New plans for Saudi Arabia: Bulldozing historic holy sites

Published: November 1, 2012

Muslims of the world are prone to delve into murderous rages over any slight offence to their religion, but choose to remain quiet when the very roots of early Islamic history are being erased. PHOTO: FILE

The current controversy of the potential Saudi demolition of Riyad-al-Jannah and the graves of Islamic caliphs Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA) and Hazrat Omar (RA) is one in a long line of projects that the world’s biggest exporter of crude oil has undertaken to erase Islamic heritage sites.

The Saudi obsession with everything concrete and steel is a cause of concern for Muslims around the world. The construction of enormous towers and skyscrapers, including the ghastly Mecca clock tower, tell us something about the future plans of the Saudis.

A 2011 report in The Independent titled “Mecca for the rich: Islam’s holiest site ‘turning into Vegas’” written by Jerome Taylor (who wrote the recent story about the planned Saudi destruction of Riyad-al-Jannah), says that the Saudis are planning to turn Mecca into a playground for the rich. They will do this by building sky scrapers and luxury hotels that cater to the rich Muslims coming from all over the world. The same newspaper reported back in April 2006 about the Saudi construction rampage in Islam’s holiest sites.

Systematic destruction of the holy sites and building hotels and resorts is being backed by the blessings of its religious clerics, who have taken upon themselves to erase sites whose significance to Islam is as great as any archaeological site pertaining to the early Christian or Jewish history in Jerusalem.

Such a work is being undertaken and not a voice is being raised. This is a cause of concern for Muslims around the world, especially if they are prone to delve into murderous rages over any slight offence to their religion, but choose to remain quiet when the very roots of early Islamic history are being erased (read: bulldozed).

However as it turns out, the Saudi kingdom seems to be on something more than destroying shrines and graves.

Even a cursory search reveals that the Saudis are embarking on real estate and renewable energy projects as they plan for the future post-2030. This is the period when it is feared that the supply of oil, which generates 86% of the kingdom’s revenue, might start to dwindle thus forcing the Saudis to import additional oil from other countries.

The Economist states that the rapid increase in demand for oil inside Saudi Arabia has increased by 37%. Moreover, 65% of its electricity is generated by the oil that it produces. For now, increase in oil price has caused the wealth of Saudis to soar, quite literally, and their construction of the Kingdom Tower is a testament to the money flooding in.

However the increase in oil consumption, the increasing American reliance on shale gas, the expectation that Canada and Mexico might become the new middle east. Moreover, the awareness of the fact that oil reserves would not last forever has led Saudi Arabia to consider alternate forms of revenue generation. These include real estate, Hajj (obviously), the banking sector and other renewable forms of energy.

Khalid al Falih, the president and CEO of Saudi Aramco, reflects the future strategy of the Saudis when he says that Saudi Aramco wants to transform from an oil and gas company to a ‘global energy and chemicals enterprise’. Apart from energy sources, the real estate sector is booming, thanks to the swelling population and the increase in tours by the increasingly affluent middle class of the Muslim world.

So how does the new course of Saudi economy relate to destruction of Islam’s holy sites? In this regard, my hypothesis is that the Saudis under the valid pretext of real state expansion are destroying the holy sites with the help of fanatical clerics who oppose reverence to any shrine or grave.

The real estate development and other modernisation projects can be undertaken anywhere in the kingdom, but it seems that the clerics are capitalising on this opportunity to erase the early history of Islam and increase their hold on the religion. Few countries have dared to raise voice against this heinous crime of the destruction of Islamic holy sites, fearing diplomatic repercussions that might arise. Yet we Pakistanis Muslims scream over the depiction of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) in the western media, burn buildings, kill people and block websites in protests but do not raise a single voice when the house of Hazrat Khadija (RA) is turned into a public toilet block, and when the Saudi Islamic affairs ministry declares that the green dome (of Masjid Nabwi) shall be demolished and the three graves flattened in the Prophet’s Masjid”.

The time to raise voice against this crime of titanic proportions is now!

Do you think the Saudis' reasons for demolishing holy sites are valid?

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Read more by Jamaluddin here or follow him on Twitter @einsjam 

Jamaluddin

Jamaluddin

A student of Information Systems Management at Latrobe University, Melbourne. He tweets @Einsjam (twitter.com/Einsjam)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • The Khan

    we should wait before Saudi announces official plans for Medina so as not to jump into conclusions.
    Muslims won’t visit Medina if there is no grave of the prophet. Without the grave, its just a mosque. Don’t think Saudis will risk that.
    Admittedly though big things are happening in the kingdom now. From economic cities to new universities to new solar parks, you name it. Should be congratulated on their reformsRecommend

  • Kamran Mubashir

    Shhhhhhhhhhhh. Itna Sannatta Kyun hai Bhai….After 3 Hours Not A Single Comment On This Article…..Silence On its Peak…Well Written Piece Jamal SB….And No One Will Dare To Speak…..!! Recommend

  • Danish

    I must say…tremendous research and a unique perspective that i havnt read on any other news websiteRecommend

  • einstein’s avatar

    Saudi clerics endorse the destruction of the holy sites because of their (baseless) fear that idolatry might creep into Muslim ranks.  Wahhabism, which is an extreme and strict form of Islam that denounces the reverence of any holy site, is the official religion in Saudi Arabia. It is worth noting that the same brand of Islam is practiced by the Taliban who have been involved in the destruction of Bamyan Buddhas and the attack on the legendary Sufi Rehman Baba’s shrine  in Peshawar. Recommend

  • murshid

    Full time silence…is it becuase no one wants to ruin their imaan by speaking against the saudis??? :) Recommend

  • http://www.facebook.com/007Zone Habibies

    Great Job by Khadim-ul-Harmain-Sharifain, Recommend

  • amjad

    Dear All,
    Still there is no version of Saudia Government on that and they did not announce anything officially. but if they are going to do this its totally condemned able. and Muslims from all the world will raise voice against that. its also a shame full things they are replacing Muslim heritage into commercial buildings. Recommend

  • http://@Muneebism Muneeb UrReahman

    Mr. Jamaluddin, the above context contains least facts and lines about the title you’ve given it to. It is more a Saudi economical hypothesis rather than talking about bulldozing the historic sites. I urge all the Muslims to wait and let the Saudi officials confirm this news. Otherwise it is just a propaganda being done by Anti-Islamic circles to produce anarchy in & about KSA throughout the Muslim world like they’ve done in Libya, Egypt & Syria in the recent past!
    These circles are already active to let the SHIAS & Sunnis mingle with each other fighting over the control of the Holy sanctions i.e Masjid-al-Haram & Masjid-e-Nabawi!Recommend

  • laughing stock

    My goodness…how low can the shahikhs of islam get???Recommend

  • http://@Muneebism Muneeb UrReahman

    @einstein’s avatar:
    Taaliban were not behind it! It is TTP{(Tehreek-e-Taaliban Pakistan) far diff from Taliban} behind behind each an every suicide bombings at Masajid & Shrines brother!Recommend

  • laughing stock

    @The Khan: khan bhai…dont worry…speaking against the saudis doesnt make u a heretic…on the other i assume that you havnt read the blog at all..since it quiet clearly and emphatically mentions the destruction of holy sites thats already taken place over there….in that regards your continued ignorance is indeed reprehensibleRecommend

