An appeal to moderate Arabs on Tisha Be Av

You already have sovereignty over Islam's holiest site in Mecca, please stop the illegal occupation of Judaism's holiest site.

Ezequiel Doiny, | updated: 15:17

Ezequiel Doiny
Ezequiel Doiny
Flash 90

On Tisha be Av (the 9th day (Tisha) of the month of Av in the Jewish calendar), the Jews fast for the destruction of Jerusalem.

Jeremiah describes the destruction of Jerusalem by Nabuchadrezzar's army in 597 B.C.E. "...In the fourth month, on the ninth of the month, the famine in the city became critical; there was no food for the people of the land. The city was breached...The king of Babylonia slaughtered Zedekiah's sons (King of Judah) before his eyes; he also slaughtered the officers of Judah in Riblah; and he blinded Zedekiah's eyes, then they bound him in cooper chains; the king of Babylonia brought him to Babylonia, where he was put in the place of detention until the day of his death..." Jeremiah 52:1-11

The Jews returned to Jerusalem from the Babylonian empire and rebuilt the Temple following the decree by the Emperor Cyrus the Great, the conqueror of the Babylonian Empire in 539 B.C.E.

The second Temple lasted until the year 70 C.E. when the Roman Army, under Titus, destroyed Jerusalem and the Jewish Temple. The Romans renamed the Kingdom of Judah and changed it to "Palestine" when the Jews tried to rebel against them.

Until today, every year, the Jews fast on Tisha be Av and mourn the destruction of Jerusalem, the Arabs don't lament the destruction of Jerusalem because it was the native Jews and not the Arabs who suffered the expulsion by the Romans and also because if Jerusalem had not been destroyed by the Romans in 70 C.E. the Arabs would not have been able to conquer it 600 years later and build the Al Aqsa Mosque at the site of the Jewish Temple as a symbol of Islamic supremacy. Unfortunately today the Arabs deny that there were ever any Jewish Temples on Temple Mount.

On February 27, 2019 blogger Elder of Zion reported "Arab and Muslim media, especially Palestinian media, routinely deny that there were ever any Jewish Temples on the Temple Mount."

This academic paper by  Milka Levy-Rubin about why the Dome of the Rock was built to begin with gives copious amounts of proof that show that the Muslims who built the Dome chose the site precisely because of its association with the two Temples.

The main point of the paper, published by the Bulletin of SOAS at the University of London in 2017, is that the Dome of the Rock was meant to be a "rebuilding" of the Temple of Solomon. This would fulfill the need by Muslims to have their own significant holy  place in conquered lands that could compete with the Hagia Sophia church in Constantinople - which claimed to have surpassed the beauty of Solomon’s Temple.

Whether she proves this or not is not the point here. She does bring lots of proof from early Muslim literature on the Dome of the Rock that leaves no doubt that Muslims understood the importance of the site and chose it because of its history and holiness to Jews..."

Her academic paper was published by the Bulletin of SOAS at the University of London in 2017 and is titled:

“M. Levy-Rubin, "Why was the Dome of the Rock built? A new perspective on a long-discussed question", Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies (BSOAS), 80.3 (2017), pp. 441-464.”

An image from the Ottoman Imperial Archives  says that the Al Aqsa Mosque was built on the site of Solomon’s Temple

Historical background to choosing the Temple Mount 

Simon Sebag Montefiore describes, in his book “Jerusalem, the Arab Conquest of the Eastern Roman Empire” (Chapter 16, page 166) that Arabs built the Al Aqsa Mosque in Temple Mount to make Muslims the legitimate heirs of Jewish sanctity “

In 518, aged thirty-five, Justinian found himself the real ruler of the Eastern empire when his uncle Justin was raised to the throne…Justinian demoted Judaism from a permited religion and banned Passover if it fell before Easter, converted synagogues into churches, forcibly baptized Jews, and commandeered Jewish History: in 537, when Justinian dedicated his breathtaking Church of Hagia Sophia (“Holy Wisdom”) in Constantinople, he is said to have reflected “Solomon, I have surpassed thee.”

