Will the Islamists destroy the Pyramids?

Muslims are radical iconoclasts, and the current Islamist revival has been accompanied by the destruction of many ancient monuments, from the statues of Buddha in Afghanistan to, most recently in Mali, the tombs of Timbuktu.  Now that the Islamists have taken over the government in Egypt, some clerics are calling for the destruction of the Pyramids on the grounds that they are pagan:

According to several reports in the Arabic media, prominent Muslim clerics have begun to call for the demolition of Egypt’s Great Pyramids—or, in the words of Saudi Sheikh Ali bin Said al-Rabi‘i, those “symbols of paganism,” which Egypt’s Salafi party has long planned to cover with wax. Most recently, Bahrain’s “Sheikh of Sunni Sheikhs” and President of National Unity, Abd al-Latif al-Mahmoud, called on Egypt’s new president, Muhammad Morsi, to “destroy the Pyramids and accomplish what the Sahabi Amr bin al-As could not.”

This is a reference to the Muslim Prophet Muhammad’s companion, Amr bin al-As and his Arabian tribesmen, who invaded and conquered Egypt circa 641. Under al-As and subsequent Muslim rule, many Egyptian antiquities were destroyed as relics of infidelity. While most Western academics argue otherwise, according to early Muslim writers, the great Library of Alexandria itself—deemed a repository of pagan knowledge contradicting the Koran—was destroyed under bin al-As’s reign and in compliance with Caliph Omar’s command.

However, while book-burning was an easy activity in the 7th century, destroying the mountain-like pyramids and their guardian Sphinx was not—even if Egypt’s Medieval Mamluk rulers “de-nosed” the latter during target practice (though popular legend still attributes it to a Westerner, Napoleon).

Now, however, as Bahrain’s “Sheikh of Sheikhs” observes, and thanks to modern technology, the pyramids can be destroyed. The only question left is whether the Muslim Brotherhood president of Egypt is “pious” enough—if he is willing to complete the Islamization process that started under the hands of Egypt’s first Islamic conqueror.

via Calls to Destroy Egypt’s Great Pyramids Begin | FrontPage Magazine.

UPDATE:  The answer to the question posed by the headline here is apparently “No.”   Thanks to Tom Hering for digging deeply into the story and discovering that it’s evidently a hoax.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Well they are right to a point; the pyramids were built with a pagan mindset. And from our standpoint it’s funny hearing one pagan call another pagan “pagan.”

    But we can appreciate the architectural design and craftsmanship of these structures without endorsing the religious motivations that built them, just like we do with Greco-Roman works and Roman Catholic cathedrals. We don’t believe in the Pantheon of Olympus, or purgatory, or prayers to dead saints ,or the corrupted papist gospel, but that doesn’t mean we can’t give credit where credit is due when it comes to the engineering and creativity behind the physical constructs related to these religions.

    “Eat the meat, spit out the bones.”

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Well they are right to a point; the pyramids were built with a pagan mindset. And from our standpoint it’s funny hearing one pagan call another pagan “pagan.”

    But we can appreciate the architectural design and craftsmanship of these structures without endorsing the religious motivations that built them, just like we do with Greco-Roman works and Roman Catholic cathedrals. We don’t believe in the Pantheon of Olympus, or purgatory, or prayers to dead saints ,or the corrupted papist gospel, but that doesn’t mean we can’t give credit where credit is due when it comes to the engineering and creativity behind the physical constructs related to these religions.

    “Eat the meat, spit out the bones.”

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    The question is, is there a point at which the rest of the world will step in and say No! They protested the destruction of those Buddha’s in Afghanistan. They are looking on regretfully at the ongoing destruction of those magnificent architectural features in Timbuktu. Will they stop the destruction of the remnants one of the greatest civilizations we’ve had?

    Although, I do suspect that in Egypt the amount of tourism dollars generated by the “pagan relics”, will cool heads a bit.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    The question is, is there a point at which the rest of the world will step in and say No! They protested the destruction of those Buddha’s in Afghanistan. They are looking on regretfully at the ongoing destruction of those magnificent architectural features in Timbuktu. Will they stop the destruction of the remnants one of the greatest civilizations we’ve had?

    Although, I do suspect that in Egypt the amount of tourism dollars generated by the “pagan relics”, will cool heads a bit.

