(Photo: Reuters/Shrief Abd El Moneam/Egyptian Presidency/Handout)
An online magazine has offered translations to Arabic news sources that purportedly indicate that Egypt's Salafi party has come forth with plans to demolish Egypt's Great Pyramids in an effort to bring down what it calls "symbols of paganism."
Bahrain's "Sheikh of Sunni Sheikhs" and President of National Unity, Abd al-Latif al-Mahmoud, has reportedly urged Egypt's new president, Muhammad Morsi, to "destroy the Pyramids and accomplish what Amr bin al-As could not," according to conservative political publication FrontPage Magazine.
Al-Mahmoud's comments relate to Amr bin al-As, a companion of the Islam's founder Muhammad, who invaded Egypt in 641 and began destroying Egyptian artifacts. While an historical debate exists over the accuracy of such reports, some early Muslim writers have noted that Amr bin al-As even destroyed the great Library of Alexandria, which was a hub of knowledge for the ancient world.
Amr bin al-As, however, did not have the means to destroy the massive pyramid structures back then, but the Salafi party now has the technology available to do just that. As a Daily Mail article from last year notes, one suggestion is to dump massive amounts of wax on the pyramids, turning them into disfigured blobs, helping complete the total destruction of Egypt's pagan past that was started under the reign of the country's first Islamic conqueror.
The FrontPage Magazine article goes into detail offering examples of contemporary Muslims across several African and Middle Eastern countries destroying their ancestors' past, seeing themselves as part of a larger Islamic community rather than members of individual states.
"Much of this hate for their own pre-Islamic heritage is tied to the fact that, traditionally, Muslims do not identify with this or that nation, culture, or language, but only with the Islamic nation – the Umma," the article states.
"Accordingly, while many Egyptians – Muslims and non-Muslims alike – see themselves first and foremost as Egyptians, Islamists have no national identity, identifying only with Islam's 'culture,' based on the 'sunna' of the prophet and Islam's language, Arabic," it claims.
Readers responding to the article have mostly expressed opposition to purported plans to destroy the pyramids in Egypt.
"To my Muslim and non Muslim friends in Egypt......(run) the Islamic brotherhood will do to Egypt what al-quida [sic] did to Afghanistan anything of beauty and culture will be destroyed," wrote a user named "Boadicea."
"At some point, monuments like the Sphinx and the Pyramids, like the Mayan Pyramids, become historical sites for all mankind, they don't belong to Egypt alone. Like the Mexican pyramids, they are so ancient as to supersede the current owners of the land. These are monuments of ancient, not current civilizations," added a reader named "libertywolf."
"All of humanity has a stake in their continued existence. I do hope the UN (which might still have some purpose if they can pull this off) will fight for their continued survival if it comes to that. I am not sure what else can be done, except to put pressure on the Egyptian government from many quarters to cease and desist. This is insanity!" the reader added.