Then he turned to Jerusalem to trump Solomon’s Temple. In 543 Justinian and Theodora started to build a basilica, the Nea Church of St.Mary Mother of God, almost 400 feet long and 187 feet high, with walls 16 feet thick, facing away from the Temple Mount and designed to overpower Solomon’s site…The Holy City was ruled by the rituals of Orthodox Christianity…

 The city was set up to host thousands of pilgrims: the grandees stayed with the patriarch; the poor pilgrims in the dormitories of Justinian’s hospices which had beds for 3,000; and ascetics in caves, often old Jewish tombs, in the surrounding hills……Heraclitus seized power (of the Bizantine Empire) in 610…Constantinople was besieged by the Persians ( then Zoroastrians)…(Heraclitus) outmanoeuvred the Persian forces …then defeated their main army……

In 632 Muhammad, aged about sixty-two, died (in Saudi Arabia) and was succeeded by his father in law, Abu Bakr…Abu Bakr managed to pacify Arabia. Then he turned to the Bizantine and Persian empires, which Muslims regarded as evanescent, sinful and corrupt. The Commander dispatched contingent of warriors on camels to raid Iraq and Palestine…in Mecca, Abu Bakr died and was succeeded by Omar……Heraclitus dispatched an army to stop the Arabs…

After months of skirmishing, the Arabs finally lured the Byzantines to battle amidst the impenetrable gorges of the Yarmuk river between today’s Jordan, Syria and Israeli Golan…and on August 636… Khalid cut of their retreat and by the end of the battle, the Christians were so exhausted that the Arabs found them lying down in their cloaks, ripe for the slaughter. Even the emperor’s brother was killed and Heraclitus himself never recovered from this defeat, one of the decisive battles in history, that lost Syria and Palestine. Byzantine rule, weakened by the Persian war, seems to have collapsed like a house of cards…

The Arabs converged on the city which they called Ilya (Aelia, the Roman name (for Jerusalem))…Omar offered Jerusalem a Covenant – dhimma- of Surrender that promised religious tolerance to the Christians in return for payment of jizya tax of submission. Once this was agreed, Omar set out for Jerusalem…Omar knew that Muhammad had revered David and Solomon. “Take me to the sanctuary of David,” he ordered Sophronius (Jerusalem’s Christian Patriarch). He and his warriors entered Temple Mount, probably through the Prophet’s Gate in the south, and found it contaminated by “a dingheap which the Christians had put there to offend the Jews.

Omar asked to be shown the Holy of Holies. A Jewish convert, Kaab al Ahbar, known as the Rabbi, replied that if the Commander preserved “the wall” (perhaps referring to the last Herodian remains, including the Western Wall), “I will reveal to him where are the ruins of the Temple.” Kaab showed Omar the foundation stone of the Temple, the rock which the Arabs called the Sakhra.Aided by his troops, Omar began to clear the debris to create somewhere to pray. Kaab sugested he place this north of the foundation stone “so you will face make two qiblas, that of Moses and that of Muhammad.”

“You still lean towards the Jews,” Omar supposedly told Kaab, placing his first prayer house south of the rock, roughly where the al-Aqsa Mosque stands today, so that it clearly faced Mecca. Omar had followed Muhammad’s wish to reach past Christianity to restore and co-opt this place of ancient holiness, to make Muslims the legitimate heirs of Jewish sanctity and outflank the Christians.”(Simon Sebag Montefiore “Jerusalem” page 166-184)

