Kareem Shaheen “Isis fighters destroy ancient artefacts at Mosul museum” http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/feb/26/isis-fighters-destroy-ancient-artefacts-mosul-museum-iraq
The five-minute video, which was released by the “press office of the province of Nineveh [the region around Mosul]”, begins with a Qur’anic verse on idol worship. An Isis representative then speaks to the camera, condemning Assyrians and Akkadians as polytheists, justifying the destruction of the artefacts and statues.
The man describes the prophet Muhammad’s destruction of idols in Mecca as an example.
“These statues and idols, these artifacts, if God has ordered its removal, they became worthless to us even if they are worth billions of dollars,” the man said.
Isis militants then smash the statues in the Mosul museum with hammers and push them to the ground, watching them break into tiny fragments. The footage also shows a man dressed in black at a nearby archaeological site, inside Mosul, drilling through and destroying a winged bull, an Assyrian protective deity, that dates back to the 7th century BC
“When you watch the footage, you feel visceral pain and outrage, like you do when you see human beings hurt,” said Mardean Isaac, an Assyrian writer and member of A Demand for Action, an organisation dedicated to protecting the rights of the Assyrians and other minorities in Syria and Iraq.
A caption says the artefacts did not exist in the time of the prophet, and were put on display by “devil worshippers”, a term the militant group has used in the past to describe members of the Yazidi minority.
Isis took control of Mosul last summer in a lightning advance that led to the eviction of thousands of Christians and other minorities from their ancestral homelands in the Nineveh plains, amid reports of forced conversions.
“We cannot expect anything else from Daesh,” said Gabriel*4, using the Arabic acronym for Isis.
He said the international community must act to prevent the destruction and looting of the artifacts.
“The loss is the loss of the entire world,” he said.
Isaac said: “While the Islamic State is ethnically cleansing the contemporary Assyrian populations of Iraq and Syria, they are also conducting a simultaneous war on their ancient history and the right of future generations of all ethnicities and religions to the material memory of their ancestors.”
The destruction of the priceless treasures comes days after Isis kidnapped 220 Assyrian Christian villagers in north-eastern Syria.
It is the latest assault in a campaign against coexistence in the region, especially in Iraq, which has seen the displacement of many of its Chaldean Christians, who have lived there with many ethnic minorities since the religion’s dawn.
Isis has also attempted to starve and enslave members of the Yazidi minority in Iraq.
Irina Bokova, the director general of Unesco, the UN cultural agency, said she was deeply shocked at the footage showing the destruction and has asked the president of the UN security council to convene an emergency meeting “on the protection of Iraq’s cultural heritage as an integral element for the country’s security”.
*1:See also http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20140820/1408540486 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20141006/1412610658 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20141007/1412681217 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20141008/1412744846 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20141010/1412957422 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20141011/1412993029 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20141017/1413473698 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20141023/1414072117 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20150111/1421005862 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20150121/1421806662 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20150122/1421905503 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20150123/1421979649 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20150124/1422106484 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20150124/1422118588 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20150124/1422118588 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20150127/1422354821 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20150129/1422500611 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20150130/1422633051 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20150202/1422805093 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20150204/1423016710 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20150205/1423157081 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20150208/1423413124 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20150211/1423618569 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20150213/1423756575 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20150216/1424054132 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20150218/1424272261