Tuesday, April 18, 2006

History Under Threat in Egypt

According to the Christian Science Monitor, a fatwa issued by one of Egypt's leading clerics could ultimately result in that country's rich legacy of ancient sculpture going the way of the Bamiyan Buddhas:

More than 1,300 years after the Muslim conquest swept through Egypt, one of the country's highest religious authorities has declared that its ancient sculptures are forbidden by Islam.

In his fatwa - or religious ruling - issued earlier this month, Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa quoted a saying of the prophet Muhammad that sculptors will be among those receiving the harshest punishment on Judgment Day.

Artists and intellectuals here say the edict, whose ban on producing and displaying sculptures overturns a century-old fatwa, runs counter to Islam. They also worry that extremists may use the ruling as a pretense for destroying Egypt's ancient relics, which form a pillar of the country's multibillion-dollar tourist industry.

Whether or not this fatwa is ever acted upon, it provides yet another example of the essentially totalitarian nature of Islamism.

(Link courtesy of Watch)


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