al-Malik al-‘Aziz Uthman and The Pyramid Busters
In 1193 AD al-Malik al-‘Aziz Uthman, son of Saladin (who defeated Richard I in the Crusades) inherited the Sultanate of Egypt. A devout Muslim, the new sultan commissioned a project that was almost as grand as the building of the Great Pyramids itself; the destruction of the Great Pyramids. To many Muslims at the time, who were whipped to a religious fervor because of the Crusades, the great monuments and relics of Egypt were symbols of paganism that had to go. The Great Pyramids were an especially clear target considering that they were the largest structures in the world at the time.
The demolition began with the Pyramid of Mankaure, the smallest of the Great Pyramids. However, the grand task was not as easy as it had seemed. Workmen would dislodge the huge blocks with levers and wedges and then pull them out with ropes. Once removed the stone would tumble to the ground and sink into the sand, becoming nearly impossible to remove. Later workmen would try to split the stones into pieces and haul them off in carts, but this process was not much easier than the former. Typically only one or two blocks would be removed a day. One down, 2.3 million more to go! After eight months of backbreaking effort, the workers had only managed to create a large gash in its north face. The project was abandoned soon after.
On June 24th, 2012 Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi was elected as President of Egypt. After the election several internet rumors spread that Muslim clerics in Egypt were calling for the demolition of the Great Pyramids. The rumors were proved to be nothing more than a bad hoax originating from a fake Twitter account claiming to be that of a prominent Bahraini sheik Abdellatif al-Mahmoud.