Developers and purists erase Mecca's history
By Laith Abou-Ragheb
MECCA, Saudi Arabia (Reuters) - Some of Islam's historic sites in Mecca, possibly including a home of the Prophet Mohammad, are under threat from Saudi real estate developers and Wahhabi Muslims who view them as promoting idolatry.
Sami Angawi, an expert on the region's Islamic architecture, said 1,400-year-old buildings from the early Islamic period risk being demolished to make way for high rise towers for Muslims flocking to perform the annual pilgrimage to Islam's holiest city.
"We are witnessing now the last few moments of the history of Mecca," Angawi told Reuters. "Its layers of history are being bulldozed for a parking lot," he added.
I have nothing against commercial development and better housing in Mecca, but they should not come at the expense of the city's historic architecture.