Islam, like other religions, was ruthlessly suppressed in the Soviet Union. For some this suppression apparently took. This forcible break with Islam was something that only a regime such as the Soviet Union could allow itself to enforce. But there were many — in Azerbaijan as well as elsewhere — among whom it did not take. And so now Islam is at work again in Azerbaijan, with the destruction of the ancient Christian cemetery. The destruction of one or two graves might be the work of vandals. If an entire ancient cemetery disappears — the way the Jewish tombstones on the Mount of Olives were pulled up by British-led, British-trained and supposedly well-behaved Jordanians, and used to line the floors of their army latrines — then something else is at work: complete disrespect, even hatred, for those who are not Muslim, and for everything that might conceivably be sacred or important to those non-Muslims.
Of course in the mists of time, when no one was looking, no doubt Muslims destroyed monuments, churches, temples, cemeteries, statuary and artifacts of every kind.
One opens “The World of Islam” by Ernst J. Grube (Curator, Islamic Department, Metropolitan Museum of Art), part of the series “Landmarks of the World’s Art,” and finds on p. 165 a picture of the “Kutb Mosque (Quwaat al-Islam) Delhi” shown and described:
Built by Kutb al-din Aibak in his fortress of Lallkot near Old Delhi in 1193. This mosque is the earliest extant monument of Islamic architecture in India and its combination of local, pre-Muslim traditions and imported architectural forms is typical of the earliest period. The mosque is built on the ruins of a Jain temple…
So the earliest “extant monument of Islamic architecture in India” was “built on the ruins of a Jain temple” — that temple being made into “ruins,” of course, by the Muslim invaders.
But that was then, you think to yourself.
And this is now. And now, in the full light of history, knowing that they are being watched, surely they will not do such things. Surely, in this new 21st century, Muslims everywhere will watch their steps, and not desecrate, vandalize, destroy as before.
But then you look only at what has happened since the new century began, since 2000. And here is a tentative list off the top of my head:
Bamiyan Buddhas, 1,500 years old, in Afghanistan, destroyed by Taliban with explosives, and technical help from Saudi and Pakistani engineers.
Tomb of Joseph in Israel, reduced to rubble by the “Palestinians,” despite that site supposedly being sacred to Muslims as well as to Jews.
A Hindu temple in Kuala Lumpur, where Hindus and Chinese both labor under the disguised Jizyah of the Bumiputra system.
Orthodox churches and monasteries, destroyed in Kosovo and Bosnia, in full view of NATO troops, the U.N., and the world’s media.
And then, of course, the thousands of churches destroyed in Indonesia, as recorded by the Barnabas Fund.
The remaining Greco-Bactrian artifacts among the tiny holdings in the Kabul Museum.
The damage done to the Temple Mount structure by the excavations and vandalism to Solomon’s Stables from the “Palestinians.”
Statuary vandalized by Muslims — both Christian statuary in a church in northern France, and pagan statuary in the Piazza del Popolo.
Oh, these are just things that come off the top of one’s head. Should one recall the damage done to the Parthenon by Turkish Muslim troops, or to the Sphinx by generations of Muslim Arabs in Egypt? Or the damage done to the monuments of classical antiquity or left by other pre-Islamic civlizations, all of which are, in the Muslim view, worthless, part of a general Jahiliyya (time of ignorance), and not to be treated with respect or interest?
Start your own list. Do what Sita Ram Goel and Indian scholars did in compiling merely a list of the thousands of Hindu temples destroyed by Muslim invaders. Make up a list, for example, of the Christian churches of Constantinople, for five hundred years the richest, most important city in all of Christendom.
Go ahead. Now look that list over. Now think about the Louvre, the Prado, the National Gallery, the Uffizi, the Alte Pinakothek, the Rijksmuseum. Think of what those who followed the strictures of the late Sheik Bin Baz, or the still-living Al-Qaradawi, or the primitive Ahmadinejad, would do to the contents of all those.
What do you propose to do about it?