Notre Dame, Christchurch & Sri Lanka Tragedies Spotlight Historical Destructions & Violations Of Places Of Worship

sri lanka blast

Notre Dame is an iconic edifice of French culture and of Humanity and the conflagration has shocked the world, as have the recent Christchurch Massacres in New Zealand mosques and now the Sri Lanka Massacres in churches and hotels. However while these tragedies have laudably received massive media coverage in the Christian West, there is scant coverage of such historical, recent and indeed ongoing  tragedies in other countries such as the Zionist demolition of 120 mosques in Palestine, 1948-2007, the destruction of 70 mosques by Israeli bombing in the  2014 Gaza  Massacre, and the 1994 Ibrahimi Mosque Massacre in Israeli-occupied Hebron (29 Muslims at prayer killed and  125 wounded by a Jewish Israeli).

I first heard of the Notre Dame tragedy on the car radio arriving home from the airport and my instantaneous reaction – no doubt the same as that of billions of others – was an agonized cry of No! Regardless of where they stand on the atheist to polytheist religious spectrum, decent people recognize, respect and ennoble the “spiritual” and creative impulses of fellow human beings, whether those of remaining hunter-gathers in tune with the natural world,   those of the medieval Western European communities who created  the great gothic cathedrals  like Notre Dame [1],   or those of the international community of scientists that have revealed our world from the sub-atomic  to the multi-galactic,  as graphically illustrated by the images of the post-Big Bang,  relict microwave background radiation map of the whole universe  [2] and , most recently, of a black hole in the galaxy Messier 87 that is 55 million light years away from Earth [3]. I am a secular humanist atheist scientist and consider that, while the various  “God” hypotheses are not scientific (in the Popperian sense that they are not potentially falsifiable), they  nevertheless (like art, music and poetry) bring comfort to billions of people living in very hard circumstances.

These wonderful creative impulses have been variously ascribed to fear of death and a collateral desire for immortality. However the English poet John Keats has put the essence of creativity  most eloquently in his poem “Ode on a Grecian Urn” (decorated with elegant and beautiful ancient Greek figures)  that concludes: “When old age shall this generation waste, / Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe / Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou sayst, /  “Beauty is truth, truth beauty,” – that is all /  Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know” [4]. From a Humanist scientific perspective, we have no “purpose” but a quasi-purpose could be to defy the Second Law of Thermodynamics that states that the entropy (disorder, chaos, lack of information content) of the universe strives to a maximum  (e.g. an ink drop eventually disperses evenly in a glass of water ; we all get old and die; the universe is expanding at an ever-increasing rate). Thus one could in a thought experiment imagine for all of 10 seconds being a zombie or even dead,  discard that on the basis of “been there, done that”, and then imagine variously vigorously defying the Second Law by  creating order, beauty and truth in our world, whether as a parent or otherwise simply as a decent member of society or, more ambitiously, as an achiever in human endeavours from sports and professions  to  the arts and sciences.

The Anglocentricity and Eurocentricity  of the Anglosphere and the European English-speaking world in general  is understandable in terms of “human nature” but that does not make it right or useful. Those decent folk who accept that “all men are created equal and have an inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” [5]  reject culturally or ethnically-based “exceptionalism” from  outright racism (as in the Anglosphere-backed Apartheid Israel or the former  Apartheid South Africa and the former US Deep South) to the politically correct racism (PC racism) of Anglosphere Mainstream media which disproportionately   report  European and non-European tragedies. Thus, for example,  Mainstream media utterly ignore the ongoing Muslim Holocaust and Muslim Genocide in which 32 million Muslims have died from violence, 5 million, or from imposed deprivation, 27 million in 20 countries invaded by the US Alliance since the US Government’s 9-11 false flag operation in which 3,000 died (mostly Americans) – however the 3,000 people  killed  on 9-11 are laudably reported to a very high degree [6, 7].

Endless further examples  of this Anglocentric Anglosphere  censorship can be given. Thus the WW2 Jewish Holocaust (5-6 million Jews killed by violence or  deprivation) [8-10] was part of a much greater WW2 European (30 million Slavs, Jews or Gypsies killed) [11] and was contemporaneous with the WW2 Bengali Holocaust (WW2 Indian Holocaust or WW2 Bengali Famine, 6-7 million Indians starved to death by the British with Australian complicity [12-16]) and the WW2 Chinese Holocaust (35 million Chinese deaths under the Japanese, 1937-1945) [17]. However all but the Jewish Holocaust are ignored by the Anglo Mainstream and indeed the WW2 Jewish Holocaust is called The Holocaust, despite  the WW2 Bengali  Holocaust being the first WW2 atrocity to have been described as a holocaust [12, 18].

