What the destruction of the Great Mosque means for ISIS

Written by June 22, 2017 14:37

New Delhi:  The Great Mosque of al-Nuri was destroyed in fighting between the Iraqi forces and the Islamic State. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said that the destruction of the Mosque where ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Bhagdadi declared himself the Caliph signalled the defeat of the dreaded terror outfit.

The ISIS has however denied destroying the Mosque and blamed it on the US forces, a charge that has been denied. There has been widespread condemnation after the 800 year old Mosque was destroyed. The Iraqi forces say that they were about 50 metres away from the Mosque when the IS committed another historic crime.

The Mosque was one of the most significant structures in Mosul. The Great Mosque was named after Nur al-Din Mahmoud Zangi, a Turkic ruler of Mosul and Aleppo. Two years after his death the construction of the Mosque was ordered in 1172. Nur al-Din is known for mobilising and unifying Muslim forces to wage Jihad against the Christian crusaders.

While this Mosque was a symbolic structure, it was back in the news after the ISIS took over Mosul in 2014. It was here that the launch of the ISIS was announced. Baghdadi also declared himself the Caliph at this Mosque which put the limelight back on it again.

Experts are of the view that the destruction of the Mosque is a sign that the IS has been defeated. The ISIS went on to destroy the same Mosque where it launched itself. This in itself is a sign that the outfit has been defeated the experts say.

It was on July 4, 2014 that Baghdadi delivered a Friday sermon from the pulpit at the Great Mosque. This was one of his first appearances in many years. He was dressed in a black robe and turban and he appeared to give the picture that he was a descendant of the Quraysh tribe to which Prophet Muhammad belonged.