Thursday, 31 July 2014

Tears, and Anger, as Militants Destroy Iraq City’s Relics


Isis militants blow up the Al-Qubba Shia mosque
The angry public reaction to the attacks on Mosul’s cultural history — including the eviction of Christians by militants, which outraged many Muslim residents who celebrate Mosul’s reputation for tolerance — appears to be the first spark of rebellion against harsh Islamic rule. [...] It is too early to declare that a wide-scale rebellion is underway, or that ISIS, whose brand of ascetic Islamic law deems shrines heretical, is losing its grip of control on the city. But it suggests that the militants are wearing out their welcome to some degree. Informal armed gangs of residents have already clashed with ISIS militants over the destruction of the tombs and shrines, residents say. Some militants have been killed in the clashes, they say, which have also led to the arrests of residents and could result in their executions.
Tim Arango, 'Tears, and Anger, as Militants Destroy Iraq City’s Relics', New York Times July 30th 2014.

4 comments:

Thomas Burchell said...

Don't forget the Bamiyan Buddhas in 2001. It takes a special way of thinking and ignorance to do things like this.

http://www.chron.com/news/nation-world/article/Buddha-statues-reportedly-shelled-in-Afghanistan-2011802.php

Paul Barford said...

What do you mean by that? Some Evangelical churches consider displaying the Cross a denial of the resurrection, mural and sculpted decoration in churches were and are considered sacrilege - not to mention cults of the relics and saints. The shrines of Catholic saints were smashed as idolatrous in Reformation Europe in the same way (and for the same reasons) as ISIS is doing now. It is precisely from such background that the New England Puritans came (Calvinists weren't they?). Akhenaton's agents cleansed temple reliefs of sacrilegious references to gods other than Aten, and then Ramesside agents put them back.

When post-communist governments came to power in my country, the FIRST thing they did, before economic and social reform, was to get rid of the symbols of the Communist state from the public space - sometimes in a very demonstrative manner. In Ukraine last year (only) we saw widespread toppling of Lenin statues - is that a manifestation of "ignorance"?

I do not think any of these people are/were "ignorant". If the Word of God says that you shall not make images and worship them, those ignorant and careless of the Word of God do, and those who make the scripture and belief central to their life want to follow the letter of the divine law. What problem do you have with people making religion and adherence to sacred law and sacred duty the centre of their life Mr Burchard? When does one stop trying to force one's values on others from different cultures?

Thomas Burchell said...

Are you going to email me about the Cleveland Apollo information?

In response to what you wrote beliefs of any of the religion are not at question, but in the case of Afghanistan and Iraq minority sects and foreign invaders are forcing their beliefs on the culture of others by doing this.

If one has a belief and they are in a museum or someone's house or in public and destroy a graven image that is not a demonstration of cultural freedom, but of an attack on society.

And whether their interpretation of "the Word of God" is correct or not who can say, everyone has different beliefs and falls onto different locations within their own belief system.

Regardless of the ideology behind the destruction of these works I don't anyone will convince me that its acceptable in any time, culture, or society. Why do you we have less than 10 Greek bronzes left?

I really don't talking about this any further will yield anything of value to anyone, but if you can send me information on the Apollo Sauroktonos that would be welcomed.

Paul Barford said...

In answer to the first question, no. I explain why in the answer to your 'comment'.

"Attack on society"? Did you think through what I replied? Take Mr Hobby Lobby Green, he buys papyri from dissolved ancient artefacts because he wants to "save America". I see no difference between this and Moslems doing the same.

 
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