Conservation Heritage Disasters Iraq

Islamic militants destroy Muslim shrine in Mosul

Isis jihadists continue to target holy sites across Iraq

Residents of Mosul climb over the ruins of the Mosque of the Prophet Younis (uncredited/AP)

Islamic state militants (Isis) have blown up a significant shrine in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, the latest in a series of holy sites reportedly destroyed by the jihadist group. On 24 July, Isis members detonated explosives in the Mosque of the Prophet Younis. The militants said that “the mosque had become a place for apostasy, not prayer”, according to Agence France Presse.

The Nabis Younis mosque, thought to be the burial place of Jonah (the prophet swallowed by a whale), was built around 1393 upon the ruins of a Christian church.

“Nabis Younis was one of the most important mosques in Mosul and one of the few historic mosques that are found in the east side of the city. The mosque and minaret were destroyed by Isis militants on July 24,” according to the website for the United States Department of Defense.

Yesterday (25 July), Isis blew up the Nabi Shiyt (Prophet Seth) shrine in Mosul according to Agence France Presse. YouTube footage posted on the website of Al Arabiya News, a Dubai-based news station, purports to show the demolition of the Shiite shrine.

“Isis militants stopped people from coming close, set explosives in and around the shrine and then detonated them as a crowd looked on,” said a resident. Seth, the third son of Adam and Eve, is venerated by followers of Christianity, Islam and Judaism.

Isis, which recently declared a caliphate, are effectively in control of around a third of Iraq after seizing large swathes of the country last month. The group considers all religious shrines to be idolatrous.

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