Mesopotamia, the cradle of civilization, has been devastated and looted of its archaeological and religious treasures. The obscurantist ideology of the Islamic State have squandered a patrimony of humanity. Behind the jihadist madness a flourishing black market in goods and archaeological finds. Task of all humanity to rid itself of this evil.
Baghdad (AsiaNews) - Six years after the appearance of the first traces of Daesh [Arabic acronym for the Islamic State of Sham[i] and Iraq] Mesopotamia, the cradle of civilization, has been ransacked of its archaeological and religious treasures.
The areas recently liberated from the Islamic State in the plain of Nineveh, visited by the Chaldean Patriarch Raphael Louis Sako, reveal the extent of hatred nourished by this takfiri jihad group against the holy places of Christian worship. Ancient churches, monasteries and even cemeteries have been the privileged place of plunder, sacrilege, destructions carried out in minute detail. A patrimony of humanity has been devastated in an attempt to forever erase the native identity of the cult witnessed by the archaeological remains of a civilization of the highest level, of a people who have lived in these places for millennia.
Who benefits from a Middle East deprived of historical evidence of its past civilization? Who wishes to transform it into an arid land, drag it back to the era of wandering Bedouins, barbarians, quarrelsome and uneducated men? The question that arises is where does this hatred come from? What are its true roots? Why destroy the archaeological treasures that are part of the heritage of humanity such as Palmyra and Nimrud? Desecrating the graves, placing dynamite in mosques and churches, shattering icons, murals and crosses with pneumatic hammers and chisels, stealing manuscripts, burning sacred places, desecrating the graves of Muslim and Christian cemeteries, without touching ( saving at least those, thankfully) the testimonies of the Jewish region. What are the reasons behind this?
It is easy and convenient to claim that the Islamic religion is the basis of this attitude. Without specifying, however, that Islam, or what fraction of Islam. In fact, there is no mention or dictate in the Koran inciting the destruction of pre-Islamic archaeological sites, nor the desecration of Christian holy sites and, moreover, of Muslim ones.
The archaeological sites of the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia had survived conquerors and civilizations, Islamic or otherwise, down through history. The Palmyra and Nimrud sites, containing statues and temples of the pre-Christian and pre-Islamic era had survived and had been safeguarded even under various Islamic caliphate, that sprung up from these places after the Islamic expansion. No caliph, nor any Muslim sultan had ever ordered the destruction of the archaeological finds.
Also from the religious point of view it should remember the fatwa issued March 6, 2015 from the mosque of Al-Azhar, the highest institution of Islamic doctrine, which prohibited "the destruction of archaeological sites", considering this act "a crime against the world whole ". Therefore, from a religious point of view, where does such a barbaric attitude, contrary to any human reasoning, find its source?
The answer is contained in the "Wahabbism", a current of Islam that became theocracy in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where by law it is forbidden to build churches, crucifixes and introduce the Gospels, along with various black market mafias and traffic and trade in archaeological artefacts.
In fact, most of the destruction carried out by Daesh covered assets, objects (or buildings) that could not be transported and sold - due to their size - via Turkey, on the black market for dizzying prices. It is estimated that since the fall of Saddam Hussein in Iraq over 15 thousand precious artefacts have disappeared, symbols and priceless in terms of human history, easy to transport and market.
The religious legitimacy of Daesh then comes only and exclusively from Wahabbism, because it was the same Muhammad Abdel Wahab - the founder - the first to legitimize the destruction of any item of "Al Sherk", that is associated with divinity . With this in mind the Islamic state has legislated the destruction of the temples, churches and Sufi shrines as "worshipers of the divine beyond Allah".
This really clashes with the facts, since Daesh with this excuse also destroyed Shiite mosques, Sufi shrines and Sunni mausoleums. Anyone who has had the opportunity to follow Daesh literature would also discover their intention to even destroy the tomb of the Prophet Muhammad.
The simple reality is that Daesh - behind false religious teachings and with the excuse of erroneous interpretation of the Koran - intends to empty the Mesopotamia region and the Arab Middle East of its rich and ancient history, its civilization, religions, cultures and cohabitation. The obscurantism is a primary goal in its war against property, memory and the unique historical wealth of this troubled region, where human civilizations were born.
Today it is the duty of all mankind to rid itself of this evil. Perhaps one day history will reveal who really was behind the scenes and main actors of this devastating force, of this deadly virus for all mankind. (PB)
[i] The term "Sham" refers to the province of the Islamic Caliphate era of maximum expansion including Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine