A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Friday, July 25, 2014

ISIS Denied Earlier Reports it Had Destroyed Jonah's Tomb; Then, Yesterday, They Blew it Up

The good news is that reports from several days ago that ISIS had destroyed the traditional tomb of the Prophet Yunus (Biblical Jonah) turned out to be untrue. The bad news is, we know this because they blew it up yesterday. Quite visibly.

Jonah, in the Bible, and Yunus, his equivalent in the Qur'an, was sent as a Prophet to Nineveh after the incident being swallowed by a "great fish." The Mosque and shrine stood on a hill known as Nabi Yunus, above the ruins of ancient Nineveh, across the Tigris from Mosul. It stood on the site of an earlier Assyrian Church dedicated to Jonah. ISIS had denied earlier reports that it had destroyed the tomb, but the video above and the before and after photos below seem to leave no doubt; as Conflict Antiquities notes, they also match older photos of the site.
Before and After

In addition to these attacks on Sunni sites, ISIS has also destroyed Shi‘ite shrines and husseiniyyas and Sufi saints' tombs.


Brian Ulrich said...

I found a couple of medieval impressions of the area: http://bjulrich.blogspot.com/2014/07/al-maqdisi-jonah-and-mosul.html

Michael Collins Dunn said...

Brian: Thanks. I'll check it out.