Mosul (IraqiNews.com) On Friday a local Nineveh official, Zuhair al-Chalabi said that there is information that almost certainly confirms that members of the organization of the Islamic state in Iraq and the Levant dug up the grave of the Prophet Younis in the east of Mosul.
Al-Chalabi said in an interview for IraqiNews.com, that “The elements of ISIL controlled the mosque of the Prophet Younis in Mosul since they invaded the city. It is still held by them until now,” pointing out that “elements of ISIL engaged in the process of tampering with the contents of the Mosque.”
Al-Chalabi added that “there is almost certain information stating the fact that the elements of ISIL dug up the grave of the Prophet Younis.”
In just one day, ISIL members committed a series of horrific crimes which illustrate their hostile nature, said Iraqi police in Ninawa spokesman Maj. Ahmed al-Obaidi.
“They torched 11 churches and monasteries out of 35 scattered across the city of Mosul, and hours later destroyed statues of poets, literary and historical figures of which Mosul has long been proud,” he said.
Three Sunni clerics were killed at the hands of ISIL gunmen in different parts of Mosul, he added.
The clerics, named Khattab Hassan, 43, Riyadh al-Wandi, 39, and Abdul Ghafoor Salman, 48, had called on local residents to reject the ISIL and had refused to leave the city, al-Obaidi said.
The gunmen then demolished the historic grave of the prophet Yunus (Jonah) and the shrine of prophet Shayth (Seth), revered by Muslims, Christians and Jews alike, which are located inside centuries-old mosques, he said.
ISIL elements have committed numerous crimes in Mosul in addition to the attacks on places of worship, setting fire to government buildings and violating the civil liberties of city residents, al-Obaidi said.
Here is an unverified video of prophet Yunus (biblical Jonah) mosque and tomb destroyed by ISIL terrorists:
Father Sabah Boutros of St. George’s Church in Baghdad said to IraqiNews.com that the repercussions of these crimes will not affect the brotherly ties between the Muslims and Christians of Nineveh
“We have lived with our Muslim brothers in Nineveh for centuries in peace and harmony and never exchanged violence on any day,” Boutros said. “On the contrary, our joys were mutual, and so were our griefs.”
Boutros said the recent attacks on religious sites and properties do not represent Muslims and only represent the ISIL “as it launches its terrorist attacks on all without exception”.
UPDATE July 6, 2014: IraqiNews.com publishes photos of ISIL destroying and looting Shia, Shunni and Sufi mosques: http://www.iraqinews.com/features/urgent-isil-destroys-mosul-mosques-pillages-contents/
UPDATE July 9, 2014: Today, archbishops from Baghdad, Mosul and Kirkuk said the violence in Iraq is hastening the end of nearly 2,000 years of Christianity there as the few remaining faithful flee Islamic State militants.
War and sectarian conflict have shrunk Iraq’s Christian population to about 400,000 from 1.5 million before the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, they said on a visit to Brussels seeking European Union help to protect their flocks. And now, even those who stayed are leaving for Turkey, Lebanon and western Europe, they claimed.
The three – Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako, Syrian Catholic Archbishop of Mosul Yohanna Petros Mouche and Kirkuk’s Chaldean Catholic Archbishop Youssif Mirkis – are all Eastern Catholics whose churches have their own traditional liturgy but are loyal to the pope in Rome.
‘The next days will be very bad. If the situation does not change, Christians will be left with just a symbolic presence in Iraq,’ said Sako, who is based in Baghdad.
‘If they leave, their history is finished.’
UPDATE July 10, 2014: Are 2000 years of Christian history in Iraq coming to an end? Read more: http://www.iraqinews.com/features/chaldean-church-warns-possibility-end-christian-history-iraq/
UPDATE July 24, 2014: Today, ISIL destroyed the Mosque of Biblical Jonah, Prophet Yunus after having already demolished the historic grave of the prophet Yunus (Jonah) and the shrine of prophet Shayth (Seth), revered by Muslims, Christians and Jews alike. URGENT: ISIL destroys Mosque of Biblical Jonah, Prophet Yunus