CAIRO: An Islamist preacher from Kuwait called for the demolition of the Giza pyramids and Sphinx “to put an end to idolatry and the worship of such pagan constructions.”
“The fact that early Muslims did not destroy the pharaohs’ legacy upon the Arab conquest of Egypt does not mean that we shouldn’t do it now,” preacher Ibrahim al-Kandari was quoted as saying by the Kuwaiti daily Al-Watan Tuesday.
The call echoes that of Islamic State (IS) group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who described the destruction of historic monuments and archaeological sites as a “religious duty,” Al-Ahram reported.
The alleged call comes a few weeks after IS group militants were seen in a video destroying Assyrian artifacts in the Mosul museum in Iraq using sledgehammers. The destruction was described by UNESCO as a “crime against humanity.”
During the reign of ousted President Mohamed Morsi, another radical Salafist preacher issued a fatwa calling to destroy the Sphinx, or at least cover it in wax, claiming that the monument was worshipped by peasants as a god in the 14th century, Youm7 reported. He also called for the destruction of Egypt’s monuments, citing Prophet Mohamed’s destruction of the idols in Mecca in early Islam.
According to Youm7, the preacher went further and called for closing the Tourism Ministry building over “promoting prostitution and debauchery.”