Genocide ignored yields genocide repeated. Holocaust ignored yields holocaust  repeated.  History ignored yields history repeated [12].  Thus the Notre Dame fire is  properly and laudably reported, but the destruction of abut 200 mosques in Palestine (as well as numerous Palestinian  shrines, villages, and towns) [19-24] is whitewashed out of history by Zionist-subverted Mainstream media,  just as numerous Palestinian  mosques, shrines, villages, and towns  have been destroyed in actuality (indeed illegal Israeli settlers on the Occupied West Bank are demanding more mosque destructions [24]) . The recent massacre by an Australian psychopath of 50 Muslims at prayer  in 2 Christchurch mosques [25] has been properly and laudably reported but Zionist-subverted Mainstream media failed to link this reportage to the 1994 Ibrahimi Mosque Massacre in Israeli-occupied Hebron (29 Muslims at prayer killed and  125 wounded by a Jewish Israeli) [26].

So below I have attempted to correct the reportage with a succinct, documented, alphabetically-ordered  summary of major historical (ancient to recent) destructions and  violations of places of worship. Some are ancient (like the total destruction of Carthage, including  its temples, by the Romans in 146 BC) or recent,  such as the utterly appalling Sri Lanka Massacres in churches and hotels that have just occurred to the horror of  the world.  Some are accidental (like the 2019 Notre Dame fire) or due to eruptions  or tsunamis, but most are due to human actions through war, ideology or through utterly repugnant racially- or religiously motivated violence. No doubt my brief analysis should be supplanted by a lengthily and expertly researched PhD thesis and a subsequent   best-seller (that I would be keen to critically review). Some  useful overall references include [27-29].  As illustrated by the entry under “Australia”, hunter-gatherer or forager societies did not construct “temples” but regarded their territories as sacred places for sustainable and deeply respectful utilization, a sophisticated philosophy brutally discarded in the Agrarian Revolution, later by exploitative, speciescidal and  ecocidal  European colonists, and presently by terracidal neoliberals  [30-35] .

Alphabetically-ordered  compendium of historical destructions and  violations of places of worship.

Afghanistan. 2 huge  6th-century monumental statues known as the Buddhas of Bamiyan were blown up  by the Taliban in 2001 [27]. Jihadi suicide bombing devastated  6 Shiite mosques in US Alliance-occupied Afghanistan (2017, 2018)   killed about 200  people and wounded hundreds more [28].

Armenia. Of 2,000-3,000 Armenian  churches and monasteries in the Ottoman Empire in 1914, today only about 200 have survived the WW1 Armenian  Genocide and its aftermath  [36].

Azerbaijan. In the decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union,  Muslim Azerbaijan destroyed about  218 medieval churches, 5,840 cross-stones and 22,000 tombstones in the formerly Armenian-inhabited region of Nakhchivan [27] (cf  huge church destructions associated with  the Turkish Armenian Genocide,  and the circa 200 mosque demolitions in the ongoing  Israeli Palestinian Genocide) [27].

Australia. Like other hunter-gatherer societies still  surviving  in Southern Africa,  the Americas, and the Eurasian tundra, the Indigenous Australians,  who first arrived in Australia 65,000 years ago, developed sophisticated, sustainable and deeply respectful utilization of their territories. “Country” was their “temple”. After  the British invasion in 1788  the Indigenous population dropped from circa 1 million to 0.1 million in the first century, and of 350 to 700 distinct languages and dialects  today only 150 survive with all but 20 endangered [37]. Australia is among world leaders in per capita greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution, climate change inaction, coal  and gas exports, land clearing, ecosystem destruction and species extinction [30]. Much of Eastern Australia has been reduced to desert in the current drought, with the major Darling River reduced to a series of toxic ponds suffering huge fish kills in anaerobic water. The flora, fauna, sacred sites and landscapes of Australia have been devastated.

There have been a number of attacks on Australian mosques. The  Kuraba Mosque in the south of Brisbane, Queensland (the mosque attended by my sister-in-law)   was destroyed  shortly after 9-11 in 2001,  and in 2015 the interior of  the Toowoomba mosque in south western Queensland was destroyed [38].

Austria.    9 Jewish synagogues were destroyed during the 1938 Nazi during Kristallnacht in Austria [39].

Bahrain. Some 43 Shia mosques, including the 400-year-old Amir Mohammed Braighi mosque and many other religious structures, were destroyed by the Saudi Arabian -backed  Sunni Bahraini government during the majority Shia Bahraini uprising of 2011 that was crushed by the Islamofascist Saudi invasion [27].

Belgium. Many churches and abbeys were demolished during the revolutionary French occupation in the 1790s , including  the St. Lambert’s Cathedral (Liège),  the St. Donatian’s Cathedral and Eekhout Abbey (Bruges),  Florennes Abbey (Florennes), and St. Michael’s Abbey (Antwerp) [27].

Belize. Several Maya Indian sites such as San Estevan and Nohmul have been partly destroyed [27].

Bosnia Herzegovina. In the genocidal 1990s Balkans War,   277 mosques (notably the Mehmed Pasha Kukavica Mosque , Arnaudija Mosque, and Ferhat Pasha Mosque)   and other religious facilities, schools and institutions were destroyed by the Serbian  Republic of Srpska forces, who also destroyed  more than 50 Croatian Catholic churches [27].

Canada. Indigenous First People’s sacred lands have been variously compromised (the most horribly violated being the lands in Alberta being exploited for tar sands-derived oil. 6 Muslims at prayer in the Islamic Cultural Centre in Quebec City were killed by a psychopath in 2017 [28].

