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Old October 8th, 2007, 12:47 PM   #41
Khanrak
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Two things:

1) Its not racist to not allow non-Muslims into Makkah. Its discriminatory, but its not racist. People from every race on Earth are allowed into Makkah, so long as theyre Muslims. I don't know why its such a big deal, other religions have similar restrictions. Ever wonder why you can't take communion if you're not a Catholic??? Or why only Sikhs are allowed into the actual Golden Temple? Non-Muslims are free to visit every other city in the Muslim world besides Makkah and Madina.

2) Debate about this building is, unfortunately, cut short on the Saudi forums. When you question this building, Saudi forumers throw out the "keep religion out of this" or "90% of the world's Muslims arent offended by this" (suggesting that only Shia's are offended by this structure.

Because this is Makkah, and this building is built right next to the Kaaba, this discussion will naturally have a religious tilt to it in that we criticize it for being so close to Islam's holiest sanctuary. I suspect the Saudi forumers know this, but since they're Wahabbis and believe this building is "progress" and preservation of buildings is idolatry, they just throw out the "NO RELIGIOUS DEBATE" card to silence criticism.


Anyways, even if you don't criticize this on religious grounds, you can criticize this for being the monstrosity which it is. The size, architecture, and clock are just absolutely 100% hideous. It saddens me to know that our holiest shrine is right next to one of the ugliest buildings I've ever seen. We deserve better than having Saudi fanatics trying to raze old Makkah and replace it with their monuments. This is especially true considering the fact that Makkah isn't Wahabbi (only the non-Shia portions of Eastern KSA are truly Wahabbi), and that hundreds of years of exposure to all sorts of Muslim pilgrims means that Makkah is relatively liberal and tolerant.

PS, isnt this a 5 star hotel too? Isn't such opulent luxury a bit out of touch with Wahabbi ideology regarding austere and simple lifestyles?
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Old October 8th, 2007, 01:08 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Khanrak View Post
Two things:

1) Its not racist to not allow non-Muslims into Makkah. Its discriminatory, but its not racist. People from every race on Earth are allowed into Makkah, so long as theyre Muslims. I don't know why its such a big deal, other religions have similar restrictions. Ever wonder why you can't take communion if you're not a Catholic??? Or why only Sikhs are allowed into the actual Golden Temple? Non-Muslims are free to visit every other city in the Muslim world besides Makkah and Madina.
Would you feel the same if Israel said that only Jews could enter Jerusalem? Restricting entry to a building is one thing, restricting entry to an entire city is very different in my opinion.
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Old October 8th, 2007, 01:23 PM   #43
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This 3rd class buildings around the holy mosque where our prophet used to reside should NEVER have been given permission to be built, how dumb are the people in charge of such buildings!

Mecca is holyest city for muslims why cant they make a city outside mecca for pilgrims to attend and have transport like subways to take u too the grand mosque, building tall structures like idiots around holy mosque makes it look like Manhatten, the last thing we want is to be inside the mosque doing Ta'Waaf in shadow of huge pointless structures who only the rich greedy saudis can afford.

Saudis seem to think because they are the custdonians of the holy mosque they have right to do anything with it, well theres over 1 billion muslims in the world we are all equally have right to say what we want about is allowed to be built and what is not! But if the saudis had anything called a brain they wouldnt be where they are.
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Old October 8th, 2007, 03:44 PM   #44
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That Abraj al Bait tower, although its design has been altered recently, is so similar to the 'Stalin Houses' built in Moscow. It is hard to believe that the architect arrived at that design by accident. (Even down to the hammer and sickle of communism being replaced by the crescent moon of Islam)



What is happening in Mecca is very strange. However, there are precedents in the Christian religion. In Britain, the centuries old monasteries were destroyed in the 16th century and the Puritans during the Commonwealth of the 17th century went as far as banning the celebration of Christmas.

To destroy the house of Mahomet's first (and favourite) wife does seem very odd though.
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Old October 8th, 2007, 05:11 PM   #45
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Would you feel the same if Israel said that only Jews could enter Jerusalem? Restricting entry to a building is one thing, restricting entry to an entire city is very different in my opinion.
That place would be WW3 if that was to happen. However the Jews wont say that.

Muslims always had Makkah and Madinah, and when they had Jerusalem for some odd 1000 years, they allowed Jews and Christians to live work and play in Jerusalem.
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Old October 8th, 2007, 07:56 PM   #46
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Interestingly, this is not easy for many Muslims either. The reason is, that as Wahabis discount all other interpretations of Islam, they make it extremely difficult for others to come in. The various Shi'a groups have a terrible time. The people have to show a proof of being Muslim statement from their Mosque / Masjid, however, statements from the prayer houses of certain interpretations are not counted as valid by the Wahabis. This may seem like a tangential item, but it relates directly to the destruction of heritage. The Wahabis do not want to listen to other people's views, and in fact, are bent on destroying heritage relating to the history of other groups and diversity in general. The irony is that Wahabism is a relatively new phenomenon - perhaps only 150 years old or so, but instead is often presented as the original way. That is a bunch of crud! They are only a modern era phenomenon.

