Tags

, , , ,

The sixth Fatimid caliph in Egypt was a very strange man:

On the other hand, he ordered that all the dogs in Cairo be killed, that no grapes be grown or eaten (to prevent the making of wine), that women never leave their homes, and that shoemakers cease making women’s shoes. Hkim also outlawed chess and the eating of watercress or of any fish without scales. He suddenly required that everyone work at night and sleep during the day since these were his preferred hours. He murdered his tutor and nearly all of his viziers, large numbers of other high officials, poets, and physicians, and many of his relatives—often doing the killing himself. He cut off the hands of the female slaves in his palace. To express his opposition to public baths for women, he had the entrance to the most popular one suddenly walled up, entombing alive all who were inside. Hkim also forced all Christians to wear a four-pound cross around their necks and Jews to wear an equally heavy carving of a calf (as shame for having worshipped the Golden Calf). Finally, Hkim had his name substituted for that of Allah in mosque services.None of this changed history.

But then Hkim ordered the burning or confiscation of all Christian churches (eventually about “thirty thousand were burned or pillaged”) and the stripping and complete destruction of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, including all traces of the carved-out tomb beneath it.

Stark, God’s Battalions