Who cares what’s happening in Syria? You should:
e fate of one of the world’s most important archaeological treasures hangs in the balance after the Islamist militant group ISIS overwhelmed the historic city of Palmyra, also known as Tadmur. The city contains the ruins of what, according to UNESCO, “was one of the most important cultural centers of the ancient world” — an important Silk Road hub where East met West more 2,000 years ago. A World Heritage Site, Palmyra is heralded by experts as having some of the finest Roman-era ruins in existence.
“It makes Rome blush,” says Stephennie Mulder, an archaeologist and professor of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. “When you approach the site, it rises out of the desert like some sort of a mirage out of a fairy tale.”
The ancient city, which flourished in the 1st and 2nd centuries, has numerous historic structures. Among them: a 3,600-foot long colonnade, an agora (or marketplace), an amphitheater, an urban quarter, a series of tombs, a hilltop castle and the Temple of Bel (also spelled Ba’al), an important, cross-cultural religious site pagan site.
In addition to executing 17 people in the area, according to some accounts — including, quite possibly, children — the fear now is that ISIS, which has wreaked destruction on other important ruins sites, will now get around to tumbling a crown jewel.
Well, if past is prologue, of course they will. Islam cannot abide anything that came before it. What do the French think will happen to Chartres and Notre Dame? What do the Brits think will happen to St. Paul’s? Forget “religion” — expansionist Islam is a plague that must be stopped dead unless the world wants to lose its culture, its heritage and its soul.