  • A

    Everyone’s waiting for a ” US Link to the destruction” to come up somewhere, as previously seen we are a nation who only turns into bloodthirsty savages when and only when something gets linked up with US involvement in it. all I see is more looting,destruction of property and senseless agitation on the streets once the s!@# hits the fan again. because nothing says “we love our religion” quite the same as the obliteration of our properties and innocent lives. That is just how we are and who we are.Recommend

  • https://twitter.com/BajiPlease Baji Please

    Not everything Saudis do is in line with the teaching of Islam. About time we stopped bracketing them and Islam together.Recommend

  • http://salmanzq.blogspot.com/ Salman

    @Muneeb UrReahman: Yes of course the Taliban are not behind the attacks. They are at the forefront of it. It’s about time we stopped trying to defend them and being apologists. Recommend

  • dia

    @Muneeb UrReahman: agreeRecommend

  • http://salmanzq.blogspot.com/ Salman

    Jamaluddin: All religions are money making schemes for their clerics. The Saudis are no different. From a historical perspective it is a sad loss. But the argument that we should create a furor over this similar to the Youtube incident is wrong – because the reaction to that video was wrong. You want us to copy a bad example? Of course there is no archaeological evidence or historical manuscripts pointing to Makkah being the ‘Bakka’ in the Quran – infact pointing to the contrary. Perhaps that is the real reason why the Saudis want to get rid of all evidence and why we should be even less bothered about the Saudi ‘Islam’. Recommend

  • http://@Muneebism Muneeb UrReahman

    @Salman:
    Bother you are on a mistake while understanding the Taliban, their interests and agendas!
    Even our A.Rehman Malik never quoted Afghan Taliban behind any of these attacks, and yes TTP always accepted these practices! Recommend

  • waseem zaman

    @The Khan:
    assalam-o-alikom…

    yes,khan sahb its the matter of time..lets see what happens next?Recommend

  • Pir Bulleh Shah

    Who is supporting the Saudis? Who is protecting the rich there? Who is behind these attempts to destroy Islamic consciousness among Muslims? Think hard and you will know who our real enemy is. Don’t be misled by ‘Saudi’ name.Recommend

  • http://rorolia.wordpress.com/2012/03/28/bcb-blames-zaid-hamids-deceptive-propaganda-for-asia-cup-loss/ Xain Gardezi

    One should check facts before writing or publishing. How can such a thing get pass editor’s note?

    The companions graves arent being demolished. The old mosques associated with their names areRecommend

  • http://salmanzq.blogspot.com/ Salman

    @Muneeb UrReahman: Are you telling me that while in power the Taliban did not ban girl’s education in Afghanistan or destroyed buddhist statues or made it mandatory to grow beards and executed people etc? They follow the same ideology and modus operandi and are similar if not the same as TTP. If they have some different agenda please do share.Recommend

  • http://@Muneebism Muneeb UrReahman

    @Salman:
    Could you please give me the actual figures of the schools that are and were in Afghanistan? And yes Taaliban did destroyed the Statues and Idols(as per the rulings of Islam – Prphet Muhammad S.A.W & Ibrahim did the same), but shutting down the schools and making it mandatory to leave beards are still unconfirmed from Taliban. It is an Afghan Culture since its inception to leave beards and the norms of women staying at home, either its Afghan Taliban, Al-Qaeda or The King Zahir shah’s reign or currently the Karzai’s! They all follow these Afghan culture! Have you ever seen Hamid Karzai’s wife on public? or any First Women of Afghanistan even when the government is not of Taliban’s in Kabul??
    It was just an American propaganda to justify their attack after 9/11 by claiming them the violators of Human & Women Rights while doing himself! Recommend

  • khanna

    @Xain Gardezi:
    Do u know what hyperlinks are….do u know how they work? well click on them and u will get established facts…..duhRecommend

  • mairaj

    brilliant blog. Congratulations to both ET and Jamal for such an excellent and well researched post. Welldone !Recommend

  • Parvez

    ……..and we can’t do anything about the Lal Masjid.Recommend

  • Game Player

    The blog author i think has subtly ( but correctly) pointed out to the wahhabi dillema of KSA since the teachings of Ibn e Wahab explicity forbid any reverence to a shrine or a grave and the same way that clerics of KSA are capitalizing on the growth situation in KSA and destroying graves…they have already done it with jannat ul baqi as wellRecommend

  • Siddique

    just recent a school was burnt in lahore becuase of blasphemy chargges…but not a single televison anchor or newspaper has said…ANY THING abt the saudi blasphemy…..how much sold is our media and govt……taubah!!Recommend

  • sohail hasan

    burn ur country but dont say anything abt khaadimain sharifain….i think those “”sharifain” are in the same category as our desi sharifain ….dollar is the king !Recommend

  • Airy Fairy

    at least the saudis should consult with other govts before embarking on such a fool hardy missionRecommend

  • john Donne

    I’ not aware of facts, but I remember what Iqbal had said 60 or more years ago, “Bechta hai Hashmi namoos’e din’e Mustafa.” In translation: Hashmi, (the tribe which dominates Makkah), sells the honor of the religion of Mustafa (one of the names given to our noble Prophet).
    And yet another one in Persian,”cho kufr az Kabba bekhezad kuja manad Musalmani?” In trnslation: When infidelity arises from Kaaba (meaning the natives of Makka), where would dwell the religion of Muslims?Recommend

  • http://tribune.com p r sharma

    Can’t substance of the article be verified by any investigative journalist/ person by visiting the actual sites.. This can be done during Hajj.
    . Recommend

  • WTH

    They had done it earlier , and they can do it again , BTW , Scrappers is what they admire more than these holy sites Recommend

  • GI

    I just can’t believe my eyes reading this. Its a shame for Muslims. For Saudis it may not be important places but non saudis have spiritual attachement as many gets to see these places once in their whole life.Recommend

  • Malik Waseem Zaman

    Assalam-o-Alikom….

    As a matter of fact the result i can deduce is that none of us is supporting this thing by the SAUDIS….I wanna tell you that few years ago the father of King Abdullah also did a thing like this…..He was going to sign a pact that Muslims performing hajj will not visit Prophet Muhammad S.A.W mosque in MADINA,but he got a big problem in his eye one night before the pact signing and lost his sight…..thats why that hell was not signed….

    We must condemn this matter on our govt.level and i must say that its still the time for arabs to backup otherwise these american puppets will also face a terrible thing like Sandy which has ruined America….Recommend

  • manhood

    @einstein’s avatar:
    “hope one day India will rule over entire pakistan…… Recommend

  • Sameer

    I think the writer is highly mistaken. I go to Makkah and Madinah almost every year (MashAllah), and have seen the construction work there. The extension of the Holy Mosque in Madinah is obviously very important, because of increasing population, and not a single part of Jannat ul Baqi or graves of the caliphate is being touched. All the 5 star hotels and shops have been “bull-dozed” from the back side of the mosque. And Saudis themselves consider these sites of having great importance I don’t know where is the author getting this false information. And even in Makkah the extension is solely done to facilitate the pilgrims, by the King, and not to show off his money. New 5 star hotels are springing up because a lot of Muslims are investing, its not done by Saudi government. Recommend

  • H Q

    the writer in his haste to somehow tarnish the Wahabis and Saudis has forgotten to cite references of his claims. even funnier is that people without verifying his claims, have started jumping to conclusions and wooing the Saudis.

    I bet neither the writer, nor the commenting personnel know what’s going on there.

    Riyadh-ul-Jannah and the graves of Hazrat Abu Bakr RA and Hazrat Umar RA are never going to be demolished. Whoever told that to the writer has made a vague attempt to unnecessarily cite hatred.

