…. When Isis swept into the area last spring, its first assault on history was to try and eradicate these groups. It succeeded in driving most away. Now it is assaulting the physical remains of the area’s history. Bulldozers are at work in Nimrud. According to Gailani, much is still standing, including a few of the giant winged bulls that are a symbol of the long-vanished hegemony of the Assyrian empire.
Nimrud is a big site, so it will take a while to totally destroy it. That is a small mercy and so is this thought: Isis is a morbid symptom. It is neither Islamic, nor is it a state. The destruction of a nation’s history is a tactic to pacify its people. But too many Iraqis are like Ahmad and Ghailani. They know their history, they breathe it, they embody it. Their knowledge, their identity will not be erased by these murderers.
[TOP RATED COMMENT] “Isis is a morbid symptom. It is neither Islamic, nor is it a state.”
Oh for fuck’s sake. Isis IS Islamic. It is clearly a morbid symptom of the kind of aggressively monocultural Islam propagated in Saudi Arabia and now being spread across the Muslim world. Why say it isn’t? What’s the point?
Until a person can carry out non-Muslim religious ceremonies publicly in Mecca or just stand up there and say ‘Islam isn’t the truth’ without being killed or imprisoned, violent Islamism of the type used by ISIS will remain a problem. We all know that. Everybody knows it, but our politicians and business leaders and journalists, with rare honourable exceptions, won’t say it, because the Saudis have too much money. [Guardian Cif] Read more