Islamic terrorists roving through the Middle East are obliterating the region’s ancient culture and heritage. UNESCO is discussing how to deal with this crisis.

As the Islamic State (IS or ISIS) and other Muslim terror organizations continue to advance through Iraq and Syria, the cultural diversity and heritage of both countries is being directly targeted, the UN’s Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) reports. ISIS goes from town to town whipping out Jewish, Christian and other non-Sunni religious and cultural sites.

UNESCO held an international conference on the crisis at its Paris headquarters on December 3. Political decision-makers, humanitarian workers and cultural heritage experts are considering various ways to address the crisis.

‘It’s Not Too Late to Take Action’

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova called for the creation of “protected cultural zones” around heritage sites in Syria and Iraq. Bokova suggested starting with the World Heritage city of Aleppo and, in particular, the Omeyyad Mosque. “It is not too late to take action,” she said.

Bokova denounced the persecution of minorities, the attacks on cultural heritage and the illicit trafficking in cultural properties as “part of a strategy of deliberate cultural cleansing of exceptional violence.”

The First Speaker of the Parliament of Iraq, Sheikh Humam Hamoudi, called on countries seeking to help his nation to “safeguard the soul of Iraq,” the heritage of the successive and diverse cultures that developed in the region, representing the tremendous contribution made to humanity over more than 6,000 years. Hamoudi urged the international community to help Iraq resist “those who seek to impose one line of thought, one truth, above all others.”

A Muslim deliberately destroying Jonah’s tomb:

Deliberate Destruction by Muslim Terrorists

ISIS has openly boasted about its exploits in the second edition of its Dabiq magazine. The magazine features a photo report of the various mosques, shrines and religious heritage sites they have destroyed throughout Iraq and Syria. ISIS’s drive to obliterate any non-Sunni heritage and culture in the region is blatantly declared, and the terror group has vowed to continue this destruction throughout the Christian world.

UNESCO points out that the cultural heritage in Iraq and Syria, which bears witness to thousands of years of history in the cradle of world civilization, is being deliberately destroyed. Religious sites such as the Jewish Shrines of Jonas and the Prophet Daniel, the Jobar synagogue near Damascus, which, legend has it, goes back to the time of Elijah the Prophet, and the tombs of Sufi Sheikhs in Mosul have been sacked. The archaeological sites of the Green Church in Tikrit, dating back to the eighth century, and the citadel of Tikrit have been severely damaged. In Syria, cultural sites such as the historic city of Aleppo, which is on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, have been hit.

UNESCO adds that the deliberate destruction is tied to the persecution of minority populations by the Muslim terror organizations and reveals a determination by ISIS and others to eradicate all traces of the region’s cultural diversity. “This policy of terror and exclusion has led to the massive displacement of populations in Iraq and Syria, compromising even further the future and stability of both countries,” UNESCO concluded.

By: United with Israel Staff

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