    The writer himself should first ask whether he is an actual lover of the Prophet S.A.W. before asking people to wage war against those who have proved their love to the Prophet S.A.W. by providing the best services to all the visitors of Madinah whether they’re rich or poor.

    I raise my voice against the writer that he should be punished with the punishment that a person who lays “buhtaan” or a “false claim” on a fellow muslim brother. Wonder if Jamaluddin knows what that punishment is.Recommend

  • Mohd umair ansari

    Great effort by Saudi governmentRecommend

  • Maha

    I wonder that why pakistanis aren’t saying anything now :-o ? Demolishing Islamic historical buildings and still pin drop silence all over.. Waisay Allah Allah and S.A.W per jan bhi qurban , now what ? :-o :-@@ why aren’t these hypocrite mullas saying anything :-@ hell for them… On whole well written (y) m in love with ur writings ;-) mr.jamalRecommend

  • Ahmad

    This news item is not something which can be ignored. Muslims should peacefully come forward and ask for response by Saudis. I don’t think wait n see is the right approach. Its shocking to see silence of Muslim world and the clerics. If the events mentioned as already occurred are true I wonder what to say or expect From Muslim clerics or Saudis. People are even hesitating to comment on it what’s the fear ?Recommend

  • amb

    my concern is who is jerome taylor?? is he a muslim? how can he write an article without any surety when the Saudi government has not even announced it??
    if he’s facts are true then definitely all muslims will raise their voice and if its not true then Allah will raise His azaab on those who spread fitnah. Allah alone knows the thruth. but we all have to have to have to n must inshaAllah pray for such a thing not to happen ever.Recommend

  • amb

    its not time for any of us to prove ourselves right and wrong here.. its better we pray n do whatever possible for us as true muslims..Recommend

  • Ubair khan

    its hurt our shia and baralvi plus deobandi hazratttRecommend

  • Ubair khan

    don’t Ambiguity Intentness of KSA they do not for money but facilitates haj pilgrims but still they want to respect other sect feelings
    find other option and condemn what they did to Hazrat khadija(Ra) grave
    not put in that dissussion its legal or not but stop it because it hurt big community of muslimsRecommend

  • tajammul hussain

    @p r sharma:
    The Nation of UK printed a photograph showing the king approving the model of the expansion of the Mosque in Medina around two weeks back. The model clearly demonstrates that the Mihrab of the mosque and the area classified as a part of Paradise by the Prophet would become redundant. The new Mihrab would much much further afield. Why the expansion could not take place in two other parts is not clear. As for Mecca, the towers are already there and expansion by blowing up the hills when even one cannot cut a tree is rapidly taking place.

    The Meccan house of the Prophet, a place of at least two Meccan Surahs is now public toilets- and this took place in the previous king’s time around 10 years back and this is very well known. So the Muslims must be the only people who dirty on their own Prophet’s house and this unfortunately is documented and not an invention. It is the family of Abdul Wahab which controls all this phenomenon who are totally responsible along with the other heroes of Islam -the Bin Laden group – the architects and contractors of both these cities. Please see the recent articles of both the Independent and the Guardian quoting source who is scholar and a Muslim of that part of the worldRecommend

  • Mohammed Iqbal

    @Salaman,

    If Bakka is not Makkah, where else is it? Petra in Jordan, as a nutcase archaeologist recently stated?Recommend

  • king khan

    @H Q:
    dear sir….if you are aware what the underlined textss mean u will realise that they are hyperlinks. References that have been presented.but you in your admirable haste and love for fundamentalism are prepared to overlook this factRecommend

  • 321
  • hassan ejaz wyne

    very well done for speaking the truth, may Allah subhan o taalah reward you for speaking the truth. the prophet salal laho alaye wa aalay hi wasalam told us many signs of the end of days,amongst them was this one ” when illiterate,uncivilised villagers ( badu ) compete with one another in building tall buildings then wait for qiyamah “.there are many such hadiths actually. but even if we read just history and the way the tribe of saud has behaved towards various historical and religious monuments we can clearly understand where they want to go.people who had the heart to bulldoze the graves of thousands of companions and those of the family of the prophet, people who committed murder,rape and pillage when they invaded mecca and medina, disregarding the sanctity of these two cities in every possible way,anything could be expected from them.Recommend

  • hassan ejaz wyne

    @H Q:
    sir/madam, can you please tell us where did the mausoleums of thousands of companions have gone ? where is the grave of bibi Amna radi allah taalah anh ? where are the houses of the prophet salal laho alaye wa alay hi wasalam ? who came with the help of the british and burnt taif along with its people ? who committed rape,murder and pillage in mecca and medina in the twentieth century ?Recommend

  • http://salmanzq.blogspot.com/ Salman

    @321: you are kidding me right? If these kind of ‘reports’ are what you are ready to believe in then there is no hope. If people will not look at all the evidence pointing towards the truth because they can’t seem to accept reality and instead want to blame it on conspiracy theories then I can’t open their eyes.
    @Muneeb UrReahman: It is only in the extremist form of Islam that such things as statue destructions and women being prisoned in homes are accepted. No progressive muslim country or muslims agree to that law as being part of sharia. However if you subscribe to taliban’s islam please do so by all means and enjoy riding donkeys and camels as that is what was done in those times. Good for you and good for Pakistan!Recommend

  • khanna

    @hassan ejaz wyne: well said brother. Well said.Recommend

  • http://Www.google.com Saeed swabi

    So,however,author is not wrong in showing the “maybe” situation of Arabs plans of erasing holy sites,he may have got some smell of it.
    And what we pakiz can do for our islamic history’s safety when we can easily digest the attack of our own ruler on lal masjid and jamia hafsa.
    Had author written this blog for any indian blog site he would have got some positive comments and appreciation rather than writing for a pakiz to get humiliated and abused.Recommend

  • 321

    @Salman:

    Ur ignorance and close-mindedness is not surprising. U didnt even read the article did u? U talk about “truth” yet u bring no evidence of ur claims and use the ever popular way of discrediting someone who actually IS trying to get the truth out. U call these conspiracy theories? Well guess wat? Ur theories are also conspiracy theories. The difference however is that i actually have credible proof to back me up whereas u have cnn and bbc. I bet u also believe that the US is out to save the world from terrorists right? U believe that 9/11 was carried out by immortal men with box cutters right?

    And btw statues are not allowed in islam. It is an acknowledged ruling that there is no argument about among scholars. Oh wait unless ure “progressive” and not islamic. Recommend

  • http://salmanzq.blogspot.com/ Salman

    @Saeed swabi: The attack on lal masjid is completely different and was deserved on those people. The government has every right to defend it’s sovereignty and rule of law. Recommend

  • Benazir Mir

    the historical fate of Islam in the hands of dumb Saudi rulersRecommend

  • Ali

    This article is inaccurate. There are no such plans of demolishing any holy sites. With a growing population of pilgrims progress has to be made old buildings are demolished and new ones are built. If we started preserving each every house in Makkah and Madinah, then there will be no place left for pilgrims.
    I think that the author has not been to Madinah or Makkah before. The work that the Saudi government has done is commendable and it has only created ease for the pilgrims.
    Please note that we worship Allah and not any shrine, grave or house.
    For his kind information the green dome has no relevance it was built by the Ottoman Turks and in the past had different colours. The graves of the Prophet and his companions are already flattened and are not raised above the ground, which is the correct Islamic way.
    The author should do some back ground study before making false accusations.Recommend

  • murshid

    @Ali: the nonchalant way you sir have voiced ur support for saudi extremism is highly condemnable. I believe you have not gone through q single refrence provided by the author and just commenting to please your saudi masters.Recommend

  • tajammul hussain

    please see attached. The fatwa from the grand mufti always a descendant of Abdul Wahab is to demolish the green dome and what lies below which means the graves of Rasul Allah and his companions. Why would they not do that if they already demolished the graves in Janat al Baqi and the Al Malah cemetry . The grave of Prophet’s mother was doused with petrol according to internal Saudi reports.

