Friday, September 29, 2006

Iraq's Past Slipping Away?

This news story suggests that fundamentalist shi'ites are going to a) step up the looting of Iraq pre-Islamic archaeological sites, the better to fund the insurgency, or b) destroy the sites, a la the Taliban and the ancient Bamiyan Buddhas. Or both?

There's a word for this fundamentalist Islamic attitude towards the pre-Islamic past: Jahiliyyah. Coupled with ordinary looting and the international black market in antiquities, it spells neglect and possibly ruin for some of mankind's most precious treasures.

This, by the way, is yet another reason to hope that the Muslim Brotherhood never comes to power in Egypt. Can you imagine these fanatics tearing down the Great Pyramids and the Sphinx?

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