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  Updated: September 5, 2005

Muslim hush over Saudi destruction of prophet (p) home shocking

By: Nabil Raza

The home wherein the holy prophet (p) lived for 28 years

TORONTO, Canada: Secretary-General for Saudi Supreme Association for Tourism prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz has condemned Saudi government plan to demolish Islamic signs and buildings in the holy cities of Medina and Makkah.

Talking to London-based Asharq Al-Awsat Arabic language newspaper on Sunday September 4, Abdulaziz stressed that powers that be have no legal authority to touch or demolish historical sites.

The daily writes that operations of demolition of important signs in the holy city of Medinah are neither the first nor would be the last, as earlier seven mosques including Bani Qoreyza Mosque were razed to ground despite their religious, historic and cultural importance as well as their status in the period of Prophet (peace be upon him and his pure progeny).

Four years back, controversy was caused regarding demolition of Mosque of Al-Imam Ali Al-Aridhi, grandson of Al-mam Ali bin Abi Taleb (peace be upon him), in the holy city of Medinah because of its establishment on his grave.

Asharq Al-Awsat went on saying that different organizations for protection of archeological sites with agency of signs and museums on top of the list stood to stop destruction of Islamic, historical and cultural signs in the holy city of Medina, but they failed.

A number of care-takers for the signs, according to the newspaper, including Dr Abdullah Nasif, member Shura Council Dr Ayedh Ar-Radadi and Dr Anvar Ashqy, criticized steps to demolish these signs and called to protect the remaining Islamic sites and signs.

According to reports some of Holy Makkah and Medina's most historic sites including a home of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his pure progeny), are under threat from Saudi real estate developers.

Meanwhile, surprise has been expressed at the lack of reaction in the Muslim world at the impending demolition of the house of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his pure progeny) by the Saudi authorities.

Renowned thinker Dr Anvar Ashqy said that not more than 10 percent Islamic historic signs of that which were present before expansion of Al-Haram An-Nabavi Ash-Sharif are left in the holy city of Medinah.

An op-ed article in Toronto Star, Canada’s widely-circulated daily, by Tarek Fatah, a Pakistani-Canadian Muslim activist and broadcaster, finds it incomprehensible that while the demolition of the Babri mosque by Hindu zealots at Ayodhya continues to remain an emotive issue with Muslims, what the Saudi authorities plan to do has evoked no protest at all.

Fatah writes, “What makes this demolition worse is the fact that the home of the Prophet is to make way for a parking lot, two 50-storey hotel towers and seven 35-storey apartment blocks; a project known as the Jabal Omar Scheme, all within a stone’s throw of the Grand Mosque. Yet despite this outrage, not a single Muslim country, no ayatollah, no mufti, no king, not even a Muslim Canadian imam has dared utter a word in protest. Such is the power of Saudi influence on the Muslim narrative.”

The writer wonders if the lack of a response is because Muslims have become so overwhelmed by the power of the Saudi riyal currency that we have lost all courage and self-respect? Or is it because they feel a need to cover up Muslim-on-Muslim violence, Muslim-on-Muslim terror or Muslim-on-Muslim oppression?

According to Fatah the cultural massacre of Islamic heritage sites is not a new phenomenon. It is said that in the last two decades, 95 per cent of Makkah’s 1,000-year-old buildings have been demolished. In the early 1920s, the Saudi rulers Aal-e-Sa’ud bulldozed and leveled a graveyard in Medina – Cemetery of Al-Baqee - that housed the shrines of the holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his pure progeny)’s daughter Fatimah Az-Zahraa (peace be upon her), his grandsons Imam Hasan Al-Mojtaba (peace be upon him), Imam Zein-ol Abideen (peace be upon him), Imam Baqer (peace be upon him), Imam Jafar As-Sadeq (peace be upon him), and his companions. A cemetery – Jannatul Moalla – in the holy city of Makkah was also demolished by the Saudis. This cemetery included holy shrines of holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his pure progeny)’s wife Sayyedah Khadija Al-Kobra (peace be upon her), his grandfather and uncle Abdul-Mottaleb and Abu Taleb (peace be upon them).

The house where holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his pure progeny) ‘s beloved daughter Sayyedah Fatimah Az-Zahraa (peace be upon her) was born as well as house of his wife Sayyedah Khadija (peace be upon her) were demolished in pretext of expansion project.

Fatah said, “Today, the religious zealots in Saudi Arabia are not alone. Commercial developers have joined hands with them and are making hundreds of millions in profits as they build ugly, but lucrative high-rises that are shadowing the Grand Mosque know as the Kaaba. Today Saudi petrodollars have the ability to silence even its most vocal critics, but when all is said and done, history will render a harsh judgment on those who try to wipe out its footprints and steal the heritage of all humanity.”

Home of Holy Prophet (s) under threat after Baqi, Moalla demolition

WASHINGTON: Report said some of Holy Makka's most historic sites, possibly including a home of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his pure progeny), are under threat from Saudi real estate developers and an influential Muslim group that view them as promoting idolatry.

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