- An Iranian lawmaker has warned that Saudi Arabia’s plan to demolish Masjid al-Nabawi [the Prophet Mohammad’s (PBUH) Mosque] is part of a US and Israeli scenario.
In a Monday interview, Seyyed Nasser Mousavi Largani pointed to the plans by the Wahhabis and Al Saud regime to bulldoze three of the world's oldest mosques around Masjid al-Nabawi in Medina under the pretext of expanding the holy site.
"The measure by the government of Saudi Arabia merely substantiates the idea that the rulers of the country are subservient and submissive to the Zionist regime [of Israel] and obey the orders dictated by Israel and the US," he said.
The Iranian lawmaker pointed out that destruction of the Muslims' religious sites which are used for the promotion of Islam is a Western hegemonic agenda.
The main change in Masjid al-Nabawi will occur in the Western wing of the mosque, which holds the tomb of the founder of Islam, Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).
The three mosques, scheduled to be demolished, including Ghamama mosque, where Prophet Mohammad is said to have given his first prayers for an Eid ceremony, are located outside the western walls of Masjid al-Nabawi.
Saudi officials have not declared any plans with respect to preserving the historical mosques that are covered by the Ottoman-era structures.
The Washington-based (Persian) Gulf Institute says Riyadh has bulldozed 95 percent of 1,000-year-old buildings in the holy cities of Mecca and Medina in the past 20 years with the aim of expanding shopping centers, skyscrapers and luxury hotels.
During the construction of the Jabal Omar complex in Mecca, which overshadowed Masjid al-Haram, Saudi officials destroyed many archeological sites, particularly Prophet Mohammad's birth place and the house of Prophet's wife, Khadijah (PBUH), turning the holy locations into library and public toilet respectively.
Two of the seven key historic mosques built to mark the Battle of the Trench and a mosque belonging to the Prophet's grandson were also dynamited ten years ago.
Surprisingly, pictures of demolition of the ancient mosque which were taken secretly and then smuggled out of the kingdom reveal the Saudi religious police hailing and celebrating the collapse of the Islamic monuments.
The report attributes Saudi Arabia's disdain for historic sites of Islam to the kingdom's association with Wahhabism, which is an extreme and inflexible interpretation of Islam.
The spot that marks the Prophet's tomb is covered by a famous green dome and forms the centerpiece of the current mosque. The new redevelopment plans of Masjid al-Nabawi will move Prophet's dome from the center to the east wing of the new site and destroy the praying niche at the center of the mosque.
The area forms part of the Riyadh al-Jannah (Gardens of Paradise), which was regarded as a holy place by Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).