Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Are the days numbered for Egypt's archaeological heritage?

I did wonder when I wrote this article last week when Egypt's islamists would remember all that artwork lying around just ready for the iconoclast's hammer. I didn't have long to wait as not happy with the 'nose job' already inflicted on the Sphinx, one Egyptian jihadi wants to finish the work begun by one of his forbears. 
But Egypt is not Afghanistan, there is so much of the stuff lying around. What better job creation scheme for the millions of Cairo's unemployed who can begin work on this horrendous piece of idolatry:

An Egyptian jihad leader, with self-professed links to the Taliban, called for the “destruction of the Sphinx and the Giza Pyramids in Egypt,” drawing ties between the Egyptian relics and Buddha statues, local media reported this week.

 Murgan Salem al-Gohary, an Islamist leader twice-sentenced under former President Hosni Mubarak for advocating violence, called on Muslims to remove such “idols.”

 “All Muslims are charged with applying the teachings of Islam to remove such idols, as we did in Afghanistan when we destroyed the Buddha statues,” he said on Saturday during a television interview on an Egyptian private channel, widely watched by Egyptian and Arab audiences.

“God ordered Prophet Mohammed to destroy idols,” he added. “When I was with the Taliban we destroyed the statue of Buddha, something the government failed to do.”

 His comments came a day after thousands of ultraconservative Islamists gathered in Tahrir Square to call for the strict application of Sharia law in the new constitution.

 But in retaliation to Gohary’s remarks, the vice president of Tunisia’s Ennahda party, Sheikh Abdel Fattah Moro, called the live program and told Gohary that famous historic military commander Amr ibn al-Aas did not destroy statues when he conquered Egypt.

 “So who are you to do it?” he wondered. “The Prophet destroyed the idols because people worshiped them, but the Sphinx and the Pyramids are not worshiped.”

No comments:

Post a Comment