Central African Republic.  In response to Muslim Balaka rebels, in 2014 anti-Balaka fighters launched  mass killing of Muslims.  99% of the Muslim population of the capital Bangui fled,  and 80% of the overall Muslim population fled to Cameroon and Chad. Of  436 mosques in the Central African Republic, 417 have been destroyed.

China. In 2016, the Chinese government reportedly destroyed around 5,000 mosques in the Muslim-majority Xinjiang region that is home to the Uighur people, of which some are involved in independence activism [27].

Croatia. 450 churches and monasteries of the Serbian Orthodox Church were destroyed or damaged during WW1 by the Nazi Germany-allied Croatian Ustase. Over 50 Croatian Catholic churches were destroyed by Serbs in Bosnia during the 1990s Balkans war  [27].

Egypt. Jihadi suicide bombing of churches in 2016 and 2017 killed about 70 Coptic Christian worshippers. Over 300 Muslim Egyptians  died in a 2017 jihadi attack on a North Sinai mosque [28].          7

France. In 1685  King Louis XIV ordered destruction of  all Huguenot (Protestant) churches. This precipitated further mass exodus of  the formerly circa 0.8 million Huguenots from France that had begun after the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre of Huguenots in 1572 [41]. Reims Cathedral was burned due to shelling at the start of WW1 in 1914. In April 2019 Notre Dame was severely  damaged by fire [1].

Germany. During the 1938 Kristallnacht atrocity in Germany , 13 Jewish synagogues were destroyed. A large number of churches were destroyed in the WW2 bombing of Germany that destroyed  cities like Hamburg, Dresden and Berlin. Major cathedrals  that were destroyed included the Dresden Frauenkirche , Berlin Cathedral and Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church. 15 major Jewish synagogues were destroyed in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe [43]. The Church of St. Lambertus in Immerath was demolished in 2018 for an expansion of a surface coal mine [27].

Greece. The Parthenon (a Temple to Athena, completed in 438 BC) was extensively damaged in 1687 during the Great Turkish War (1683–1699) when the gunpowder stored there by the Ottoman Turks exploded [27].

Guatemala. The pyramidal Tikal Temple 33 was destroyed in the 1960s by archaeologists for investigative reasons [27].

Haiti. The 2010 earthquake destroyed the Port-au-Prince Cathedral [27].

India. Muslim invaders destroyed a large number of Buddhist, Hindu and Jain  temples. The Gujarat. Somnath temple was destroyed in 1024 by the Afghans  under Mahmud of Ghazni, was subsequently destroyed again in 1299  by Ulugh Khan, and was destroyed a third time  in 1665 by Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. In 1565, after the Battle of Talikota, the city of Vijayanagara, with all its temples and other buildings was destroyed by an invading Muslim army of the Bahamani Sultanates. In 1664, Aurangzeb destroyed the Kashi Vishwanath Temple and built the Gyanvapi Mosque over it [27]. In the 18th century Tipu Sultan engaged in persecution of  Hindus, including  destruction of temples. In 1992 Babri Masjid in Ayodha (built in 1528–29 for Barbur) was destroyed by Hindu nationalists who arguably claimed it was built on a former  Hindu site, this triggering communal riots in which 2,000 Muslims were killed [44]. Dangerous Hindu nationalist fanatics are presently demanding the destruction of the large and important Jama Masjid in Delhi  that was built in 1656 by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan [45, 46].

Indonesia. Anti-Christian Muslim activism from the 1960s has involved destruction of churches as well as massacres. The gigantic tsunami in 2004 killed 230,000 people in 14 countries,  and caused massive destruction of buildings, including  mosques, in Aceh.

Iran. In 330 BC, Alexander the Great conquered the Persian capital  Persepolis and destroyed it,  this destruction including that of temples.  In 2010 Sunni jihadi suicide bombers blew themselves up at or near 2 mosques  in southeastern Iran [27].

Iraq. Baghdad and its mosques  was successively destroyed by the city-hating Mongols under  Hulegu in 1258 and then by Tamerlane in 1401.  And then about 600 years later came the scourge of the post-WW2 world, the  Americans. The US invasion in 2003 was presaged by a dozen years of  bombing and sanctions. The Sunni versus Shia civil war that arose under US occupation saw horrendous atrocities against  Shia pilgrims and Assyrians,  horrendous atrocities  by the US Alliance against Sunnis, and the rise of Al Qaeda in Iraq with attacks on Christian churches [28] as well as Shia mosques and worshippers. In both 2006 and 2007 the   Al-Askari Mosque was bombed by Sunnis. In 2006, the Minaret of Anah  was destroyed  by Shias. Fallujah,  dating back to Babylonian times and known in Iraq as “the city of mosques”, was largely destroyed by the genocidal American barbarians  in 2004 – almost 60 of the Fallujah’s  200 mosques were destroyed and most of its 300,000 citizens were made homeless [47, 48]. After the withdrawal of the US in 2011 the emergent, Saudi- and variously US Alliance-backed  Islamic State (IS) destroyed some 28 religious buildings, including Shiite mosques, tombs, and shrines, Yezidi religious sites,  and Christian  churches. The US Alliance re-conquest of the Anbar province cities of Fallujah and Ramadi in 2016 resulted in 80% of these cities being razed, hundreds of thousands rendered homeless,  and many of the estimated 600 mosques of Fallujah  being  destroyed or damaged [49] – as in WW2, the Korea War , and  the Indochina War, the barbarous Americans would again say “We had to destroy the city in order to liberate it”.  Ditto the city of Mosul that dates to at least 400BC and contained 2 million citizens [51]. The western part of Mosul was disproportionately damaged with 15 districts out of the 54 residential districts heavily damaged and 23 being moderately damaged. Many mosques would have been damaged in the air strikes and fighting. The barbarous IS destroyed  many major mosques and shrines [52]. 40,000 people were killed in the battle for Mosul [53] .

