Militants destroy the cultural legacy of Mosul

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014 12:16:01 by
Militants destroy the cultural legacy of Mosul

Wars not only kill people, also try to kill the cultural. The struggle between the Sunni extremists of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) is no different. Witnesses tell reporters that militants in Mosul destroyed several monuments, including the tomb of a medieval philosopher. A few days ago, UNESCO warned of this danger and called on Iraqis to preserve their historical and cultural heritage. Since the ISIS took that city in northern Iraq, its militants have destroyed the sanctuary in which was buried Ibn al Athir, a historian and philosopher who traveled in the twelfth century with the army of Saladin and wrote the most reliable account of the Crusades from the Muslim point of view.

Apparently, dome has completely disappeared  that rose on the grave of Ibn al Athir,  and the park surrounding it. Ibn al Athir also compiled a history of Muslims since the advent of Islam up to his time.

Currently, there are no reports that have damaged the ruins of ancient Nineveh, that are in the city center. But extremists have also demolished the statues of Musuli Ozman, Iraqi musician and composer of the nineteenth century, and Abu Tammam, an Arab poet of the Abbasid period.

It is the same course of action that they have executed earlier in Syria. Militants of ISIS and similar groups are an extreme interpretation of Sunni Islam known as Salafism considering the veneration of statues and tombs as idolatry. Just parochialism encouraged the destruction of the giant Buddhas of Bamiyan by the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001.

“I call on all Iraqis speaking together in protecting the cultural heritage of their country. Represents a single witness to humanity, the origins of our civilization and inter-ethnic and inter-religious coexistence, “said Irina Bokova, the director general of UNESCO, after the capture of Mosul.

The organization launched the appeal to the risk of the damage that has been inflicted by ISIS in Syria and Iraq and suffered during previous conflicts to reproduce. The assault on the Baghdad Museum in 2003 facing no opposition from U.S. troops resulted in the destruction of hundreds of figures, some 2,000 years old, and the theft of thousands of stamps, tablets and artifacts of great symbolic value, many of which have not yet been recovered.

The three Iraqi sites declared World Heritage are precisely in the areas controlled by the insurgents. Hatra, a fortified city considered the capital of the first Arab Kingdom, is located southwest of Mosul, in the same province of Nineveh. The ancient cities of Ashur and Samarra are in the province of Saladin. In the latter, the government forces have halted the rebels.

“The greatest threat to heritage monuments, which makes them a target, and looting and illegal trafficking of cultural goods,” Bokova warned.


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