Saturday, September 24, 2011

Mecca for the Rich: Islam's Holiest Site Turning into "Vegas"

This is honestly the worst news I've heard in a long, long time. I'm hurt. Both as a practicing Muslim and as a student of Islamic Studies. This is so tragic. They have to have no respect to be doing something like this - no respect for the religion, for the billion plus people who practice that religion, for the Prophet (peace be upon him), for his family, for HISTORY.

Rest in peace, Mecca, rest in peace.

Can you see the Ka'ba? ... Oh, there it is! I see it. (P.S. Click to enlarge.)
To the al-Saud monarchy, Mecca is their vision of the future – a steel and concrete metropolis built on the proceeds of enormous oil wealth that showcases their national pride.
Yet growing numbers of citizens, particularly those living in the two holy cities of Mecca and Medina, have looked on aghast as the nation's archaeological heritage is trampled under a construction mania backed by hardline clerics who preach against the preservation of their own heritage. Mecca, once a place where the Prophet Mohamed insisted all Muslims would be equal, has become a playground for the rich, critics say, where naked capitalism has usurped spirituality as the city's raison d'ĂȘtre.
Few are willing to discuss their fears openly because of the risks associated with criticising official policy in the authoritarian kingdom. And, with the exceptions of Turkey and Iran, fellow Muslim nations have largely held their tongues for fear of of a diplomatic fallout and restrictions on their citizens' pilgrimage visas. Western archaeologists are silent out of fear that the few sites they are allowed access to will be closed to them.
But a number of prominent Saudi archaeologists and historians are speaking up in the belief that the opportunity to save Saudi Arabia's remaining historical sites is closing fast.
"No one has the balls to stand up and condemn this cultural vandalism," says Dr Irfan al-Alawi who, as executive director of the Islamic Heritage Research Foundation, has fought in vain to protect his country's historical sites. "We have already lost 400-500 sites. I just hope it's not too late to turn things around." 

Click here to read more. (This is copied verbatim from the link provided.)

1 comment:

  1. You have no idea how long this has sickened me for - including Hajj paockages in 5 star hotels I mean for 4uck's sake.


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