Israel/Palestine. Of 160 mosques in villages seized by the Zionist invaders in 1948 only 40 survived by 2007 [19-21]. The racist Zionist victors ensured that Hebrew names replaced the Arabic names of more than 9,000 natural features, villages, and ruins in territory seized by the Zionists  in 1948 [19] (one notes that the 2018 passage of the racist Israeli  nation-state law makes “Israel”, that has ruled all of Palestine  since 1967, a “Jewish state” without reference to Indigenous Palestinians , and with Arabic  relegated from an official language to merely  a special language [54-56]). Following defence of Al Quds (East Jerusalem, the Old City of Jerusalem)  by the Jordanian Arab Legion in 1948, all but one of the thirty-five synagogues of the Jewish Quarter were destroyed [27]. In the 2014 Gaza Massacre the Israelis destroyed 73 mosques and partially destroyed another 205 [22, 23]. In the 1994 Ibrahimi Mosque Massacre (Cave of the Patriarchs Massacre, Hebron Massacre) in Israeli-occupied Hebron, 29 Muslims at prayer were killed and  125 wounded by a Jewish Israeli fanatic [26]. In 2014 two Palestinians killed 5 Israelis in a synagogue [28]. Presently racist Zionist settlers on the Occupied West Bank are demanding the destruction of even more mosques [24]. Importantly, the racist Zionists have now ethnically cleansed 90% of Palestine  and  Apartheid Israel severely restricts Indigenous Palestinian access to mosques and churches – there are 8 million Palestinian refugees in camps, 7 million Exiled Palestinians (forbidden to enter Palestine) , 5 million Occupied Palestinians with zero human rights and  highly abusively confined to the Gaza Concentration Camp (2 million) or to West Bank ghettoes (3 million), and 1.9 million Israeli Palestinians living as Third Class citizens  under over 60 Nazi-style  race-based laws. All of  these 14 million Palestinians are variously excluded by the racist Zionists from all or part of Palestine [59-63].

Italy. The monastery of Monte Cassino was destroyed by the Allies during the Battle of Monte Cassino in WW2.  Some churches were destroyed or damaged in the 1997, 209 and 2016 earthquakes [27].

Japan.  In the mid-17th century the Tokugawa shogunate banned Catholicism, expelled all missionaries and  executed  all Christian converts. Converts went underground with secret churches (overt churches presumably being destroyed or coverted ) [57]. Temples and churches were destroyed  in the American WW2 fire-bombing of Japanese cities such as Tokyo, and the nuclear  annihilation of   Nagasaki and Hiroshima.

Korea. In the 1950-1953 Korean War the genocidal US bombing campaign destroyed nearly all buildings (including churches and temples) as well as killing 28% of the North Korean population [11, 58].

Kosovo/Serbia. In the 1998-1999 Kosovo Conflict between Muslim Kosovans (Kosovo Albanians) and Serbians, 225 out of 600 mosques in Kosovo were destroyed or damaged, together with other cultural items (notably archives) going back  500 years [27]. In the period 1999-2004, 155 Serbian Orthodox churches and monasteries were destroyed by Kosovans. NATO bombing of Serbia damaged churches and a mosque [27]

Kuwait. In 2015 jihadis  bombed a Kuwait mosque killing  27 and wounding  227 [28].

Liberia. Many mosques were destroyed during the  civil  war in the 1990s [27].

Libya. Associated with a  US Alliance-backed armed uprising and massive bombing by the France-UK-US (FUKUS) Coalition to remove the secular Gaddafi Government, there was extensive demolition of Muslim mosques, tombs and shrines by Saudi-inspired Salafi jihadis [27]. About 0.2 million Libyans died from violence or war-imposed deprivation, 1 million  refugees were generated,  and Africa’s richest country was devastated [63].

Malaysia. In 2013 housing developers destroyed the Candi Number 11 (Candi Sungai Batu Estate),  a 1,200 year old ruin of a tomb and temple complex in Kedah [27].

Maldives. The 12th century Muslim persecution of Buddhists  involved the killing Buddhist monks and destruction of  statues and other devotional structures  [65].  The destruction of Buddhist artefacts by Islamists resumed in 2012 after a coup [27]. Of course the whole of the Maldives including  its mosques is threatened with total destruction in the coming century from global warming-driven sea level rise and storm surges, with this acute threat facing other Island Nations  [66-76].