 On February 15, 2007 Emanuel Winston wrote in Emet News "Islam as a religion and Muslims as a group have continue to ignore Jerusalem as a non-entity and continue to bow toward Mecca when they pray. However, the myth that the Temple Mount is actually the place of Mohammed's alleged ascent continues to exist...Presently, the Mullahs are calling for another "intifada" claiming that the Jews are undermining the Al Aksa Mosque and the place where their myths believe Mohammed launched himself into the Seventh Heaven. Where did this story come from? … Mohammed died in 632 ce During his lifetime an imaginative story floated by an unknown follower was circulated about Mohammed's midnight dream ride on a flying horse to "Al Aksa"...In the time it takes a clay water jar to tip and spill its first drop,

Mohammed, in his mythical dream, flew from Mecca to the "the furthest place." In Arabic, "the furthest place" is Al Aksa. At that time Al Aksa (or "furthest place") would be either a mosque in Medina or Allah's Courtyard in Paradise. There was no mosque, no Al Aksa mosque, on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem in Mohammed's lifetime.

From 685-705 ce the Umayyad Caliph Abd-el Malik built the Dome of the Rock, also on the Temple Mount, Mount Moriah. (It is now called the "Golden Dome" after it was covered with gold by the King of Trans-Jordan.) Caliph Abd-el Malik, who lived in Damascus, wished to be viewed as Mohammed's heir and leader of Islam. He attempted to re-direct the Islamic religious/political compass away from Mecca towards Jerusalem and his sphere of religious/political power…

Twenty years after El Malik built the Dome of the Rock, his son al-Waleed, built a nearby building and named it Al Aksa after the dream allocated to Mohammed. This story of how Mohammed was to travel to "Al Aksa," the farthest place is interesting. As the story goes, Mohammed mounted a giant white horse named el-Buraq, with great wings, the face and breasts of a woman and the tail of a peacock...The story continues that Mohammed, in his dream, flew to the farthest place (al Aksa).

But, the mosque named Al Aksa was not built until 80 years after Mohammed's death. So even in such minds with maximum imagination, 80 years out of sync tells us, there was no Al Aksa on the Temple Mount to support the myth...

The story continues that Mohammed flew to a certain spot in the "farthest place" which they have now named Al Aksa mosque in Jerusalem. It was "supposedly" the rock where Abraham was to have sacrificed Isaac in the Akeda. The "winged horse" el Buraq landed and left a giant hoof print in the stone.

The myth continues: In his dream Mohammed flew on el-Buraq to the Seventh Heaven where he meets all the Jewish prophets, Abraham, Isaac, Joseph, Moses and even Jesus. The story teller says: They gave Mohammed the stamp of approval that he was to be the last and only prophet of G-d. Ostensibly, Mohammed absorbed the older religions of Judaism (The Root) and Christianity. He claimed descent from the prophets as the foundation for the new religion of Islam..."

Al Aqsa is a symbol of Islamic Supersessionism:  According to Islamic replacement theology Islam replaced Judaism and Muslims replaced the Jews as the inheritors of Jewish Holy sites. Based on this Muslims deny the connection of modern Jews to Jewish Holy Sites and to the land of Israel  — this is the root of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Ishrat Hussain Muhammad explains “…In Islam Muslims means “ A person who submits his will to the God”, Islam is a derivative from the root word slm, islm, tasleem, SLM means to submit, A person who acknowledge that there is a God, and submits his will to the God is Muslim”, all the Jews and Christians of the time of Prophet Mohammad PBUH understood the meanings of SLM, the Jews and Christians were living in the Arab Land and their language was also Arabic, therefore those Jews and Christians who were living in the Arab land in the time of the Prophet PBUH never ever opposed to the claim of Muslims that the prophet Moses & Prophet Abraham PBUH were Muslims., they agreed the terminology of SLM. The Islamic belief is that all the prophets including the last prophet Mohammad PBUH were following the will of the God and all prophets were teaching same thing and from same God, therefore Islam considers all prophets to be Muslims…”

