ISIS and World Heritage

Palmyra

Over the past few weeks we have seen ISIS continue to race across parts of Iraq and Syria. In many cases the towns they capture are either military installments or civilian villages. In rare cases, however, the cities they plunder are what we call World Heritage Sites. These areas are renown for their beauty and historical significance. These areas are specially classified (and rightly so) due to them containing a vast number of artifacts, statues, and buildings from civilizations that died long ago. We usually pass this off as the Iraqi and Syrian army’s inability to protect any city let alone smaller less populated cities within their own countries. The problem with this lies in the fact that they NEVER try to protect these sites. Yes there are skirmishes but as a general rule the Syrian, Saudi Arabian, Iraqi, Yemeni, Omani, Iranian and UAE armies have not exactly rushed to protect these cherished locations. This leads us to one main conclusion, Islamic countries and Islamic leaders agree that these “false idols” should be destroyed…This is an inflammatory claim to be sure but lets look at this from a religious stand point. The Syrian army hasn’t exactly done a great job at protecting their civilians but they at least put up a fight. They evacuate people in advance and usually post some kind of military resistance before either fighting off ISIS fighters or surrendering and running away themselves. I propose that leaders of the Islamic world have been urged or encouraged to not put resources towards protecting sites that are not, of themselves, Islamic. Only time will tell if this is the case but as for now we should all be very angry and not only ISIS but also the Iraqi and Syrian governments/armies for not fighting to protect these priceless locations. The sites of ancient cultures and their relics belong to humanity as a whole, not to a single country or organization.

What are your thoughts on this? Have you been following this in the news? Are my claims justified? Have they gone to far? I would like to hear some feedback on this issue.

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