    Medina: Saudis take a bulldozer to Islam’s history
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/medina-saudis-take-a-bulldozer-to-islams-history-8228795.html Recommend

  • http://salmanzq.blogspot.com/ Salman

    @321: I did read it. Too bad I can’t have those 5 minutes of my life back. And of course you are the true ‘islamic’ wonder who believes America is evil, 9-11 was not caused by terrorists raised in the muslim world and the world is out to get Pakistan. I’ll let readers decide who believes conspiracy theories.
    As far as statues go – there is nothing in the Quran against it neither do the majority of muslims believe in destroying temples etc. Of course this is common logic and I wouldn’t need ‘islam’ to get to that level of civility of respecting someone’s religion. But you’d rather believe the nutters then please go ahead and do so. Recommend

  • Ali

    We as Pakistanis are obsessed with shrines. I think this reflects our Hindu ancesterory. I cannot begin to imagine how Pakistanis would have handled the Holy sites if they were to administer them. I think Allah choses the right people to administer the Holy Sites.
    There is no Wahhabi brand of Islam, this is a word invented in Pakistan. People in Saudi Arabia follow the ways of the Prophet and his companions and any additions to the religion are not accepted. Recommend

  • Muneeb UrRehman

    @Ali:
    Brilliantly Said Mr.Ali!
    They just follow the footsteps of Muhammad S.A.W.W and His companions R.A!
    These people are unaware of the perspectives the polytheism have! The shrines have to significance in Islam, even prophet Muhammad S.A.W.W has Forbidden to plaster the graves!Recommend

  • murshid

    @Ali:
    There is a fine line between taking care of shrines and obssessing about them
    but you sir in ur love for extremism are inclined to think about the latter. I am pretty sure am extremist mind is not capable of distinguishing beyween the finer aspects of a grave issue.Recommend

  • 321

    @Salman:

    oh really? exactly how far did u get b/c from the sound of it, it seems u didnt even make it halfway. u are close-minded…u see what u want to see. u hear only what u want to hear. if ure confronted with truth and reality u either ignore the proof given or u deny it and dismiss it as a “conspiracy theory” and try to discredit the person saying he’s a “conspiracy theorist.” All so u can live in ur own comfortable little dream.

    American ppl individually are not evil…however as a nation, well…lets say theyre far from likeable. and i dont know if ure pakistani or not (im getting the vibe that u arent) but in any case there really must be something wrong with u if u dont think that killing innocent civilians and calling them terrorists is evil. apparaently u dont think using terrorist proxies to destabilize countries, to kill civilians is evil. apparently u dont think supporting the apartheid state of israel in its opression of the palestinian ppl is evil. apparently u dont think putting countries in debt they can never repay is evil. etc,etc.

    oh and im supossed to assume ure an authority on the ruling on statues am i? what do u take me for? i am a practicing muslim. scholars have agreed that statues and pictures of people and animals (not photographs) are haraam. are u saying that the whole ulema is wrong and that ure right? dont get me wrong there’s a difference between going to a temple that belongs to another religion to the destroy statues inside of it and well destroying statues otherwise. btw i never even mentioned temples…u did.Recommend

  • Salman

    Excellent research and great article. Recommend

  • 321

    @Salman:

    btw what do u mean u’ll “let readers decide who believes conspiracy theories”? do u even know the definition of a conspiracy theory? educate urself and read this: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/conspiracy+theory. speaking of conspiracy theories, watch these videos. its all u need to know about 9/11. maybe this will wake up up from that nice hollywood dream;

    1) David Ray Griffin at Boston University (parts 1-8)
    2) AE911Truth.org’s-Blueprint for Truth-the architecture of destruction
    3) Conspiracy theory with jesse ventura
    4) An interview with firefighter john schroeder
    5) ZERO an investigation into 9/11
    6) 9/11 false flag.avi
    7) 9/11 in plane sight
    8) 9/11 secret revealed
    9) 9/11 explosive evidence
    10) 911 mysteries
    11) 9/11 missing links

    this is only about 9/11. this doesnt even cover the fact that the fbi baits muslims. or the fact that they supported alqaeda in libya as they are doing in syria. or the fact that they are helping india and israel support the ttp and baloch rebels. speaking of india i could give u 4 articles from an INDIAN website that prove 26/11 was an inside job. actually never mind, i’ll tell u the site name: countercurrents.org.Recommend

  • tajammul hussain

    @amb: Jerome Taylor and now the author of the Guardian last week are irrelevant. The sources are Saudi Nationals who are desperate for help to prevent little of what is left. The towers exist and the house of the Prophet is a public toilet in Mecca etc. Please see below:Mecca’s mega architecture casts shadow over hajj

    Towering over Mecca, this is the world’s second-tallest building – and it is just a tiny part of a voracious development that has seen historic sites bulldozed and locals forced into shantytowns.

    As the hajj begins, Oliver Wainwright reports.

    Oliver Wainwright
    The Guardian, Tuesday 23 October 2012 19.03 BST

    · Abraj al-Bait

    · Arabian heights … the Abraj al-Bait looms over the Grand Mosque and Kaaba in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Photograph: Fayez Nureldine/AFP/Getty

    ·

    · A glowing green disc hovers high in the sky at night, casting an eerie glow over a forest of minarets, cranes and concrete frames that seem to stretch endlessly into the dusty distance, like a vast field of dominoes. The disc is the largest clockface in the world – and not only does it adorn the tallest clocktower in the world, it also sits atop a building boasting the biggest floor area in the world. Visible 30km away, this is the Abraj al-Bait, which rises like Big Ben on steroids to tower 600m over the holy mosque of Mecca in the spiritual heart of the Islamic world.

    · This thrusting pastiche palace houses an array of luxury hotels and apartments, perched above a five-storey slab of shopping malls. Completed last year at a cost of $15bn (£9bn), it stands where an Ottoman fortress once stood. A stone citadel built in 1781 to repel bandits, the Ajyad fortress’s demolition sparked an international outcry in 2002, but this was quickly rebuffed by the Saudi Islamic affairs minister. “No one has the right to interfere in what comes under the state’s authority,” he said. “This development is in the interest of all Muslims all over the world.” The fortress wasn’t just swept away – the hill it sat on went, too.

    · Shooting 26 searchlights 10km into the skies, and blaring its call to prayer 7km across the valley, the Abraj al-Bait is also the world’s second tallest building. Encrusted with mosaics and inlaid with gold, it is the most visible (and audible) sign of the frenzied building boom that has taken hold of Saudi Arabia’s holy city over the last 10 years. “It is truly indescribable,” says Sami Angawi, architect and founder of the Jeddah-based Hajj Research Centre, who has spent the last three decades researching and documenting the historic buildings of Mecca and Medina, few of which now remain. In particular, the house of the prophet’s wife, Khadijah, was razed to make way for public lavatories; the house of his companion, Abu Bakr, is now the site of a Hilton hotel; and his grandson’s house was flattened by the King’s palace. “They are turning the holy sanctuary into a machine, a city which has no identity, no heritage, no culture and no natural environment. They’ve even taken away the mountains,” says Angawi.

