This video by a pro-Indian YouTuber fleshes out the story of the destruction and massacre at Somnath that I discuss in Islamic Crusades 6, including recent police suppression of demonstrators who were trying honor the deceased:
From the video description:
When it comes to the destruction of temples, the Somanath temple evokes strongest emotions. Somanath is mentioned fifteen times in Alberuni's Indica. While discussing the sacredness of the Somanath idol and its origins and construction, Alberuni records that the idol was destroyed by Mahmud and broken parts shipped to Ghazni; "the upper part with all its trappings of gold, jewels and embroidered garments" being kept at his residence and another part before the door of the mosque of Ghazni, on which people rub their feet to clean them from dirt and wet". Part of it was thrown into the hippodrome of the town, together with the Chakraswamin, an idol of bronze brought from Thanesar.
Additional proof of the destruction of Somanath temple, again, is recorded in a letter written by Aurangzeb. He wrote:.
"The temple of Somnath was demolished early in my reign and idol worship (there) put down. It is not known what the state of things is at present. If the idolators have again taken to the worship of images at the place, then destroy the temple in such a way that no trace of the building may be left, and also expel them (the worshippers) from the place." (Quoted in Jadunath Sarkar's History of Aurangzeb from Inayetullah's Ahkam, 10a, Mirat 372)
Somanath temple was demolished by the Muslims -- from Mahmud to Aurangzeb - and rebuilt by the Hindus several times - the last time soon after India gained her independence.
Focussing on Somanath temple does not, in any way, imply that this was the only temple demolished by the Muslims. This was one of thousands that met similar fate.
Breaking of idols and demolition of places of worship was not unique to medieval Muslims. The latest example of this practice was witnessed by the entire world only two years ago (April 2001) when in opposition to calls from all quarters centuries old Buddha statues carved on hillside in Bamiyan were demolished in Afghanistan.
"The possibility of a forced mass conversion is, in fact, contradicted by Muhammad ibn Qasim himself who, according to Baladhuri, is believed to have said: "The temples shall be unto us like the churches of the Christians, the synagogues of the Jews, and the fire temples of the Magians." Dr. Jha went on to say.
Islamic warriors spared some temples. However, this was not done as an act of tolerance or compassion towards Hindus. Alberuni writes about one such incident. When Muhammad bin Kasim conquered Multan, he inquired "why the town was so very flourishing"? When told the cause was the idol of Aditya, for there came pilgrims from all sides to visit it. He decided to "leave the idol where it was but he hung a piece of cow's flesh on its neck by way of mockery." When the Karmatians occupied Multan, Jalam ibn Shaiban broke the idol into pieces and built a mosque at the same place, Alberuni went on to add.
For reasons best known to him, Dr. Jha does not tell all the facts of the history. He gives only a sanitized account of Muslim invasion, and exploitation.
At Debal, the temples were demolished and mosque founded; a general massacre endured for three whole days; prisoners were taken captive; plunder was amassed. At Nirun, the idols were broken, and mosques founded on the site of the temple of Budh, notwithstanding its voluntary surrender. The account of Mahmud's invasions is full of demolition of temples (at Thanesar, Mathura, Kannauj, Somnath - to mention a few), plunder, massacres, enslavement and forced conversions.
Hajjaj, the governor of Irak and sponsor of Muhammad bin Kasim's campaign to Sind had written clear instructions:
"My dear cousin, I have received your life-augmenting letter. On its receipt my gladness and joy knew no boundsâ€¦. But the way of granting pardon prescribed by law is different from the one adopted by youâ€¦. The Great God says in the Koran: 'O true believers, when you encounter the unbelievers, strike off their heads. The above command of the Great God is a great command and must be respected and followed."
If at times Hindus enjoyed some freedom in the practice of their religion; it was dictated less by any principle of justice or humanity, than the impossibility of suppressing the native religion by the small number of Muslim invaders. The Hindus were never treated equal to Muslims. They had to pay higher taxes in addition to humiliating Jiziya.
The truth is that Muslim invasions, almost without exception, were followed by a great massacre and demolition of Hindu temples. All means from the sword to political to economic pressure in the form of excessive taxation and humiliating Jiziya were used to convert Hindus to Islam.