Not Signed-In
Which clippings match 'Crusades' keyword pg.1 of 1
27 APRIL 2013

How and when Muslim societies will move away from seeing violence as a resolution to human conflict

"This week the minaret of one of Syria's most beautiful mosques was destroyed in the northern city of Aleppo. The Ummayad mosque established in 715 was rebuilt in 1159 after being damaged by a fire and then built again a century later after the Mongol invasion. The oldest surviving part was the minaret and both the State forces and the rebels accuse each other of its destruction. Lying in the Old City, the mosque is a Unesco world heritage site but has become part of the wider devastation of Syria's rich cultural heritage; a Crusader castle and Roman ruins in the ancient city of Palmyra have also been damaged.

However sad this physical destruction of history and art is, it should matter less to us than the recent reports that some 70,000 lives have been lost in this terrible civil war with hundreds of thousands more displaced. This is a war which is gradually ripping the country apart but about which the rest of the world doesn't seem to know what to do. Yet there is a different poignancy to the loss of a country's artistic and cultural past. It is these visual artifacts, building and ruins which speak to us of a country's history, its collective memory, the love and passion of the people who make a piece of land into a nation state. That so many Syrians are now killing each other and destroying ruins and religious sites poses the disturbing question, what exactly is still held sacred in so many part of the Muslim world?

A couple of weeks ago I returned from a short break to Istanbul. The area surrounding the majestic Hagia Sophia and the Blue mosque is also a Unesco world heritage site, tourists wander freely, the buildings stand sublime, the contested past of the place breathing its religious spirit into a refashioned, modern and vibrant city. But I wonder whether the preservation of history is only meaningful in countries where there is the preservation of peace, where people can enjoy the ordinariness of life, where there is order and purpose and we have the luxury of self reflection.

Earlier this week the former Met commissioner sir Ian Blair said societies choose what kind of violence they will tolerate. Looking across to so many part of the Islamic world where there is civil war, state violence and individual acts of terror, I wonder how and when Muslim societies will move away from seeing violence as a resolution to human conflict. When God is great is uttered as people and buildings are blown up what kind of God have so many created in their hearts and minds? The destruction of the minaret is not just a physical destruction but a tragic metaphor for a nation's soul."

(Mona Siddiqui, 26 April 2013, BBC Radio 4: Thought for the Day)

Fig.1 At left, the damaged Umayyad mosque in the northern city of Aleppo, Syria, on Wednesday 24 April 2013; at right, the view of the mosque with the minaret intact on 6 March 2013. (AP) [http://www.wbur.org/npr/178906558/minaret–of–iconic–syrian–mosque–destroyed–in–fighting].

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1159 • 715 • Aleppo • ancient city • architectural feature • artistic past • BBC Radio 4 • blown up • Blue mosque • building and ruinscivil warcollective memory • Crusader castle • Crusadescultural heritagecultural heritage sitescultural past • destroying • destructiondevastationgod • Hagia Sophia • historic preservation • history and art • human conflict • Ian Blair • individual acts of terror • Islamic mosque • Islamic world • Metropolitan Police • minaret • Minaret of the Bride • Mona Siddiqui • Mongol invasion • mosque • Muslim societies • Muslim world • order and purpose • ordinariness of life • Palmyra • physical destructionpreservation • preservation of history • preservation of peace • religious sites • Roman ruins • ruinssacred • self reflection • self-reflection • state violence • SyriaThought for the Day • tragic metaphor • Umayyad Mosque • UNESCO • UNESCO World Heritage site • violencevisual artefactswomen in cultural theorywonders of the ancient world • world heritage site • world heritage sites

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
09 NOVEMBER 2012

This Land Is Mine: the great Middle East tragicomedy

"I envisioned This Land Is Mine as the last scene of my potential–possible–maybe– feature film, Seder–Masochism, but it's the first (and so far only) scene I've animated. As the Bible says, 'So the last will be first, and the first will be last.'"

(Nina Paley)

Fig.1 Nina Paley (2012) "This Land Is Mine".

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20122D animation • Alexander conquer • Alexander the Great • Ancient Egyptian • Ancient Greek • Angel of Death • animationapocalypseArab • Arab Caliph • Assyrian • Ayyubid dynasty • Babylonian • Babylonian Exile • belligerenceBibleBritish EmpireByzantine • Byzantine Empire • Caliph • Canaanite • Channukah • Children of Israel • conflictcontested state • Crusader • Crusadesdevil • Eastern and Western Empires • Egypt • Egyptian • Egyptian Mamluk • European Jew • freedom fighter • futility of warGreek • Greek-Macedonian • Grim Reaper • guerrilla warfareHamas • Hebrew Priest • Hezbollah • historyhistory of conflictideological intoleranceideologyIsraelIsraeli-Palestinian conflict • Israelite • JerusalemJesus ChristJewish settlersJudaism • Kingdom of Jerusalem • Maccabee • Macedonian • Mamluk of Egypt • mamluks • militarized resistance movementsmilitaryMuslimNina Paley • Old Testament • Ottoman Empire • Ottoman Turk • Ottoman Turkish • ownershipPalestinePalestinian • Palestinian Liberation Organization • Palestinian territoriespeace • PLO • Ptolemaic • Ptolemy • Ptolmaic • RomanRoman Empire • Second Temple • Seder Masochism • Seleucid • Seleucids • State of IsraelterritorialisationterritoryterroristterroristsThis Land Is MinetimelinetragicomicwarZionist

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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