Monday, July 16, 2012

Are the Egyptian Pyramids in Danger of Demolition?

As reported by multiple Arab news outlets within the past few weeks, several Muslim religious leaders have demanded the demolition of the pyramids at Giza,Egypt, because of their purported antithetical nature to Islamic faith. Despite the fact that the majority of Egyptian pyramids were not built for religious purposes, but rather as tombs for the pharaohs of the Old and Middle Kingdoms, many Muslims consider the 4500-year-old structures to be “symbols of paganism” that must be destroyed.
With the recent election of Egyptian president Muhammad Morsi, a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood, such radical appeals may find a sympathetic ear at the highest levels of government. Yet if the demolition of the pyramids seems too extreme an act for the newly-elected leader, the Salafi Al-Nour Party has offered a less destructive solution: simply cover the pyramids in wax!
Though the realization of such extreme measures—either the total destruction of the pyramids or their concealment under a coating of wax—may seem highly improbable to many of us in the Western world, one only need be reminded of the Taliban’s demolition of the Bamiyan Buddhas in 2001 to realize the true threat of religious fervor to cultural security.
Both the pyramids and the buddhas appear on theUNESCO World Heritage List, joining 960 other cultural and natural heritage properties. However, the inclusion of the pyramids on UNESCO’s list may not provide sufficient enough cause to prevent the eradication of one of the world’s greatest architectural treasures, a true testament to the avant-garde ingenuity of an ancient civilization.
Originally posted by Joshua MIx on CulturalSecurity.net.
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