Just as an example, the Prophet's wife Khadija ran her own caravan business, and in fact, the prophet worked for her. That is how they met, and he ended up marrying her (she was also slightly elder to him). Currently lineage from the Prophet is only from Khadija, and this family is revered by most Muslims. Problem is, the Wahabis don't respect that because it gives other interpretations a level of credibility that they themselves don't have. As a result, they bulldozed Khadija's home and build public lavatories there. Now you can see from their choice, not only to bulldoze, but also what they did with the space, that there is more to what happens than just 'we need that land for the pilgrims'.

Saudi Arabia is full of land - they can build anywhere.

Wow....that is pretty harsh. I'm not a fan of religious fanaticism of any kind, regardless of what religion it is. I dont believe there's anything wrong with religion but I believe there's something wrong with man. It is always people that corrupt the message or persecute people who are not of the same faith or dont interpret a faith in the same way that they do. Sometimes I wish there was no such thing as religion....just think about all the horrific things happening today and throughout history in the name of religion. We are all the same; just human beings who have a short time on this planet and I think the best thing we can all do is treat our fellow human with respect and try to act as a decent person. Afterall, nobody really KNOWS what comes after death....nobody. People may have very strong religious convictions but that doesnt mean that they KNOW what comes after this life.
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Old October 8th, 2007, 08:38 PM   #47
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Well they demolished this Ancient Ottoman to make way for the tower:

****1ng [email protected]!!! what a mistake!!
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Old October 9th, 2007, 12:23 AM   #48
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its completely wrong urban planning
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Old October 9th, 2007, 11:36 AM   #49
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Saudies are proving that they are the grandsons of arabs before prophet. Idolators. They are disrespectful against heritage and also they earn money over religion like Idolator Arabs. They sell Kabaa, they use Kabaa and religion as acomercial material.
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Old October 9th, 2007, 06:02 PM   #50
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To answer the question: Yap, it does.

I really hate that they build those scrapers right next to the Ka'aba... The towers look acceptable, but definetly not at that location. Just a waste of money and resources - and also a loss of reputation for Mecca imo.
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Old October 10th, 2007, 03:47 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by erbsenzaehler View Post
I really hate that they build those scrapers right next to the Ka'aba... The towers look acceptable, but definetly not at that location. Just a waste of money and resources - and also a loss of reputation for Mecca imo.
Taking a step back, one of the things I hope that comes out of the debates and discussions is that Saudi Arabia does not represent Islam. This project is not representative of Islamic art, planning or architecture. I had posted something about this back in the original thread when responding to a question about minarets (posts 660 and 663).

Anyway, a recent BBC series called 'Building for Islam' was very informative and interesting along these lines. They talked about a large architecture award in the Muslim world, and it was fascinating to hear about and see the diversity of projects, as well as to learn of the thoughtfulness of the awards process. I highly encourage those interested in this subject matter to watch part one of the four part series at:
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2z...rchit_creation
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Old October 18th, 2007, 01:03 PM   #52
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1) The building is tacky. It seems to be an amalgamation of Las Vegas strip chintz, and overbuilding to an inappropriate degree. It doesn't fit in well with the surrounding feel of the district, rather, it sticks out like a sore thumb. This is more about commercialism than it is about accommodating large throngs of devout worshippers. Unfortunately, whoever designed this building had no sense of esthetic.

2) Restricting visitors based on race or religion is racist and bigoted. I doubt a Jew, even though he is considered a Person of the Book, would be allowed inside Mecca. That's racism. Not letting other people, based on religious discrimination, is bigotry. So. If that's the mindset of The Muslim World, and it's supported by The Muslim World... You can have your tacky building in your special city. I hope Mecca gets what it deserves which is more terrible architecture designed and built by Muslims only because otherwise it would be a great insult to their sensitivities. What a crock.

3) If you take offense to the second paragraph you need to check your own hypocrisy. I'm sure if Muslims were exclusively denied entry into a major metroplis, based soley on their religion, or in some cases, genetic heritage there would be outrage. To be so ho-hum about Muslim intolerance is dangerous because it isn't reciprocal.
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Old October 18th, 2007, 06:13 PM   #53
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Uhm forgive me for being a bit slow, but are they seriously going to install those clocks or is that just a mock render?
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Old October 18th, 2007, 08:14 PM   #54
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Uhm forgive me for being a bit slow, but are they seriously going to install those clocks or is that just a mock render?
I believe that that is what they have planned.



