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ISIS Destroys 1,400 Year Old Monastery in Iraq

ISIS Destroys 1,400 Year Old Monastery in Iraq

Erasing history and Christianity.

Fifteen years ago when the Taliban controlled Afghanistan, they destroyed ancient Buddhist statues. Today, ISIS is following their lead in other parts of the region, most recently by destroying a Christian monastery in Iraq.

Jonah Bennett reports at The Daily Caller:

ISIS Just Bulldozed The Oldest Christian Monastery In Iraq

The Islamic State just bulldozed St. Elijah’s Monastery, the oldest Christian monastery in Iraq, which has survived every other assault for 1,400 years until now.

ISIS took out the location with bulldozers, sledgehammers and perhaps even explosives.

Located in Mosul, the monastery has been used as a place of worship by U.S. troop. It features two Greek letters, chi and rho, which stand for letters in Christ’s name, signifying the importance of the site, The Associated Press reports.

“I can’t describe my sadness,” Rev. Paul Thabit Habib, who currently lives in Irbil, told The Associated Press. “Our Christian history in Mosul is being barbarically leveled. We see it as an attempt to expel us from Iraq, eliminating and finishing our existence in this land.”

Satellite imagery firm confirmed the facility’s destruction and passed the information over to The Associated Press. The U.S. military had previously restored the place of worship, during earlier years in the Iraq War.

The destruction of the monastery is the latest example of a long-standing ISIS campaign to wipe out all traces of Christian heritage in the region. ISIS doesn’t just go after cultural artifacts and buildings, but the group also is responsible for the deaths of thousands of Christians, who have lived in the area for 2,000 years.

Here’s a video report from the Associated Press:

The motivation behind this barbarism is obvious. ISIS is trying to erase Christianity by destroying any evidence of its existence.

Nina Shea writes at FOX News:

Another irreplaceable loss for Christianity: ISIS destroys ancient Iraqi monastery

Built before Christianity’s sectarian divisions and having gathered Christian worshipers for one and a half millennia, this ancient sacred edifice, now reduced to rubble, represents yet another irreparable loss to Christian patrimony at the hands of these Islamist extremists. But, even more importantly, its destruction also symbolizes the genocide of Iraq’s Christian people and their civilization. It gives shocking reminder that Nineveh has been inalterably changed. Its pluralistic cultural mosaic since antiquity has been shattered and putting it back together may prove impossible in this generation.

But why did ISIS do it? The militants had already consolidated control over all of the Nineveh Plain by late summer 2014 and had killed, enslaved, forcibly converted or driven out all Christians when it went to the considerable effort of destroy St. Elijah–along with a long roster of other historic Christian churches, tombs, sculptures, and manuscripts.

Surely, it was not driven to do so because the monastery posed a threat or was a seat of power — these minorities had no military forces or real political power.

ISIS set about eradicating every trace of the Christians, even the silent stones of their now forlorn monasteries, due to its sacramentalized hatred of “infidels.” In a report this week, the UN’s Assistance Mission in Iraq confirms that ISIS is indoctrinating and training Mosul children in jihadist ideology.

These are not people who can be negotiated with, these are barbarians set on the destruction of the West.

ISIS is at war with us whether our current leaders admit it or not.

Featured image via YouTube.


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Ah, something they have in common with out own lefties: trying to obliterate history.

    TX-rifraph in reply to Valerie. | January 21, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    It is easier to re-write history when the evidence of the past can no longer be found. The totalitarian utopian dreams of the left must not be grounded in reality which is documented in history.

    I have been witnessing the left’s anti-intellectualism since the late 1960’s.

      History shows that no attempt at a “totalitarian utopian dream” has ever played out the way it was intended (and it has been tried, many many times). An honest, logical reading of history would conclude that it never can and never will.

      That some are nevertheless willing to try – especially using brutal, sadistic violence – is evidence of a deluded and evil mind.

The cancer analogy for ISIS is not overstated…

Wait till they get done with the Vatican.

    rabidfox in reply to secondwind. | January 22, 2016 at 9:12 pm

    The Vatican doesn’t seem to mind being a second-rate religion in the future so long as all those evil capitalists are destroyed first.

Sammy Finkelman | January 21, 2016 at 11:12 am

The Islamic State just bulldozed St. Elijah’s Monastery, the oldest Christian monastery in Iraq, which has survived every other assault for 1,400 years until now.

