing of any sort (fellow humans that is) but I don't think that's true.

Unfortunately, Muhammad "himself" didn't have the slightest worry about getting others to do the real dirty work with their swords when he was reforming the Arabian peninsula to embrace Islam and dispense with all the previous Pagan worship going on there. Muhammad was Muhammad, a mortal.

Much bloodshed occured during this reform, and Muhammad himself ordered the now notorious massacre of a a Jewish tribe,because they refused to convert. Women and children of the tribe were stolen,and 650 men were beheaded.

History of this period meant politics and war between tribes,and although a lot of Islamic conversion occured peacefully and through persusation. Unfortunately the sword was involved when people resisted, or Muhammad and co thought they could be troublesome in future to the mission.

Some could justify it by saying that Muhammad lived in dangerous times. In ways, i can understand that. He did live in tribal lands. He had to act according to his surroundings. Muhammad did many beautiful things, but he also did and provoked many ugly things to occur. Although the message through the prophet may be pure. The channel "himself" was so so and in modern life is hardly someone should emulate.

Muhammad was determined to make the entire peninsula Islamic. Some try to twist it and say any violence was just a reponse to persecution of Muslims. Yet, history shows that although in 'some' cases that is true. In other cases, it was a case of a roaming Muslim army converting anyone who was still worshipping idols. If you didn't convert,you were banished or put to the sword, as a lost hope.

Muhammad could easily be seen as the "inspiration" for the intolerant ideology of people like the Taliban, and the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas along with most of the extremely rare Greco-Indic artificats of Afghanistan.

Why? Well Muhammad himself toppled the 360 Pagan idols of the Kaaba sanctuary,of which many were rooted in the religion of Ancient Egyptian Gods and Goddess.

The massacre of the Jewish Tribe i mentioned is just one black mark on Muhammad's legacy to this day.

Muhammad was a channel for the message of the Q'uran. But Muhammad himself doesn't sound squeaky clean on all occasions, and i think that's the problem really. That is why so many fundamentalists can look back in history and find justification for their acts. If your prophet did all those things,then surely it's alright for you?.

Luckily, the vast majority of Muslims focus on the message of the Q'uran, and dont delve too deeply into the activities of the Prophet himself, beyond having reverence by default for him and his positive sides. One Muslim on the internet said it perfectly once in reponse to an angry anonymous poster. He said "You must be talking about followers of Muhammad. Not followers of the Q'uran". Much wisdom in that statement.

That's why many Muslims are wonderful people. But Islam's birth was unfortunately through a very simple man who had views about things that are very outdated now. Those views often enrage modern people. And, some of his actions nowadays seem barbaric. But in Pagan Arabia,the norm.


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