Mali. Parts of the World Heritage Site of Timbuktu were destroyed by jihadis in 2012, despite Timbuktu having played a key role in the  Muslim conversion and culture of the Sahel   [27, 77].

Malta. WW2 bombing by German forces destroyed or damaged 2  megalithic temples at Kordin and a number of churches [27].

Myanmar. 17 mosques were demolished in the 2012 anti-Muslim riots in Rakhine state,  with the Rakhine administration  calling for destruction of the remaining mosques and madrassas (Muslim religious schools) built after 1962 [78]. About 800,000  Rohingyans have fled to neighbouring  Bangladesh in the ongoing Rohingya Genocide [63].

Nepal. The huge   Nepal earthquake in 2015 destroyed centuries-old temples in the capital Kathmandu  and elsewhere  [27].

New Zealand. On March 15, 2019,  a White Supremacist Australian  killed 50 Muslims at prayer and wounded a further  50 at 2 mosques in Christchurch, the New Zealand [25].

Norway. In the period 1992-1996 members of the Norwegian black metal scene began burning  medieval Christian churches in about 50 attacks [27].

Pakistan. Remains of the Harappa civilization dating  back to 2600 BC were destroyed in the 19th century  by the British using brick for railway ballast and farmers clearing land for crops.  Sikhs destroyed the Shaheed Ganj Mosque in Lahore in 1935.  Of  428 Hindu temples formerly in Pakistan only around 20 survive today, albeit neglected. About 1,000 active and former Hindu temples in Pakistan were attacked in retaliation following the destruction of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, India in 1992 by Hindu extremists [79]. Smugglers, looters and the Taliban destroyed Buddhist statues, shrines and artefacts in the Swat Valley deriving from the Buddhist Gandhara civilization [27]. In the last decade there have been jihadi bombing attacks on Shia mosques and Christian churches  [28].

Philippines. In WW2 there was considerable damage to colleges, convents, monasteries,  churches, and other institutional buildings through bombing and shelling of Filipino cities (notably the ancient walled city of Intramuros)  by Japanese, Filipino and US forces [27]. Some major churches were destroyed in the 2013 Bohol earthquake [27]. In 2019 jihadis bombed  a  Catholic cathedral on the largely Muslim island of Jolo ,  killing 23 and wounding about 100 [28]. Bato Ali Mosque in Marawi was badly damaged by shelling and bombing as Government  forces sought to liberate the city from rebel Muslim forces.

Poland. Churches as well as other buildings were demolished  when the Nazi Germans destroyed Warsaw in 1944. 15 Jewish synagogues were destroyed by the Nazis in Poland in WW2 [80]

Portugal. King Manuel I of Portugal ordered expulsion of Jews in 1496 that was revised to forcible conversion in 1497 or  imprisonment on São Tomé and Príncipe, with a pogrom in 1506 and the Inquisition instituted in 1536   (i.e. synagogues could not be used).  Lisbon was almost totally destroyed during the 1755 Lisbon earthquake, and the  subsequent fires and tsunami [27].

Romania. The tower of the 13th century Rotbav fortified church collapsed in 2016 [27].

Russia.   In the 1920s and 1930s there was a major anti-religious campaign involving destruction of churches, notably the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow and St. Michael’s Cathedral in Izhevsk. In  1944 the Soviet Union expelled Chechens and Ingush from the North Caucasus  and Tartars from Crimea with the destruction of mosques, shrines  and villages. In 1959 Nikita Khrushchev launched an  anti-religious campaign that saw demolition of thousands of churches (30 out of 50 churches  in Moscow were closed).. Churches, synagogues  and mosques were destroyed during the Soviet era [27].

Saudi Arabia. Various mosques were destroyed in past decades  for economic as well as Wahabist fundamentalist  reasons [27].

Slovenia.   Many churches were destroyed in WW2 by Partisan forces, German bombing or Allied ir attacks [27].

Spain. King Ferdinand and Queens Isabella ordered the expulsion of Jews and Moors from Spain in 1492 with converts tested by the Inquisition.  Just as many non-Islamic places of worship were converted into mosques (most notably the Hagia Sophia of Istanbul) [81] , so the reverse happened to mosques and synagogues in Christian Spain after 1492.  In the secularization of church properties in 1835–1836, several hundreds of church buildings, monasteries or civil buildings owned by the Church were partly or totally demolished. Churches, monasteries, and convents and libraries were destroyed during the 1930s Spanish Civil War [27].

Sri Lanka.  On 21 April 2019 over 200 people were killed and 450 injured in bombings of churches and hotels around  Colombo and in Batticaloa in the east of Sri Lanka.

