Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Another Mosque Attacked By Muslims -- And Why It Keeps Happening

In Aleppo, Syria, Muslims badly damaged a landmark mosque:
A landmark mosque in Aleppo was burned, scarred by bullets and trashed — the latest casualty of Syria's civil war — and President Bashar Assad on Monday ordered immediate repairs to try to stem Muslim outrage at the desecration of the 12th century site.
According to one of those interviewed, the Syrian army was stationed inside the mosque "because of its strategic location in the Old City".

Of course, the simpler answer could be that the Syrian army used the mosque because the mosque itself was a strategic location.

After all, what Muslim would attack and destroy a mosque?

Quite a few actually -- for example:
Of course, in using a mosque for military purposes, the Syrian army might just have been taking a page out of the Hamas playbook. The Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center put out The Malam Report which notes that Hamas is known for exploiting mosques for military warfare:
The Malam report asserts that the extensive use of mosques to store weapons and as launch pads for rocket attacks on Israel was part of a Hamas strategy based on the knowledge that the IDF would not target civilian infrastructure including mosques, which were therefore ideal for weapons storehouses and rocket attacks.

The Malam analysis is based on Hamas sketches of neighborhoods that show that mosques were used as sniper positions, Israel Air Force videos showing massive secondary explosions after mosques were hit as well as reports from IDF troops.

One mosque in the Zeitoun neighborhood of Gaza City was raided by IDF troops who discovered a warehouse full of rockets and mortar shells. During the operation, a rocket-propelled grenade was fired at Israel troops from the mosque.

On January 13, IDF troops raided a mosque in Jabalya in northern Gaza that was full of weaponry including an anti-aircraft cannon. In a mosque in the Atatra neighborhood in northern Gaza City, troops uncovered a secret warehouse built under the podium, from where the imam leads prayers, which was full of weaponry and improvised explosive devices.
In fact, The Malam Report notes that traditionally, Mosques have been used for military purposes since the time of Muhammad:
The massive military use Hamas and the other terrorist organizations made of mosques has historical-religious roots. By the 7th century the prophet Muhammad had turned the mosque he built in Medina into a center for preaching, a place where political matters were dealt with, consultations held and appointments made, and where the Muslim army was prepared before it was dispatched to war and to attack the enemies of Islam. Muslim sages are of the opinion that the mosque is not only a house of prayer but that other uses, including military and political, are acceptable. Contemporary examples of the military and political uses made of mosques by radical Islamic terrorist organizations can be found in the Gaza Strip and many other places in the Arab-Muslim world. [p145 of report / p159 of PDF; emphasis added]
Read the entire section.

This makes it easier to understand how it can be that mosques are targeted by Muslims.
And why this is unlikely to be the last time this is going to happen.

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