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Commercialisation Of Mecca?  
User currently offlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 6641 posts, RR: 3
Posted (1 year 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 1866 times:

This is don't get?

Quote:
A huge expansion in Mecca has led to the destruction of key historical sites.

Mecca, the birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad in Hajez, Saudi Arabia, is being turned from a dusty pilgrimage town to a gleaming metropolis. Photo / Islamic Heritage Research Foundation
Expand

Authorities in Saudi Arabia have started dismantling some of the oldest sections of Islam's most important mosque as part of a controversial multibillion-dollar expansion.

Photographs reveal workers with drills and mechanical diggers have started demolishing some Ottoman and Abbasid sections on the eastern side of the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca.

The building, also known as the Grand Mosque, is the holiest site in Islam because it contains the Kaaba - the point to which all Muslims face when praying. The columns are the last remaining sections of the mosque which date back more than a few hundred years and form the inner perimeter on the outskirts of the white marble floor surrounding the Kaaba.
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news...ticle.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10873098

It would appear to me the making money has won out of history and that religion has taken a back seat to profit.

Quote:
Although there is little disagreement over the need to expand, critics have accused the Saudi regime of wantonly disregarding the archaeological, historical and cultural heritage of Islam's two holiest cities.

In the past decade Mecca has been transformed from a dusty desert pilgrimage town into a gleaming metropolis of skyscrapers that tower over the Masjid al-Haram and are filled with shopping malls, luxury apartments and five-star hotels.


17 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinealoges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8617 posts, RR: 43
Reply 1, posted (1 year 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 1844 times:

Quoting KiwiRob (Thread starter):
It would appear to me the making money has won out of history and that religion has taken a back seat to profit.

Well, religion is a business after all... very unique kind of business, but is one. IMHO, it's what you get when you combine faith and tradition and turn them into profit machines.



Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlinefridgmus From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 1441 posts, RR: 11
Reply 2, posted (1 year 3 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 1775 times:
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Quoting aloges (Reply 1):
Well, religion is a business after all... very unique kind of business, but is one. IMHO, it's what you get when you combine faith and tradition and turn them into profit machines.

Well said Aloges, well said. I don't know about overseas, but in the US, churches/religious institutions are NOT taxed. I would like to see that reversed. When I see so-called "Preachers" driving 7 Series BMW's, living in mansions and flying by private jet, something is really wrong!!! Now I know that not all religious leaders live the high life, but if everyone else has to pay taxes, then so should they. Hey, GE, are you listening!!!



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User currently offlineltbewr From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 12880 posts, RR: 12
Reply 3, posted (1 year 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 1760 times:

Commercial development around religious sites and shrines for religious tourism is nothing new. Israel and the adjacent occupied territories. Rome, along the Ganges River in India, Fatima (Portugal) - all had been dealing with and making money from the religious tourists for 100's to 1000's of years. As more people of the Muslim faith around the world have the money to make the Hajj pilgrimage each year and how the faith encourages to do so at least once in their lives, you need the facilities to hold all those during Hajj, as well as others who will visit during non- Hajj periods for reasons of their faith.

User currently offlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 6641 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (1 year 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 1699 times:

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 3):
Commercial development around religious sites and shrines for religious tourism is nothing new.

The different in this case is that they are knocking down the religious site to enlarge it, could you image the catholic church knocking down St Peters to build a bigger one?


User currently onlineflipdewaf From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2006, 1549 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (1 year 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 1680 times:
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Quoting aloges (Reply 1):
Well, religion is a business after all... very unique kind of business, but is one. IMHO, it's what you get when you combine faith and tradition and turn them into profit machines.

Control of populace and profit seem to factor quite highly in religion, funny that.

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 4):
could you image the catholic church knocking down St Peters to build a bigger one?

Yep! With more gold and tea cosy hats for the religious elite than ever before. Jesus would be proud.

Fred


User currently offlineQuokkas From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (1 year 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 1649 times:

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 4):
could you image the catholic church knocking down St Peters to build a bigger one?

A number of Basilicas were built around and over existing sites, including your example. The present structure, commenced in 1506, replacing the church that dated back to the 4th Century. Another that comes to mind, given the latest Pope's adopted name, is the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli where the original buildings around the shrine were demolished to build a larger church to accommodate the growing number of pilgrims.

While historians and scholars may lament the destruction, others have expressed opposition to preserving old buildings and shrines as they consider it "idolatry". Islam is peculiar in that sense. Unlike churches, the mosques are not chock-filled with statues and painting of saints (although major ones are often very ornate), yet the requirement to pray in the direction of and perform the pilgrimage to Mecca itself could be viewed as a form of idol worship.

[Edited 2013-03-24 03:15:48]

User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13800 posts, RR: 63
Reply 7, posted (1 year 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 1605 times:

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 6):
While historians and scholars may lament the destruction, others have expressed opposition to preserving old buildings and shrines as they consider it "idolatry". Islam is peculiar in that sense. Unlike churches, the mosques are not chock-filled with statues and painting of saints (although major ones are often very ornate), yet the requirement to pray in the direction of and perform the pilgrimage to Mecca itself could be viewed as a form of idol worship.

This is especially the Wahabi line of thought, which it the main Islamic sect in Saudi Arabia. From what I unhderstand historical buildings directly connected to Mohammed and his family have been torn down to prevent them from becoming shrines.
In the same light the Wahabi and Salafist militias in Mali tore down the century old graves of the Sufi "saints" and burned historic docuuments praising them.

Jan


User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 18699 posts, RR: 58
Reply 8, posted (1 year 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 1538 times:

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 7):
In the same light the Wahabi and Salafist militias in Mali tore down the century old graves of the Sufi "saints" and burned historic docuuments praising them.

