Yesterday it was the Bamiyan, today the Sphinx, Pyramids!


Yesterday it was the Bamiyan, today the Sphinx, Pyramids!
by Iqbal Latif

‘Destroy the idols,’ Egyptian jihadist calls for removal of Sphinx, Pyramids. Yesterday it was the Bamiyan, today the Sphinx, Pyramids! Arabic media lately had reported words of Saudi Sheikh Ali bin Said al-Rabi‘i for the demolition of Egypt’s Great Pyramids. Now Murgan Salem al-Gohary, have joined the chorus, he is an Islamist leader twice-sentenced under former President Hosni Mubarak for advocating violence, he called on Muslims to remove such “idols.”

The clarion call of hardened clergy is the ''symbols of paganism need to be destroyed Mursi should accomplish what the Sahabi Amr bin al-As could not.” A reference to the Prophet Muhammad’s companion, Amr bin al-As who invaded and conquered Egypt in 641.

In December 639 'Amr ibn al-'As left for Egypt with a force of 4,000 troops. Most of the soldiers belonged to the Arab tribes, although Al-Kindi mentions that one third of the soldiers belonged to the Arab tribe of Ghafik. The Arab soldiers were also joined by some Byzantine and Persian converts to Islam. However, 'Umar, the Muslim caliph, reconsidered his orders to Amr, thinking it foolhardy to expect to conquer such a large country as Egypt with a mere 4,000 soldiers. Accordingly, he wrote a letter to 'Amr commanding him to come back. He added a postscript, however:

“"If you receive this letter when you have already crossed into Egypt, then you may proceed. Allah will help you and I will also send such reinforcements as may be needed."

Many Egyptian antiquities were shattered as relics of infidelity. The great Library of Alexandria itself deemed a repository of pagan knowledge contradicting the Koran was destroyed under bin al-As’s reign and in compliance with Caliph Omar’s command. (It is suggested that the Caliph has been quoted as saying of the Library's holdings, "they will either contradict the Koran, in which case they are heresy, or they will agree with it, so they are superfluous.")

However, while book-burning was an uncomplicated action in the 7th century, destroying the mountain-like pyramids and their guardian Sphinx was not easy. Constructed between 2589 BC and 2504 BC, the Egyptian pyramids of Khufu, Khafre and Menkaure, built in that order, are a testament to ancient planning and engineering. Examination of the Sphinx's face shows that the one-metre-wide nose on the face is missing. The Arab historian al-Maqrīzī, writing in the 15th century AD, attributes the loss of the nose to iconoclasm by Muhammad Sa'im al-Dahr, a Sufi Muslim from the khanqah of Sa'id al-Su'ada. In AD 1378, upon finding the Negroid peasants making offerings to the Sphinx in the hope of increasing their harvest, Sa'im al-Dahr was so outraged that he destroyed the nose, and was hanged for vandalism. Al-Maqrīzī describes the Sphinx as the "talisman of the Nile" on which the locals believed the flood cycle depended.

How the cultures, customs and traditions of the world civilization are destroyed as we funnily wait for some common sense to evolve.
The ancient statues were between the tallest standing Buddha's in the world. They had survived the ravages of Genghis Khan, centuries of invasions and wars and the natural wear of the elements. Taliban have been considered the true descendants of all the other barbarians who destroyed what their ideologies could not accept: the Vandals and Huns stealing of the Roman Empire; Stalin's destruction of churches; Mao's Cultural Revolution; Pol Pot's razing of schools and cities; Hitler's book burnings and desecration of synagogues. The Taliban claimed that "the Buddha's violate the Islamic prohibition against sacred images and that they are false idols that must be destroyed.....the statues should be destroyed so that they are not worshipped now or in the future ...".

But the reasons of the action were politics and may be also religious. The city of Bamiyan was a base of the Taliban's opposition - Northern Alliance's "rebel" forces. The Taliban took control of Bamiyan in 1998 and, to humiliate the locals, they tried to destroy their heritage.

From the lowest to the highest form of intellectual life nothing escapes the prying eyes of the mullahs; the ideological interpretations and limits that are to be imposed are fanatically exerted. Whatever brings some solace to our lives, from the dead stones of caves of Bamiyan carved into beautiful majestic Buddha's; to Sphinx, Pyramids ; to even man's great friend dog and on to intellect like Najeeb Mahfooz, all form of life are threatened.

Anything innovative, skilful or original should be smashed, if the mountains of Bamiyan would have stayed uncared it is OK, any attempt of chiselling them to an object of reverence is threat to an ideology, is loveliness and adore of life a-thesis of dogma? It looks like so. Hate begets hate, Violence begets Violence and Terrorism begets terrorism. Medievalism breeds and begets medievalism; even if the mind tries to be free from the opium induced enslavement of soul through legends and myths the fables and folklores of desert tie the person to medievalism ! The 'terrorism' to chain the masses is the worst kind of 'terrorism,' the avatars who practice it with greatest scriptural gifted immunity are bane of mankind.


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Ayatollah Sadegh Khalkhali tried to bulldoze Persepolis!

by Iqbal Latif on

Even Khomieni Iran tried to destroy the poetry and culture of pre  Islamic era. Abolqasem Ferdowsi wrote the "Shahnameh," a 1000 years ago known as  "Book of Kings. It is  the legendary epic encapsulating the first erratic moments of creation to the Arab conquest of the Persian Empire in the seventh century.


Ferdowsi maintained connection of essence to the bequest and heritage of pre-Islamic Iran. "Shahnameh" was composed on request of Sultan Mahmud of Ghazanavi.  Abolqasem Ferdowsi was offered one dinar for every couplet. Ferdowsi presented the Sultan with almost 60,000 couplets, an embarrassed Mahmud Ghazanavi backed out of his enterprise. Ferdowsi abandoned the lessened reward, he died impoverished and embittered in Tus. Yet, his poem is now the grand epic of Persian literature . Ferdowsi's hostility toward the desert invaders ends the epic where 'Rostam' stood before the marching army and mourn:


When the pulpit's equal to the throne 

And Abu Bakr's and Omar's names are known 

Our long travails will be as naught, and all 

The glory we have known will fade and fall. 

The stars are with the Arabs, and you'll see 

No crown or throne, no royal sovereignty.


Ayatollah Khomeini considered the "Shahnameh"  unpleasant, even blasphemous. He rejected public readings and declared all unspiritual verse as forbidden. Ayatollah Sadegh Khalkhali in 1979 tried to bulldoze the Ferdowsi's tomb and Persepolis, he was stopped by the provisional governor.