Syria. Many churches and mosques were destroyed or damaged in the US Alliance-backed Syrian Civil War (2011- present), notably the minaret of the Great Mosque of Aleppo [27]. Before the US Alliance-backed Syrian Civil War  Syria had been a haven of religious tolerance and diversity in the Middle East [82]. The Islamic State (IS) destroyed the temples of Bel and Baalshamin, the Monastery of St. Elian, the Armenian Genocide Memorial Church, and the Shia  Uwais al-Qarni Mosque in Raqqa. Most non-Sunni religious structures in Raqqa were destroyed by IS or converted into mosques. In  2018, Turkish shelling had seriously damaged the ancient temple of Ain Dara at Afrin [27]. Raqqa was liberated from IS by being substantially  destroyed by US Alliance bombing [27]. IS destroyed most of the mosques during occupation of Kobani in northern Syria [83]. The US Alliance-backed Syrian Civil War killed 1 million people through violence or imposed deprivation,   and generated 11 million refugees [63].

Tunisia. The city of Carthage – including  its temples – was totally destroyed by Roman forces in the third and final Punic War in 146 BC [11, 27].

Turkey. The Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, was destroyed by arson in 356 BC. It was later rebuilt, but was damaged in a raid by Goths in 268 AD. The  Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, another Wonder of the Ancient World, was destroyed by earthquakes between the 12th and 15th centuries. During the WW1 Armenian Genocide and its aftermath there was massive  confiscation of Armenian monasteries and churches. By 2011 , there were only 34 Armenian churches in Turkey [27]. Presumably similar losses of churches were associated with the expulsion of Greeks and Syriac Christians from Turkey post-WW1.

Turkmenistan. The Chapel of the Transfiguration in the capital  city,  Ashkhabad,  was destroyed in 1932. Other Catholic churches  were also destroyed [27].

Ukraine. Synagogues were destroyed during WW2, notably the  Great Suburb Synagogue of  Lviv [27]. All churches in the unacceptably radioactive deserted zone around Chernobl  became instantly disused.

  1. UK. The Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 1530s by King Henry VIII  led to many monasteries being destroyed (notably Glastonbury Abbey). The Great Fire of London (1666) destroyed much of the city, including Old St Paul’s Cathedral, and  87 parish churches. Many churches were destroyed or damaged by German bombing during the WW2 Blitz, most notably  St Michael’s Church in Coventry. York Minster was severely damaged by fire in 1984 [27].
  2. A huge housing development  in California  and the Grand Coulee Dam on the Columbia River, Washington state, involved destruction of Indigenous Indian sacred burial grounds. In the last decade gun massacres have occurred at churches, a Sikh temple and a synagogue with many worshippers being killed [28].

Yemen. Bombing in the  US Alliance- and Saudi-backed Yemen War  (Yemeni Genocide) has involved massive damage to Indigenous Houthi-held urban areas including  many mosques [84]. The ancient temples  of Al-Muqah and Al-Naqrah were destroyed [27].  2015 IS  suicide bombers attacked  2 mosques in Sana’a killing 137 people [28].

Final comments.

This  catalogue sketches the utterly appalling destructions and violations of places of transcendent worship and creativity over 3 millennia. It is a horrible testament to the potential evil within humanity. While both altruism and fear and hatred of the Other may be hardwired genetically in Homo sapiens through DNA-based evolution, decent human behaviour  has also evolved via memes, or societally-selected ideas [85] such as “Love thy neighbour as thyself” and “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”  espoused by the wonderful Palestinian humanitarian Jesus [86].

Professor Walter “Mac” Davis in his seminal book “Death’s Dream Kingdom. The American Psyche since 9-11” describes how decent humans are morally obliged to honestly  inspect themselves and to also empathically engage to understand  the Other. However religious fundamentalist fanatics  – whether  the racist, religious right Republicans (R4s) of the endlessly  invading and nuclear-armed US,  or the murderous jihadis who represent such a major  asset of genocidal American imperialism –  ignore these profound moral injunctions because they blindly believe that they  are already “saved” and have a violent hatred for the Other,  whose very existence questions that asserted “salvation” [87, 88].

The message at this tragic Easter time must be that decent Humanity must rise above the primitive animal instincts that are part of our evolutionary inheritance –  we must cling to the wonderful and transcendent  memes of peace, truth,  beauty, and “Love thy neighbour as thyself” .



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[3]. Brenna Cooper, “The first black hole image: what can we really see?”, Guardian, 14 April 2019: .


[4]. “Ode on a Grecian Urn”, Wikipedia: .


[5]. “United States Declaration of Independence”, Wikipedia: .

[6]. Gideon Polya, “Paris Atrocity Context: 27 Million Muslim Avoidable  Deaths From Imposed Deprivation In 20 Countries Violated By US Alliance Since 9-11”, Countercurrents, 22 November, 2015: .

[7]. “Experts: US did 9-11”: .

[8]. Martin Gilbert, “Jewish History Atlas”, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London, 1969.


[9]. Martin Gilbert “Atlas of the Holocaust”, Michael Joseph, London, 1982.

[10]. Gideon Polya, “UK Zionist Historian Sir Martin Gilbert (1936-2015) Variously Ignored Or Minimized WW2 Bengali Holocaust”, Countercurrents, 19 February, 2015:

[11]. Gideon Polya, “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950”, that includes a succinct history of every country and is now available for free perusal on the web:  .