And the Taliban destroyed the gigantic Bhuddas by the same justification, that they were idols (and to a false god, no less). Of course, the real reason was because they were megalomaniac attention-grabbers who wanted to see just how far they could push their boundaries (and they found out).

While it is a central tenet in Islam that nothing physical is sacrosanct, it raises the question of why they must turn towards Mecca to pray.

But in the end, the Hajj is Saudi Arabia's second major industry after oil. Mecca and Medina would not have any local economy were it not for the Hajj. And in the sense that many of the developments there are hypocritical, of course they are. And it's not as if Islam has a monopoly on hypocrisy.


User currently offlineRedd From Poland, joined Jan 2013, 96 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (1 year 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 1507 times:

Quoting aloges (Reply 1):
Well, religion is a business after all...

  

Quoting aloges (Reply 1):
very unique kind of business

Yeah, they don't pay taxes   

Quoting fridgmus (Reply 2):
but if everyone else has to pay taxes, then so should they.

Amen! But I'd take it step further and make them pay property tax. You'd be surprised to find out how much of the land in Europe is owned by the church. In Rome I'd heard that somewhere around 20% of the city belongs to the church, I'm not sure how accurate that is but I would guess it at about that.

Here in Warsaw it's well over half a billion USD worth in Real Estate, some of the nicest old buildings and best tended grounds (hectares of it in and around the city center), most of it completely off limits to the public. A slap in the face considering this country is 90% Catholic


User currently offlineRomeoBravo From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2013, 1112 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (1 year 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 1462 times:

They also dismantled this historic fortress to build that huge clock tower...



User currently offlinestarbuk7 From United States of America, joined Apr 2008, 599 posts, RR: 5
Reply 11, posted (1 year 3 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 1345 times:

Quoting fridgmus (Reply 2):
but in the US, churches/religious institutions are NOT taxed. I would like to see that reversed.

Proving none of you know how the system works. All donations to the churches from church goers are not taxed. The salaries paid out from the church to the pastor, office workers and anyone else working for the church ARE taxed, both federal and state. So, in essence, there are taxes being paid from the money the church receives.


User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 11929 posts, RR: 25
Reply 12, posted (1 year 3 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 1327 times:

Quoting starbuk7 (Reply 11):
All donations to the churches from church goers are not taxed.

So they are not paying taxes on a service, which may or may not be the case for other service providers.

Quoting starbuk7 (Reply 11):
So, in essence, there are taxes being paid from the money the church receives.

But not property taxes, in most jurisdictions. If the jet and the 7-series stays in the name of the church, they too go untaxed as regards to sales and property taxes.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 6641 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (1 year 3 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 1279 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 12):
If the jet and the 7-series stays in the name of the church, they too go untaxed as regards to sales and property taxes.

I'm amazed that folks are daft enough to go to evangelical churches where it just looks to me like they are solely for the benefit of the turkey who started it.


User currently offlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8204 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (1 year 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 1240 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 12):
But not property taxes, in most jurisdictions. If the jet and the 7-series stays in the name of the church, they too go untaxed as regards to sales and property taxes.

Correct. A superb rectory or pastor's home is also tax free.

Any group of people can start a church for almost any reason. Avoiding taxes would be one such reason. But maybe the church of Jesus, Tax Avoider is coming on a little strong.

But seriously, a church can buy suits, food, travel, pleasure etc for the leader tax free. AFAIK.

You can also start a town, on unincorporated land. The mayor of that town can probably elect himself and avoid paying taxes of any kind. Mayor could be an unsalaried position providing food, transportation, travel, lodging for a lifetime term (tax free). Maybe it could be a hereditary office?  

[Edited 2013-03-25 18:37:25]

User currently offlineQuokkas From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (1 year 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 1224 times:

Quoting Flighty (Reply 14):
Jesus, Tax Avoider is coming on a little strong.

Specially when one thinks that when asked, "Is it lawful to pay tribute?" Jesus is reported to have said, "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." He was clearly not opposed to people, including those whom he described as hypocrites, paying taxes.

I doubt whether God in whom Jesus believed needs a Lear Jet or a palatial mansion. Seeing as that God allegedly is capable of making everything out of nothing he clearly doesn't need money.


User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 11929 posts, RR: 25
Reply 16, posted (1 year 3 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 1181 times:

Quoting Flighty (Reply 14):
Any group of people can start a church for almost any reason. Avoiding taxes would be one such reason. But maybe the church of Jesus, Tax Avoider is coming on a little strong.

Like any "enterprise", tax avoidence is an issue only if you have enough income or property to make tax avoidence worthwhile. It'd only be sensible for me to open the Church of Revelation if I could get enough people to funnel through and put money in the plate.

I could see perhaps a wierd case or two where something like a winery is declared a monestary and that gets used for tax avoidence, but I'm sure the IRS would need to be convinced of the spiritual purposes of such a monestary.

I know from personal experience that the IRS does scrutinize non-profits carefully. In particular I tried to get our local soup kitchen added to the list of entities that my employer would let me donate money to, and it was quite difficult, because the IRS is very meticulous in this regard and quite often will punish corporations who willfully or not end up donating money to what turns out to be a sham organization.

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 15):
I doubt whether God in whom Jesus believed needs a Lear Jet or a palatial mansion.

Good time to mention that the Son of God entered Jerusalem on an ass, no?

I doubt an ass was the 7-series of its day.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineZephyrus From Norway, joined Jan 2005, 21 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (1 year 3 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 1089 times:

As a non-Muslim, I feel bad for Muslims everywhere to have their holiest of holies defiled by these monstrosities...






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