“He (David Cameron) did not understand that the readiest alternative to public money is not the free market. If a public servant needs a fortune fast, he can turn to Russia, China, Saudi Arabia and the other oil-rich dictatorships……… All the dictatorships ask in return is that Britain’s cultural institutions sell their souls. They are more than happy to haggle………..Saudi Arabia provided exhibits. The Saudi royal family’s King Abdulaziz Public Library partnered the museum. HSBC Amanah, a bank that issues sharia-compliant loans, sponsored the show. By negligence or design, nothing in the exhibition offends the Saudi state, which derives legitimacy from its control of sacred sites and income from pilgrims. You might have thought that of all people the museum’s director, Neil MacGregor, would deplore cultural vandalism. The author of A History of the World in 100 Objects would surely deprecate the destruction of buildings of historical significance. He must know that Saudi’s monarchical dictatorship has wrecked Mecca with an abandon worthy of the Taliban. It has destroyed the remnants of the 7th-century city, most notably the houses of the prophet, his first wife and Abu Bakr, father of Aisha, one of Muhammad’s other wives. According to the Wahhabi monarchy’s puritanical and iconoclastic version of Islam, anything that generates idolatry – images of the prophet, homes associated with him – is dangerous. So medieval Mecca had to go………..”
This piece does not cover all factors behind the crime of destruction of historical Mecca. I have written more than once on this subject, as have others. It is not all Wahhabi ideology that doomed the monuments of Mecca. Historical Mecca was destroyed by a combination of Wahhabi Salafi dogma against history and the greed of the princes and developers. You see, land in Mecca has become too valuable, a result of the explosion of the Hajj pilgrim tourism. The closest to the Holy Mosque a location is, the higher the rent and hotel costs. Historic houses of the Prophet Mohammed and the early Sahaba were replaced with 5-star, 6-star and 7-star hotels and condominiums. Greed by the potentates used the Wahhabi doctrine against history to take over some invaluable property and rape the very history of Islam. That was robbery of something that belonged to the whole Muslim world, not just the princes.
As for David Cameron, he is no different than that other corrupt prime minister, Tony Blair who bent British laws and institutions for the benefit of the al-Saud princes and Muammar Qaddafi and other despots. This is buying the soul of British institutions. It has been going on for some years, and it will accelerate under the Tory PM.