  • Joe

    Yahoo! Gotta love that Arab Spring!

  • Joe

    Yahoo! Gotta love that Arab Spring!

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Ok, retract the above: I did some research, and the article quoted here is nothing more than fear mongering. It somehow plays around with facts, allusions, and clear lies, quoting some extremists, to fan the flame of international and religious hatred.

    It is contemptible BS.

    This crap is ongoing – it is as if the comments of some obscure Christian fundy (let say the end-of-the world types) is taken as representative of the policy of any major Western government. Now the actions in Mali and Afghanistan were taken by extremists – but because of the remoteness of those locations, and a host of other factors, they weren’t stopped.

    Gene, you really need to adjust your BS detectors.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Ok, retract the above: I did some research, and the article quoted here is nothing more than fear mongering. It somehow plays around with facts, allusions, and clear lies, quoting some extremists, to fan the flame of international and religious hatred.

    It is contemptible BS.

    This crap is ongoing – it is as if the comments of some obscure Christian fundy (let say the end-of-the world types) is taken as representative of the policy of any major Western government. Now the actions in Mali and Afghanistan were taken by extremists – but because of the remoteness of those locations, and a host of other factors, they weren’t stopped.

    Gene, you really need to adjust your BS detectors.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Those monuments are terrific money makers. So is the Suez Canal. Not much incentive to pull them down.

    Also, I would like to see them try to destroy the pyramids.

    Have you been there and seen how freakin’ huge they are?

    Anyway, those babies ain’t coming down easy. Those mountains are not coming to Muhammed. Think about it, they are pyramid shaped!!! The shape alone means they can never just fall down on their own. It would be a massive undertaking and require a ton of engineering technology to dismantle them. What engineering firm is going to bid that project? A German firm? An American firm? A Chinese firm? Imagine trying to get another job by boasting, “We are the firm that brought down the Great Pyramids of Egypt.”

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Those monuments are terrific money makers. So is the Suez Canal. Not much incentive to pull them down.

    Also, I would like to see them try to destroy the pyramids.

    Have you been there and seen how freakin’ huge they are?

    Anyway, those babies ain’t coming down easy. Those mountains are not coming to Muhammed. Think about it, they are pyramid shaped!!! The shape alone means they can never just fall down on their own. It would be a massive undertaking and require a ton of engineering technology to dismantle them. What engineering firm is going to bid that project? A German firm? An American firm? A Chinese firm? Imagine trying to get another job by boasting, “We are the firm that brought down the Great Pyramids of Egypt.”

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Posted too soon.

    @4

    KK in on top of this one.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Posted too soon.

    @4

    KK in on top of this one.

  • Michelle

    Whether it is true or whether it is “BS”, the very idea of the destruction of something as magnificent as the Pyramids is utterly unthinkable, especially being that they are the only surviving, almost completely intact, Wonder of the Ancient World. I think that only the most extremist people (with hearts as cold as stone and black as ink, I might add) would consider such things. Most human beings, flawed as we all are, aren’t that cruel.

    P.S. Just found your blog. I’m loving it!

  • Michelle

    Whether it is true or whether it is “BS”, the very idea of the destruction of something as magnificent as the Pyramids is utterly unthinkable, especially being that they are the only surviving, almost completely intact, Wonder of the Ancient World. I think that only the most extremist people (with hearts as cold as stone and black as ink, I might add) would consider such things. Most human beings, flawed as we all are, aren’t that cruel.

    P.S. Just found your blog. I’m loving it!

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Michelle – oh, I agree with you. But that is why this type of thing is used by those who want to stir up hatred and emotion – because it cuts so close. And that is why I exploded above – I’m tired of hatemongers. There is enough trouble in the world as it is.

    BTW, I think that at least one of them, who makes this kind of thing his business, will show up on this thread, sooner or later.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Michelle – oh, I agree with you. But that is why this type of thing is used by those who want to stir up hatred and emotion – because it cuts so close. And that is why I exploded above – I’m tired of hatemongers. There is enough trouble in the world as it is.

    BTW, I think that at least one of them, who makes this kind of thing his business, will show up on this thread, sooner or later.

  • Tom Hering

    sg @ 5, I’ve heard a demolition firm owned by Pepsico has contracted to do the work. They’re going to dissolve the stones using a new chemical derived from aborted fetal tissue. (I’m pretty sure it’s true, so feel free to spread this information around.)

