The human toll, of course, is the most important concern: the killing of innocent people, the rape and enslavement of women, the brutal uprooting of a population whose ancestors have lived there for untold generations.Share
But the story of civilization that is recorded in everything from stone tablets and sculptures of winged lions to ancient monasteries and languages is also very much at risk as the Islamic State tries to establish a caliphate in Syria and Iraq.
Already, the world has witnessed the blowing up of the Tomb of Jonah, a mosque where it was thought the prophet who had preached to the Ninevites and had spent time in the belly of a great fish was buried. Now, it’s thought, priceless archaeological artifacts may be sold off, further bankrolling an already well-off jihad.
An Amnesty International report this week detailed what it calls ethnic cleansing in Iraq. Besides killing Christians, Yazidis and other religious minorities, the Islamic State is forcing those minorities to leave their homelands and apparently trying to make sure there is no trace of them. (Read more.)