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Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Give 'em what they want

Sometimes, you find Arab positions that are even more bizarre than usual.

Two examples from today's news:

Dr. Elias Akleh in Arab2000.net (slogan: "Looking forward to the 20th Century") argues that a Palestinian state just plays into the hands of the imperialist Western infidel dhimmi descendants of apes and pigs. So, presumably, he is against the establishment of such a state. Sounds fair to me.

Cybercast News Service discusses the peculiar Wahhabi phenomenon of destroying all major Islamic landmarks:
Al-Ahmed, a Saudi scholar and expert on Saudi political affairs, estimates that the majority of Islamic landmarks in Saudi Arabia have already been destroyed. Islamic architecture expert Sami Angawi told media earlier this year that at least 300 historical buildings have been leveled in Mecca and Medina over the past 50 years.

"A telling example is the house where the Prophet Mohammed was born and [another] house he lived in until he was 29 are going to be demolished," Al-Ahmed said. Also destroyed was the 18th -century Ottoman-era Ajyad Fort. "They destroyed it at night. They blew up the hill where the fort was situated to make room for hotels," Al-Ahmed said.

Other reportedly destroyed sites cited by Al-Ahmed include: the first house in Islam, where the prophet Mohamed held secret meetings with his followers, which was destroyed in the 1980s; the houses of the prophet in Medina, where he lived for the last 10 years of his life; the Al-Fadik mosque in Medina built during Mohammed's life and destroyed in July 2003; and the Ali Al-Oraidi Mosque and Shrine in Medina destroyed in 2004. "It had been in operation for 1,200 years," said Al-Ahmed.

Behind the destruction is the Wahhabist strain of Islam, which seeks to destroy any revered physical structures that clerics believe could lead believers to idolatry, said Al-Ahmed. Real-estate development, especially around Mecca and Medina, which hosts millions of pilgrims every year, is also a major factor.

Religious politics also plays a role. When authorities allegedly destroyed one of the five renowned "Seven Mosques" built by the Prophet Mohammed's daughter and four of his "greatest Companions," Wahhabists were approving. "The mosques are not welcomed by Wahhabis," said Al-Ahmed. "It's partly political. They don't want Shia to go there to pray."

Where the Abu Bakr mosque stood, there is now an ATM machine, said Al-Ahmed. The home in which the founder of Islam grew up is slated to be destroyed, as well as his birthplace, which has a library built over it. Two major battlefields with both historic and religious significance have also reportedly been paved over.
So if the Wahhabis want to come to Israel to destroy the Dome of the Rock, I think Israel should welcome them with open arms.

Both of these initiatives can go a long way in increasing understanding and love between the peoples.