For those who are fans of imaginary archeology, the Muslim claim to Jerusalem is based on the “night journey” that Mohammed took on a flying horse from Mecca to Jerusalem.
The Night Journey was a fiction of mythological colonialism allowing Muslims to lay claim to Jewish sites and their history. It also played a role in the Muslim infighting that led to a boost in the importance of Jerusalem after its conquest. Developing the legend compensates for the fact that Jerusalem is not mentioned in the Koran.
Muslims seized the holiest site in Judaism, planted a mosque on the site and routinely wail about Jewish incursions on a Jewish holy site. (This isn’t unique, Muslims have done the same thing to Christian and Hindu holy sites. Not to mention outright destroying Buddhist holy sites.)
Muslim vandalism isn’t just limited to other people’s holy sites. Islamists are notorious for destroying even Muslim shrines. That is how Wahhabism began. It’s what Salafis are now doing in Libya and Mali.
And now the Saudi royal family has destroyed a whole bunch of Islamic heritage sites… including the column from which Mohammed supposedly took off on his flying horse from Mecca.
Photographs obtained by The Independent reveal how workers with drills and mechanical diggers have started demolishing some Ottoman and Abbasid sections on the eastern side of the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca.
Many of the Ottoman and Abbasid columns in Mecca were inscribed with intricate Arabic calligraphy marking the names of the Prophet Muhammad’s companions and key moments in his life. One column which is believed to have been ripped down is supposed to mark the spot where Muslims believe Muhammad began his heavenly journey on a winged horse, which took him to Jerusalem and heaven in a single night.
To accommodate the ever increasing number of pilgrims heading to the twin holy cities of Mecca and Medina each year the Saudi authorities have embarked upon a massive expansion project. Billions of pounds have been poured in to increase the capacity of the Masjid al-Haram and the Masjid an-Nabawi in Medina which marks where Muhammad is buried. King Abdullah has put the prominent Wahabi cleric and imam of the Grand Mosque, Abdul Rahman al-Sudais, in charge of the expansion while the Saudi Binladin Group – one of the country’s largest firms – has won the construction contract.
Apparently Israel has respected Islamic sites more than Saudi Arabia, the custodians of Mecca and Medina, have. But now the Saudis have destroyed the basis of their colonialist fairy tale claim to Jerusalem.