Sun, Dec 19, 2010 | The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center
Basij Students Threaten to Destroy Esther and Mordecai Tomb if Israel Damages Al-Aqsa Mosque
This week, Basij students from Bu Ali Sina University held a protest rally against Israel’s alleged intention to damage the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
A memorandum of opinion published by the students last weekend said that after years during which the “Zionist regime” had been occupying Muslim land and slaughtering the Muslim people, the Zionists intend to damage the holy sites of Islam and destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque. And even as Israel intends to destroy the mosque, the memorandum says, no Muslim Iranian damages the tomb of Esther and Mordecai, who, according to the students, were responsible for slaughtering 77 thousand Iranians in a single day. The students warned that if the Al-Aqsa Mosque was damaged in any way, they would destroy “the tomb of the two murderers [i.e., Esther and Mordecai]” (Fars, December 11).
During the demonstration, held Sunday in front of the Esther and Mordecai tomb in Hamedan, the students demanded its status as pilgrimage site be revoked and that it be taken off the list of Iran’s national heritage sites. The demonstrating students warned that if the authorities did not address their demands within a week, they would hold a larger demonstration next week, attended by students, religion students, clerics, and other civilians. It should be noted that Iran declared the tomb as a national heritage site. The students carried religious posters and chanted anti-Israeli slogans, such as “Destruction of Al-Aqsa = Destruction of Esther and Mordecai”, “Israel must be wiped from the map”, “77 thousand Iranians slaughtered—for what?” and so forth.
Some students wore shrouds and expressed their willingness to destroy the Jewish holy site in response to “the Zionists’ threat to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque”. One of the demonstrators even attempted to spray paint over the “Pilgrimage Site” sign at the tomb’s entrance, but was prevented from doing so by the police. Another demonstrator demanded that instead of being managed by Jews, the site should be transferred to the control of the Islamic Endowments Department (awqaf) of the Cultural Heritage Organization. At the end of the demonstration, the demonstrators burned the Israeli flag (Fars, December 12).