By Rashid Samnakay, New Age Islam
19 April, 2015
The recent ugly scenes of Islamists destroying artefacts with sledgehammers in the museums of Mosul and blowing up the ancient ruin of Nimrud in the North of Iraq, defy description.
In no language can the civilised world express its disgust for the sledging of artefacts in minutes of human heritage of “knowledge” that were obtained over decades of sifting the girt.
When this savagery of destruction is compared with the efforts of the archaeologists on knees, to prise away from the earth a broken ancient pottery with a trowel and the softest hand-brush as if it a priceless gem, one is left speechless with admiration.
If the tools of the archaeologists’ symbolise the goblet of wine from which mankind quenches the ‘thirst for knowledge’, the Islamists’ tools of destruction must symbolise the challis of hemlock to kill the knowledge thirsty humanity.
Any nation which claims to be in the community of civilised people and stakes its claim for progress; its people must cherish and value historic relics and the historic manuscripts, because they are the tools with which it acquires knowledge from for advancement.
Those people, who claim to be Muslims; the followers of the Book Quran and Believers in its instructions, yet reject it by their action, must be regarded as not belonging to the community.
The recent actions of Islamists is a proof enough of their rejection of Quran and therefore worthy of being branded at least as Munafiq!
Of course prior to these, there was the unthinkable action by the same type of people in destroying the Bamiyan, fifteen century’s old Buddha statutes, with explosives amid shouts of Allahu Akbar!
And then also the attempt to destroy the ancient manuscripts in Mali, by the same brand of ignorant people.
God only knows what other invaluable artefacts; libraries and archaeological sites of human historical heritage have been destroyed by Muslims or the so called “Islamists” in the present conflict in the world and that too in the name of the same exclusive religious godhead!
These acts of destruction under the umbrella of Islam that actually considers these objects as those that provide “knowledge” of past nations.
That is, if the Islamists read the Book, if ever, from which they claim they derive their Faith.
Not one or two, but over twenty verses may be found in the Book that extol the Believers to travel the Earth and observe the signs by which they may acquire knowledge of past nations.
Just a few verses are given here:-
22-46: Do they not travel through the earth so that their hearts and minds may thus learn wisdom, and their ears may thus learn to hear? Truly it not their eyes that are blind but their hearts that are in their chests?
47-10: Do they not travel through the earth and see what was the end of those nations before them….?
12-109: Nor did we send before you (Muhammad) an Apostle any but whom We did inspire living in human community like you. Do they not travel the earth and see what was the end of those before them…?
Archaeology and written history is therefore one of the essential tools to study and obtain this wisdom.
How much more can the Book stress the wisdom that can be obtained from the study of history and archaeology? And yet in the name of the same Book these blind hearted people commit their evil deeds of destruction!
Even after destroying the fifteen centuries old Bamiyan Buddha colossuses, can the turbaned and bearded Taliban obliterate the fact from history that the Buddhist had ruled Afghanistan for centuries?
Are they not saying now that their forefathers of whom they are so proud of as ‘good Muslims’ were in fact Munafiqs for having preserved those statutes for all these centuries they were there, masquerading as Believers?
Are they not then lying that they (Taliban) are the first true Muslim people to have entered the country only a few decades ago?
The archaeologically excavated ancient ruins of Nimrud that the ‘Islamic’ people have now blown up by explosives, (which even their foreign enemies did not do so) and for sure shouted “Allahu Akbar”, just as the Taliban did when blowing the priceless human heritage at Bamiyan.
The artefacts, ancient manuscripts in the museums and the historic ruins that they destroyed to propagate their ignorance; were there long before the faithful followers of the Apostle Muhammad appeared on the surface of earth, fourteen hundred years ago.
And these objects were therein better conditions perhaps then the Islamist found them today.
Yet till today the Believers and followers of the Apostle’s time, whom the “Islamists” call Salaf proudly, claim to emulate, had left those objects untouched.
Why so one may ask?
Was it not because the Book Quran instructed them to see for themselves what the fate of previous nations was and to study history and obtain knowledge from them?
Like the Taliban, are they then saying that their Salaf were Munafiqs also for having preserved those objects for worship?
Were their forefathers, just chanting the mantra of—oh my Lord make increase in my knowledge 20-114, hugging the prayer rug in the mosques, as good Muslims always do?
