The world today has many historical structures which are no less than a wealth for us not only from the point of architectural wonder they are, but also because the different- different era these belong to. Among these structures many have religious affiliation which make them vulnerable to various disputes and attacks. The most amazing historical monuments are attacked through out the world just because of their religious affiliation.
Here, we as humans have failed to understand that these structures represent much more than the particular religion. These disputes and attacks have been there since a long time and are still continuing, but in the course the present world has lost not only these structures but a part of their history and past as well.
Even when we talk about new religious structures, it is not so that these are entirely free of controversies and disputes. Disputes are even with new structures, and this itself proves the failure of humanity and morality. When a religious structure is attacked or come under some kind of dispute then it is not just about the religious parties involved but it is a blot on the ethics of every single person which have been easily forgotten through out the history of humans. These disputes can make us learn that what all is there for humans to look forward in such conflicts and what is more important for us, our religious chauvinism or our glorious past and harmony.
Here is the list of top 10 Most disputed religious structures:
10. Wisconsin Gurudwara
Wisconsin Gurudwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin came into the news when there was a mass shooting by an American white supremacist and United States Army veteran in August, 2012. In the incident six people were killed, and four people were injured. The incident was shocking as well as disturbing for the Sikh residents over there who got a sense of insecurity after the incident. The incident got the attention from both the American as well as Indian government. Wisconsin Gurudwara is not historically important, but the incident pulled into a dispute and put a question mark on the development of humans as social beings.
9. Golden Temple
Harmandir sahibor Darbar sahib, commonly known as Golden temple is one of the most famous religious structures of India and has a great importance in Sikhism. There is a long dispute attached to this sacred place of Sikhs, which made it a highly disputed religious place. The problem started when Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale with its other supporters started militant activities within in the premises of Gurudwara and against which Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister planned out the operation Blue Star in 1984. Under the operation the military attacked the premises with tanks, soldiers and in the whole operation around 492 civilians were died, and the entire gurudwara got destroyed. It was a huge controversy, and there is another group of people who do not accept the operation as legitimate and questions the government’s action. It was the incident which later resulted in the murder of Ms. Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguard.
8. Kashi Vishwanath Temple
Kashi Vishwanath Temple is a highly regarded religious place among Hindus which is located at Varanasi, India. But there is something more in its story than the glory of the place, that is, the repeated attacks which it has witnessed by different invaders and emperors. It was built as early as 490 CE. It was first destroyed by Muhammad Ghori in 1124 during his raid. Before its complete reconstruction, it was again demolished by Qutb-ud-din Aibak. It was rebuilt but in 1351 it was destroyed again by Firuz Shah Tughlaq. It was reconstructed, but Aurangzeb ordered its demolition in 1669 and constructed Gyanvapi Mosque in its place. But it was rebuilt and now it is there with all its glory along with the long disputed history.
7. Somnath Temple
Somnath Temple is located in Gujarat and is one of the twelve Jyotirlinga of God Shiva. It was built in 649 CE by Yadav King. It has also witnessed repetitive attacks. In 725 CE it was destroyed by the armies of Arab of Sind. Again after its reconstruction it was destroyed by Mahmud of Ghazni in 1024 in his raid, then it was rebuilt and re-attacked by Sultan Allauddin Khilji’s army in 1296. It was reconstructed but in 1375, it was once again destroyed by Muzaffar Shah I, the Sultan of Gujarat. In 1451, it was once again destroyed by Mahmud Begda, the Sultan of Gujarat, and in 1701, the temple was once again attacked by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. But even after witnessing so many repetitive attacks, the temple is still there echoing its past. It was recently built in 1945 and stands as a huge, glorious place.
6. Bodh Gaya
The Mahabodhi Mahavihara is a very important Buddhist shrine worldwide and is also a UNESCO worldwide heritage site. It is located at Bodh Gaya, India, and it is believed that Gautam Buddha got enlightenment at this place under the Bodhi Tree. It came under news on 7 July, 2013 when it was bombed by series of ten blasts in and around the temple complex. Though the main temple building and the tree remained safe but still the blasts affected the place a lot.A large number of global personalities commented on the incident, and it took attention of various countries and political leaders.
5. The Temple of Shaolin
The Temple of Shaolin is a world heritage site, listed by UNESCO. It is very famous for its Kung Fu and martial arts monastery, and it is one of the best known Mahayana Buddhist monasteries. It has undergone many destructions. During the Red Turban Rebellion in the 14th century, the monastery was destroyed by the bandits. Then in 1641 it was again attacked by the rebel forces led by Li Zicheng. Then it was destroyed by the Qing government in 1647, 1674 and 1732. The number of reconstructions and reconstructions has made this very famous Buddhist monastery very disputed place as well.
4. Preah Vihear Temple
Preah Vihear Temple is an ancient temple built during the reign of Khmer Empire, in the Preah Vihear province, Cambodia. A long dispute has followed between Thailand and Cambodia over the ownership of the temple. Finally, in 1962, the International Court of Justice in The Hague awarded the temple to Cambodia.
3. Ram Janmbhoomi
Ayodhya located in Uttar Pradesh, India is considered the birth place of the Hindu deity Lord Rama. Ram janmbhoomi is an issue of great dispute which has led many conflicts in India. The dispute is that the place which is the Ram janmbhoomi had a mosque built there, called Babri masjid. But in 1992 the Hindu Activists demolished the mosque which arose riots in the place. The matter has not yet been solved. There are constant debates and conflicts between political parties, activities and religious followers. Ram janmbhoomi dispute is one the biggest religious disputes in India.
2. Buddhas of Bamiyan
The Buddhas of bamiyan were religious statues of Buddha built in 6th century located in Bamiyan valley, Afganistan. These were world heritage site, listed by UNESCO but were demolished by Taliban in 2001. It was a shocking news for the world and countries highly condemned the destruction. In the attacks, the world lost the heritage of hundreds of years.
1. The Western Wall
Located at Old City of Jerusalem at the foot of the western side of the Temple Mount, it is a remnant of the ancient wall that surrounded the Jewish Temple’s courtyard and is considered the most sacred place in the Jewish faith outside of the Temple Mount itself. It is believed to be first built in 19th BCE and has a long history of different empires coming and having various effects on it. It has been an issue of conflict between the Jewish community and the Muslim religious leadership for a long time. In 1929 it witnessed riots involving Palestine and which led to Hebron massacre. This one of the oldest and sacred place has gained more popularity from the years long dispute.