Does Muslim veneration of Jewish Prophets entitle them to build their Mosques at Judaism’s holiest sites and forbid Jews to pray there? Jewish Prophets are claimed to be Muslim and are venerated by Islam. During the Jordanian occupation of Judea and Samaria, Muslims denied the Jews the right to pray at Hebron’s cave of the patriarchs and Jerualem’s Western Wall. Today they forbid Jews the right to pray at Jerusalem’s Temple Mount. Muslims built Mosques in Judaism’s holiest sites and in the tombs of most Jewish Prophets because according to Islam Jewish prophets were Muslim. Some examples of Arabic names given to Jewish Prophets are:

Abraham-Ibrahim,

Moses-Musa,

David-Dawud,

Solomon-Sulayman

Aaron-Harun

Elijah-Ylyas

Elish-Al-Yasa

Ezekiel-Dhul-Kifl

Isaac-Ishaq

Jacob-Yakub

Job-Ayub

Joseph-Yusuf

Jonah-Yunus

The Arab-Israeli conflict cannot be solved without addressing Islam’s appropriation of Jewish prophets and Jewish Holy sites and the rejection of Jewish spiritual inheritance. Because Muslims claim Jewish Prophets were Muslim they also claim Jewish holy sites, Jewish land and refuse to recognize Israel as the Jewish State. Muslims do not recognize Israel as the Jewish State because they claim Abraham, Moses and other Jewish Prophets were Muslims and Muslims are the true inheritors of Jewish holiness.

Jews are welcome among Muslims if they accept Islamic supremacy, as soon as Jews start challenging Islamic supremacy and asking for their right to pray in Jewish Holy Sites Muslims are insulted and there are riots.

Islamic Supersessionism holds that Islam succeeded Judaism and it is used to justify Islamic colonialism and occupation of Jewish Holy Sites. Lyn Julius comments about George Bensoussan’ book Juifs en pays arabes: le grand deracinement 1850 – 1975:

“…Bensoussan, threatens to stand the notion of ”Jewish colonialism” on its head: it is the Jews who lived under Muslim rule who were the true victims of colonialism…By the time the Arab conquerors had swept over the Middle East and North Africa, the Jews had been living in the region for 1,000 years…Under Islam, according to the eighth-century Pact of Omar, indigenous Jews and Christians were permitted to practise as long as they acquiesced to the ”dhimmi” condition of inferiority and institutionalised humiliation…”

“… Bensoussan observes that the Islamic order was built on a ”colonial” notion – submission. The Muslim submits to Allah, the Muslim woman submits to her husband, the non-Muslim dhimmi submits to the Muslim. At the very bottom of the pile is the slave… He produces incontrovertible evidence that, 100 years before Israel was established, most Jews in Arab and Muslim lands lived in misery and fear….Jews were regularly mobbed, robbed, their possessions looted, beaten up on the slightest pretext, or false charge brought by a jealous neighbour. Jews were feminised in the Muslim imagination – cowardly, submissive, unable to stand up for themselves.

“…Bensoussan”s great achievement is not just to blow out of the water the myth of Arab-Jewish coexistence predating the creation of Israel, but unfashionably to place the colonial boot on the Arab foot…A sovereign Jewish state in the land of Israel begins to look like the liberation of a colonized, indigenous people from 14 centuries of subjugation…”

Through its history of conquest, Islamic armies invaded many nations. In their process of colonization, Islam erased native cultures and converted holy places into Mosques. Holy Sites stolen by Islamic Armies in the past continue to be occupied today. Muslims have the same claim to Temple Mount as the Spanish Conquistadors had of Mayan Pyramids.

It is time for modern, moderate Muslim regimes to repent for Islam’s violent past. The same way that today Germany apologizes for the crimes of the Nazis, the same way that today Spain apologizes for the Inquisition, the Muslims today must apologize for the crimes of Islam and return stolen holy sites to whom they belong.

Below is a list of non-Muslim Holy Sites, sites stolen by Islamic armies:

1. Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Holiest site for Judaism. Site of the two Jewish Temples. The Muslims built two mosques there.

