Can you imagine the turmoil that would occur if the physical center of a world religion was destroyed? The main religious symbol or the historical or geographic location of a global faith, wiped off the contemporary map? We have wars between nations for various reasons and they are more often than not highly destructive. However, when elements of one’s spiritual beliefs are threatened, the conflict grows to a higher level of intensity.

Center of a Word Religion Threatened.

Color photograph of SCUD missile on its transporter/launcher, belching diesel smoke, on a road, with soldiers standing by.
It has been reported that Houthi so-called ‘rebel’ tribesmen from Yemen have attempted a missile attack on Saudi Arabia.That in itself is incredibly newsworthy, but the fact that it was aimed at Mecca is an astounding development. Though they are of the Shia persuasion within Islam, I believe they are still commanded to uphold all ‘five pillars’ of the faith and attend the Hajj at Mecca once in a lifetime. Has tribalism been allowed to transcend religious adherence here, or is there an ulterior motive?

It is highly unlikely that these missiles (there have been more than one apparently) are nuclear types but what would be the outcome of a successful strike on Mecca? Color photograph of Kaaba Mecca, a huge black box decorated with bands of gold script.There is a backdrop of ornate Middle Eastern buildings in neutral shades and it is surrounded by a multitude of people, many of them wearing white.Islam has coped with various centers of power over hundreds of years, the final one being the Turkish Sultanate. However, I don’t believe that Mecca itself has ever been seriously threatened with destruction. If so, would it survive in its present form? Could the Houthis end up becoming the enemies of the whole religion should they fluke a direct hit?

Perhaps the Houthis are attempting to maneuver themselves into a better position to bargain with their much larger enemy. Behind the scenes, Iran would know that these infamous old missiles, a modified Scud, Volcano One, would be  unlikely to be successful. Even their original designer, the Soviet Union, in far off  ‘Cold War’ days, knew they were a crude device. They were so inaccurate that they were equipped with nuclear warheads so they would at least destroy something or somebody.

Religious resilience.

Historically, it has been proven that a world religion can survive such catastrophes. Roman Catholicism has survived Rome being sacked, Orthodox Christianity has survived the sacking of Constantinople;Color painting of Muslim forces attacking Constantinople by sea in galleys with the walls of Constantinople in the background. Judaism has survived the destruction of the Temple, twice! The Iranians are playing a rather shrewd game of brinkmanship these days. They probably figure that even a direct hit will only cause damage that could be repaired, at most, in a few months. Perhaps they have faith that their god will protect anything deemed irreplaceable.

One thing is certain; one’s worldview , which includes one’s religious convictions, can have a big influence on what one does. In the past the limitations of man’s abilities restricted conflict. Now the weapons are accurate, fast and especially deadly. The Middle East is a real explosive mixture of factors just waiting to be ignited willfully or even accidentally. My characters are in the very epicenter of it all. See what transpires in Eleventh Hour Covenant, Book One, Eleventh Hour Covenant Thriller Series.

Image Credits

2.Kaaba in Mecca, 2013 licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
3.The Capture of Constantinople in 1204, oil painting by Tintoretto