by Lady Michelle Jennifer Santos
MOSUL, 27 February 2015 (TSR) – A video footage has emerged, published by ISIS, showing the group taking sledgehammers and pickaxes destroying Assyrian artifacts and priceless art dating thousands of years old which can never be replaced at the Mosul Museum in Iraq. These artifacts are some of the earliest pieces of human culture, and their destruction is a loss to the entire world.
In a video posted on the Internet on February 26, ISIS members are shown smashing statues and destroying archaeological remains dating back to the Assyrian Empire, which thrived in the region between 2500 B.C. and 605 B.C. Some of the artifacts were 3,000 years old in a museum in Mosul. A spokesman, standing in front of the scene of destruction, says that “Allah commanded us to shatter and destroy these statues, idols, and remains.”
The terrorist group formerly known as either ISIL or ISIS has occupied the museum since last summer and previously threatened to destroy its artifacts, which it indicated are inconsistent with Islam. “These ruins that are behind me, they are idols and statues that people in the past used to worship instead of Allah,” one Islamic State group militant. The Prophet Muhammed took down idols with his bare hands when he went into Mecca. We were ordered by our prophet to take down idols and destroy them, and the companions of the prophet did this after this time, when they conquered countries.”
At least one Mosul source said the Islamic State group began burning the museum’s priceless collection of rare books and manuscripts this month, according to the Independent. More than 100,000 documents reportedly went up in flames. The collection also included works from the Ottoman Empire period, some of which were registered with Unesco.
This vandalism of ancient heritage is not the first time.
According to a report from the website www.apsa2011.com, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) has destroyed Assyrian statues and artifacts believed to be 3000 years old.
The Assyrian archaeological artifacts were illegally excavated from the Tell Ajaja site.
Looting of Assyrian artifacts was also carried out in Iraq soon after 2003 by Al-Qaeda, which sold the artifacts to finance its operations. The looting occurred at the Baghdad Museum (AINA 2003-04-19) as well as archaeological sites which were left unguarded as a result of the collapse of the government of Saddam Hussein (AINA 2005-02-17).