An old truism has become known as (technology journalist Ian) Betteridge’s Law of Headlines: ‘any headline which ends in a question mark can be answered by the word “no”‘. I think that can basically be extended to the question in your head whenever you first read a headline on Iraqi News.
Obviously, Iraqi News reporting something as having happened doesn’t prevent it happening afterwards, and Iraqi News repeating others’ reporting doesn’t reverse it having happened… However, as I’ve documented regarding the Tomb/Mosque of Prophet Jonah/Nabi Yunus (which has since been destroyed) and the al-Tahera Church (which does not appear to have been destroyed yet), Iraqi News does not exactly have reassuring standards of caution or evidence.
On the 23rd of July, Iraqi News published an ‘urgent‘ report: ‘ISIL destroys 14th century Islamic shrine located west of Mosul’ (the Imam Yahya Abul Qasim Mosque). Iraqi News’ ‘source’ said that ‘the terrorist gunmen of ISIL looted and blew up… the shrine of Imam Yahya Abu al-Qasim’ (in Achifa to the west of Mosul) ‘with improvised explosive devices’.
That article sat amongst my computer-melting row of tabs until this/yesterday evening, when Christopher Jones (@cwjones89) consulted the hive mind: ‘Hello Twitter, is there any confirmation that the 13c Imam Yahya Abu al-Qasim Mosque in Mosul has been destroyed?’ I checked again, but the photograph was still a photograph of the site rather than the ruin, and there was no source of scientific evidence anywhere else.
Not even circumstantial evidence has emerged in the course of the last week, when the Islamic State(1) has so aggressively advertised its urbicidal agenda. So, is the Iraqi News report accurate? No. As I have said concerning so many sites now, there is no evidence of the destruction of Imam Yahya Abu al-Qasim Mosque yet.
1: it is also known as the Caliphate, Da’ash, Da’esh, Da’ish, the Islamic State (IS), the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).