2. Cave of the Patriarchs in Hevron. The Jewish Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are undeniably buried there. The Muslims built a mosque there.

3. There are 2000 Hindu Temples in India that were converted to mosques. During the reign of Aurangzeb, tens of thousands of temples were desecrated: their facades and interiors were defaced and their divine images looted. In many cases, temples were destroyed entirely; in numerous instances mosques were built on their foundations, sometimes using the same stones. Among the temples Aurangzeb destroyed were two that are most sacred to Hindus, in Varanasi and Mathura. In both cases, he had large mosques built on the sites.

Please see Sita Ram Goel’s book  for a detailed account…

4. The Babri Mosque in Ayodhya (North India) was built on the site of a Hindu Temple. In 1992 a mob of 150,000 Hindus razed the mosque. Nobel Laureate writer V. S. Naipaul has praised the act for “reclaiming India’s Hindu heritage”.

5. The great temple of Keshava Rai at Mathura was one of the most magnificent hindu temples ever built in India. The Temple was demolished in 1670 and on its site a mosque was built.

6. The Somnath Temple in India: destroyed by Muslim invaders and converted into a mosque. In AD 1025, Mahmud destroyed and looted the temple, killing over 50,000 people who tried to defend it. After independence, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel pledged on November 13, 1947, that the temple would be reconstructed. The mosque was not destroyed but carefully relocated. In 1951 Dr. Rajendra Prasad performed the consecration ceremony. The temple construction was completed on December 1, 1995. The then President of India, Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma, dedicated it to the nation.”

7. Kashi or Varanasi is the most sacred site in Hinduism and the worship of Lord Shiva as Vishveshvara goes back to ancient times. The temple was demolished several times by Muslim invaders, and was reconstructed again and again by Hindu kings. A mosque was built which still stands.

8. A surge in church-mosque conversion followed the 1974 Turkish Invasion of Cyprus. Many of the Orthodox churches in Northern Cyprus have been converted to mosques.

9. Hundreds of Greek Orthodox churches in Turkey were converted into mosques. Hagia Sophia, the seat of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, was converted into a mosque, and then, in order not to return it to the Christians, into a museum where until today Christians are forbidden to pray. (Erdogan has resumed Muslim prayers at the site)

10. The Grand Mosque of Damascus, also known as the Umayyad Mosque, was converted from a church dedicated to John the Baptist in 705

11. Ezekiel’s tomb in Iraq. The 2500 year old tomb of the prophet Ezekiel used to be a common pilgrimage site for Iraki Jews. In 1860 the local Arabs tried to take the site from the Jews but the British government intervened and ruled that the site belonged to the Jews. Diarna.org reported … “In 2003, the Torah scrolls belonging to the synagogue along with other books were stolen from the synagogue and have not yet been recovered [6]… In 2010, a Hebrew inscription was erased by Iraqi workers who were renovating the neighboring mosque [8]…”

Ariel Arkham reported in the American Thinker “…various watchdog groups have reported that the Iraqi Cultural and Antiquities Authority are implementing plans to erect a mosque on top of Ezekiel’s Tomb. Last month, the process began as the ancient Hebrew inscriptions adorning the inside of the Tomb were defaced, perhaps irrevocably, and covered over by plaster.

With the not-so-distant memory of the Taliban’s destruction of Buddhist statuary in Afghanistan still in mind, the impending Islamification of the Jewish shrine of the Tomb might seem like the product of a uniquely modern cultural phenomenon. But in reality, the history of Ezekiel’s Tomb reflects the millennial ebb and flow of Islamic power…”

