ISIS eyes Mecca, pledges to destroy Kaaba
Authorities in Saudi Arabia announced the arrest of 88 on suspicion of planning to carry out terrorist attacks in the kingdom and abroad. The Interior Ministry statement didn't cite the "Islamic State" by name, saying only the arrests were related to the "painful reality the region is going through" and denouncing those with "sick ideas" who "spread their extremist opinions and corrupt the youth and drag them to places of strife." Under Saudi law, terrorism suspects can be held up to a year without charges. (WSJ, Sept. 2) When ISIS was seizing northern Iraq in June, one leader boasted that they planned to overrun Saudi Arabia, capture Mecca, and raze the Kaaba. ISIS militant Abu Turab al-Mugaddasi said: "If Allah wills, we will kill those who worship stones in Mecca and destroy the Kaaba. People go to Mecca to touch the stones, not for Allah." (India Today, July 1; APA, Azerbaijan, June 30)
As we have noted, author Salman Rushdie and Egyptian feminist Nawal El Saadawi have both asserted that the Kaaba, Islam's holiest shrine, was revered before the time of Mohammed, and the Black Stone it contains was associated with goddess-worship. ISIS has already destroyed numerous shrines in both Mosul and areas of Syria under their control. Qaedists and their ilk consider veneration of shrines to be idolatry, and have been very busy destroying the tombs of Islamic saints from Syria to Pakistan to Mali to Tunisia to Libya.