Islamic State Bulldozes Ancient Nimrud Site

285px-Portal_Guardian_from_Nimroud._British_MuseumFlag_of_the_Islamic_State.svgThe systematic destruction of art and historical and religious sites continued this month with another crime against humanity by Islamic State militants. The extremists reject images of the human body as violations of Islamic teachings and despise earlier civilizations that were not based on their Islamic traditions. So, after destruction priceless artifacts and art in the museum in Mosul, IS destroyed the the ancient Assyrian archaeological site near Mosul. The loss is truly incalculable for humanity.

My kids have students the Nimrud civilization as one of the great periods of human growth in science and culture. It is part of the world’s heritage in an area legitimately called the cradle of civilization.

220px-Nimrud_steleNimrud was the second capital of Assyria. IS appears has eradicated Assyrian art and artifact, erasing evidence of an ancient kingdom that began in about 900 B.C. and rose to become a great power. Nimrud was destroyed in 612 B.C. but its remnants located on the Tigris River remained as one of the most important historical sites in the world. Until the Islamic State arrived.

I have previously discussed the anti-intellectual bent of the IS. It is not surprising that a movement based on medieval values and religious orthodoxy would despise any alternative historical or religious values. In order to force others to live by this extreme code, one has to prevent them from being exposed to any rational or alternative values, even historical sites that are a proud part of their heritage. The actions are reminiscent of the infamous destruction of the famous giant Buddhas of Bamiyan.

In a sense, Nimrud represents everything that ISIS stands against: the advancement of medicine, astrology, agriculture, trade and commerce. It was a civilization that took a great leap forward as opposed to ISIS that seeks to return areas to medieval conditions and religious practices. The despicable destruction of this site shows ISIS to be a threat to the very core of humanity. This was not just their history that was bulldozed. It is the history of us all. It was the record of humanity’s effort to make sense out of the world and to advance our knowledge of science and medicine.

What is equally distressing is that ISIS has secured allies among Sunni tribes who have watched such sites being destroyed as well as the systematic slaughter of captives. The U.S. and its allies are seeking to get these clans to switch sides after they supported an organization that has committed countless atrocities against religious minority and historical and religious sites. The Iraqi government has offered amnesty for these militiamen in order to fight ISIS, particularly in the fight of Mosul. Yet, it is becoming increasingly clear that ISIS intends to leave little but destruction in its wake.

63 thoughts on “Islamic State Bulldozes Ancient Nimrud Site”

  1. What the hell are we doing, either we are in this thing or out off it. If we are in we need to be fully in and proceed with crushing these few barbarians. Drop the MOAB and shoot off a few cruise-missles, hover with a few Black-hawks, hell sneakers on the ground, promise those poor back-water slobs a few beers and let them go at it, and give the urban guys a few new Jordans. Hell enlist all gang members give those idiots new AR-15s and point those dummies in the direction toward the enemy and tell them if they make it back on US soil one of there felonies would be forgiven

  2. Inga I am on the same page with you with Hagee I promise you. 😉 Oh, it has nothing to do with eschatology or Iran nothing at all.

  3. Happy,
    Perhaps you should write the Pastors Scott Lively and Hagee and tell them to not give Christianity a bad name, that it’s making you tired.

  4. Hopefully, they won’t gain enough traction to get that much scope.

    Fanatics combined with power and nothing to check them creates tragedies like this. And, you’re right, atheists have also cut quite a swath through history.

    I cannot stand the trend for moral equivalence, the explaining, the lessening, of the horrors.

    Isaac – throughout history, despotic leaders have threatened their people with death unless they recognize them as king, pay their taxes, allow their lands to be handed over to cronies, follow their orders, etc. It seems like you believe religion to be the reason behind all historical violence, and that the trend in improving human rights was in spite of religion, or some kind of atheist movement.

    Actually, the phrase “God given rights” in our founding documents disproves that theory. The abolitionist movement was mainly driven by religion.


    “Max-1 wrote: “It’s amazing how many people have to ignore the fact that Islam and Islamic culture has survived and lived together in that region for centuries without any issues until ‘radicals’ are ignited.”