12. The Tomb of the prophet Jonah in Mosul (Irak). On July 24, 2017 Sigal Samuel wrote in the Atlantic about the destruction of Jonah’s tomb in Mosul “As we saw the first images of Jonah’s Tomb destroyed in Mosul on July 24, 2014, we felt shocked and deeply uneasy… It was believed to be the final resting place of the biblical prophet Jonah, who got swallowed by a whale and who warned inhabitants of the Assyrian city of Nineveh (now Mosul) that God would destroy them if they did not repent for their sins…it was a constant, potent symbol. Overlooking the city, it reminded all Maslawis of the interconnectedness of Iraq’s diverse religious populations. It was the antithesis of sectarianism. As such, ISIS’s decision to blow it up read as an attempt to erase the shared history of the many religious populations that Mosul housed…

Sigal was raised in a family of Iraqi Jews, but has never been able to visit Iraq. Desperate to escape the persecution that followed the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, her grandfather fled Iraq, along with almost the entire Jewish population. Despite never having seen Jonah’s Tomb, she felt it was a constitutive part of her history and personal identity. She grew up hearing the Book of Jonah read in synagogue on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar. The tomb was a visible reminder that Jews had flourished in Iraq for centuries: Mosul was once home to many synagogues, although they are now reportedly used as garbage dumps…”

13. Destruction of Joseph’s tomb. In 2000 the Palestinians destroyed Joseph’s tomb.

Sidney Brounstein wrote for the Los Angeles Times “Oct. 8: Where is the outrage? Imagine what would have happened if Jewish police stood by and allowed a Jewish mob to destroy a Muslim holy place! Does the destruction of a Jewish holy place by an Arab mob while Palestinian police stand by (after promising to protect it) deserve no more than inclusion in a list of other damage done by rioters? Is this an acceptance of attacks on Jews and things Jewish as a normal part of life?”

“It makes a mockery of any thought of giving Arabs any control of Jewish holy places. The destruction of dozens of such places in the Old City of Jerusalem from 1948 to 1967, along with the exclusion of Jews entirely from their most holy site, the Western Wall, was clearly of a piece with the current destruction.”

14. Destruction of Daniel’s tomb.

Prophet Daniel has two possible tombs: one in Iran, one in Irak-both were destroyed.

The Complete Pilgrim reports “Daniel’s service to the Babylonian and Persian rulers was instrumental in keeping the Jews intact as a people. Undoubtedly he used his influence to minimize their hardships, though he also was of genuine use to the foreign sovereigns he served. His efforts also helped to lay the groundwork of friendly relations between the Jews and the Persians that lasted well into the 19th century. Amazingly, his political achievements were dwarfed by his abilities as a prophet, at least from a Biblical perspective. Daniel spent the last years of his life in the city of Susa, where he died and was buried around the time that the Babylonian Captivity came to an end.”

Christian News reported about the destruction of Daniel’s tomb in Irak “Al-Sumaria News also reported on Thursday that local Mosul official Zuhair al-Chalabi told the outlet that ISIS likewise “implanted explosives around Prophet Daniel’s tomb in Mosul and blasted it, leading to its destruction.”

15. Ezra’s tomb in Irak. The Complete Pilgrim reported “Ezra, on the other hand, was more focused on the restoration of the Jewish religion and heritage, which had grown lax since in captivity. He personally led five thousand Jews back to Judea, after which he read the entire Torah to the populace of Jerusalem in an effort to inspire and reinvigorate them spiritually. Later, he established the precursor to the council of the Sanhedrin which would later become the supreme religious authority of the Jewish people"

"According to some scholars, it was Ezra who finalized the composition and canon of the books which later became the Hebrew Bible. For all of these accomplishments, he is considered by many to be the father of Judaism as we know it. In later years he spent much time traveling back and forth between Judea and Mesopotamia, inspiring his fellow Jews to return. He died in Mesopotamia sometime in the late 5th century BC. His shrine was one of the most venerated sites in Iraq until the 20th century, when most of the local Jews emigrated to Israel.”

On February 15, 2015 Israel Today reported “Arab media last week reported that Islamist forces operating in the south of the country had seized control of an ancient shrine revered as the tomb of the biblical scribe and priest Ezra.

