Historian: Destruction of Jonah's Tomb Ignored by West

Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 04:32 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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The recent destruction of the tomb of the Biblical figure Jonah has been met with a disturbing silence by the West, according to historian Timothy Stanley, a former professor at Oxford and Harvard Universities.

"We're witnessing the destruction of an entire civilization — of a society. "That's a remarkable war crime obviously without any justification,'' Stanley said Tuesday on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

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Eyewitnesses say the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant — the al-Qaida-related terror group that has captured city after city in Iraq — purposely destroyed the sacred shrine, which is located east of Mosul. ISIL has also been called the Islamic State of Iraq and the Syria or ISIS.

Stanley said the lack of outrage by the West over the sickening desecration is stunning.

"[We] have a duty to ask ourselves why our society chooses not to speak about what's happening there. It says something about our lack of confidence as a Judeo-Christian western culture that we don't like commenting upon a lot of what goes on in the Middle East,'' Stanley said.

"By ignoring it, we are essentially facilitating it and it's just absolutely horrendous. It's so sad to see the destruction of Jonah's tomb. This is a holy prophet and the West has nothing to say about it whatsoever.

"Of course, it's not just relics being destroyed, it's also people being killed, being driven out their homes, being raped, being treated in a dreadful, dreadful manner and the West is shamefully silent.''

Part of the problem is the mainstream media's lack of coverage of atrocities in the Middle East, according to Stanley.

"The media is simply not reporting it. It's just not giving it equal air time,'' he said.

Another reason is the West's view of itself, he said.

"We've been raised in the West in the last 50 years to believe that Christians are oppressors — that it's axiomatic that if there is some kind of religious struggle going on, it'll be Christians killing some other group of people," Stanley said.

"That's what we've been raised to believe. Of course, the reality now is very, very different and there are millions of people across the world … being persecuted because of their Christian faith.''

That makes it hard for Westerners to believe the violence is happening, according to Stanley.

"We've been trained to hate ourselves quite frankly here in the West. Anyone who is dying, who is a Christian, we find difficult to process that,'' he said.

"Some people are even a little afraid that it might be politically incorrect to criticize a group of Muslims for killing a group of Christians because it might in bizarre way be a wider comment upon Islam.

"We are so desperately careful not to ever criticize, careful not to ever be seen to be taken the side of the so called Christian majority – they're not the majority there – that we will not say anything.''

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