Sri Adi Sankaracharyas visit to Kashmir was marked by a memorial monument more than 2000 years back. He made a pilgrimage to Saraswathi Temple. This temple is now in area of Kashmir that is under occupation by Pakistan.
Maharaja of Kashmir, Hari Singh, more wise than Gandhis, Nehrus worried about the area that may fall under Pakistan at time of partition. So he sent some his army to bring worshipful image of Saraswathi to south for safety and to be installed there . The local Moslems did not want to carry the stone icon down the hill, so they enacted a drama. Fair numbers of them gathered and pretended to be full of grief, shedding crocodile tears, beseeched Maharaja's men, saying even though they are Moslems, after all they too have Hindu blood in their veins, as such have great respect for mother Saraswathi, hence they do not want to see her leave the temple on the hill. So they pleaded. Maharaja's men believed them and so went back empty handed.
Sure enough, like Ghori, who also had Hindu blood in his veins long before he had it on his hands, who pleaded with Prithviraj to spare him many times, so also these Moslems as soon as the party of Maharaja left, they simply got the idol out and threw it into river . Now the temple is being used by Pakistani army for target practice, just as Dhakeswari temple in Dhakka was used by Paki army during its campaign of genocide in 70s.
Friday Times of Pakistan published this story of famed Saraswati temple, which was store house of great knowledge once upon a time, so rich in that aspect in fact, great scholarly Sri Sankaracharya proponent of Advaitha philosophy , subsequently equally great scholarly Sri Ramanujacharya of Vishistadvaita philosophy made a pilgrimage to this temple in Kashmir all the way from deep south of India, to get references, endorsements for their propositions.
Now the worshipful image (Archa Vigraha) is gone, the temple is in ruins. And the monument that was put up in memory of Sri Adi Sankaracharya who restored Vedis Dharma again in India , is also converted to an Islamic monument like so many other temples all over India. Sankaracharya temple got converted to Takht E Suleiman by Pakistan, similar to proselytization of people of Kashmir.
After all unless collective memory of people is also erased with burning of libraries, destruciton of temples,and other such acts, mere conversion of people to Islam will not take hold of a faith not subject to discussions or debates, arguments or analysis. This is quite unlike Vedic heritage, the Sanatana Dharma . Every Vedic Proposition , like that of Sankara or Ramanuja and so many others invariably were subjected to critical analyses then as well as at present. Why, even what Sri Krishna said in person to Arjuna did not go without being questioned, only when his questiones were answered and doubts raised were cleared then Arjuha accepted what Krishna was saying.
Anti-Vedic, or Anti-Hindu traditions by necessity unable to withstand such thorough scrutiny, instead resorted to not just 'cleansing' of people as such but also to burning libraries and razing down temples too , otherwise converts may sooner or later realize the folly, and ,may revert back to their original faith and regain their culture and civilization.
Al Beruni who accompanied Mohd Gazni, remarked that Hindus settled all their disputes of religion with debates and discussions- a tradition that became alien to Gazni's Afghanistan when it too lost its ancient Hindu heritage, hence even to date only sword then and gun now will settle any dispute, religious or secular.
Of course as you all know, destruction of neither the temple for mother Saraswati nor teacher Sankaracharya are by no means isolated incidents, Throughout history of Islamic dominance, through out India, that included present day Pakistan and earlier Afgahnistan as well, every temple, there were in thousands upon thousands were similarly treated.
Sita Ram Goel has done a monumental service to Hinduism by researching,writing, and then publishing all by himself with no grants or scholarships, a great work titled, "Hindu Temples, what happened to them " in two volumes,He even answered mails by himself , and also took care of packaging and shipping the books when requested. Instead of awarding and rewarding such great person for his painstaking original research to establish historical record, he was persecuted by secular government catering to vote banks which in turn harassed him and his family . Nevertheless , I believe that his books, many banned are still available and every concerned Hindu should get them and study them . It will help to find out what in your village or town where a Juma Masjid exists now,was there before, which temple to which deity was worshiped.
Instead of getting any reward for this work, the book was banned along with many other works, by government of India and a criminal case was filed against him. It took years but the case was dismissed by supreme court ,it said, " Freedom of Expression cannot be held to ransom by an intolerant group of people".
A small detour here but will be enlightening nevertheless ,as to where from the problems of destruction of other people's sacred icons,the temples, synagogues and such along with ruin of their civilization arises.Sita Ram Goel identifies ideology rather than person as being responsible.
"On Islam and Muslims
Goel has criticised the history and doctrines of Islam in some of his writings. His works are also cited by critics of Islam like Robert Spencer and Arun Shourie.
Despite his criticism of Islam, he said that he is not opposed "to an understanding and reconciliation between the two communities. All I want to say is that no significant synthesis or assimilation took place in the past, and history should not be distorted and falsified to serve the political purposes of a Hindu-baiting herd." He argues that the Muslims should evaluate the Islamic history and doctrines in terms of rationalism and humanism "without resort to the casuistry marshalled by the mullahs and sufis, or the apologetics propped up by the Aligarh and Stalinist schools of historians", just as the European Christians did centuries earlier with Christianity.
He believed that the "average Muslim is as good or bad a human being as an average Hindu", and warned:
Some people are prone to confuse Islam with its victims, that is, the Muslims, and condemn the latter at the same time as they come to know the crudities of the former. This is a very serious confusion, which should be avoided by all those who believe in building up a broad-based human brotherhood as opposed to narrow, sectarian, self-centred, and chauvinistic nationalism or communalism. "
Swami Vivekananda said only Drupad, in music survived intact the corruption during Islamic dominance. Similarly as far as I know, only temples of antiquity that survived intact are Sri Venkateswara on Thirumala hills and Sri Rameswaram in same name town near southern tip of India. However modern day Gaznis, Ghoris who now come with Hindu names with some pretending to be devotees and others more honest declaring themselves as athiest but both avowedly secular, are now bent upon erasing sanctity,structures built centuries back in and around these two temple areas as well. In Thirumala, a 1000 pillar temple around main sanctum was blasted to pieces, in Rameswaram,similar treatment is being planned to destroy the bridge Sri Rama Setu, built to reach Lanka by Sri Rama and his army.
So allies to iconoclastic bigots come under different shapes and forms, not just Pakistanis or Moslems alone.The motives may be different,some out of ideology they subscribe to, the others due to greed they adhere to. But the result is same-damage to our culture, civilization. It should not be, all these depredations can and should be thwarted.
A Garuda, an eagle with sharp vision, foresight can avoid damage to itself rather than an ostrich.