The Pyramids: They are one of the wonders of our world, the symbol of the once-great society of ancient Egypt. They are iconic and timeless, standing for thousands of years, defying precise measurements of their age. To most they represent a mammoth feat of human endeavor – a triumph of engineering, mathematics and human labor that itself spanned generations.
For years, Muslims have plotted to destroy them.
That’s right. Now that violent fundamentalist Muslims hold the nation of Egypt in their thrall, calls for the destruction of the ancient Pyramids have begun anew. The Assyrian International News Agency (AINA) reported Tuesday that “Bahrain’s ‘Sheikh of Sunni Sheikhs’ and president of National Unity, Abd al-Latif al-Mahmoud, called on Egypt’s new president, Muhammad Morsi, to ‘destroy the Pyramids and accomplish what the Sahabi Amr bin al-As could not.'”
According to AINA, the debate among other Muslim theocrats seems to be whether Morsi and his Islamist thugs are “pious enough” to destroy these “symbols of paganism.” You see, the Muslim world recognizes no authority, no ancient civilization, no human construct and no societal endeavor that is not of Islam (or which has not been conveniently subsumed by Islam). Once firmly in power, modern Muslims, following in the footsteps of their medieval counterparts, invariably move to destroy everything that non-Muslims (and even ancient Islamists) have worked to create. Any structure, any statue, any historical edifice that might be construed as symbolic of a religion or time other than today’s Islam is an offense to Muslims and must be eradicated.
This scenario has played out several times in recent memory. In 2001 in Afghanistan, the Taliban famously destroyed the Buddhas of Bamiyan, artifacts described by CNN as “among the world’s great artistic and religious treasures.” The statues were 1,500 years old … and now they are rubble, blown to pieces by an Islamist regime that considered all “pre-Islamic artifacts” to be “an assault on Islam.”
Also on Tuesday, as reported by AFP, Muslims in Northern Mali vowed to “destroy all World Heritage sites” within their reach after chipping apart a pair of tombs in Timbuktu. Quoting a “Tunisian jihadist” who was part of a “media committee” in the region, AFP reports that the Islamists believe there “is no world heritage, it doesn’t exist.” The jihadist, identified as “Ahmed,” went on to say, “The infidels must not get involved in our business. … We will destroy everything, even if the mausolea are inside the mosques, and afterwards we will destroy the mausolea in the region of Timbuktu.”
Robert Spencer offers a cogent analysis for Muslim disdain of history and archaeology. “Muslims who consider the shrines of saints to be idolatrous,” he writes, “reason from [Islamist] traditions that if the grave of Muhammad himself was not to be taken as a place of worship, neither should the graves of lesser Muslims become shrines for prayer and pilgrimage. This is akin to the Islamic disdain for the pre-Islamic cultural patrimony of Muslim lands: any manifestation of idolatry, however artistically or culturally significant, is to be regarded with disdain at best.”
If their “best” is disdain, their worst is naked destruction. This is done with explosives where possible – and painstakingly by hand, with picks and hoes, where necessary.
Think about that for a moment. To Islamists, the mere existence of a historical structure or piece of artwork is an “assault” on Islam because the creation of that edifice cannot be attributed to today’s Muslims. It is the equivalent of burning the Library of Congress because you didn’t build it, of toppling the Statue of Liberty because others might marvel at it. In fact, as recounted by AINA, it was not Napoleon who ripped the nose from the Egyptian Sphinx, but Egypt’s Medieval Mamluk rulers, who even then considered the Sphinx an idol – pagan or otherwise.
That brings us back to Amr bin al-As, “companion” to the Muslim prophet Muhammad. He and his Arabian tribesmen invaded Egypt in the seventh century. As described by AINA, under the Muslim reign that followed, “many Egyptian antiquities were destroyed as relics of infidelity. While most Western academics argue otherwise, according to early Muslim writers, the great Library of Alexandria itself – deemed a repository of pagan knowledge contradicting the Koran – was destroyed under bin al-As’ reign and in compliance with Caliph Omar’s command.”
The implication, where the Pyramids are concerned, is that Muslims would have destroyed these ancient wonders before if only they had possessed the technology necessary to do it. Now that the Muslim Brotherhood’s fascist theocrats control Egypt (and presumably its military), blasting the Pyramids from the face of the Earth is within the Islamists’ grasp. Make no mistake: Unmoved by the outrage of academics and mere citizens around the world, Egypt’s zealous Muslims most certainly will destroy these “idolatrous” structures, showing the same contempt for history that their kind has repeatedly demonstrated.
To grossly oversimplify Quranic scholarship, Muhammad said a lot of things, many of which contradicted earlier things he said. The task before those who analyze the Quran is to determine which statements came before those that supersede them. Invariably, scriptures within the Quran preaching peace and amity, tolerance and compassion, stem from a time when Muslims lacked the power needed to murder and enslave their non-Muslim neighbors. Once possessing military might, Islamists throughout history have shown no compunction about waging unprovoked war on all who are not members of their miserable death cult.
We should not be surprised, then, when this attitude, this disregard for human life and individual liberty, is expressed as the destruction of priceless inanimate objects. Muslims care nothing for non-Muslims; they saw their heads off with glee, singing praises to Allah as they do so. Why would we then be shocked when they shatter objects of antiquity with similar abandon? We might better ask ourselves how these Islamists will spend their time when they run out of statues, tombs and buildings to smash. It’s not just possible, but likely that they’ll turn their pickaxes on us.
Next week I’ll address reports that the call for destruction of the Pyramids was a hoax.