    · Geological features have proved no match for dynamite and concrete, which are being liberally deployed to make way for the burgeoning number of visitors. Three million Muslims arrived in Mecca this week for the annual hajj pilgrimage, an event that has mutated from a simple, spartan rite of passage, in which pilgrims give up their worldly goods, into a big-bucks business worthy of Las Vegas – with the overblown architecture to match.

    · Along the western flank of the city are the first towers of the Jabal Omar development, a sprawling complex that will eventually accommodate 100,000 people in 26 luxury hotels – sitting on another gargantuan plinth of 4,000 shops and 500 restaurants, along with its own six-storey prayer hall. The line of blocks, which will climb to heights of up to 200 metres and terminate in a monumental gateway building, share the clocktower’s Islamic-lite language: a cliched dressing of pointed arches and filigree grillwork plastered over generic concrete shells.

    · The developers have somehow transformed a type of architecture that evolved from a dense urban grain of low-rise courtyards and narrow streets into meaningless wallpaper: an endlessly repeatable pattern for the decoration of standardised slab after standardised slab. Flimsy rows of concrete arches hang above swaths of blue mirror glass, punctuated by stick-on timber trellis screens. These are modelled on traditional mashrabiya panels, those beautiful latticework openings designed as ventilating veils, but here they become meaningless applique. “If we are imitating, why can’t we imitate the best?” asks Angawi, in a tone of desperation. “Why are we imitating the worst mistakes of 60 or 70 years ago from around the world – only even bigger?”

    · Another development of repetitive slabs, echoing Jabal Omar’s toast-rack urbanism, is slated for the northern side of the Grand Mosque, at al-Shamiya, while a $10bn plan to provide an extra 400,000 sq metres of prayer halls there is almost complete. Standing like a gigantic triangular slice of wedding cake, this building will accommodate 1.2m more worshippers each year, but it has come at a price.

    · al-ShamiyaToast-rack urbanism … how the al-Shamiya area will look

    · “This was the most historic part of the old city,” says Irfan al-Alawi, executive director of the UK-based Islamic Heritage Research Foundation, who has worked in vain to raise the profile of his country’s historic sites. “It has now all been flattened.” Residents were evicted, he says, with one week’s notice, and many have still not been compensated – a common story across Mecca’s developments. “They are now living in shantytowns on the edge of the city without proper sanitation. Locals, who have lived here for generations, are being forced out to make way for these marble castles in the sky.”

    · Alawi describes the imminent arrival of yet more seven-star hotels even closer to the mosque than the al-Bait clocktower, as well as proposals to develop Jabal Khandama, on the hills to the east, which will likely see the erasure of the site where the prophet Muhammad was born. Alawi says this wilful destruction of Islamic heritage is no accident: it is driven by state-endorsed wahhabism, the hardline interpretation of Islam that perceives historical sites as encouraging sinful idolatry. So anything that relates to the prophet could be in the bulldozer’s sights.

    · “It is the end of Mecca,” says Alawi. “And for what? Most of these hotels are 50% vacant and the malls are empty – the rents are too expensive for the former souk stall-holders. And people praying in the new mosque extension will not even be able to see the Kaaba.”

    · The Kaaba is the holy black cube in the centre of the Grand Mosque, around which pilgrims walk; proximity to it has become the ultimate currency, allowing hotel suites with the best views to charge $7,000 per night during peak seasons. This unique concentricity, with everything determined by its orientation towards the hallowed centre, has spawned a strangely diagrammatic radial urbanism. From above, like a sea of iron filings pulled by a magnet, the whole city appears to crowd round a core, the vortex of pilgrims giving way to an equally swirling current of tower blocks. It is the axis of prayer writ large in concrete.

    · The road to Mecca funnels traffic into two lanes: the one marked “Muslims only” goes to the holy city; the other, marked “Non Muslims”, bypasses it, since the latter – me included – are forbidden entry to Mecca (and Medina) under Saudi law. Soon after this hajj, work will start on the expansion of the mataf, the open area around the Kaaba, to triple its capacity to 130,000 pilgrims per hour. But to create this, the historic centre of the mosque will be obliterated. “They want to get rid of the brick vaults and stone columns that have stood there since the 17th century,” says Alawi. “These are the oldest part of the holy mosque, designed by the great architect Sinan. The pillars are inscribed with stories and the names of the prophet’s companions, so the wahhabis want to see them bulldozed.”

    · Toast rack in the sky … a CGI construction of what the Jabal Omar project will look likeThe Jabal Omar project

    · The desperation to be, or feel, as close as possible to the Kaaba has forced buildings to become ever higher, ever more ridiculously tapered, so everyone can have a view, however notional, of the sacred centre. This has given the sanctified “mother of villages” the most expensive real estate in the world: a square foot around the Grand Mosque now sells for up to $18,000, mayor Osama al-Bar said last year, dwarfing the Monaco average of $4,400.

    · As the influx of pilgrims increases, land values will continue to rise: 12 million visit the city every year, a figure expected to swell to 17 million by 2025. They will be eased on their way by a new high-speed rail link that will connect gateway city Jeddah with Mecca and Medina. Jeddah’s King Abdul Aziz international airport is itself undergoing expansion to quadruple its capacity to 80 million passengers a year.

    · Fuelled by petrodollars, all of these vast projects are now either completed or well under way. So it seems strange that King Abdullah should only now be ordering the creation of a masterplan for Mecca and its surroundings, covering buildings, transport and infrastructure – given that most of the city’s holy mountains have been dynamited into dust, and all but a handful of its ancient monuments buried beneath soaring structures. As Angawi says: “There is no other place in the world where development starts with bulldozing before planning. But it is not too late if we stop now. Otherwise, we risk the sanctity of Mecca being gone for ever.”
    · Prayer room with a view: a pilgrim’s perspective

    · Everything about the hajj is overwhelming – the numbers, the logistics, the infrastructure, the stakes – so it’s no surprise that the architecture is catching up. Its sleek and state-of-the-art towers offer butler services, designer toiletries, entire floors reserved for Saudi royalty, wet rooms, helipads, quality linens, plush carpets and thick bathrobes.

    · During my 2010 visit to Mecca, a number of hotels in the Abraj al-Bait complex (left, with clocktower) were at 100% capacity. The hotel employee showing me around one presidential suite said I could pray in front of the Qibla without ever leaving the room, gesturing to a window with priceless views to prove his point. The sense of exclusivity extended to the reservation system, too. Rooms could only be booked through the hotel, but not as part of a package, the traditional if not the uniform way of securing accommodation in Mecca.

    · None of this is visible at ground level. Pilgrims occupy every available space and the dimensions of the projects are too grand to be appreciated simply by craning the neck. Instead, the best views are from the Jeddah-Mecca Highway, where the clocktower appears to rear out of the barren landscape in such an outlandish fashion it looks as if it has been drawn on to the skyline. The vast floor-to-ceiling windows of al-Safa Palace, perched on a hill above Mecca’s holy sites, fully reveal the audacious vision to reshape the pilgrimage.

