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Muslims rally at Saudi Embassy to protest against extremism and destruction of religious sites

Summary: American Muslims are rallying in front of the Saudi Embassy to protest the country's demolition of Islamic heritage sites and its support of extremism. Protesters call for religious freedom in Saudi Arabia, the restoration of destroyed Islamic sh

WASHINGTON, Aug. 5, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On August 5, 2014 Muslims from across the United States held a rally at the Embassy of Saudi Arabia, in protest of the Saudi Kingdom's destruction of Islamic religious and historical sites, and the Kingdom's support for extremism around the world. The protest is organized by the Al-Baqee Organization and the Universal Muslim Association of America (UMAA).

Upon violently assuming power in 1925, the Saudi Royal Family, exercising an extremist ideology, engaged in a campaign of systematic destruction of the religious sites of Islam, resulting in the demolition of important shrines at the historic Jannatul Baqee cemetery.  The cemetery was founded directly by Islam's Prophet Muhammad.

After its founding, Prophet Muhammad's son Ibrahim, who died in infancy and over whom the Prophet wept bitterly, was also buried there. Nearly seven thousand companions of the Islam's Prophet were buried there, as were several generations of the Prophet's descendants, including Imam Hasan Ibn Ali, Imam Ali Ibn Al-Husain, Imam Muhammad Al-Baqir, and Imam Ja'far Al-Sadiq. After the destruction of the religious sites, the Saudi Kingdom made it illegal for Muslims to pray in the vicinity of demolished shrines, and severely limited several forms of Islamic worship.

The rally took place on the 89th anniversary of the initial destruction of the holy sites.

In a statement released by the Al Baqee Organization, the group says "August 5th marks the anniversary of the demolition of the shrines in Baqee, a cemetery in Saudi Arabia where Prophet Mohammed's children, wives, companions and other relatives are buried.  Since the destruction of Baqee in 1925, the cemetery has become a symbol of atrocities and brutality committed by Saudi Arabia.

"Cultures, civilization and religions are proud of their heritage sites. These sites are an integral part of Islam and are required for a Muslims' spirituality."

UMAA and the Al-Baqee Organization call for Saudi Arabia to desist from further destruction of holy and historical sites, restore all damaged shrines, cemeteries and other historical locations, and allow the free practice of Islamic worship without restriction.

SOURCE Universal Muslim Association of America

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