Of the four great cities of the Roman empire (Rome, Carthage, Alexandria, Antioch), only the first still belongs to the West. Antioch has just a few mosaics; Alexandria (in ancient times, famous for its library) doesn’t resemble its once incomparable splendor; and the immense Carthage, with the amphitheater comparable to the Colosseum or the Baths of Antoninus, is traumatic for visitors.
Islam has deleted everything else.
Around the year 645 A.D., Omar Ibn Al Khattab, the second caliph and a successor of Muhammad, set fire to the library of Alexandria, according to a fatwa: “Or the books that are here are in accordance with the Qur’an, and therefore these are useless to us; or are not in accordance with the Qur’an and then they are bad”. The world lost several centuries of knolewdge and thought due to that Islamic fire.
Today another caliph, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, has issued a fatwa against the World Heritage Sites of the Middle East. The much vaunted Middle Eastern richness is shrinking to a cultural desert, a single religion and a handful of languages.
For over five thousand years, many civilizations have left their mark in Mesopotamia: Assyrians, Akkadians, Babylonians, Arameans, Jews and Romans. Their ancient buried cities, palaces and temples are scattered throughout what is now northern Iraq and eastern Syria. Now most of the archaeological wealth is under the control of the Islamic State. Two days ago, Isis leveled the “green church”of Tikrit, the symbol of Assyrian Christianity in the seventh century.
Among the most important sites now under the control of Islam are four ancient cities - Nineveh, Kalhu, Dur Sharrukin and Ashur - which, at different times, were the capitals of the powerful Assyrian empire. The greatest damage has been wreaked by Islam on the Palace of Kalhu, from which the Assyrian king Ashurnasirpal II reigned in the ninth century B.C.
They have destroyed some of the “ziggurat”, the impressive temples that rise into the sky. The non-Islamic tradition of Mosul no longer exists. The Islamists have destroyed thirty historic sites, including the shrines of the biblical prophets Seth, Daniel and Jonah.
In Syria, the Islamic terrorists have demolished relics as part of their “purge of paganism”, destroying Assyrian statues. In a video, they unashamedly claim the duty of the mujahideen is to “remove the appearance of evil”.
Harta, the archeological site where "The Exorcist" movie was filmed, is in IS hands and risks destruction.
The Museum of Islamic Art in Cairo had just recently reopened to the public after nine years of renovations, when last January a bomb destroyed it. It contained masterpieces of the Umayyad, Abbassid, and Ottoman periods. During the uprisings that led to the removal of President Mohammed Morsi, in August 2013, the Mallawi Museum of Minia was almost totally destroyed.
In Cairo, meanwhile, the manuscripts of the Cairo Institute went up in smoke, including the legacy of the Napoleonic expedition of 1798 in the land of the Pyramids. Nothing was saved from the great work “short de l’Egypte”, curated by two hundred scholars led by the curator of the Louvre, Vivant Denon.
The head of the Association for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage, Hagag Ibrahim, said that the Institute has been subjected to a second “Tatar invasion”, comparing it to the Mongols who in 1258 burned the library of Baghdad, whose waters turned black from ashes of thousands of precious manuscripts.
The legend says that in the Tigris there were so many books that the passage from one bank to another was by allowed through stacks of bibliographic outcrops.
In Libya, the “treasures of Benghazi”, coins, jewelry, and small statues of antiquity have been lost since the revolution of May 2011. Salafists want to destroy the statue of “the Gazelle”, the bronze monument depicting a naked woman in Tripoli.
The great library of Al Saeh in Tripoli, Lebanon, was recently given over to the flames by the Islamists.
A year ago, in Mali, hundreds of manuscripts of the Ahmed Baba Centre in Timbuktu were burned due to the irrational fury of the mujahideen. This was a body of work that ranges from the ninth century to this day. embracing all human knowledge, from medicine to astronomy, from law to mathematics, in many languages, such as Arabic, Sonrai, Bambanà, but also Hebrew.
They destroyed the door that leads into the sanctuary of the mosque of Sidi Yahya. According to legend, the entrance to the monument had to remain closed for ever, and its opening would cause the end of the world. “See - there is no end of the world”, proclaimed the Islamic blacks in front of a stunned crowd. shocked by the sacrilege.
In Israel, Palestinian Islamists have destroyed the Tomb of Joseph, while the artifacts from the ancient Temples of Solomon and Herod in Jerusalem are scooped out piece by piece from the levels below the Temple Mount to make it seem that the presence of mosques on the Mount is the first example of construction on the site.
The Izz ad-Din al Qassam, the military wing of Hamas, recently leveled - with bulldozers - the ancient Mediterranean port of Anthedon, three thousand years of mosaic floors and columns of the Roman, Byzantine destroyed. To do what on the site? Construct a terrorist training camp.
In India, the temple of Ram at Ayodhya was destroyed to become the Babri Masjid mosque.
The great Buddha in Afghanistan were leveled by the Taliban of Mullah Omar following a fatwa. “Idols of stone” have been defined as such by the students of Allah. They began the destruction with their faces bearing sinuous lips and almond-shaped eyes, as if to hit the reproaches that those faces expressed.
In the Swat Valley, in Pakistan, the Taliban recently destroyed Buddhist statues in Jahanabad, where, in the VIII century, Padmasambhava, the founder of Tibetan Buddhism, began his journey.
And the circle was closed several days ago. The Islamic State has just destroyed the ancient Armenian Church of Der Zor, consecrated as a memorial of the Armenian Genocide and where lie the remains of the victims of the massacres suffered by the Armenians a century ago.
Then, hundreds were chained and thrown into the Euphrates. The hordes of fanatical Muslims threw themselves upon the Christians of the East. They wanted to eradicate the Cross from the empire of the Crescent.
Add to this the Christians then slaughtered in Ak Hissar, the ethnic cleansing in Cilicia, the slaughter of mothers and children in the courtyard of the German school of Aleppo, the orphans thrown in the rivers of the Caucasus like balloons.
Nothing has changed. The Islamists plan to make a tabula rasa out of entire civilizations.