Friday, September 04, 2015
The destruction of Syrian antiquity
2000 years of history destroyed in 2 days. The Temple of Baal deliberately demolished. An ideology of murder, genocide, destruction. Hundreds of thousands of people, if not millions, are fleeing for their lives. How did the world ever get into this state of affairs? And how do we sort the mess? I don't think anyone yet has a solution.
I was in Syria in December 2010. The Arab Spring was just kicking off in Tunisia. In Damascus, the Christmas decorations were up. Then, people celebrated each others religious festivals. Syria had a big Christian minority. Muslims celebrated Christmas just as Christians celebrated Ramadan. Syria was a country with a hereditary dictatorship but it was one in which different religions lived next door to each other and accepted each other.
The modern day Nazis of ISIL have destroyed that, just as they are destroying the world-significant heritage of the lands they now control. This deliberate, wholesale destruction of culture and heritage is in itself an act of genocide, an attempt to wipe from the face of the planet the history and culture of peoples. Assuming ISIL is driven back and destroyed, those responsible for these wanton acts of destruction need to be brought to trial at the International Court in the Hague.
On Tuesday evening, I went to the Sunniside History Society monthly meeting. We had a last minute change to the agenda so that the above video could be shown. I filmed it in the Temple of Baal 5 years ago. It was the Temple that was destroyed by ISIL over the weekend. We had a discussion after the video and I think it is fair to say that people were at a complete loss to explain why all this has been able to happen.
And matters are deteriorating more.