An Islamist has called for the destruction of the pyramids and the sphinx in Egypt because he says they contravene Muslim religious laws forbidding ‘idols’.
“All Muslims are charged with applying the teachings of Islam to remove such idols, as we did in Afghanistan when we destroyed the Buddha statues”, he said, speaking on a popular Egyptian private television channel.
“God ordered Prophet Mohammed to destroy idols,” he added. “When I was with the Taliban we destroyed the statue of Buddha, something the government failed to do.”
Although destroying the pyramids and the sphinx will be tough because they are huge and the Egyptian government will not stand idly by and let their main tourist attractions be eliminated, one should not laugh away these people as crackpots. Recall that these crazy people have succeeded in destroying ancient monuments before, such as the giant Buddhist statues in Bamiyan in Afghanistan in 2001 and just this year ancient tombs and mausoleums in Mali.
The Islamist fighters from Ansar Dine (Defenders of Faith) are among the Al-Qaeda-linked armed groups which occupied the north of Mali in the chaos that emerged after a March coup in Bamako.
Their presence in Timbuktu prompted UNESCO on Thursday to list the city as an endangered site because of the continuing violence in northern Mali and in the wake of an attack on a 15th century tomb in May.
“God is unique. All of this is haram (forbidden in Islam). We are all Muslims. UNESCO is what?” a spokesman for Ansar Dine, Sanda Ould Boumama, said on Saturday.
He said the group was acting in the name of God and would “destroy every mausoleum in the city. All of them, without exception”.
Yes, I’m sure your god would be proud of you for destroying irreplaceable cultural artifacts of an ancient time.
Such acts and words show the utter poverty of the thinking of such religious people and the blindness that religion inflicts on some of its followers.