News has just broken over the total obliteration of an ancient monastery sitting for over 1400 years on a hill overlooking Mosul in Iraq. St. Elijah Monastery, built in 590 (20 years before Muhammad had the pretensions to call himself a prophet of Allah), had weathered an attack in 1743 by a Persian Muslim army, whose general executed some 150 monks when they refused to convert to Islam. But now, under the regional control of ISIS, the monastery has been meticulously pulverized. Why?
As I wrote in a recent blog on what an Islamic State of America might look like, standard orthodox Islam believes that the world prior to or outside of Islam is best described as being in a state of jahiliyya, an Arabic word meaning “ignorance, stupidity, moral darkness.” The advent of Muhammad and Islam are Allah’s cure for this state of ignorance, in which boorish human beings had been worshiping rocks and sticks and all manner of idols, instead of Allah. Once Islam comes to the rescue of a culture or people, all vestiges of that former culture which might lead the newly conquered to fall back into their old ways must be eradicated. So Muhammad taught; so Muhammad acted; so his followers emulated.
This latest act of sacrilegious destruction is a badge of honor to ISIS, which feels that it is carrying out the Arabian prophet’s will. By erasing ancient signs of pre-Islamic worship, these Muslims believe they are showing Islam’s native supremacy over all other beliefs, and preventing their subjects from turning to other gods.
The monastery of St. Elijah is just one of more than a hundred such eradications. Recently the ancient site of the Temple of Bel in Palmyra, Syria, which I had the pleasure of visiting in 1973, was demolished by ISIS. Scores of other temples, churches, museums, tombs and monuments (and even rival mosques) have been similarly destroyed. Libraries have been raided and ancient books burned (much on the model of the Library of Alexandria during the Muslim conquest of Egypt by Amr ibn al-Aas in 642 AD.
Mr. Obama, Mrs. Clinton and other politicians never tire of declaring that ISIS has nothing to do with Islam, but on the contrary, ISIS is following Muhammad’s playbook to the letter. So who are we going to believe as to the real essence of Islam — those who have committed their lives and eternal destinies to the Allah Muhammad proclaimed, or those who have committed their lives to the pursuit of politically-correct myths for their self-advancement?
I know whom I’ve chosen to believe.