Jihad and the Destruction of History

Islamists and Jihadis love to blow things up.

Islamic Jihad just called for a return to suicide bombings against Jews in Israel, but when they aren’t blowing up Jews they just love to blow to smithereens the ancient antiquities of other cultures.

Anyone who follows the chaos which is the Muslim Middle East remembers the Taliban blasting tremendous and ancient sculptures of the Buddha in Afghanistan.

Anyone who follows the long Arab war against the Jews knows that Jordanian authorities in charge of the Temple Mount – the Waqf – regularly destroy evidence of the ancient Jewish presence within the historical Jewish capital of the Old City in Jerusalem.

And now, of course, we are seeing the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) running entirely amuck.

As is widely reported this morning, ISIS has destroyed the ancient Roman Arch of Triumph in Palmyra, Syria.

ABC News reports:

credit: news.sytes.net

A 2,000-year-old arch in the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra is the latest casualty by ISIS militants.

Professor Maamoun Abduilkarim, the country’s director of antiquities, confirmed that ISIS Sunday blew up the Arch of Triumph, one of the city’s most recognizable sites. “Shocked” and “shameful,” he told ABC News, noting that unlike the two temples that were destroyed earlier this year, the arch has no religious significance.

The arch was known to locals as the “Bridge of the Desert” because it linked the Roman Empire to Persia and the East.

Professor Abduilkarim said he had not seen photos or videos of the devastation, but learned reports from eyewitnesses.

“They’re destroying building by building,” he said, “within three to six months, at this pace, we’re going to lose Palmyra.”

Previous atrocities, of course, include beheading Coptic Christians for no other reason than that they are not Muslim, raping prepubescent infidel girls or selling them into sexual slavery, the burying of Yazidis alive in mass graves, the burning of people alive in cages, and G-d only knows whatever other forms of fun-filled mayhem that they have devised for those not entirely on-board with their crazed Caliphatic agenda.

The Qu’ran calls for chopping off a hand and a foot, from opposite sides of the body, as a proper punishment for certain offenses against the prophet.  How is that for the outer-reaches of vile and disgusting and cruel and inhumane?  One wonders, since Muhammad advocated the practice, whether he ever took up the sword, himself, in its application?

In the mean time, our navel-gazing Nero in the Oval Office plays his fiddle as the world burns and as Putin’s Russia raises its head, acting on possibilities for strengthening the Bear’s position at the expense of the Eagle in that part of the world.

The United States ran the Soviet Union out of the Middle East during the Cold War, but for ideological reasons the Obama administration has, essentially, invited them back in and Putin is more than happy to accommodate.

At the end of the day, Barack Obama is trying to humble the United States.  For reasons having to do with post-colonial ideology, Obama believes that Europe and the United States have raped much of the rest of the world and that if we are to have normal diplomatic relations with non-western countries then the US and Europe must stand down.

Western Europe, however, has not stood down.  On the contrary.  Western Europe is entirely supine and apparently ready to take whatever it gets.

However, it must be understood that these assaults on antiquities are actually an assault on history, itself, in the cause of Islamic Supremacism.

They want to destroy the evidence of non-Muslim presence anywhere they can in order to eradicate any non-Muslim claims to lands that Islamic forces advanced upon during its history of imperial expansion.

The loss of Palmyra is not just a crime against humanity, but an attempt to erase the lives of the people who lived there for millennia before contemporary Islamists showed up with their bombs, their dynamite, and their racist ideology of death.


First published at Israel Thrives

Mike Lumish is a PhD in American history from the Pennsylvania State University and has taught at PSU, San Francisco State University, and the City College of San Francisco. Recently he joined  Vocal International  a news magazine out Brussels, Belgium, as an analyst, writer, and a member of the Academic Board of Trustees. He regularly publishes on the Arab-Israel conflict at the Times of Israel, Elder of Ziyon, and at his own blog, Israel Thrives

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  1. All those abominable mores which follow muslims of the taliban and/or ISIS type have been known by all parties seemingly concerned for more than 25 years and at the conclusion of some THREE TRILLION bucks spent by the indignant US and their allies. In the year of a total lack of grace of 2015 we find out on a daily basis that the same are cutting, burning and demolishing at will while Obama objects to some poor Russian buggers to get involved in the exclusive US war….
    The chutzpah at the Yanks to object to the Russians after they brag of spending those colossal sums is obscene.
    The discreet US-Syrian alternative patiently waiting in the wings reeks of the Iraq haloymess and the respective immediate replacement of Saddam with the respective well calculated consequences, same 3 trillion later considered/wasted .
    Blunder Bush, Obscene Obama and their advisers, not ot mention countless agencies, should salute and welcome the intervention of ANYONE willing to spend hardware, boots on the ground and respective funds to put an end to the mayhem REGARDLESS of who will end up or remain in actual NON-power in Damascus. Truth is that should the Russians prevail, let them police the future pax non-americana on those ruined Syrian former glorious lands.

  2. Michael, while of course people are more important than buildings or other structures, these buildings attest that an ancient culture once lived and thrived there. Islam, which only burst onto the scene comparatively recently, wants to obliterate all cultures that came before it.

    In Australia we are painfully aware of how Europeans arrived just over two hundred years ago and virtually ignored the culture and traditons of the Aboriginal people. We are doing our best to acknowledge our original people, by celebrating their cultural contribution and respecting their sacred places like Uluru.

    ironically, many on the left claim to support both Arorigines and Islam, seemingly unaware that if Islamists take over, Aborigines’ ancient culture will be destroyed.

    For the sake of history and cultures everywhere, we must not let the jihadis succeed.

  3. How much sensitivity to this phenomenon can we expect in the West when the American government sells off land sacred to the Indians and promised to them in treaties to mining operations and other purposes?

  4. I agree with you on the sensitivity issue to the destruction of these ancient places. I am however surprised there is no public outcry in the US regarding Indian land. I don’t think that would ever happen here, as generally we are very aware of our indigenous people.