Call to destroy the pyramids and the sphinx

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.


  1. jaytheostrich says

    Exactly who do they think is worshipping the sphinx these days? This is just religious historical revisionism.. we’re all Muslims and have always been Muslims and nothing else has ever existed.

  2. Doug Little says

    This type of bullshit needs to be smacked down hard, I haven’t seen the pyramids or sphinx yet.

  3. Jandorian says

    I would be interested to see them try on the following 2 conditions:
    1) They must start with the Great Pyramid, and
    2) They must use only materials and technologies available in 7th century Arabia when that rule was established.

    I think they’d die from old age or in de-construction accidents before they made any noticeable progress.

  4. Pierce R. Butler says

    Jandorian @ # 3 – pls be more careful what you wish for.

    The exterior of the “Great Pyramid” is made of stone blocks about the size of a car, dry-set (no mortar).

    With a few muscular friends, strong wooden poles, and a good-sized rock or two for fulcra, I could start the topmost pieces rolling down the sides with just the basic principles of leverage. And the rest, too, at least until the loose pieces piled up to the level I’d vandalized my way down to.

    Kind of interesting that an admitted Taliban activist is getting tv time in our glorious allies’ domain. Wonder why Obama didn’t bomb-drone the studio?

  5. Francisco Bacopa says

    The early Christians made the same arguments about the Olympian Zeus and the Temple of Diana at Ephisus, and now they are gone.

  6. Corvus illustris says

    It goes farther: classical buildings in Rome and elsewhere were literally used as quarries from which to obtain raw materials to build Christian churches. (I suppose we should give them points for recycling.) FWIW, the Pantheon and the Flavian Amphitheater (aka the Coliseum) are now churches, and there are other examples.

  7. Corvus illustris says

    Not to defend the Muslims, but consider the loss of clsssical literature and science (not to mention records of Christianities that weren’t orthodox enough) due to the Christians, in particular to the sects that won. And then we have the iconoclastic furies of the Orthodox and the Protestants–oh, see, you got me started.

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