False idols

The BBC has more on the destruction of Nimrud.

IS began demolishing the site, which was founded in the 13th Century BC, on Thursday, according to Iraqi officials.

The head of the UN’s cultural agency condemned the “systematic” destruction in Iraq as a “war crime”.

IS, which controls large areas of Iraq and Syria, says shrines and statues are “false idols” that have to be smashed.

“They are erasing our history,” said Iraqi archaeologist Lamia al-Gailani.

They really aren’t “false idols” now; they’re ancient artifacts. They’re history, they’re art, they’re mythology, they’re archaeology, they’re anthropology, they’re part of the rich exciting story of human creativity. They don’t have to be smashed. There’s no human need that smashing them meets. Smashing them is a power move. IS is all about power for a few male fanatics to force all 7 billion of us to live in a bare theocratic hell.

Nimrud lies on the Tigris river, about 30km (18 miles) south-east of Mosul, which IS controls.

Many of the artefacts found there have been moved to museums in Baghdad and overseas, but many remain on site.

BBC Middle East correspondent Jim Muir says the attempt to destroy Nimrud is already being compared with the Taliban’s demolition of the Bamiyan Buddha rock sculptures in Afghanistan in 2001.

Don’t forget the tombs in Mali.

Image result for timbuktu tombs



  1. johnthedrunkard says

    ‘They’re history, they’re art, they’re mythology, they’re archaeology, they’re anthropology, they’re part of the rich exciting story of human creativity.’

    But that’s their point: history, art, myth, archaeology, anthropology, stories, and creativity are ALL false idols.

    The Koran is eternal and perfect. Even to think of ‘before’ and ‘after’ from chapter to chapter is forbidden. To examine or admire anything else on earth is blasphemous.

    I THINK this used to be an obsession unique to the Wahhabis. I don’t know if they cross-pollinated it to the Muslim Brotherhood, but clearly the Taliban and ISIS have taken it to heart.

  2. quixote says

    Contemptu mundi is an interesting mindset. The people who have it are of the there-is-not-god-but-god variety; everything, always, everywhere must reflect their belief that there is nothing but god. Yet, if they believe that, then where does destroying the things he’s (it’s always a “he”) allowed to exist come into it? if god made the world and everything in it, then despising it is sacrilegious, isn’t it?

  3. Scr... Archivist says

    Can we actually do anything to stop this destruction? I feel utterly helpless.

  4. lorn says

    The current models of Mohammed all seem to hold Mohammed up as the model of perfection and impose a requirement that every Muslim should seek to emulate his example. This includes rape, murder, slave holding, beheading, crucifixions, violent imperialism, … Pretty much everything we see with ISIS.

    ISIS is Islam.

    What we need is a new and reformed Islam that will be compatible with humanity and the progress we have made since the 7th century. Something will give. Either Islam will reform itself, or we will all have to become Muslims. As it is there are no other options.

    I, personally, and on principle, refuse to join any group advocating marrying 9 year old girls, promoting slavery, give up bacon, shaving, and eschew music. They can have my bacon, and music CDs, when they pry them from my cold, dead hands.

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