Why do they then proudly say that Rasullulah said ‘go even to China to acquire knowledge”?
Don’t these Islamist Mujahidin realise that they cannot destroy all of these objects and erase history now, because– thank God-- they are spread all over the world in museums and libraries.
Famaalakum—what is the matter with you, how do you judge 10-35? Asks Quran.
The enlightened Muslim community as a whole should be thankful that those other countries, non-Muslim at that, have preserved those artefacts and manuscripts—some might even say stolen—but kept them safe for posterity to acquire knowledge! Or else with these pretend Islamists, those treasures of human historical heritage would be lost for ever.
The ruins of Nimrud are supposed to be the one referred to in Judeo-Biblical scriptures and possibly the ‘Namrood’ (Nimrod) related to the story of the Father of monotheism, the Apostle Ibrahim (Abraham) of the Quran. As such its significance and its importance should have been realised by the Islamists, if they only knew!
In the absence of that realisation there is only one conclusion that must be reached, that the Islamist, similar to the Taliban and the like, are lowest of the low on the list of Jahiliyah and top of the list of ignorant people who claim to be of the community of Muslims!
In Mid thirteen century Mongols hordes under Hulagu Khan raised Baghdad city to the ground. Destroyed libraries and it is said the books floated on the river-surface for days.
But the hordes were selective in their destruction, in that they did not destroy ancient sites.
Recently the coalition forces did the same there and is said to have looted the Museums. They did so to make money from the sale of those artefacts. The collectors of such items pay good money to preserve and take pride in the possession of such historic objects.
Compare that to what the Islamist did and do!
It is also given to understand that there is a religious group of people in Egypt now who is calling for covering the pyramids and sphinx with tarpaulin- lest Egyptians Muslims now take to worship them. Is this what the so called ‘Arab spring’ was all about? No wonder it came to naught.
Foreign nations have and are spending millions of dollars to safeguard human heritage irrespective of from where and whose country they are in.
British Museum in London for preserving Egyptian and ancient artefacts and Spain for preserving the objects and structures of Muslim history of their country, now a Christian majority country, are just two examples that leap to the fore.
Why do they do it?
Have they read and follow the Quran and put in practice, which the ‘good Muslims’ all over the world profess to read parrot-fashion as an act of worship but reject its message in practice?
Finally to turn to the Islamists allegation that the Apostle Muhammad destroyed the idols in the temple Kaaba of Makkah with his own hands, and that is what the Islamists are now emulating.
Where did they get that fable from?
This raises further questions:
Firstly: If so, the Apostle defied the instructions of the Book that he himself had compiled and propagated!
Muslim scholars often quote, along with his historic treaties with non-Muslims; the verse 22-40 referring to the people pulling down monasteries, churches, synagogues and mosques but God sending a set of people to stop that.
Are you, Islamist, not the people who destroy houses of worship on daily basis?
And what about the Code of conduct that was given to the Muslim Armies of the old—“do not destroy crops, trees, animals and houses of worship, and protect innocent non-combatants”?
Are you not responsible for driving millions of your own innocent non-combatant men women and children out into neighbouring countries as refugees living miserable life in camps?
Secondly: If the allegations were true then why did the Apostle not destroy the temple itself that housed those idols? Does not it defies logic?
Thirdly: Why did he not re-establish himself in Makkah, his home town from where he was driven out; even after subjugating it in the last but one year of his life?
Why did he return to Madinah?
Why did his successors the ‘four rightly guided’ ones also followed his example for the next three decades?
Fourthly: With Ali in Kufa- Iraq, Muaviya in Damascus- Syria, and Muslim governors in Cairo-Egypt: Why did they not destroy these ancient relics which littered those lands?
Were their Salaf Chiefs also Munafiqs? Is that why the Muslim world had to wait till today for the Islamist to do what the Salaf Chiefs should have done then but did not?
To preserve for eternity the historic artefacts, manuscripts, libraries and archaeological sites is the duty of all the civilised nations of the world.
But you Islamists have proved to the aghast world by your Jahiliyah actions that you are uncivilized people, and so you are not to be included in the community of human beings!
Many were the ways of life that have passed away before you: travel through the earth and see what was the end of those who rejected the truth 3-137!
You have rejected the truth!
A regular contributor to New Age Islam, Rashid Samnakay is a (Retd.) Engineer