[12]. Gideon Polya, “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History. Colonial rapacity, holocaust denial and the crisis in biological sustainability”, G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 1998, 2008 that  is now available for free perusal on the web:  .


[13]. Michael Portillo, presenter,  “Bengal Famine”, What we forgot to remember, BBC Open Learn, 14 January 2008: .


[14]. Gideon Polya, “Australia And Britain Killed 6-7 Million Indians In WW2 Bengal Famine”,  Countercurrents, 29 September, 2011:  .


[15]. Gideon Polya, “Economist Mahima Khanna,   Cambridge Stevenson Prize And Dire Indian Poverty”, Countercurrents,  20 November, 2011: .

[16]. Gideon Polya, “Review: “Inglorious Empire. What the British did to India” by Shashi Tharoor”, Countercurrents, 8 September 2017: .

[17]. “Backgrounder: China ’s WWII contributions in figures”, New China, 3 September 2015: .


[18]. N. G. Jog, “Churchill’s Blind-Spot: India”, New Book Company, Bombay, 1944 (Winston Churchill quoted on p195).


[19]. Meron Benvenisti (Author), Maxine Kaufman-Lacusta (Translator) February 2002  First Edition Sacred landscape. The buried history of the  Holy Land since 1948”, University of California Press, 2002.

[20]. Helena Cobban, “Destruction of mosques in Israel after 1948” , Just World News with Helena Cobban,  26 April 2006: .

[21]. “Israel admits destruction of mosques within the 1948 borders”, Islamweb, 10 July 2007: .

[22]. “One third of Gaza’s mosques destroyed by Israeli strikes”, Middle East Monitor, 29 August 2014: .

[23].  Tomah Lazaroff, “PA to UNESCO: destruction of mosques in Gaza is a war crime”, The Jerusalem Post, 14 August 2014: .

[24]. “Israel settlers march to Umm al-Fahm, demand destruction of mosques”, Middle East Monitor, 10 August 2018: .

[25]. Gideon Polya, “Australian’s  Massacre Of 50 Muslims In New Zealand Spotlights Entrenched Australian Islamophobia & Anti-Arab Anti-Semitism”, Countercurrents, 1 April 2019: .


[26]. “Cave of the Patriarchs massacre [Ibrahimi Mosque Massacre]”, Wikipedia: .


[27]. “List of destroyed heritage”, Wikipedia:  .


[28]. “A look at attacks on houses of worship over last decade”, US ABC News, 16 March 2019: .


[29]. “Persecution of Muslims”, Wikipedia: .


[30]. Yuval Noah Harari , “Sapiens. A brief history of humankind”, Vintage 2011.


[31]. Gideon Polya, “Review: “Sapiens. A brief history of humankind” – Palestinian Genocide, Muslim Holocaust & Climate Genocide Ignored”, Countercurrents, 19 March 2019: ).


[32]. Colin White, “A History of the Global Economy. The Inevitable Accident”, Edward Elgar Publishing, UK, 2018.


[33]. Gideon Polya, “Review: “A History of the Global Economy” – Indian Holocaust & Genocide Ignored”, Countercurrents, 17 February 2019: .


[34]. Gideon Polya, “Lying by omission, avoidable mortality from deprivation, holocaust denial & looming terracide”, Countercurrents, 4 April 2019: Lying By Omission, Avoidable Mortality From Deprivation, Holocaust Denial & Looming Terracide  .


[35]. Gideon Polya, “How Much Negative Carbon Emissions, Negative Population Growth & Negative Economic Growth Is Needed To Save Planet?”, Countercurrents, .


[36]. “Armenian cultural heritage in Turkey:, Wikipedia: .


[37]. “Aboriginal Genocide”: .


[38]. Frank Robson, “Garden city burning”, SBS, 3 August 2016: .


[39]. “Category: Synagogues destroyed during Kristallnacht (Austria)”, Wikipedia: .


[40]. Ewolina Ochab, “The religious war on the Central African Republic continues”, Forbes, 9 May 2019: .


[41]. “Dragonnades”, Wikipedia: .


[42]. “Category: Synagogues destroyed during Kristallnacht (Germany)”, Wikipedia: .   13


[43]. “Category: Synagogues destroyed  by Nazi Germany”, Wiki;edoa:     15


[44]. “Barbri Masjid”, Wikipedia: .


[45]. “Jama Masjid”, Wikipedia:,_Delhi .


[46]. Adam Withnall, “Hindu nationalists demand demolition of one of India’s biggest mosques during huge protest”, Independent, 10 December 2018: .


[47]. “Fallujah: embattled city of mosques” , BBC, 30 May 2016: .


[48]. “Fallujah”, Wikipedia:


[49]. Rudaw, “Fallujah: the city of damaged mosques”, Rudaw, 24 January 2019: .


[50]. “Fallujah: embattled city of mosques” , BBC, 30 May 2016: .


[51]. “Mosul” , Wikipedia: .


[52]. “Islamic sites of Mosul”, Wikipedia: .

[53]. Gideon Polya, “Mosul Massacre latest in Iraqi Genocide – US Alliance war crimes demand ICC & BDS”, Countercurrents, 24 July 2017: .

