ISIS, the enemy of civilization

It is as if the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) hates life. Or as if the radical organization’s militias hate everyone, everything, every culture and every faith that does not adhere to their deviant ideology. If it were not hate, then what would the reason be behind ISIS’s destruction of the priceless Assyrian archeological heritage? Do ISIS deviants suffer from historical dilemmas? Why do they hate beauty, art and culture? Why indeed do they hate humanity?

The radical group’s destruction, bulldozing and levelling to the ground of Iraq’s cultural heritage and archaeological sites has been classified as a “war crime.” Whilst it was no doubt a war crime, the deviant group’s ugly and painful demolition and looting of the Assyrian city of Nimrud has to be viewed as a crime against humanity. In their destruction of the ancient statues at a Mosul museum, ISIS militias were literally committing a massacre.

Destroying a beautiful civilization

Under what justification has ISIS destroyed such a beautiful civilization? It cannot be Islam and I really wonder if ISIS members have ever read the history of Islam. I also wonder what kind of literature they rely on while giving themselves the right to commit such crimes. Do they really know that such cultural heritage stood unharmed and untouched under the Islamic rule of the caliphates that proceeded Prophet Mohammad? Have they ever read in any book tracing the history of Islamic rule, beginning with the time of Prophet Mohammad and on, about any Islamic leader ordering the destruction of non-Islamic cultural heritage? Linking their destruction of the Assyrian statues to destroying idolatry, in an analogy of Prophet Muhammad’s destruction of all the idols in and around the Kaaba, I wonder if ISIS militias were aware that idol worship has not been widely followed in the region for thousands of years.

ISIS’s destruction of the Assyrian heritage of Iraq has come just some days after the U.N. Security Council’s announcement in February that it was banning all trade in artifacts from Syria and Iraq

Raed Omari

All in all, in its previous destruction of mosques and burning of books and manuscripts in Mosul, ISIS has proved that its demolition of Iraq’s archaeological sites had nothing to do with Islam – the religion of reading, science, philosophy and art. The timing of destroying the archaeological sites and looting Nimrud proved with no doubt that the ISIS fighters’ unforgettable crime was driven by political considerations more than religious and cultural considerations. Why did ISIS militias destroy such priceless cultural heritage now and not immediately after they seized the historical city of Mosul?

ISIS’s destruction of the Assyrian heritage of Iraq has come just some days after the U.N. Security Council’s announcement in February that it was banning all trade in artefacts from Syria and Iraq following news reports about the radical organization increasing its wealth by selling ancient artefacts. ISIS’s crime was merely a tit-for-tat move, proving that only politics and money matter to the group.

Actually, the ISIS militant’s videotaped assault against the ancient heritage of Iraq’s minorities was inseparable from their “business of horror,” so to speak. But they should know that in every such action they do, they increase the world’s and Muslims’ abhorrence of them. They should listen to established Islamic scholars and scientists who describe them as “outlaws of Islam.”

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Raed Omari is a Jordanian journalist, political analyst, parliamentary affairs expert, and commentator on local and regional political affairs. His writing focuses on the Arab Spring, press freedoms, Islamist groups, emerging economies, climate change, natural disasters, agriculture, the environment and social media. He is a writer for The Jordan Times, and contributes to Al Arabiya English. He can be reached via raed_omari1977@yahoo.com, or on Twitter @RaedAlOmari2

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:46 - GMT 06:46
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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