Baghdad Sikh Shrine Destroyed by Fanatics

June 1, 2007

Source: Sikh News Network

Iraq is keen to rebuild a historic Sikh shrine commemorating Guru Nanak's visit to Baghdad, which had been destroyed by 'fanatics' after the invasion of the country by US-led coalition forces, a top leader said on Friday.

Iraqi National Congress chief Ahmed Chalabi, one of Iraq's prominent leaders, who drove down through the desolate streets of Baghdad to the sacred Sikh site last night under heavy military protection, said 'it has unfortunately been wiped out by fanatics because they thought it was against Islam'.

"It's shameful they cannot respect someone who has millions of followers," he said at the gurdwara site along the river Tigris.

Iraqi officials escorting Chalabi informed him about the original design of the gurdwara that was built alongside the tomb of a Muslim religious leader, which has suffered no damage.

"We will rebuild it," Chalabi said even as he admitted he did not know that a Sikh shrine had ever existed in Baghdad, which houses the Indian embassy.