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Saturday, 24 November 2012 00:00

The Mother of All Insults: Muslims Make a Mockery of Mecca

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Islam’s holiest city of Mecca is going through another development phase — one a la Las Vegas. To make space, its historical sites are being destroyed. With the exception of a few outspoken critics, primarily the Saudi-based Islamic Heritage Research Foundation, the Muslim world has been largely silent.

Saudi Arabia claims to be the custodian of Islam’s holy sites in Medina and Mecca. As such, it has given itself a cart blanche in how it administers and manages the sites and the pilgrimage process. The 57 member Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is never consulted; and as Muslims, this is essentially our city. The OIC doesn’t dare speak out against Saudi Arabia’s destructive plans.

Apparently 95% of Islam’s holiest sites have been destroyed in the last 10 years. The Prophet’s birthplace was turned into a library and the house of his first wife Khadijah, was replaced with a public toilet block. Figuratively speaking, “toilet” is an accurate metaphor of the Wahhabi’s gender outlook of women.

With the new development, old historical sites will make way for a fancier, ritual experience — if you are rich, that is.

Take, for instance, the multi-million dollar Zam Zam high-rise apartment complexes for the super rich Muslims that face Kabbah. Yes, you can observe the ritual from your luxurious air-conditioned apartment with a picture window overlooking the Kabbah while the on-site servant brings you your tea. Contrast that with the many poor Muslims who end up sleeping in the open because they cannot afford the hotel rates.

In addition to the Zam Zam Tower there are six 5 star hotels, with 4360 commercial retail stores with 24-hour shopping, making Los Angeles’ posh Rodeo Drive consumerism lame in comparison.

Mecca was the ONE place where we were all equals regardless of race, gender, social and economic status. It was a place for spiritual awakening and contemplation. That is no longer the case when the clock tower over powers the Kabbah and the King’s palace dominates the skyline.

We have allowed the corruption of Islam’s birthplace.

The protesters who are always so eager to defend Prophet Muhammad’s honor are silent. I’d like to ask those protestors: Why are you not protesting in front of the Saudi Embassies as you did in front of the American Embassies in protest of the video “Innocence of Muslims”? Surely the destruction of our holy sites is the mother of all insults!

Are you not protesting because you are too afraid your names will be black listed by the Saudi government, denying you the visa to do the pilgrimage? How are you not a hypocrite?

Why aren’t leading Muslim bloggers writing about this issue?

We Muslims need to weed out corruption and hypocrisy from within our societies. The weak protest of the destruction of our holy sites is a clear indication of our own individual hypocrisy. We are weak and we have no one to blame but ourselves. For that, we should be ashamed.

Watch the video “Vandalization of Holy Places”


By Ani Zonneveld, Aslan Media Columnist

*Photo Credit: fatima_it_is

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+1 # Fazel Subian 2012-11-27 01:22
the purpose of a religion is a selfish to become a selfless / A Muslim to become a Muslimeen. Pl share to understand your re-legion, 'TRUE ESSENCE OF RELIGION' To unite all.
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0 # Ahmad Ganji 2012-11-29 01:32
I observed the situation first hand last year during my pilgrimage. The level of ignorance of the holy sites was obvious everywhere. We visited the Cave of Hara, where the Prophet received his first message. The path to the cave and the surroundings were filthy with everything beyond belief. We had to walk and climb through junk and surroundings full of beggars. What is happening with these keepers of Harams and all the money they collect?
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0 # Ani Zonneveld 2012-12-09 18:39
Thank you Ahmad for your personal story. It is important for those who have gone to hajj to report on it in public forums. Otherwise, people like me get unfairly demonized.
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0 # Carolyn 2012-12-02 20:35
There is only one word for this: Astaghfirullah! ! I cannot believe no one made me aware of this before, I cannot describe in words how shocked and upset I am. May Allah CURSE all those corporations and governments that destroyed these sites there should be 100000000x more outrage about this than that YouTube video. How dare the Saudi Arabian government call itself Islamic and yet do this. I will make sure that every single brother and sister I know knows about this and starts doing something! Please anyone let me know how I might start to take action against this as soon as possible! Thank you!
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0 # Ani Zonneveld 2012-12-09 18:37
I use hyperlinks to all my pieces as references. Not enough Muslims are writing about it. If we all wrote about it, there is no escaping the issue.

Action: There use to be a petition floating around but it has been taken down!

No matter what country we live in, we need to petition our governments to raise this issue with the Saudi government. You will need extra luck if you live in a "Muslim" country though.
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0 # khadijah 2012-12-03 14:34
{"was replaced with a public toilet block. Figuratively speaking, “toilet” is an accurate metaphor of the Wahhabi’s gender outlook of women." This comment is out of place, when we know about Islam, the correct Islam a statement like this is offensive. Wahabis? who are they? instead of trashing everyone and everything out we should shed a light on what Islam is. By the way I am in no way shape or form a toilet neither below any muslim man.
With this major problems Saudi is going through we asked ourselves who is really behind such acts, who are the developers paying for those sites? Follow the money. May Allah subhana wa talah rectify our affairs.
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0 # Ani Zonneveld 2012-12-09 18:33
Khadijah, I get annoyed by readers like your. It is VERY CLEAR in my piece that I was NOT talking about Islam BUT the keepers of our holy sites.
Right, so follow the money! Who's making money off our pilgrimage fees?? Get your head out of the sand and start THINKING will ya!
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0 # Dale 2013-03-20 21:50
Well, I am fairly certain the "Wahhabis", yeah, the mystical boogeymen, who are described with a word coined by British imperialists in the 19th Century (which effectively lumped any sorta of indigenous Islamic resistance together, including the Deobandis in India) , destroyed many of these sites out of fear of those places becoming pilgrimage sites, and creating all sorts of Bida; now, with regards to the construction of huge hotels and all that sorta stuff, yeah, that is terrible; but do not get it twisted, these historical sites were not initially destroyed out of historical ignorance, there was a rhyme and a reason, whether or not it was right or wrong...well, God knows.
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