“We have never heard before that there are those who would dare to demolish a mosque except the Israelis and the Houthis.” These were not the words of a leader in the resistance or in the opposition parties to the coup, but rather the spontaneous words of a citizen selling eggs and potatoes in a popular market in the capital Sana’a, since the outbreak of the Houthi rebellion In Saada at the end of 2003, the Houthi group used to blow up mosques in defiance of their opponents, to be unique in this action, which Yemen has not witnessed throughout its long history.
The most prominent of these operations is that the Houthis, on February 13 of last year, demolished one of the oldest archaeological and historical mosques in the old city of Sana’a, which was listed in 1986 on the World Heritage List by the United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization “UNESCO”, where a document issued by the General Authority accused Antiquities and museums under the control of the Houthis, officials of the Awqaf Office and the Historic Cities Authority, ordered the demolition of the ancient Al-Nahrain Mosque according to an agreement between them which stipulated the removal of the mosque building, which is an important monument “that requires protection and preservation and not its destruction and demolition to build a new mosque in its place.”
Observers said that the crime of demolishing the mosque affects the historical heritage of Yemen, targeting Islamic sanctities, and substituting a culture of terrorism and extremism instead of the culture of tolerance that has been known to Yemeni society throughout its history.
As for the mosques that were deliberately bombed, there is the “Al-Qasimi” mosque in Hodeidah, and the “Al-Nasr” mosque in Marib last year, which left about 250 dead and wounded.
demolish and loot for archeology
The militias have also recently carried out demolition campaigns against ancient mosques in an effort to obliterate the ancient Islamic heritage and Yemeni identity, which contradicts the racist doctrine of its dynasty, in addition to looting its valuable historical holdings to finance the so-called “war effort.” The Houthis demolished the historic “mobile” mosque. In the town of “Moor City” in Al-Zahra District, north of Al-Hodeidah Governorate, it looted its building stones on the pretext that it was an ancient temple.
According to the sources, Houthi militia vehicles came from Sanaa in the past weeks and demolished the mosque, which is 10 meters long by 7 meters wide, and was completely built of pillars of stones with inscriptions, and its minarets were demolished and all the stones with ancient inscriptions were looted.
The mosques of “Al-Mudhaffar”, “The Disappeared Attacker” and “The Great Mosque” in the districts of Al-Mughilaf and Al-Luha, north of Hodeidah, were subjected to systematic robbery by Houthi gangs dedicated to looting and selling antiquities in order to finance the cost of their war incinerators against the Yemenis for the sixth year.
According to experts, the Houthi militia’s looting of important ancient mosques in Yemen is not limited to selling them and financing the war, but it goes beyond to obliterate the ancient country’s identity and re-create a false history according to the policies of subordination to Iran.
Violations against mosques
A report by the “Communicating with Yemen Scholars” program last year had previously reported that the Houthis blew up and bombed hundreds of mosques and kidnapped dozens of imams in a number of Yemeni governorates, amid calls to reveal violations against mosques and worshipers.
The report indicated that the Houthis violated the sanctity of about 750 mosques, and kidnapped 150 imams and preachers, and the violations were divided between total bombing, shelling with heavy weapons and looting of contents, in addition to converting some mosques into councils for the consumption of qat, and others were used as military barracks.
The report documented what the Houthis committed for six years, from their war on Dammaj area in Saada governorate in 2013 until the end of 2019. The capital’s secretariat had the largest share with 282 mosques, followed by Saada governorate with 115 mosques.