Video shows Syria's ancient synagogue destroyed by regime forces
The Jobar synagogue before it was attacked by the Syrian state.
A video posted online by the Syrian opposition military council shows the synagogue severely damaged after shelling in the area by forces loyal to President Bashar Al-Assad.
The Jobar synagogue was reportedly built in commemoration of the biblical prophet Elijah, with centuries of Jewish pilgrimage.
Syria's civil war has caused damage to six World Heritage sites in the country with shelling and open fire between opposition fighters and the regime forces. Numerous historic buildings, archaeological sites and residential areas are being left in ruins.
On 30 March 2012, UNESCO called for the protection of Syria's cultural heritage sites and expressed "grave concern about possible damage to precious sites."
[Comment by Stephen Suleyman Schwartz: Prophet Elijah, also known as Eliyahu Ha-Nabi and Ilyas Ha-Nabi, may Allah be well-pleased with him, is honored equally by Jews, Christians, and Muslims. He is esteemed in Islam because his name means "my God is the One God." But we should also respect and support those Jews who have made pilgrimages to his shrine and synagogue, as Christians and Muslims perform such journeys of devotion.
Our beloved teacher and guide in Sufism, Muhyid'din Ibn Arabi, al-shaykh al-aqbar, or doctor maximus, may his mystery be sanctified, wrote in his Fusus Al-Hakim [The Ring Jewels of Wisdom], that Prophet Eliyahu/Elijah/Ilyas possessed "the seal of the wisdom of intimacy." Muhyid'din Ibn Arabi commented, "there was nothing in him associated with the desires of the self... He gained half the wisdom of Allah."
The outstanding Bosnian Sufi Abdullah efendija Bošnjak Al-Bosnevi, who lived from 992 hijri/1584 CE to 1054/1644, in his great interpretative translation of the Fusus, declared of Prophet Eliyahu/Elijah/Ilyas that he "possessed the knowledge of the transcendent, like angels, other spirits, and perceptions."
Sufis believe Prophet Eliyahu/Elijah/Ilyas rode upon a horse of fire, an act that purified him. In this way he anticipated the sacrifice of the Syrians fighting against the Al-Assad tyranny and its Iranian, Iraqi and other accomplices. But who will provide a flaming steed for the defense of the noble Syrian people?
An Israeli newspaper, Ha'aretz, reported on March 2 "The [Eliyahu] synagogue's structure has undergone almost no changes since it was built 2,000 years ago, making it... unique both architecturally and historically." The video clip described and broadcast by Al Arabiya may be accessed by placing your cursor or mouse pointer on the Al Arabiya hyperlink under the title of this text.
The destruction of an ancient shrine -- an immoral atrocity and expression of contempt for the heritage of divine religion -- demonstrates that Iranian propaganda attempting to blame only radical Sunnis for vandalism of holy sites is contemptible manipulation. The razing of the architectural legacy of all past civilizations and religions must cease. From the destruction of the beloved cemeteries of Jannat Al-Baqi in Medina and Jannat Al-Mualla in Mecca by the Saudis, to the artillery bombing of the Bamiyan Buddha figures in Afghanistan by the Taliban and Al-Qaida, to the arson attack on the Harabati Baba Bektashi shrine in Macedonia, to the destruction of the synagogue of Eliyahu in Damascus we see a straight line. It is evidence of fanatical love of domination for its own sake, with no fear of Allah or the Last Day.
May we be saved from the sins of the Al-Assad regime, whose satanic master has shown he does not obey God, and has demonstrated by the actions of his sectarian gangsters, the Nusairis or falsely-called "Alawites," that they were never Muslims, and do not belong in the ranks of revealed religion. They are neither Muslims, nor People of the Book, but, truly, "concealers of the truth" and desperate enemies of the believers.
Every Sunni in the world, as a member of the ahl-as-sunna wa'al jama'a," or "the people of the Islamic tradition united in consensus," is watching the Syrian fountain of blood. The consequences of the abominable crimes carried out there will be recalled for centuries, as the destruction of Baghdad by the Mongols in 1258 CE is remembered. The consequences of the devastation of Syria, of Shams, blessed by our Prophet and Master Muhammad, will endure for generations. Let our watchword be: Suriya! Suriya! Suriya!]
Dated to 720 BCE, devastated 2013 CE.