They did that in 2014, when they destyroyed a lot of other things.

They just found out now.

St Elijah’s monastery in Mosul, which stood as a place of worship for 1,400 years, is thought to have been razed between August and September 2014

Surely, it was not driven to do so because the monastery posed a threat or was a seat of power — these minorities had no military forces or real political power.

Yet more evidence that the American press just doesn’t “get it”.

Of course the empty monastery doesn’t pose a threat to the dominant power in the area, the Islamic State. Of course it’s not a “seat of power” or a military target.

But IS is not just working to destroy threats and military targets, is it? If they were, they wouldn’t be harassing or killing minority Christians or Yazidi tribes, would they?

No, IS is aiming to destroy the hearts and minds of what’s left of Christianity in the area. You know those same hearts and minds the U.S. was trying to win for all those years? Yeah, IS just undid all that and more.

Plus, as stated above, demolishing historical and religious sites and destroying artifacts makes it much easier to erase and/or rewrite history, removing the parts they find “offensive”. It’s like something straight out of 1984: “IS wages holy jihad against Oceania. IS has always waged holy jihad against Oceania. War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.” Any other history gets memory-holed.

In the case of the St. Elijah’s Monastery, into a literal, bulldozed hole in the ground.

I’m sorry the monastery is lost, but it’s just a building. The lives of Jews and Christians are more important. As Christians, our faith does not reside in buildings. We don’t have to face an particular direction to pray. We don’t have to pray at set times of day. We don’t have to perform any special rites to make ourselves worthy before our God. We know we are not worthy. We know we can come just as we are, naked and sinful but clothed in the righteousness of Christ Jesus. We know we can pray without ceasing, that we pray in season and out of season to catch the right season, that we pray in hymns and songs of thanksgiving as we go through the day. We know that God is everywhere, He in us and we in Him. We know Christ is tabernacle and He will dwell with us, that God is temple and we ourselves are temple of th Living and Most High God.

Therefore, let the building be destroyed. Some trust in chariots, some in horses,Mgr we put our trust in God. Let ISIS engage in the folly of attempting to erase history. We know God is the maker of history and He works through us in history to achieve His ends.

So, let the building fall. Let the Muslims gloat. Let the Muslims kill us. Our hope is built in nothing less than Christ Jesus. We are pilgrim travelers seeking a heavenly city whose builder and maker is God. We are surrounded by a great crowd of witnesses who wait upon us that one day we may all enter together into His rest.

Let ISIS do what ISIS does. God does what He does for us.

Finally, this act of destruction is a lesson for all those anti-Semitic, Islamic-symp “Christians” out there.

You who make excuses for Muslims, for Islam; you who blame the Jews for the flight of Christians from Judea and Samaria; you who will not confess that our God is Lord of all; you who say ther are many ways to God; you who call good evil and evil good, do you think they will let you live? You will have the same choice as the brethren slaughtered and gone to glory: convert or die. Do you think God will let you enter into His rest when you agree that He and Allah are the same?

“Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past.”

ISIS’ generals may not read Orwell, but they surely understand this concept. Just as those who destroy antiquities under the Temple Mount, and elsewhere in Israel understand it.

ISIS is surely clear enough in its ultimate goal, that ultimately all the world should be within the Caliphate, and all shall convert, submit, or die. For altering the past surely makes little practical sense unless one believes that eventually one will be able to control the present to the extent that one can erase all non-conforming views of the past?

The real question is, to what extent do Muslims generally support this overarching goal of world domination and to what extent can it be separated from the everyday practice of Islam?

Do USA immigration authorities even ask would-be immigrants if they support a goal that eventually all the worlds people shall live under Sharia law? For surely the U.S. Constitution does not require non-discrimination against immigrants who would abolish the most basic freedoms guaranteed by that constitution?

Destroying evidence of past civilization is nothing new in the history of islam. Throughout the ages their conquests have been paired with destruction of evidence of better cultures – the ancient high Hindu civilization was plowed under, its temples and cities destroyed. Same with the great Library at Alexandria – destroyed because it wasn’t ‘necessary’ any more.

Blind destruction by barbarians who cannot and never could create anything to match. What seems to be high lights of muslim culture turn out to be stolen from others (arabic numerals are really Hindu) most of their algebra is based on maths from the Babylonian descendents. Even their greatest mosques were designed by (or copied from) Jewish architects.

Destructive and unable to create themselves they hate and envy those that can and so aim to crush them.