Besides removing supposed temptations to idolatry, Islamic jihadists want to ruin the artifacts of non-Muslim civilizations because doing so testifies to the truth of Islam, as the Qur’an suggests that ruins are a sign of Allah’s punishment of those who rejected his truth:
Many were the Ways of Life that have passed away before you: travel through the earth, and see what was the end of those who rejected Truth. (Qur’an 3:137)
This is one of the foundations of the Islamic idea that pre-Islamic civilizations, and non-Islamic civilizations, are all jahiliyya — the society of unbelievers, which is worthless. Obviously this cuts against the idea of tourism of ancient sites and non-Muslim religious installations such as St. Catherine’s monastery. V. S. Naipaul encountered this attitude in his travels through Muslim countries. For many Muslims, he observed in Among the Believers, “The time before Islam is a time of blackness: that is part of Muslim theology. History has to serve theology.” Naipaul recounted that some Pakistani Muslims, far from valuing the nation’s renowned archaeological site at Mohenjo Daro, saw its ruins as a teaching opportunity for Islam, recommending that Qur’an 3:137 be posted there as a teaching tool.
“ISIS thugs take a hammer to civilisation: Priceless 3,000-year-old artworks smashed to pieces in minutes as militants destroy Mosul museum,” by Julian Robinson, MailOnline, February 26, 2015 (thanks to Anne Crockett):
Islamic State thugs have destroyed a collection of priceless statues and sculptures in Iraq dating back thousands of years.
Extremists used sledgehammers and power drills to smash ancient artwork as they rampaged through a museum in the northern city of Mosul.
Video footage shows a group of bearded men in the Nineveh Museum using tools to wreck 3,000-year-old statues after pushing them over.
Militant uses a power tool to destroy a winged-bull Assyrian protective deity at the Ninevah Museum in Mosul, Iraq. The statue dates back to the 9th century B.C.
One of the items, depicting a winged-bull Assyrian protective deity, dates back to the 9th century B.C.
A man shown in the video said the items were being destroyed because they promoted idolatry.
‘The Prophet ordered us to get rid of statues and relics, and his companions did the same when they conquered countries after him,’ the unidentified man said.
The articles destroyed appeared to come from an antiquities museum in the northern city of Mosul, which was overrun by Islamic State last June, a former employee at the museum told Reuters.
The extremist group has destroyed a number of shrines – including Muslim holy sites – in a bid to eliminate what it views as heresy.
Militants are also believed to have sold ancient artwork on the black market in order to finance their bloody campaign across the region.
The video bore the logo of the ISIS group’s media arm and was posted on a Twitter account used by the group.
Yesterday it was revealed how terrorists had blown up the Mosul Public Library, sending 10,000 books and more than 700 rare manuscripts up in flames.
Leading members of Mosul society reportedly tried to stop the fanatics destroying the building, but failed.
The director of the library, Ghanim al-Ta’an, said that the extremists used homemade bombs in the attack, which took place on Sunday.
He told Middle Eastern website Geran: ‘ISIS militants bombed the Mosul Public Library. They used improvised explosive devices.’
Presumed destroyed are the Central Library’s collection of Iraqi newspapers dating to the early 20th century, maps and books from the Ottoman Empire and book collections contributed by around 100 of Mosul’s establishment families.
Isis first invaded the Central Library in January. Residents say the extremists smashed the locks that had protected the biggest repository of learning in the northern Iraq town, and loaded around 2,000 books – including children’s stories, poetry, philosophy and tomes on sports, health, culture and science – into six pickup trucks. They left only Islamic texts.
‘These books promote infidelity and call for disobeying Allah. So they will be burned,’ a bearded militant in traditional Afghani two-piece clothing told residents, according to one man living nearby who spoke to The Associated Press. …