Thursday, August 11, 2005

Bulldozers for Allah

 
So much for Tancredo’s option. In a short while there won’t be anything to nuke. The Saudis, those Wahhabist preservers of antiquities, are in the process of reducing thousands of years of antiquities to rubble. Remember when their Afghan Taleban adherents blew up the Buddhist statues near Bamiyan? Same general principle.

Islam is a hard concept to get your mind around, but the Wahhabi version is the strangest of them all. Had it not been for petroleum, we’d never have heard of their austere nihilism. They could be dismantling Mecca and Medina and we’d shrug and go about our business. Unfortunately we get to witness this pathological destruction up close.

How must it feel for other Muslims, those who care deeply about their pilgrimages to the Holy Places, to have these sites eradicated in the name of some punitive and destructive theology that abhors history, reverence for the past, and love of place?

Writing in the Independent (subscription required) Daniel Howden describes the unprecedented destruction of a holy place by its own people:
     Historic Mecca, the cradle of Islam, is being buried in an unprecedented onslaught by religious zealots.
Almost all of the rich and multi-layered history of the holy city is gone. The Washington-based Gulf Institute estimates that 95 per cent of millennium-old buildings have been demolished in the past two decades.
Now the actual birthplace of the Prophet Mohamed is facing the bulldozers, with the connivance of Saudi religious authorities whose hardline interpretation of Islam is compelling them to wipe out their own heritage.
According to Sami Angawi, an expert on regional Islamic architecture, the last days of Mecca and Medina are imminent. There are fewer than twenty structures left that date back to Mohammed’s time, and those which remain are set to be bulldozed, too.

This strange Wahhabi visionary annihilation in the name of holiness descended on Saudi Arabia with the victory of the al- Saud tribe in the 1920’s. They are fanatics — as we have witnessed in their clinging to slavery, the slaughter of those who fail to adhere to the Wahhabi tenets, and their world-wide dissemination of money to fund the teaching of Wahabbi Islam from Afghanistan to Indiana.

Thus they destroy their history in order to prevent idolatry. Pilgrims making their way to Mecca or Medina might unwittingly worship the place and not the god, Allah. From this theological mistake could arise polytheism, tolerance, and who knows what else?

So Medina and Mecca must go.
     As John R. Bradley notes in his new book Saudi Arabia Exposed, the practice of idolatry in the kingdom remains, in principle at least, punishable by beheading. And Bradley also points out this same literalism mandates that advertising posters can and need to be altered. The walls of Jeddah are adorned with ads featuring people missing an eye or with a foot painted over. These "deliberate imperfections" are the most glaring sign of an orthodoxy that tolerates nothing which fosters adulation of the graven image. Nothing can, or can be seen to, interfere with a person's devotion to Allah.
The Wahhabi answer to the threat of history is a bulldozer and concrete.

For once, though, this is not America’s problem. It is an Islamic problem. What’s your guess as to how it will be solved?


Hat tip to Jeff in the comments section of the Lebanese Political Journal blog

9 comments:

Baron Bodissey said...

I think it probably is America's fault. Bush did it! I'll bet Halliburton is getting the fattest demolition contracts...

Goesh said...

Since we know Jews cause earthquakes, it is obviously a Jewish cement manufacturer's plot to destroy makah.

Jude the Obscure said...

Excerpt from article in the NYT Aug 7 2005: 'And yet, for all his laments, Naipaul is not invested in the notion that Western civilization is in decline. ''That's a romantic idea,'' he said brusquely. ''A civilization which has taken over the world cannot be said to be dying. . . . It's a university idea. People cook it up at universities and do a lot of lectures about it. It has no substance.'' The ''philosophical diffidence'' of the West, he maintains, will prevail over the ''philosophical shriek'' of those who intend to destroy it.' and later
'he cites a remarkable passage from Conrad: ''A half-naked, betel-chewing pessimist stood upon the bank of the tropical river, on the edge of the still and immense forests; a man angry, powerless, empty-handed, with a cry of bitter discontent ready on his lips; a cry that, had it come out, would have rung through the virgin solitudes of the woods as true, as great, as profound, as any philosophical shriek that ever came from the depths of an easy chair to disturb the impure wilderness of chimneys and roofs.''
Earlier in the article he states that terrorism is 'a war declared on you by people who passionately want one thing - a green card.'
Your article - After the Saudis destroy everything - then they may well begin on people as in the advertisements, marring them lest they be thought too perfect. They are mad and will bring about their own downfall.

