I was taken by these photos of the destruction of holy sites by ISIS forces in Iraq.
More at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-28177841
The rationale is that “They [ISIS] believe giving special veneration to graves and relics is against the teachings of Islam.” In rational, non-emotional terms, this is no different from the destruction of the Buddhas of BamiyanWiki
, the exploitation of mineral wealth on a sacred North-American native sites
, the commercialisation of Ayre’s RockWiki
or the looting of venerated objects from some animistic Amazonian tribe.
Yahweh Himself, no less, orders the destruction of the altars and idols of other religions
So what would be your attitude to, say, the utter destruction of the Church of the Holy SepulchreWiki
in Jerusalem, St Peter’sWiki
in Rome or turning LourdesWiki
into a Wal-Mart?
Osama bin Laden was buried at sea to prevent followers from being inspired at his graveside; Hitler’s remains are in an unknown grave for the same reason.
What effect do centres of religion or religious focal points have on the spread of religion and the depth of feeling? Is their destruction likely to polarise populations or is it a move towards freedom from religion?
Is there some point at which these places are detrimental to the progress of a civilised society?
Do we just hope that like the temples to the gods of Ancient Greece, Stonehenge, or the pyramids of Chichen ItzaWiki
they will just be abandoned and become secular tourist sites, even though, at present they are likely to create zealots?