ISIS destroys the birthplace of Saladin

In yet another act of barbarism, the so-called Islamic State has blown up the citadel of the historic city of Tikrit – birthplace of Saladin, the great Saracen warrior who fought Richard the Lionheart in the crusades. This is one of a grim series of attacks on archaeological sites driven by a salafi/wahhabi literalist view of the Qur’an. Namely that shrines and tombs must not be venerated and so should be destroyed.

The same logic, incidentally, has been pursued by the authorities in Saudi Arabia where, in recent years, the tombs and houses of many of the founders of Islam have been levelled. This may seem odd given the image of the Saudis as ultra-religious. But it’s the type of Islam they adhere to that means they’re indifferent to the buildings that once housed the Prophet and his family and companions.

Saladin as depicted in the movie Kingdom of Heaven

10 thoughts on “ISIS destroys the birthplace of Saladin

  1. I watched Kingdom of Heaven yesterday, and found your site today. Congratulations on the design, it’s a very beautiful site. I love arabic culture and almost bought a helmet from a collector years ago, a helmet that was similar to that of the great Saladin. Countless architectural treasures have been destroyed in Syria, and now this. It was Voltaire who said that it is very difficult to free imbeciles from their chains, and one cannot find the words to describe such stupid acts.

      1. It is indeed deplorable. One is to wonder if Sotheby’s or Christie’s will make a fuss, or go on Turkish mafia mode and sell the things anyway. This remains to be seen. In the meantime, business is booming “under the counter”.