Haqqani Network leader Anas Haqqani visits Ghaznavi's tomb, hails him as inspiration for attacking Somnath temple and smashing idol

Haqqani Network leader Anas Haqqani visits Ghaznavi’s tomb, hails him as inspiration for attacking Somnath temple and smashing idol

Anas Haqqani, leader of the Islamist group Haqqani Network on Tuesday visited the tomb of Mahmud Ghaznavi, who attacked the Somnath temple in Gujarat in 10th century 17 times and even broke the idol.

Anas Haqqani hailed Ghaznavi for ‘establishing a strong Muslim rule’ in Ghazni and smashing the idol at Somnath temple. He further added that these shrines ‘inspire us with freedom, pride and courage’.

Haqqani Network pledged allegiance to another Afghanistan-based Islamist group Taliban in 1995. It has close ties with jihadis around the world including Osama Bin Laden. In 2012, US declared Haqqani Network a terrorist organisation. Anas Haqqani was a member of the Taliban’s negotiation team in its political office in Doha, Qatar.

While an average Islamist would condemn idol worship, Taliban, like many Islamists, takes it a step further and breaks them as Islam forbids idol worship. Haqqani Network leader just hailed the one who destroyed symbol of other’s faith. However, Somnath temple has been rebuilt and stands tall, protecting the Hindus from the western most part of India, looking beautiful and resplendent than anything Haqqani’s eyes could see.

Here is how incredibly beautiful the first Jyotirlinga looked this morning.

Mahmud of Ghazni and Somnath temple

Mahmud of Ghazni was the 10th-century Muslim invader of Turkic dynasty of Ghaznavids who looted and plundered the temple in Gujarat. He also broke the Jyotirlinga and also believed to have killed thousands of devotees who were trying to protect the temple. Attracted by India’s wealth, he is believed to have attacked and looted India 17 times. Other than the Somnath temple, he is believed to have destroyed temples at Kangra, Mathura and Jwalamukhi. Because of this, he had earned himself the nickname ‘idol breaker’.

In ‘Lives of Indian Images’, 1999 (Princeton University Press), Richard Davis mentions Ghaznavi wanted to destroy the idols as his duty as a Muslim.

Excerpt from Lives of Indian Images’ by Richard Davis, 1999 (Princeton University Press).

Mahmud Ghaznavi insisted that it was primarily a Hindu religious object and his first duty was to destroy it. It is believed that he not only broke the Somnath idol, he even took its pieces to be trod over the footsteps of Jama Masjid in Ghazna, Afghanistan. 

The Somnath temple was rebuilt after India’s independence at the initiative of first union home minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. It is known that PM Jawaharlal Nehru didn’t like the idea of reconstruction of the ancient temple, who had opposed it terming it as an act of Hindu revivalism.

Despite enemies outside and within, Somnath continues to be the symbol of Hindu resilience, honour and morality. That despite invaders and so-called secularists, the Hindu faith will survive.

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