Blowing up Mosul's historic mosques is 'a war crime'

29 Jul 2014 7:29 AM | Anonymous

Blowing up Mosul's historic mosques is 'a war crime'

British archaeologist and peer compares loss to the destruction of an English medieval cathedral

Leading British archaeologist and member of the House of Lords, Colin Renfrew, says the destruction of historic mosques in Mosul, northern Iraq, by Islamic state militants (Isis) “is a disaster for the cultural heritage of Iraq, and indeed of Islam”. The Prophet Jirjis mosque and shrine in Mosul was destroyed on 27 July, according to unconfirmed press reports. The 14th-century mosque was the latest in a series of holy sites targeted by the jihadist group.

Last week on 24 July, Isis blew up the Mosque of the Prophet Younis (Jonah) in Mosul. The militants said that “the mosque had become a place for apostasy, not prayer”, according to Agence France Presse. A day later, Isis destroyed a shrine venerating the Nabi Shiyt (Prophet Seth) in the same city. “Isis militants stopped people from coming close, set explosives in and around the shrine and then detonated them as a crowd looked on,” a resident told Agence France Presse. Isis, an Al Qaida breakaway group, considers all religious shrines to be idolatrous.

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