ISIS terrorists destroyed priceless ancient artifacts dating back to the dawn of civilization in Iraq, citing Muslim scripture forbidding idolatry as their motive.

Islamic State (ISIS) last week released a five-minute video clip in which Muslim terrorists are seen using sledgehammers and other equipment to smash statues and other antiquities, toppling them and ensuring that they were broken into fragments.

The statues destroyed in the video are remnants of some of the oldest cultures on the planet, as the Middle East was the cradle of early civilization.

The winged bulls with faces of men that are destroyed in the clip below are statues of the Lamassu, a protective deity that symbolized power to Assyrian, Sumerian and Akkadian royalty. They were estimated to be almost 3,000 years old. Other artifacts of antiquity were also destroyed.

The clip opens with a man singing the following verses from the Quran:  “When he said to his father and his people, ‘What are these statues to which you are devoted?’ They said, “We found our fathers worshipers of them.”

A narrator explains that the statues being destroyed are, in the eyes of Islam, idols.

“O Muslims,” he declares, “those artifacts behind me are statues and idols from previous centuries that people used to worship them and not Allah, may he be praised, what we call the Assyrians and the Akkadians and others. They had a god for the rain, a god for sowing, a god for war. They used to share other gods with Allah. They would seek closeness with them in every possible way. Allah says ‘And We sent not before you any messenger except that We revealed to him that, There is no deity except Me, so worship Me.”‘

“The Prophet [Mohammed] peace be upon him, removed all the statues and destroyed them with his honorable hand,” the narrator continues, “The Prophet has ordered us to remove all the statues and destroy them. The companions of the prophet did it afterwards when they conquered countries. These statues and idols, Allah has commanded us to destroy them. This is very easy for us and we don’t even care if it’s worth billions of dollars.”

As the militants proceed to smash the statues, the clip returns to singing a passage from the Quran: “So he made them into fragments, except a large one among them, that they might return to it [and question].”

ISIS Torches Historic Library

Earlier the same week, ISIS torched the historic central library in Mosul, which it had recently overrun.

The library housed thousands of rare and irreplaceable manuscripts, some dating back hundreds of years.

Reports indicated that some 8,000 books were burned, including manuscripts and books that were registered on a UNESCO rarities list.

ISIS reportedly detonated the building with explosives after destroying the books.

‘New Phase in Cultural Cleansing’

The UN’s Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) director General, Irina Bokova, condemned these acts, saying, “This destruction marks a new phase in the cultural cleansing perpetrated in regions controlled by armed extremists in Iraq. It adds to the systematic destruction of heritage and the persecution of minorities that seeks to wipe out the cultural diversity that is the soul of the Iraqi people.”

The organization describes the rampage as “one of the most devastating acts of destruction of library collections in human history.”

UNESCO had previously warned the world that such acts would be committed by ISIS and had called for action, as ISIS goes from town to town, wiping out Jewish, Christian and other non-Sunni religious and cultural sites.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, which also displays ancient and Islamic relics from the Middle East, called the event an “act of catastrophic destruction to one of the most important museums in the Middle East.”

“This mindless attack on great art, on history and on human understanding constitutes a tragic assault not only on the Mosul Museum, but on our universal commitment to use art to unite people and promote human understanding,” a statement read. “Such wanton brutality must stop before all vestiges of the ancient world are obliterated.”

By: United with Israel Staff

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