Photographs obtained by the Independent show workers with drills and mechanical diggers tearing down some Ottoman and Abbasid sections on the eastern side of the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca – the Grand Mosque.
The Masjid al-Haram is the holiest Islamic site and houses Ka’aba, the point to which all Muslims face when praying.
The segments under demolition are the last remaining parts of the mosque, dating back to more than a few hundred years.
One column which has reportedly been razed marks the spot where Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) started his heavenly journey Meraj (Night Ascension) to al-Quds (Jerusalem) and to heaven in a single night.
Many of the Ottoman and Abbasid columns at the Masjid al-Haram contain Arabic calligraphy marking the names of the Prophet’s companions and remarkable moments in his life.
Saudi authorities claim that the demolitions are part of a multi-billion-dollar development plan aimed at increasing the capacity of Masjid al-Haram.
The Saudi mega-corporation Binladin Group (Osama bin Laden’s family business) has won the tender for the expansion project.
The Binladin Group is an active member of the US-Saudi Arabian Business Council and plays a central role in deciding bilateral policy for the benefit of collective US-Saudi corporate-financier and corresponding geopolitical interests. Continue reading