The legacy of Islamic Terrorism..
ISIS has done it again. A terrorist outfit which has no sense of respect towards the human life, does it care about the history of human civilization before them. This week they bombed the al-Nuri mosque and its historical al-Hadba minaret (which is also pictured on Iraq’s 10,000 dinar bank note) in Mosul from where Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had declared the Islamic Caliphate, extending to the territorial regions in both Syria and Iraq in 2014. This mosque was built in AD 1172–73 and is named after Nuruddin al-Zanki, someone who had fought fiefdoms in an area, which encapsulated modern day Turkey, Syria and Iraq.
As the Iraqi forces have been fighting for many months now to recapture the city of Mosul, it is hardly surprising that ISIS would have allowed the forces to take this nearly 800 year old mosque from where they announced their arrival to the world. So they did what they do best, destroy it to make even if it’s a dying statement.
It is hard to argue who these so called protectors of Islam have done disservice to in the last couple of years. They have not only put their own religion in so much misery in these territories they have occupied for years, but have also bought disrepute to more than a billion other Muslims living across the world. They have robbed these regions controlled by them to historic proportions, quite literally.
In 2001, the Taliban destroyed the famous statues of Bamiyan Buddha’s in Afghanistan, which were built around 1400 years ago; the two most prominent statues were 55 meter and 37 meter tall. Since 2014, the ISIS has rampaged through the historic city of Palmyra, destruction of Mosul minaret is latest occurrence of their insanity, among the countless other destructions between these periods. Creation of something good or better that the next generations would be proud of, such expectation from these outfits is outright ridiculous, on contrary they have proven to be very well capable of decimating architectures built by ancient rulers, with blood and sweat of people from these regions.
Their only contribution to history is their occupation of these territories, however short or painful this chapter of local history in these regions may be, people will want to forget sooner once they are ousted.
On other spectrum are the Islamic terrorist groups such as Boko Haram in Nigeria, who is dedicated in destroying the future, however, little glimmers of hope the locals may have. Their main target in Nigeria and neighboring regions are the schools and education institutes, which impart western education, it is the education of girls more specifically, which they abhor. Boko haram had kidnapped hundreds of girls in 2014, now famously known as the Chibok girls, and as per recent reports nearly 200 of those girls are still missing, yet to find their way home. Boko Haram’s opposition is loud and clear, their violence has been unprecedented over the years. Let’s face it, attention of the world media is ambivalent, just because the value of human life is far lower in Africa, then it is in Europe or the United States.
To just highlight this hypocrisy on the value of human lives, when Charlie Hebdo attacks were carried out in France in 2015, nearly a dozen people lost their life. This episode garnered huge outcry around the world and the media coverage lasted for days, if not weeks. European leaders walked out together in solidarity and show of strength against such barbarism. But in the same week, however, not many knew then and not many know it even now, that Boko Haram carried out one of the bloodiest attacks on a Nigerian town called Baga, which borders Chad. Nearly 2000 people were butchered in that attack, which found passing mentions in some global newspapers, but hardly any on the television channels.
In last 6–7 years of Boko Haram insurgency in this part of the world, they have killed tens of thousands of people and displaced many millions more in Nigeria. The impact is visible in the neighboring countries as well, by way of refugee spill over or the extension of violence itself by the terrorist outfit.
Apathy of the world media, world leaders and well off citizens like ourselves is not the subject of my article, although it does deserve deeper thought from all of us.