As the American left targets historical icons for removal and/or destruction, one is reminded of the way the Taliban destroyed centuries-old Buddhist statues and the Islamic State’s ongoing violence against Christian churches and landmarks.
In short, the American left, the Taliban, and the Islamic State (ISIS) hold two things in common. First, an inability to appreciate the whole of history as it happened, which includes good times and bad. And secondly, a tendency to express this lack of appreciation via violence and destruction.
For example, on March 12, 2001, the Telegraph reported that “the world’s two largest standing Buddhas – one of them 165ft high – were blown up by the Taliban in Afghanistan.” The statues were 1,700 years old, yet the Taliban “drilled holes into the torsos of the two statues and then placed dynamite charges inside the holes to blow them up.”
Taliban Foreign Minister Wakil Ahmad Muttawakil said, “We do admit the relics were the cultural heritage of Afghanistan, but the part that contradicts our Islamic beliefs we would not like to have them any more.”
In a similar vein, following the toppling of the Confederate statue in Durham, North Carolina, Workers World Party member Qasima Wideman said, “If the people decide they want to remove such a statue, that should be their right,” according to CNN.
And National Geographic shows that the tactic of destroying history has been a big part of the Islamic State’s method of operation. The Islamic state destroyed the ancient ruins of Palmyra–consisting of “colonnaded avenues and impressive temples.” This included one temple which had endured for 1,900 years, only to be blown to bits in August 2015.
National Geographic also reported that Islamic State destroyed the Roman-trading city of Apamea and the Greek settlement of Dura-Europos.
Dura-Europos was located on the Euphrates River and was home to “the world’s oldest known Christian church.” It is now home to “cratered landscape.”
Nineveh, located on the outskirts of Mosul, Iraq, had a cultural history that flourished between 900 and 600 BC. But when the Islamic State conquered Mosul in 2014, they raided the artifacts, destroying statues and looting much of what they did not destroy. Eventually, Mosul University Library was burned and the city’s central public library “was rigged with explosives and razed, together with thousands of manuscripts and instruments used by Arab scientists.”
The similar motivations between all these various destructive tendencies–especially the targeting of libraries–begs a question that radio talk host Laura Ingraham has already asked. Real Clear Politics quoted Ingraham saying, “What else will be subjected to [the American left’s] eradication and enunciation? … What about books? Are they going to start burning books too?”