    Exactly when were those centuries without issues? There has never been peace in Islamic countries.”

    Are people unaware that the Ottoman Empire was held together with an iron fist? That the various Arab tribes and clans warred with each other for millennia? Barbary Pirates? Arab slave trade? Christians rowing galleys? The Crusades that fought the Muslim Expansion? All that Moorish architecture in Spain and Portugal, which were conquered by Muslims until Crusades drove them out. The reason why Iran is the only country with a Shiite majority is because the previous Sunni majority was wiped out. What times of peace are they referring to? The persecution of Jews and Christians in the ME for over a thousand years?

    That famous horse breed, the Arabian, was developed as a war horse able to survive the harsh desert conditions and travel vast distances. They used war mares rather than stallions, because the mares would not trumpet their arrival to their targets. And they kept their prized mares from getting impregnated by the impure blood of rival clans’ stallions by sewing their vaginas closed before setting out. (Just Google “bedouin sew up the vagina of their mare”.) The famous strains of the Arabian horse were developed with much care against contamination.

    My father was in Saudi Arabia once when his host talked about a wrong against his family by another tribe. He was getting markedly agitated, and my father was very sympathetic. Until details emerged about the horses ridden into battle. Horses hadn’t been used in tribal warfare since the use of modern firearms became widespread, as riders would just be picked off. It turns out, this incident happened hundreds of years ago, and yet the teller was just as upset as if it had happened a few years ago.

    The state of human rights has been far behind the West for hundreds of years. It has not been Disneyland there, until suddenly radicals came and ruined it. I have hope that moderate Muslims will be able to reform the region, but that change has to come from within.

    “Peace” does not mean a country never goes to war. Because the rest of the world does not behave according to the West’s standards. Even now, we have countries like North Korea and Iran chanting “Death to America!” Entering into WWII and saving the Jews from concentration camps is certainly not a bad reflection on us as a peaceful country. A country can only enjoy peace in this dangerous world if its enemies are too afraid to provoke it. There is absolutely no comparison between the “peace” that a citizen can enjoy living here and the state of affairs for people living in the Middle East, especially for gay men. Anyone who doesn’t believe me should conduct the following experiment. Go the New York Times Square and shout, “I’m a gay Jew!” Wait 10 minutes and record the response you get. Then travel to Iran and repeat.

    1. Karen S,

      I like it when Issac, makes one of his suppositions with no backup, about religion and throws a bunch of words around that make no sense. He sounds like Lewis Carroll you know? Through the Looking Glass

      If people would actually practice the Gospels we would not have these problems. The Gospels would be enough as I am tired of hearing about Christianity being about the Homophobe Scott Lively

  5. Both religion and atheism have been used as oppression. With Communist atheism, virtually every country that was ruled by atheists became killing fields. ISIS has to kill about a hundred million to catch up w/ Joe, Mao, Pol Pot, etc.

  6. Wait, so if I start a new religion today, it can behave for the next 1500 years with the same standards as were prevalent from the years 0 AD to 1500 AD?

    The very definition of anachronism is to compare the behavior of middle class Muslims who join ISIS and chop off people’s heads, with witch burnings in the 1600s, for example.

    You compare contemporary behaviors for equivalency.

    And I really don’t understand this pussyfooting around calling out Islamic extremism firmly for the wrongs it does.

    There are a lot of wrongs done in the world today. I cannot imagine responding to condemnation of the Child Soldiers on the African continent, with drugs sewn under their skin, with a “Well, but, the Tonton Macoute made mothers march through the streets holding the heads of their sons.” Or saying, “Well, but 400 years ago other atrocities occurred.” It’s ridiculous. Wrong is wrong. Muslim extremism drives terrorism, destroys historical sites, and engages in murder every single day. There is no “Well, but . . .” And Muslim extremist violence would not persist if the Middle East would turn against it and stamp it out. But, instead, it’s spreading.

    When the pedophile priest scandal broke, did people say, “Well, but, in ancient cultures pederasty was more common???”

  7. Of course they did. This is what extremists do.

    Heartbreaking. The loss is irreplaceable.

