Saturday, June 11, 2016

Islamic Extremism and Iconoclasm

2000-year-old temple in Palmyra, Syria
destroyed by IS in August 2015

In early June 2016, Islamic State (IS) insurgents posted a video on the internet showing a 3,000-year-old temple being blown up at the Assyrian city of Nimrud in northern Iraq. This is the latest example of radical Islamic iconoclasm. The Nabu Temple is one of the world's archaeological and cultural treasures.

The United Nations confirmed in a statement that satellite imagery showed "extensive damage to the main entrance" of the temple of Nabu, the Babylonian deity of wisdom.

Nimrud was a 13th century BC Assyrian city located about 20 miles south of the modern city of Mosul. Islamic State militants took control of Mosul in June 2014.

The IS video also shows scenes of bulldozers razing the ancient Gate of Nergal, part of the historic Nineveh city wall in Mosul. The fanatical Islamic group considers all pre-Islamic culture idolatrous, along with any religion outside its own radical interpretation of Sunni Islam.

IS has systematically destroyed many sites of archaeological and historical importance. Islamic State militants destroyed the 2,000-year-old temple of Baalshamin in Palmyra, Syria in August 2015.

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