Pan-Arab news website Al-Araby reported that the militants had destroyed large portions of the shrine, which included both a synagogue and a mosque, and now intend to use it as their headquarters in southern Iraq.

According to Al-Araby, the terrorists had cut off all access to the Tomb of Ezra to prevent journalists from reporting on their conquest and destruction of the holy site…”

16. Tomb of Samuel near Jerusalem. Arabs built a mosque next to the tomb and disrupt Jewish prayers there. Please see video below…

/News/News.aspx/243620

17. Rachel’s Tomb near Jerusalem. On November 8, 2010 Nadav Shragai wrote in JCPA

“UNESCO has declared that Rachel’s Tomb near Jerusalem is the Bilal ibn Rabah mosque – endorsing a Palestinian claim that first surfaced only in 1996 and which ignores centuries of Muslim tradition.As opposed to the Temple Mount and the Cave of the Patriarchs which also serve as the location of mosques, Rachel’s Tomb never served as a mosque for the Muslims. The Muslim connection to the site derives from its relation to Rachel and has no connection to Bilal ibn Rabah, Mohammed’s first muezzin.Rachel’s Tomb, located some 460 meters south of Jerusalem’s municipal boundary, has been identified for over 1,700 years as the grave of the Jewish matriarch Rachel. Many generations of Jews have visited the place for prayer. The depiction of Rachel’s Tomb has appeared in thousands of Jewish religious books, paintings, photographs, stamps, and works of art.”

18. The Budhist Naranda University in India. The Muslim persecution of Budhist started in the 12th century when Muslim invaders destroyed Budhism in India. In 1193 the Budhist Naranda University in India was destroyed by Muslim invaders “N?land? (Hindi/Sanskrit/Pali: ?) is the name of an ancient center of higher learning inBihar, India. The site of Nalanda is located in the Indian stateof Bihar, about 55 miles south east of Patna, and was a Buddhist center of learning from 427 to 1197 CE.

It has been called “one of the first great universities in recorded history…Nalanda University was one of the first universities in the world, founded in the 5th Century BC, and reported to have been visited by the Buddha during his lifetime. At its peak, in the 7th century AD, Nalanda held some 10,000 students and 2000 teachers when it was visited by the Chinese scholar Xuanzang…The library of Nalanda, known as Dharma Gunj (Mountain of Truth) or Dharmagañja(Treasury of Truth), was the most renowned repository of Buddhist knowledge in the world at the time. Its collection was said to comprise hundreds of thousands of volumes, so extensive that it burned for months when set aflame by Muslim invaders…Nalanda was sacked by Turkic Muslim invaders under Bakhtiyar Khalji in 1193, a milestone in the decline of Buddhism in India. The great library of Nalanda University was so vast that it is reported to have burned for three months after the Mughals set fire to it, sacked and destroyed the monasteries, and drove the monks from the site…”

On March 12, 2001 the Telegraph reported “THE world’s two largest standing Buddhas – one of them 165ft high – were blown up by the Taliban in Afghanistan at the weekend.

A Buddha of Bamiyan statue stands over 150 feet high above a small town situated at the foot of the Hindu Kush mountains of central Afghanistan, prior to its destruction

After failing to destroy the 1,700-year-old sandstone statues of Buddha with anti-aircraft and tank fire, the Taliban brought a lorryload of dynamite from Kabul. A Western observer said: “They drilled holes into the torsos of the two statues and then placed dynamite charges inside the holes to blow them up.”

The operation to wreck the statues carved into a cliff in the Bamiyan Valley in the Hindu Kush mountains of central Afghanistan was supervised by Mullah Obaidullah, the Taliban defence minister. There has been an international outcry since Mullah Mohammed Omar, the Taliban leader, issued a special edict on Feb 26 ordering the destruction of all non-Islamic statues.”

Ezequiel Doiny is author of “Obama’s assault on Jerusalem’s Western Wall"





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