  • Tom Hering

    sg @ 5, I’ve heard a demolition firm owned by Pepsico has contracted to do the work. They’re going to dissolve the stones using a new chemical derived from aborted fetal tissue. (I’m pretty sure it’s true, so feel free to spread this information around.)

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Tom, I thought the firm is owned by Proctor & Gamble ;)

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Tom, I thought the firm is owned by Proctor & Gamble ;)

  • Jon

    @4, KK

    You just don’t get Dr. Veith’s humor yet, after all this time?

    You’re supposed to have some fun with this one.

  • Jon

    @4, KK

    You just don’t get Dr. Veith’s humor yet, after all this time?

    You’re supposed to have some fun with this one.

  • Tom Hering

    Klasie @ 10, you might be right. Do we know if P&G’s CEO is a Kenya-born Hawaiian?

  • Tom Hering

    Klasie @ 10, you might be right. Do we know if P&G’s CEO is a Kenya-born Hawaiian?

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Tom – possibly. I do know he likes carrying dogs on the roof of his car, though.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Tom – possibly. I do know he likes carrying dogs on the roof of his car, though.

  • SKPeterson

    I heard that the Canadians are trying to get RIM the contract for pyramid destruction in order to try and save the company.

  • SKPeterson

    I heard that the Canadians are trying to get RIM the contract for pyramid destruction in order to try and save the company.

  • Tom Hering

    Personally, I’m kind of amused by the Salafi party’s hide-’em-in-wax approach. TOURIST: “Hey, aren’t the pyramids supposed to be around here somewhere?” GUIDE: “I do not know, my American friend. All I see is big scented candles. But we should move along quickly now – the guards are beginning to notice us.”

    Seriously, though, isn’t Egypt’s climate kind of melty hot?

  • Tom Hering

    Personally, I’m kind of amused by the Salafi party’s hide-’em-in-wax approach. TOURIST: “Hey, aren’t the pyramids supposed to be around here somewhere?” GUIDE: “I do not know, my American friend. All I see is big scented candles. But we should move along quickly now – the guards are beginning to notice us.”

    Seriously, though, isn’t Egypt’s climate kind of melty hot?

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    SKP- they will just keep on delaying it then. Better call in the Koch brothers….

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    SKP- they will just keep on delaying it then. Better call in the Koch brothers….

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    The other option is to sell it all to Disney. I hear they are looking for a stand for an all-seeing security camera, called Horus….

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    The other option is to sell it all to Disney. I hear they are looking for a stand for an all-seeing security camera, called Horus….

  • rlewer

    Except that the Taliban did destroy the ancient Buddist statues in Afganistan.

    But you are right. The pyramids are too well known and bring in too much money to the general economy and the local vendors who keep you from enjoying the pyramids anyway.

  • rlewer

    Except that the Taliban did destroy the ancient Buddist statues in Afganistan.

    But you are right. The pyramids are too well known and bring in too much money to the general economy and the local vendors who keep you from enjoying the pyramids anyway.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    Well, that does it. I’m boycotting Proctor & Gamble products now!

  • http://www.facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    Well, that does it. I’m boycotting Proctor & Gamble products now!

  • http://www.facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    Oh, and George Bush. It’s his fault, you know.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    Oh, and George Bush. It’s his fault, you know.

  • Tom Hering

    Has anyone else here tried a search on this “destroy the pyramids” story? Page after page after page returns blog after blog after blog – all repeating this “news item” verbatim. It wasn’t easy finding a little fact-based perspective:

    http://www.eturbonews.com/30017/world-tourism-organization-congratulates-new-president-egypt

  • Tom Hering

    Has anyone else here tried a search on this “destroy the pyramids” story? Page after page after page returns blog after blog after blog – all repeating this “news item” verbatim. It wasn’t easy finding a little fact-based perspective:

    http://www.eturbonews.com/30017/world-tourism-organization-congratulates-new-president-egypt

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Tom – I found one Egyptian article poking fun at it.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Tom – I found one Egyptian article poking fun at it.