    · The building work has inevitably changed the hajj experience for everyone. Aside from the increased pollution and heavy machinery, there is more segregation along economic and class lines. Muslims cannot choose where or when to perform the hajj – it can only be done in Mecca, at a certain point in the year – but they can choose where to stay.Recommend

  • tajammul hussain

    @Ali:
    You do not know the facts or even it appears the Quran. The fact is that the sources are all Saudi who are distraught at what is happening. The green dome was never built by the Ottomans as it is much earlier. It was painted green in 1823 before that it was another colour. As for the visiting shrines or graves I would remind you that the Prophet visited Al Baqiah many a time to pray for the dead and these are authentic hadith. Further the Quran in Surah Kahf which concerns the sleepers of the cave who have the status of Prophets and in particular Verse 21 which is clear and states ” they said Build over them a building: their Lord knows best concerning them. Those who won their point said : We shall build a place of worship over them”

    So the Quran does not have a problem why should you or the followers of Ibn Abdul Wahab ?
    Might I also remind you that the Prophet said ” a garden of Heaven separates my grave and my pulpit ( The Janat al Raoudah which by the way is recognised by the Wahabis as it is sectioned off with a different carpet and there is great demand to pray there) and given that a pulpit is only found in mosque you need to explain to yourself why a prayer by grave is being permitted in the light of the above. Recommend

  • http://gujrat Zalim singh

    saudia can keep their begging bowls ready once oil runs out.Recommend

  • blue

    Pakistanis cry hoarse about some Mosque damaged in India…wonder if they will stand up to these Arabs.Recommend

  • Saadullah

    My reaction to the blog was what?? cmon you got to be kidding me…but after i went through it and clicked on each and every link provided i was stunned. How dare the saudis do such a crime, surely this has to be stopped, ( at least pre empted) how dare we raise voice against blasphemy when we cant raise our voice against the so called sharifain of Mecca..i am horrified by our ignorance and servility to the SaudisRecommend

  • Joker

    this has got to be a JOKERecommend

  • ALI NASIR KHAN DHAREJO

    @murshid:
    The saudian kingdome is not keliphet herefor we can be disagreed with on any issue but we have to wait n see because many forces want muslim umma biforgated,
    No doubt if any step against the honour of prophet or his companions would be thaught as a disgressing of islam in muslim world.Recommend

  • Ibaad

    me and the whole family read it.and we r vey much into protest over such an attempt on IslamRecommend

  • sadaqat ali

    ET upto its old tricks again. Fake liberals Recommend

  • http://bigsaf.newsvine.com bigsaf

    @Muneeb UrReahman:

    There was a Masjid bombed in north Afghanistan during Eid prayers by the Taliban you support. Another IED, a two days ago, killed a dozen of civilians, mostly Afghan women, in the South, thanks to the idols you defend. There is little difference between the many Wahhabi/Salafi/Deoband/Sunni Islamist extremists across the region.

    Such Pakistanis are being hypocrite/munafiqs with infinite ignorance/jahalat in trying to support these modern day Kharajites and criminal terrorists, who have many times committed massacres and suicide bombings within Afghanistan, for their own selfish demented goals and wishes to teach the stupid US a lesson, not caring about Afghan civilian lives.

    How insincere and dishonest can one be, ‘figures for schools’ and ‘unconfirmed by Taliban’. They banned women’s education and would punish any woman breaking this rule. This is fact. Despite all the corruption and abuse, this is not happening under Karzai. Poor women are also allowed to have jobs and not forced to beg. Men were forced to have beards and would be punished if you didn’t, which is now not the case and just your cultural choice, not by law. Recommend

  • http://gujrat Zalim singh

    aaaah saudis. The scum of the earth.Recommend

  • http://bigsaf.newsvine.com bigsaf

    @Ali:

    Shrines have existed even before the Muslims came to India, as seen elsewhere in the Middle East. Regardless, the razing of graves and unilaterally attacking them, preached by Wahhabism, itself is an alien concept to Islam.

    There have been many disputed and authoritarian empires that have handled the Holy cities. The authoritarian monarchy House of Saud regime and their supporting clerics are the latest and the ones who have imposed and propagated this puritanical, austere ideology globally with their petro-dollars.

    Their brand is the Wahhabi brand, taken from the scholar they idolize, and is distinctly different from other non-Hanbali Sunni madhabs (whose own scholars disagree and dispute the Wahhabi or Saudi brand), whom they earlier rejected outright.

    Their ideology is rather historically intolerant and is inherently responsible for the sectarian anti-Shia violence, spawning the promotion of global Sunni Islamist extremism, including Salafi Jihadists and illegal violent destruction of shrines and masjids of other Muslims, besides enforcing themselves on non-Muslims.

    The fact that you give them dogmatic supremacy, the same very group that ridiculously bans women from driving under religious reasons, is unfortunate, and simply on the basis of superstitious religiosity.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WahhabismRecommend

  • tajammul hussain

    @321 and Muneeb ur Rahman
    the issue was and is the Sites of Mecca and Medina not about Taliban or US.
    So if what is happening in Mecca and Medina is ok then you should not complain if the Israelis destroy both the Qubabt us Sakkara and the Al Aqsa to re build the 3rd Temple which is already planned to the last detail including stones which have been cut and dressed as shown in a documentary on Independent TV networks of the UK. The sensible way forward is to internationalise both the cities and have each of the 57 Muslim nations have a say and this should not be the monopoly of one ruling family or a state for that matter. You also seem to be confused about depiction of statues and pictures of mammals or other living beings. ONLY and ONLY is this not done where the art of the Holy Quran is concerned or in Mosques. The distinction between secular and sacred was made very early on – and we have ample evidence that where secular arts of the Muslims were concerned, statues, paintings, and other objects of material culture, there is widespread depiction across both geographical space and time of living beings.To suggest that only the pair of your holier than thou practising Muslims is deeply offensive and is itself questionable.

    In the meantime

    Please see below what has appeared in the Daily Telegraph of the UK today

    :November 2, 2012

    Daily Telegraph

    The Saudis are bulldozing Islam’s heritage. Why the silence from the Muslim world?

    The long-cherished ambition of Saudi Arabia’s ruling Wahhabi sect to smash up the ancient buildings of Mecca and Medina is nearing fruition

    By Damian Thompson

    Imagine that the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem – the traditional site of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus – has been taken over by Cromwellian Puritans. The new owners of the shrine plan to send bulldozers in, replacing the old church with a monstrous building resembling a concrete spaceship. This is so pilgrims can pray without being distracted by “superstitious” icons. Also, the Old City will be buried under hotels that make Vegas look like Venice.

    It wouldn’t happen, would it? Christians would fight to the death to preserve Jerusalem. So would Jews and Muslims. And, for once, they’d have the support of secular politicians and scholars, horrified by the prospect of an act of cultural vandalism unprecedented in modern times.

    Unprecedented until now, that is. The long-cherished ambition of Saudi Arabia’s ruling Wahhabi sect to smash up the ancient buildings of Mecca and Medina is nearing fruition.

    In Mecca, the house of one of Mohammed’s wives has been demolished to make space for public lavatories. His birthplace may disappear, too, as part of King Abdullah’s scheme to complement the skyscrapers and shopping malls with a Grand Mosque fashioned from the same materials as a multi-storey car park in Wolverhampton.

    As for Islam’s second holiest place, the city of Medina, a recent article by Jerome Taylor in the Independent revealed a megalomaniac plan to pull down three 7th-century mosques. Taylor added: “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.”

    Only a small minority of the world’s billion Muslims are Wahhabis, despite the tens of billions of petrodollars spent by the Saudis propagating their creed. (Bosnia, for example, is now littered with Saudi-style mosques, replacing the graceful Ottoman architecture that Wahhabis detest.) Many pilgrims to Mecca are revolted by the marriage of Puritanism and greed they find there. Yet protests are scattered and muted. Why?

