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

tags: Iraq, architecture, art, ISIS



When the Sunni extremists ruling Mosul destroyed the shrine of a prophet whose story features in the traditions of Islam, Christianity and Judaism — the most important of nearly two dozen marked for destruction by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria in the first seven weeks of its reign — small groups of residents gathered to mourn.

“We were crying when they detonated it,” said Abdulmalik Mustafa, a 32-year-old unemployed man who lives near the site, believed to be the tomb of the biblical prophet Jonah, which was razed last week. “We couldn’t believe that the history of Mosul has disappeared. I wanted to die.”

Then rumors swirled that the next goal of the ISIS militants would be toppling the city’s ancient leaning minaret, which is older than the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy and is pictured on Iraq’s 10,000-dinar bank note. Residents gathered at the minaret and, according to witnesses, confronted the group’s fighters.

For now, the tower is still standing.



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