No Islamic grounds to Mosul museum destruction: Dar al-Iftaa
Men use sledgehammers on a toppled statue in a museum at a location said to be Mosul in this still image taken from an undated video - REUTERS

CAIRO: There is no religious justification for the destruction of artifacts Mosul Museum of Iraq by the Islamic State (IS) group, Egypt’s Islamic religious authority Dar al-Iftaa announced Friday/.

IS militants in Iraq released Thursday a video showing the destruction of statues and sculptures dating from the Assyrian era via using sledgehammers and drills, claiming that such artifacts are symbols of idolatry.

“The odd opinions that Daesh [IS} depends on to destroy the artifacts are flimsy and misleading and have no Islamic grounds…such artifacts were existing when the Prophet Muhammad’s  companions conquered countries and they were not ordered to destroy them,” Dar al-Iftaa said in a statement Friday.

The statement noted that there was never a fatwa [Islamic Law] issued to destroy or touch the artifacts, and that he who harms historical monuments “lacks knowledge of Islam.”

Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities condemned the destruction, saying “this deed is an assassination of civilization and is against humanity.”

Egyptian Minister Mamdouh al-Damaty announced that Egypt’s readiness to participate in the restoration of smashed artifacts once the situation in Iraq settles down.”

“I am deeply shocked by footage released today showing the destruction of statues and other artifacts of the Mosul Museum. I condemn this as a deliberate attack against Iraq’s millennial history and culture, and as an inflammatory incitement to violence and hatred,” said the Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova Thursday.

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