    One answer is that the House of Saud, though widely hated, is also feared: its wealth and terrorist connections make it unlikely that, say, a Pakistani politician would speak openly about the desecration of the Hajj.

    The West can hardly complain about such gutlessness: this year’s Hajj exhibition at the British Museum was creepily sanitised – no mention of bulldozers or the 2,000ft clock tower built right next to the Kaaba, the black cube-shaped building that is the centrepiece of Islamic devotions.

    But what sticks in the craw is the hypocrisy of Muslims who throw a fit if Israeli archaeologists carry out non-intrusive work underneath the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, “Islam’s third holiest place”, as we’re constantly reminded. Such anger would be more convincing if the first and second holy sites weren’t being ploughed up by a police state. Likewise, are cartoons of Mohammed really more offensive than reducing the remains of his life to rubble?

    As one Middle East expert put it to me: “Jews disturbing the Dome of the Rock fits into an anti-Western narrative, so Muslims can cope with that. The Saudi destruction of Mecca doesn’t fit into that narrative, and so there’s virtual silence.” Something worth bearing in mind, perhaps, when you wonder why the murder of Muslims by Muslims in Darfur or Syria provokes only limited outrage in the Islamic world.Recommend

  • Ali

    @tajammul hussain:

    1.The green dome is built on the Ottoman style of architecture, flat roofs were not strong enough as no steel was used, domes were stronger, hence the style of domes and arches had evolved. The Ottoman’s were bigots who built humungous Mosques in Istanbul but did not develop Masjid Al-Haram or the Prophet’s Mosque much.

    2.The purpose of the Prophet’s visit to Baqi was to spread the religion amongst Jinns and no one is saying that visiting graves is wrong but what is wrong is the creation of shrines, the asking of worldly things from the dead and the unneccessary addition to the religion which this causes.

    3.The dwellers of the cave (As’hab Al Kahaf) were not prophets and no place of worship exists to honour them, what is the source of your information. Allah set them as an example, that who He so ever wishes puts to sleep and wake them up when He wants.

    4.You should first understand the fact that why the Prophet has said that the place between my home and my Mimber (the place he used to lead the prayer from) is a garden from the gardens of heaven. The meaning of this is that the place was initial point where the Prophet’s Mosque was constructed and where his companions prayed. The Prophet’s House and his Mosque were adjoining structures at that time and a door used to lead from his house to the Mosque but his house and His Mosque were seperate stuctures.

    As per tradition of the Prophets before Rasool Allah S.A.W. a Prophet was buried where their souls would depart their bodies. Hence it was decided by the companions of the Prophets to bury him in the room of Ayesha (Radi Allah hu anha), where He was at the time soul departing his body.

    Going forward with my point, upon the growth of the Islamic Ummah (which is also the case now) the Prophet’s house was incorporated into the Mosque to make further ease for the pilgrims (This was done by the early Bani Ummayya rulers). however it is still a seperate structure and nobody goes and prays inside his house or the room where he is buried. Hence the Pulpit ( the Mimber) is not inside his house but is in his Mosque. The Riyad – ul- Jannah is in his Mosque and not in his house, please make the distinction. Believe me I know, I have studied the Prophets Mosque inch by inch and saw the newer additions built before my eyes.

    We as Muslim should be proud of the fact the Prophet’s Mosque is very beautiful structure and exists as a sanctuary for millions of Muslims and its further expansion is only for the good of mankind, rather than maligning its patrons and playing into the hands of the orientalists.Recommend

  • Ali

    @murshid:

    I fail to understand your point, what possible agenda there could behind the enhancement of the Prophet’s Mosque rather than creating ease for the Muslim pilgrims, are you against the enhancement of the Mosque. Please don’t tell me its the Americans behind it all. I know your kind who blame everything on the US and believe that countries like Iran are the true heroes.Recommend

  • laughing stock

    why do so many conservatives and extreme liberals exists…why cant there be more moderatesRecommend

  • king khan

    Extremism will soon be defeated. Recommend

  • Sam

    look like neither the author of this artical ever visited Madina nor seen new construction’s plan or photos. They are not going to touch nothing what so ever metioned in the artical. They are going to extend the Masjid other side and demolish only hotels. I think people should their homework before open their mouth and avoid ambersment.Recommend

  • Ali

    @Sam:

    Well said Sam you are the few in the forum who has actually seen the construction and know the truth.
    The same people who blame the non-muslims for all the woes in the world are blaming their Muslim brethren for something which they have not done.
    These articles which are being referred are written by some non-Muslim journalists in British newspapers who are playing with the minds of our emotional Pakistani country men, who on one hand are ready to kill 30 Muslims in their own country for a silly film, the same people also blame Wahhabis (In reality there is no such thing as Wahhabi) for destroying the Muslim holy sites.

    The Saudi government will build what so ever it wishes because they pay for it. Moreover, Allah will never chose someone wrong to administer the most Sacred sites of Islam, if you think that such a thing is possible then you lack faith.

    I would also like to bring to attention some facts:

    The construction method used at the time of the Prophet was very simple. Houses and Mosques were build of Mud and Date stems. These structures lasted only few years and were rebuilt again. This is a cycle, old buildings are replaced by newer better ones and this has to accepted.Recommend

  • 321

    @tajammul hussain:

    i guess we did get a bit off topic there. in any case if you’re wondering:

    1) i dont support what the saudis are doing to our islamic heritage sites
    2) i dont support what the jews are doing either

    i agree that the cities should be internationalized (for muslims that is). Also, I dont know if the part about the statues is referring to me but lets just see what scholars have to say. i believe all 3 sites refer to scholars.

    http://www.onislam.net/english/ask-the-scholar/arts-and-entertainment/sculpture-and-statues/175685-islamic-views-on-erecting-statues.html?Statues=

    http://islamqa.info/en/ref/20894

    http://islamqa.info/en/ref/7222

    btw just b/c something is “widedpread” doesnt make it permissible. this can refer to anything actually not only statues. u also shouldnt make unfounded accusations…i at least never claimed that i was a better muslim or “holier” than anyone. i only said i was a practising muslim and that i come to conclusions based off of scholarly opinion not my own. if u think thats being arrogant then so be it. Recommend

  • Ali

    @bigsaf:

    I am really sadened by your knowledge of Islam. I repeat again and again there is no such thing as Wahabism or Salafism, you will be in for a surprise. I see your source is Wikipedia that says it all my friend.

    Mohammad bin Abdul Wahab is not revered in Saudi Arabia, nobody even mentions his name when religion is talked about. If you read Mohammad Abdul Wahhab’s books he has nothing to say he has just compiled few Hadith which talk about the oneness of Allah.

    People in Saudi Arabia follow all the four known Madhabs of Islam, taking from them what is more authentic. I know its very hard to explain someone who has not seen the religion in practice, you will have to come and live Saudi Arabia to understand it properly.