[54]. Stuart Rees, “Redefining free speech: opposing Israel is not anti-semitism”, New Matilda, 15 January 2019: .


[55]. Loveday Morris, “Deluge of opposition to Israel’s nation-state law builds with new court petition”, Washington Post,  7 August 2018: .


[56]. “Natalie Portman slams Israel’s “racist” nation-state law”, Al Jazeera, 13 December 2018: .


[57]. “Persecution of Christians”, Wikipedia: .


[58]. Michel Chossudovsky, “Know the facts: North Korea lost close to 30% of its population as a result of US bombings in the 1950s”, Global Research, 27 November 2010: .

[59]. Gideon Polya, “70th anniversary of Apartheid Israel & commencement of large-scale Palestinian Genocide”, Countercurrents, 11 May 2018: .

[60]. Gideon Polya, “Israeli-Palestinian & Middle East conflict – from oil to climate genocide”, Countercurrents, 21 August 2017: .

[61}. Gideon Polya: pro-Apartheid Israel Australian Labor Party scraps outstanding anti-Apartheid candidate, Melissa Parke”, Countercurrents, 17 April 2019: .


[62]. “Palestinian Genocide”: “Palestinian Genocide”: .


[63]. “Muslim Holocaust Muslim Genocide”: .


[64]. “2015 Kuwait mosque bombing”, Wikipedia: .


[65]. “History of the Maldives”, Wikipedia: .


[66]. James Hansen, “Climate change in a nutshell: the gathering storm”, Columbia University, 18 December 2018:  .

[67]. “Are we doomed?”: .

[68]. “Too late to avoid global warming catastrophe”: .

[69]. IPCC, “Global warming of 1.5 °C. Summary for Policymakers”, 8 October 2018: .

[70]. William J. Ripple et al., 15,364 signatories from 184 countries, “World scientists’ warning to Humanity: a second notice”, Bioscience, 13 November 2017: .

[71]. Gideon Polya, “Over 15,000 scientists issue dire warning to humanity on catastrophic climate change and biodiversity loss” ”, Countercurrents, 20 November 2017: .

[72]. Andrew Glikson, “The IPCC’s final warnings of extreme global warming”, Countercurrents, 10 October 2018: .

[73]. Gideon Polya, “IPCC +1.5C avoidance report: effectively too late but stop coal burning for “less bad” catastrophes, Countercurrents, 12 October 2018: .

[74]. Gideon Polya, “Pro-coal Australia & Trump America Reject Dire IPCC Report & Declare War on Terra”, Countercurrents, 17 October 2018: .

[75]. “Climate genocide”: .


[76]. Pacific Islands Development Forum 4 September  2015 “Suva Declaration on Climate Change”: .


[77]. “Timbuktu”, Wikipedia: .


[78]. Cresa Pugh, “Rohingya crisis: Rakhine’s fallen mosques”, South Asia Institute, Harvard, 17 January 2018: .

[79]. “List of Hindu temples in Pakistan”, Wikipedia: .

[80]. “Synagogues in Poland destroyed by Nazi Germany”,  Wikipedia: .


[81]. “Conversion of non-Islamic places of worship into mosques”, Wikipedia: .

[82]. William Dalrymple, “From the Holy Mountain”, Holt, 1999.

[83]. “The effects of ISIS destruction of mosques in Kobanai”, Arab24, 4 June 2016; .


[84]. “Shelled and burnt out: the mosques wrecked by war in Yemen”, Middle East Eye, 20 April 2017: .


[85]. Richard Dawkins, “The Selfish Gene”, Oxford University Press, 1976.


[86]. “The Holy Bible”, King James version.


[87]. Walter Davis, “Death’s Dream Kingdom. The American Psyche since 9-11”, Pluto, London, 2006.


[88]. Gideon Polya, “Book Review: “Death’s Dream Kingdom. The American psyche since 9-11” by Walter Davis, MWC News, 15 August 2006: .


Dr Gideon Polya taught science students at a major Australian university for 4 decades. He published some 130 works in a 5 decade scientific career, most recently a huge pharmacological reference text “Biochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds” (CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, New York & London , 2003). He has published “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950” (G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2007: ); see also his contributions “Australian complicity in Iraq mass mortality” in “Lies, Deep Fries & Statistics” (edited by Robyn Williams, ABC Books, Sydney, 2007:

) and “Ongoing Palestinian Genocide” in “The Plight of the Palestinians (edited by William Cook, Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2010: ). He has published a revised and updated 2008 version of his 1998 book “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History” (see:  ) as biofuel-, globalization- and climate-driven global food price increases threaten a greater famine catastrophe than the man-made famine in British-ruled India that killed 6-7 million Indians in the “forgotten” World War 2 Bengal Famine (see recent BBC broadcast involving Dr Polya, Economics Nobel Laureate Professor Amartya Sen and others:  ;  Gideon Polya:  ; Gideon Polya Writing: ; Gideon Polya, Wikipedia: ) . When words fail one can say it in pictures – for images of Gideon Polya’s huge paintings for the Planet, Peace, Mother and Child see: and  .

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