"The latest to face the militants’ wrath are the Assyrian Christians, of northeastern Syria, one of the world’s oldest Christian communities, some speaking a modern version of Aramaic, the language of Jesus.
Assyrian leaders have counted 287 people taken captive, including 30 children and several dozen women, along with civilian men and fighters from Christian militias, said Dawoud Dawoud, an Assyrian political activist who had just toured the area, in the vicinity of the Syrian city of Qamishli. Thirty villages had been emptied, he said." NY Times
"Its militants seized the museum — which had not yet opened to the public — when they took over Mosul in June and have repeatedly threatened to destroy its collection.
In the video, put out by the Islamic State’s media office for Nineveh Province — named for an ancient Assyrian city — a man explains, “The monuments that you can see behind me are but statues and idols of people from previous centuries, which they used to worship instead of God.”
A message flashing on the screen read: “Those statues and idols weren’t there at the time of the Prophet nor his companions. They have been excavated by Satanists.”" NY Times
None of this is surprising.
- For these salafist jihadis Christians are an inferior type of ahl al-kitab (people of the book). IS are required by Quran and Hadith to abstain from calling them pagans but backslide continuously into calling them polytheists because of Christian trinitarian doctrine. The practice of the early Muslim community under the Ummayad and Abbasid Caliphates was to charge Christians, Jews and other "people of the book" a capitation tax, (jizyat). This established them as dhimmi ( a protected second class community under Muslim rule). IS considers that it is merely restoring that ancient process. Christian unwillingness to submit to this regime invalidates their "protected" status for IS. IMO they are likely to kill these hostages. BTW if OFAC does not declare some of these resistance groups to be kosher (a little humor) I will have nothing to do with them (the Christians as opposed to OFAC). I have watched DoJ at work too often since 9/11 to risk anything like that. OFAC being what it is I do not expect them to do anything for these people.
- Wahhabi salafist extremists such as these are deeply wedded to their sharia concept of "shirk." This involves the sin of giving importance to material objects; art, people, institutions that in their view should be accorded only to God. From their point of view statues that may have been worshiped are the devil's work. Remember that similar people with similar beliefs destroyed those giant Buddhas in Afghanistan. This vandalism in Mosul is typical for them. pl