  • Tom Hering

    Klasie, seems the story about President Morsi being asked to destroy the pyramids started as a Twitter joke, and conservative online media (mostly American) ran with it as fact. (A Google search shows the story being repeated ad nauseum – dozens of pages of results so far.)

    http://thedailynewsegypt.com/2012/07/11/another-hoax-cleric-calls-on-president-morsy-to-destroy-giza-pyramids/

  • Tom Hering

    Klasie, seems the story about President Morsi being asked to destroy the pyramids started as a Twitter joke, and conservative online media (mostly American) ran with it as fact. (A Google search shows the story being repeated ad nauseum – dozens of pages of results so far.)

    http://thedailynewsegypt.com/2012/07/11/another-hoax-cleric-calls-on-president-morsy-to-destroy-giza-pyramids/

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Hence my point about BS detectors…

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Hence my point about BS detectors…

  • Tom Hering

    And an excellent point it is, too. Anything in the least bit sensational, that spreads like wildfire throughout the blogosphere (conservative or liberal) ought to make our noses wrinkle.

  • Tom Hering

    And an excellent point it is, too. Anything in the least bit sensational, that spreads like wildfire throughout the blogosphere (conservative or liberal) ought to make our noses wrinkle.

  • Grace

    Maybe they are going to paint the Pyramids red, white and blue. I think I heard something along that line, early this morning!

  • Grace

    Maybe they are going to paint the Pyramids red, white and blue. I think I heard something along that line, early this morning!

  • Tom Hering

    Re: update. You’re welcome, Dr. Veith. It will be interesting to see if Front Page and Raymond Ibrahim retract this Morsi scare story, double down on it, or just say nothing more. So far, it looks to be the latter.

    http://themoderatevoice.com/152821/report-about-calls-in-egypt-to-destroy-pyramids-turns-out-to-be-a-hoax/

  • Tom Hering

    Re: update. You’re welcome, Dr. Veith. It will be interesting to see if Front Page and Raymond Ibrahim retract this Morsi scare story, double down on it, or just say nothing more. So far, it looks to be the latter.

    http://themoderatevoice.com/152821/report-about-calls-in-egypt-to-destroy-pyramids-turns-out-to-be-a-hoax/

  • Michelle

    After they blow up the Pyramids, I hear they are going to try to blow up the moon! Because it’s so pagan! ;)

    Glad to hear this is a hoax.

  • Michelle

    After they blow up the Pyramids, I hear they are going to try to blow up the moon! Because it’s so pagan! ;)

    Glad to hear this is a hoax.

  • Akkio

    I am so happy to hear this as a hoax but yet the idea of it still disturbs me. The pyramids belong to all of humanity whether they like it or not or want to admit it. Egypt at one time was a very powerful empire thus a human time marker like the Roman empire. Destroying the pyramids would be one heck of a task though, as sacred geometry was used (reason they do not slant like the poorly constructed small ones near the 3 main ones). They would be hard to blow up not to even mention the sound frequency and vibrational energy withing the pyramid. This is similar to the sound frequencies of Stone Hedge picked up by measuring technologically. However when I did first here this, I did think of them starting with the Sphinx whether real or not or just a random planned attack because this idea was thrown out. May be the way of the Hall of Records to be found (as ridiculous and unreal that may sound to most people) there was a scan done to see under neath the sphinx and there is a chamber with no connecting tunnels a good ways below. I do hope though if the Hall of Records were ever found, they would not be destroyed because some person finds them offensive. It is only offensive if you allow it to be and see it as a threat.

  • Akkio

    I am so happy to hear this as a hoax but yet the idea of it still disturbs me. The pyramids belong to all of humanity whether they like it or not or want to admit it. Egypt at one time was a very powerful empire thus a human time marker like the Roman empire. Destroying the pyramids would be one heck of a task though, as sacred geometry was used (reason they do not slant like the poorly constructed small ones near the 3 main ones). They would be hard to blow up not to even mention the sound frequency and vibrational energy withing the pyramid. This is similar to the sound frequencies of Stone Hedge picked up by measuring technologically. However when I did first here this, I did think of them starting with the Sphinx whether real or not or just a random planned attack because this idea was thrown out. May be the way of the Hall of Records to be found (as ridiculous and unreal that may sound to most people) there was a scan done to see under neath the sphinx and there is a chamber with no connecting tunnels a good ways below. I do hope though if the Hall of Records were ever found, they would not be destroyed because some person finds them offensive. It is only offensive if you allow it to be and see it as a threat.


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