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Iraq Desintegrates
ISIS Destroys Shi'a Shrines and Mosques

Along with claiming it has established a new caliphate, ISIS has begun to attack Shi’a mosques and shrines. Newsweek reports:

The Islamist militant group ISIS has been destroying Iraq’s Shiite mosques and religious shrines as it continues to put pressure on the country and further its extreme agenda. The AFP reported over the weekend that four shrines that commemorated Sunni Arab or Sufi figures have been destroyed, while six Shiite mosques were demolished. The destruction seems to have been limited to Iraq’s northern Nineveh province, including militant-held Mosul. One local resident told Al-Arabiya that members of the group had also occupied Chaldean cathedral and the Syrian Orthodox cathedral, both in Mosul, removing their crosses and replacing them with the black flag of the Islamic State.

For photos of the devastation, see the Newsweek article. The worsening tensions between Shi’a and Sunnis is quickly spreading throughout the region, including to India. As AI editor Adam Garfinkle has warned, we may soon see a repeat of the Battle of Karbala, a 7th-century showdown between the two branches of Islam which the Shi’a lost. (See Peter Berger’s recent article on the Sunni-Shi’a schism as well). Attacks on Shi’a holy sites by Sunni militants will only fan the flames.

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  • Alexander Scipio

    Good. Arm both sides to the hilt.

  • Fat_Man

    “ISIS militants filmed taking sledgehammers to tombstones in Mosul, Iraq
    “Donning balaclavas and black clothing, they swung weapons into tombs
    “One grave belonged to Prophet Jonah, revered by Muslims and Christians
    “Rebels believe special veneration of tombs is against teachings of Islam
    “Comes as more than 50 bodies have been found in city south of Baghdad
    “Most of the bodies were blindfolded with gunshot wounds, said authorities
    “Investigation is underway to establish the circumstances of the killings”

  • mc

    At the time of the battle of Karbala and for several generations thereafter there were no Shi’a and no Sunnis. These identities and the distinctive beliefs and practices associated with them were products of a later imperial, urban world.

  • FriendlyGoat

    I’ve often wondered if we should have done exactly that ourselves about 72 hours into the Iranian hostage crisis of 1979.

  • Duperray

    The 21st century will be the century of general war between muslims and the rest of the world. It will be far more bloody than Hitler and Japs did, because enemy is within our population.

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