Isis has destroyed countless irreplaceable artefacts and heritage sites across the areas it controls of Iraq and Syria – and some are comparing its assault on human history to the atrocities of Mao and Pol Pot. Are they right?
As masked men with sledgehammers and drills stood amid priceless antiquities in Mosul museum in late February, a narrator on this Islamic state video read a justification for what was about to come.
“The so-called Assyrians and Akkadians and others looked to gods for war, agriculture and rain, to whom they offered sacrifices,” he said. “The prophet Mohammed took down idols with his bare hands when he went into Mecca,” he added, underscoring the seventh-century precedent that the terror group has used to underpin its recent rampages.
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