    Extremism is present in all sects and religions my friend you cannot attach to one.Recommend

  • 321

    @tajammul hussain:

    @moderator: it wasnt letting me post this saying it was a duplicate comment (even though i hadnt even posted it yet).

    we did get a bit off topic there didnt we. in any case if you’re wondering:

    1) i dont support what the saudis are doing to our islamic heritage sites
    2) i dont support what the jews are doing either

    i agree that the cities should be internationalized (for muslims that is). Also, I dont know if the part about the statues is referring to me but lets just see what scholars have to say. i believe all 3 sites refer to scholars.

    http://www.onislam.net/english/ask-the-scholar/arts-and-entertainment/sculpture-and-statues/175685-islamic-views-on-erecting-statues.html?Statues=

    http://islamqa.info/en/ref/20894

    http://islamqa.info/en/ref/7222

    btw just b/c something is “widedpread” doesnt make it permissible. this can refer to anything actually not only statues. u also shouldnt make unfounded accusations…i at least never claimed that i was a better muslim or “holier” than anyone. i only said i was a practising muslim and that i come to conclusions based off of scholarly opinion not my own. if u think thats being arrogant then so be it. Recommend

  • tajammul hussain

    @Ali:

    The structure of the Sacred Chamber ( as this is generally known ) which houses the Holy Prophet’s remains and is topped by the green dome ( this was painted in 1823 ) predates the Ottomans. The actual structure of Dome and its architecture conforms to the Mamluk period. The side grilles which surround the chamber on three sides predate the Mamluks. In fact the specific style of the calligraphy is Ayubid period Tumar script. So I am afraid you are factually incorrect. To suggest that the Ottomans did not do anything in the two Mosques is also at variance with the facts. The outside part of the Sacred chamber and extension were, as I mentioned constructed in 1823 in a style known as Ottoman Baroque and throughout the centuries many a dynasty which had control over these two sites have embellished them. The Ottoman structures have been demolished but we have documentary evidence of what these structures looked like from paintings found in the various Dalayal ul Khairat commissioned by the pilgrims over centuries and photographs dating from the mid 19th century.
    In so far as the Prophet visiting Jinns in the graveyard. That is the first I have ever heard. Please quote your sources and if it is Hadith then the isnad would be welcome.
    In so far as the Sleepers of the Cave are concerned, are you seriously contradicting the Quran which explicitly states just that ? I would refer you to the end of Verse 21 of Surah Kahf. As for their tombs which are in the Cave where they took refuge – this is near Sahab outside Amman, in the Kingdom of Jordan The source of this information along with a Fatwa by the Grand Mufti of Jordan is in a book called Holy Sites of Jordan edited and published by HRH Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad.
    Insofar as your comment about the Raudah is concerned, I never suggested that this was in his house. I have been there myself and this is the space between the Sacred chamber and the soon to be redundant pulpit ( which hardly needs reminding is the site of Holy Prophet’s Mihrab). The extension of the Mosque makes all this totally redundant apart from demolishing mosques which were built by his successors. I have seen the photographs of the model with the current king in front of these models and this was depicted in the newspapers here in UK. I would also state for the record ( and I deal with many highly placed Saudi nationals including members of the Royal family ) who are appalled by all this and have opposed without fail for the last decade all these so called improvements. In fact they are the source of all this information and I have seen letters in the past from these highly placed nationals to the highest levels of the state to find other solutions before they started talking to the media. The fact is that I was first alerted to what was afoot when I was lecturing in Saudi Arabia by senior princess who was attending my lectures and was appalled and horrified by what she had to say.

    The skyscrapers for example could easily be built outside Mecca rather then dynamite mountions which are volcanic and thus risk also damaging ad fracturing the Zam Zam system. The plans call for skyscrapers to built around the Mosque in Medina when they should be placed outside in the environs of Medina. At present you see the Green Dome from miles away and that will no longer be the case . The Kaaba should have been visible as it was historically in the vale and not this wretched tower which towers above the House of Allah on earth. The models of the extensions were on display at the British Museum’s Haj exhibition and many of us have seen these monstrosities,

    Finally I would repeat that if you dispense with history and indeed historical evidence ( in terms of material culture ) you risk creating myths and indeed legends. Recommend

  • laughing stock

    @Sam:
    You should avoid ridicule by checking your english first. Secondly with the amount of references given you still have difficulty believing? I pity your intelligence.Recommend

  • Pakvestor

    I do not understand why everyone is so ignorant about this issue and await for official confirmation on this from the Saudi government. It is not as if this is happening for the first time. They have been on a rampage for destruction of site pertaining islamic heritage, culture and history since the day they “took office”.

    In fact similar actions were taken in the 1800s when they first took power of Hejaz. They even restricted Muslims from performing hajj, if such a Muslim did not follow the Wahhabi doctrine.

    They had attempted to paint the green dome as silver.

    They often do these actions under the guise of reconstruction/extension and /or renovation. A cas in example is when the Saudi Government renovated Masjid ul Qiblatain. At that point in time they renovation plans included removal of the indentification spot of where the Prophet was standing at the time the ayyat for changing of Qiblas was revealed.

    I urge people who are waiting for official clarification, to just take some time and do a little bit of research on the net. Start with the Wikipedia page (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DestructionofearlyIslamicheritage_sites) proceed to the references cited in that article.Recommend

  • HSS

    This issue by Jeremy is an older one and upon his statements I think its unfair to conclude that Saudis are going to make that mistake. I am not defending Saudis, their religion or their way of governance. The point is why should we as Muslims do not first confirm any such information before spreading it especially through these public blogs which can create Anarchy, and the last thing I would like to say that We Muslims Should Understand That Someone Wants Us To Deviate From Our Centre & Start Fighting Over It So In Order To Pave Way For Them To Rule And Control The Whole Of Muslims, Either Of Any Sect, Shite or Sunnis.
    Regards,
    HSS.Recommend

  • http://bigsaf.newsvine.com bigsaf

    @Ali:

    Wikipedia, has credible sources at the end that one can verify. If you like here’s encyclopedia Britanica.

    http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/634039/Wahhabi

    Wahhabi and Salafi ideologies obviously exist. There’s scholarly evidence and facts. Surprised by adherents who reject reality and blindly follow them, like no other Islamic or Muslim scholars dispute them.

    Mohd ibn Abdul Wahab propagated his selective interpretations and opinions, considered fringe and fanatical to many scholars. His views were adopted ultimately by the house of Saud. Its influence remains in the environment, beliefs practised and taken for granted.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muhammad_ ibn _ Abd_al-Wahhab
    (note the immense references at the end. Dismissing them would be ignorant)

    Yes, there are residents with different madhabs, however, it is the Wahhabi (or now Salaf) brand the state promotes and enforces. Just in recent reforms they acknowledged the other major Sunni madhabs officially, but of course still reject the Shia madhab, due to inherent anti-Shia beliefs.

    Religion can be practised well by Muslims outside KSA. I’ve been to KSA enough times and seen their religion in practice like ban on women driving, besides other authoritarianism, hypocrisies and marginalizations. Its ideological dogma legitimising the monarchy rulers as ‘ordained by God’, despite the documented history of violent power struggle and abuses.

    Yes, there are extremists in all sects. However, there’s a monopoly spawned from their ideology, which has more than its fair share.Recommend

  • Sami Ullah

    Crap …..rather checking out the truth … we all are trying to settling our personal opinions. For peoples belonging to sects who dislikes wahabis are off course appreciating the article and author …. and vice versa …

    To me its a mix pot. but doubting anyone integrity is not a good thing. Allah himself has taken responsibility to take care of Holy Kaba. Additionally, 365 days in a year …. its the people whom you people are showing dis respect are taking care of Allah’s home. so be thankful and atleast acknowledge things.Recommend

  • SMA

    I read an article, when the people of Libya, Bahrain, Tunis & Egypt took stand against their so called King. The Saudi government gave lot of benefits to their people for not raising a single voice against their decades of regime.Recommend

  • http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/10/28/269150/saudi-regime-to-demolish-islamic-sites/ Imran

    Taliban are not Wahhabis, at least write what is truthful? @einstein’s avatar: Recommend

  • javed

    @Sameer: Jazak Allah Brother; finally read something good.Recommend