Saudi Arabia will go ahead with plans to demolish the birthplace of Islam’s holy prophet as part of a redevelopment project.
Bulldozers are set to knock down a building in the holy city of Mecca, where Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) is believed to have been born.
The demolition of the House of Mawlid is part of a multi-billion-dollar project to build a modern complex near the Masjid al-Haram (Grand Mosque).
The Masjid al-Haram is the holiest Islamic site and houses Kaaba, the point which all Muslims face when praying.
Scholars say the prophet’s birthplace is the last remaining historical site in Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi royal family has backed redevelopment at the cost of razing ancient structures.
The destruction is expected to provoke anger from Muslim pilgrims who travel to Saudi Arabia to perform the Hajj pilgrimage.
In April 2013, Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bin Abdullah al-Sheikh defended the demolition of early Islamic heritage sites in Mecca.
The highest Saudi religious authority even went much further and described the demolitions as necessary.