It has been reported that the militant Sunni Islamists who seized parts of northern Iraq last week, have now destroyed symbols of Iraq’s heritage in the city of Mosul, including statues of cultural icons and the tomb of a medieval philosopher. Witnesses have reported that militants have destroyed a statue of Othman al-Mousuli, a 19th Century Iraqi musician and composer, and the statue of Abu Tammam, an Abbasid-era Arab poet.
The tomb of Ibn al-Athir, an Arab philosopher who traveled with the army of warrior sultan Salahuddin in the 12th century was desecrated after militants took the city. Witnesses said the domed shrine had been razed and a park around it dug up. The militants, whose strict Salafi interpretation of Islam deems the veneration of tombs to be idolatrous, have destroyed several tombs and mosques inside Syria and now in neighboring Iraq where they have seized towns and cities.