    We need to get serious about getting rid of ISIS. The world cannot tolerate this.

  8. Daniel

    “Screwed, that’s where.”

    Right there you hit the nail right on the head. “You better believe or else.”

    Religion has been, since the beginning of civilization a partner with force, and sometimes the force itself, necessary to control and rule society. The past two hundred + years have seen the advent of societies managing themselves to higher levels without religion, or eclipsing religion.

    If there is a god, and one not necessarily the father of Jesus or the pal of Mohammed, it would surely feel more accomplished if its creation arrived at perfection on its own. For if driven or guided to pasture, that creation remains no more than livestock, a domesticated animal.

  9. Anyone who subjugates their women and has slaves and rape cultures and goes out of their way to deny all of these things and then screeches that Islamic law is the best is a problem. I know that we all the things above wrong and so does everyone else here. The difference is we don’t bury it like cat feces and we try to fix it

  10. Issac

    You wrote “Who Jesus was, and everything other than his existence is the work of philosophers that created this religion.”

    Philosophers? Really? Everything other than his existence?

    Would you bet your life on that?

    The most basic logic – the type even a child could grasp – should tell you that it is far better (smarter) to believe (in something) and be wrong about it, than it is not to believe (in anything) and be wrong about that. What if everything about Jesus, as laid out by these so-called philosophers of yours, just happens to be right? Then where will you be? Screwed, that’s where. The words “regret, remorse, repentant” would not be able to begin to describe where you’d be. Right now, if you happen to be mistaken about this “Jesus,” that’s where you’d be. That’s a mistake logic should clearly tell you you simply can n-o-t afford to make, not under ANY circumstance.

    It is telling how you readily admit his existence, but that “everything” about him was the work of others. What would be the point of inventing “everything” about him but him? Why not invent someone with wings or who glowed or who was translucent, or all three?

    Now, surely you are capable of rational thought. An open mind, as they say? Capable of learning something new which was the opposite of what you had previously believed was the case? I mean, even the most stubborn of scientists sometimes has to face the facts of their position and concede they had it (whatever it was) wrong. You can do that, too, right?

    Why don’t you pick up a copy of the New Testament, read it (not merely flip through it, randomly picking a chapter here and there), and then come back. Because in the meantime, you can not possibly be taken even microscopically serious due to your failure to both grasp this purest of logic as well as your wildly demonstrated lack of knowledge on the matter.

  11. ReCarol

    The pedophile riding to heaven on a horse is the mixture of fact and fantasy that makes the rock in Jerusalem holy to Islam. The big M took off on a horse for heaven. The pedophile part is pretty much explained in his writings and used as justification for similar activities and depravities today. Divine right, sun gods, Egyptians, etc were around from well before JC and Constantine. However, in the chaos that was the Roman Empire, having recently been split into two parts, the Western part sacked several times, the Eastern part being more intellectually advanced and in a more mature part of the world vis a vis religions and cultures, the ground was fertile for divine rule. The West had a history of republics, emperors ruling by might, and a history of Rome which contained its religions, not the other way around. The East was more mystical. The East also had the history of Israel, the participants of Egypt, and a tradition of zealots that formed an unending stream of soothsayers and holy men. Christ was one of a long tradition of these. The bottom line is that his words were written by others. Those words were crafted over centuries for optimum effect. The concept was not new. The moment in history was right and it served the purpose of power.

    If you look at Islam it is no different. Islam was a general called M who organized chaos into a military machine that united tribes and organized rules for civilizing the chaos of the time. King Arthur is seen as a similar general of armies. The Taliban proved this formula when they subdued the waring tribes of Afghanistan and set up their rule. They blew it allying themselves with bin Laden. But for that, they would still be there. The formula is the same, chaos invites the organizational duo of military power and power over the mind. Power over the mind is religious, patriotic, economic, or any combination of the three.

    This might be a simplistic approach to all this but complicating it with voodoo and mumbo jumbo has shown down through history to not work any more. Once society evolves to rise to the level of common sense and the responsibility to govern itself, religion becomes a personal choice and not an imposed one. Example in the works, the West.

Comments are closed.