Jason_Pappas said...

Arabs see the USA as the protector of Saudi Arabia. After protecting Kuwait, it is expected that we would not allow an invasion of Saudi Arabia.

I’ve called for an end to our relationship with Saudi Arabia and classifying them as the enemy. After dispensing with the scare scenarios, I argue this is eminently doable: here.

Saudi Arabia can’t defend itself from an invasion. Who would invade Saudi Arabia? Let's count: Egypt is oil-poor … now there’s a motivation. We could, of course, end our $2 billion a year foreign aid to Egypt … now there’s greater motivation.

But the likely one is Jordon. Why? The King of Jordon claims to be the rightful protector of Mecca – and they were in control before the house of Saud.

All we need to do is get out of the way.

unaha-closp said...

Earlier in the article he states that terrorism is 'a war declared on you by people who passionately want one thing - a green card.'

Naah, those are just the cannon fodder. The War is driven by those of the umma who have a palace in Fort Lauderdale, $100 million in cash and a 200' yacht. Wahhabism teaches respect for your leaders and betters, and the fanatical expansion of the faith - it is the perfect religion to be the leader of.

a4g said...

It is right to fear Islam, and actively push for hard measures to halt its destructive spread, and yet I wonder if perhaps the gnawing dread of nuclear suitcases and bioengineered plagues might be looked back upon in 40 years with the same quaint nostalgia as the backyard bomb shelter and 'duck and cover.'

I've always considered Islam like Influenza, periodically reaching out in massive waves of epidemic which are hard fought but beaten back. But perhaps the proper paradigm is that of Ebola, so virulent that it too rapidly exhausts its food supply and whithers away. A religion so progressively vile that it eats away its own foundations, may be too toxic to survive.

On the scale of our lives, or even eons, Islam seems a perpetual problem, but on the scale of all of human history, it may yet turn out to be a mere footnote.

After all, who can maintain the fire of the Jihadi, when joints start to ache and trips to the bathroom become more frequent?

Could this be the point in Islam's history when it will bleed out?

Always On Watch said...

So, certain Muslims don't respect antiquities? Why am I not surprised?

Doesn't OBL's family own a construction company? Maybe that company will build something "acceptable" on the leveled sites.

Could part of this be a real-estate scam?

The more I learn, the stranger Islam becomes to me. Western logic simply does not apply--unless one studies principles of abnormal psychology.

And I agree with Jason. We should leave Saudi to itself and watch what happens.

Wild Bill said...

I think Orwell's dictum explains it fairly well:
"Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past."
Orwell also had this to say that will cause a pause to think on it..
"But it is also necessary to remember that events happened in the desired manner. And if it is necessary to rearrange one's memories or to tamper with written records, then it is necessary to forget that one has done so. The trick of doing this can be learned like any other mental technique."

So, I take that to mean that it may well be that Bush WILL get blaimed for it afterall.. This seems to be S.O.P. for Islamics.. I have seen it said several times lately, that Islam and the Progressive and Liberal attitudes have very much in common.. The more time passes, the more I tend to agree..

RD said...

So much for Tancredo’s option.

:-) Well hey, at least the Kaaba meteorite will still be standing. I always figured the Tancredo Option meant obliterating and vaporizing the meteorite, while sparing as many other structures as possible.

Perhaps a nuclear strike is now overkill, and the revised Option will involve a drill, a few sticks of TNT and a loud kaboom. (Time for him to update the 'war plan'?)