Mike
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Old October 19th, 2007, 01:22 AM   #55
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2) Restricting visitors based on race or religion is racist and bigoted. I doubt a Jew, even though he is considered a Person of the Book, would be allowed inside Mecca. That's racism. Not letting other people, based on religious discrimination, is bigotry. So. If that's the mindset of The Muslim World, and it's supported by The Muslim World... You can have your tacky building in your special city. I hope Mecca gets what it deserves which is more terrible architecture designed and built by Muslims only because otherwise it would be a great insult to their sensitivities. What a crock.
While I somewhat agree with what I think you are saying, your statements actually read unclear.

First - restricting visitors based on religion is in no way racist. Racism is strictly with regards to race, and there is no such restriction.

Second - there are precedents in other faiths also. Entry into the golden temple, the taking of communion in Catholicism, etc.

Now with respect to Mecca, I don't see why they don't allow people into the city for most parts of the year, as the city as a whole is not a religious entity in my view. I can see some restrictions during Hajj and the like, due to logistics issues. Otherwise, no issue in my mind with others in the city even then, as long as specific ceremonies that they feel are sacred are respected and those sites dealt with appropriately.

There are, of course, the other issues, such as the Saudi bigotry against other traditions of Islam, and there are dozens of traditions in Islam just like in Christianity. The Saudi's too often present themselves as Islam's mouth-piece and their arrogance even showed in the unilateral decision making with respect to this project. That part is a shame no matter how you cut it!
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Old October 19th, 2007, 01:50 AM   #56
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I am not a fan of that getting built too close to the mosque.

IMO, if they are to build this...it should be much further away; Or else, they should come up with alternative design of a set of lowrises.
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Old October 19th, 2007, 03:27 AM   #57
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I believe that that is what they have planned.



Mike
That's truly bizarre. I note they've taken care to incorporate traditional Arab/Muslim elements in the building and the also include an element that, if anything, brings Britain to mind.
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Old October 19th, 2007, 03:55 AM   #58
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Soon in Jerusalem
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Old October 19th, 2007, 05:16 AM   #59
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I am not a fan of that getting built too close to the mosque.

IMO, if they are to build this...it should be much further away; Or else, they should come up with alternative design of a set of lowrises.
I can't agree more. The whole problem is that the decisions are being made by the rich who want to be kept separate from the poor. While this is contrary to Islamic beliefs, materialism seems to have taken over mind-share.

It is quite perplexing that there is still no efficient transportation system in mecca. You'd think that would be the mega project that is required, rather than one that causes more logistical nightmares in the long run.

Of course, my above comments don't even get to the part about it simply being out of taste and inappropriate to context. Ahhh!!!
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Old October 19th, 2007, 06:33 PM   #60
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While I somewhat agree with what I think you are saying, your statements actually read unclear.

First - restricting visitors based on religion is in no way racist. Racism is strictly with regards to race, and there is no such restriction.

Second - there are precedents in other faiths also. Entry into the golden temple, the taking of communion in Catholicism, etc.

Now with respect to Mecca, I don't see why they don't allow people into the city for most parts of the year, as the city as a whole is not a religious entity in my view. I can see some restrictions during Hajj and the like, due to logistics issues. Otherwise, no issue in my mind with others in the city even then, as long as specific ceremonies that they feel are sacred are respected and those sites dealt with appropriately.

There are, of course, the other issues, such as the Saudi bigotry against other traditions of Islam, and there are dozens of traditions in Islam just like in Christianity. The Saudi's too often present themselves as Islam's mouth-piece and their arrogance even showed in the unilateral decision making with respect to this project. That part is a shame no matter how you cut it!
The racism charge is in relation to Jewish people. In addition, I think Arab racism plays a fundamental part in the idea that its religion is supreme to the point of exclusivity.

Regardless, even if my charge of racism can be dismissed it's still a bigoted policy, and vile in of itself. There are other religious traditions that make themselves exclusive to believers, but to the point that they won't allow a visitor into an entire city to admire its architecture or to visit with friends and colleagues? Whether it's a American Mormon that won't allow a non-Mormon into a temple to attend a wedding ceremony, or an Arab Muslim that will kill a kaffur for having set foot inside a "sacred" city, the sad truth is that intolerance is not good for humanity on the whole and it leads to never-ending hardship.

I'm sure Mecca and Medina and other Islamic sites throughout the world have much to offer to an appreciative visitor, but it's a slight on Muslims when their religion dictates, vis a vis Saudis or not, that non-believers should be killed for having set foot within a large geographic area. What a shame. I, for one, am disappointed that such places are off limits to me because 1) I have no interest in being killed by believers, and 2) I have no interest in converting to Islam. I would like to see the courtesy extended to Muslims returned by Muslims to non-believers as far as access to metropolitan areas go.
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