Islamic State destroyed the Shia Shrine of Imam al-Daur (Samarra, Iraq, 23rd October 2014)

Iraq’s first muqarnas-domed mausoleum [from 1085 C.E.], the tomb of the Shia ‘Uqaylid amir, Sharaf ad-Dawla Muslim, is no more. It was destroyed last week, on the 23rd of October, but identifying information came out piece by piece, alongside false evidence.

Initial evidence

On the 25th, Iraq Heritage posted on Facebook that ‘ISIS [had] destroy[ed] an Iraqi ancient tomb, one of the last remaining 6 tombs with this structural design’, and searched around for the transliteration of the name, Mohammed el Dorry, which was only given in the post’s Arabic script ‘داعش تهدم مرقد الامام محمد الدري ،هذا الطراز كان هناك ٦ مثله في العالم فقط’. No confirming reports showed up immediately. I didn’t get any reply to a tweet that shared the news @conflictantiq. [Clarification (30th October 2014): Originally, t]he site didn’t even show up on Archnet [but it did once I had found the standard spelling/transliteration of the name, and I found the historical information in Archnet’s records].

On the 26th, archaeologist Lamia Al Gailani Werr shared that ‘Imman ed-Dor Shrine [had been] destroyed’, though she was unable to provide images or links.

On the 27th, UNESCO issued yet another condemnation of the destruction of yet another site, this time transliterated as the shrine of Imam Dur (though it didn’t publish any photo of the site after destruction). UNESCO itself even highlighted that Director-General Irina Bokova’s statement recalled a similar one from the 8th of August.

False evidence

False images have been circulating. On the 28th, for example, Al-Dostor News @aldostornews shared a cropped photograph of the ruins of the Tomb-Mosque of Jonah/Yunus. So, I have been wary of saying anything conclusive.

#الدستور: #اليونسكو تدين تدمير مرقد الإمام #محمد_الدري في العراق التفاصيل.. (c) Al-Dostor News, Twitter, 28th October 2014

#الدستور: #اليونسكو تدين تدمير مرقد الإمام #محمد_الدري في العراق
التفاصيل.. (c) Al-Dostor News, Twitter, 28th October 2014

Good evidence

When I was asked about the site by a journalist (a couple of hours ago), I searched for images again and finally found the Iraq Press Agency report, which had been published on the day of destruction.

Google Images renders the name, محمد الدري, in a fourth form – as al-Daur – while Panoramio adds a fifth, sixth and seventh – Ad Dawr, Aldour and Aldry. Though the images of the destroyed site don’t appear to have any features that conclusively identify them as the shrine of Imam Dur, neither Google Maps’ satellite view, nor Panoramio user Sinan Jassim’s photo, shows any sign that the photographs of the destroyed site are of a different site. Likwise, the post-destruction photos, at least, do not contradict each other.

Based on the contemporary reports, the images and Lamia Al Gailani Werr’s (albeit indirect) confirmation, I believe that the Shrine of Imam al-Daur has been destroyed.

The Shrine of Imam Dur before destruction (c) Iraq Press Agency, 23rd October 2014

The Shrine of Imam Dur before destruction
(c) Iraq Press Agency, 23rd October 2014

Apparently, the Shrine of Imam Dur after destruction (c) Iraq Press Agency, 23rd October 2014

Apparently, the Shrine of Imam Dur after destruction
(c) Iraq Press Agency, 23rd October 2014

Apparently, the Shrine of Imam Dur after destruction (c) Iraq Press Agency, 23rd October 2014

Apparently, the Shrine of Imam Dur after destruction
(c) Iraq Press Agency, 23rd October 2014

Bad signs

I believe that the destruction of the Yezidi Shrine of Meme Reshan (Quba Memê Reşan) is more urgent, because it is part of the Islamic State’s intensive genocidal campaign against Yezidis and Kurds. Nonetheless, the destruction of the Shia Shrine of Imam al-Daur is also significant, because it demonstrates that, despite its massive commitment to its assaults on Kobane and Sinjar, the Islamic State is still making the effort to advance its urbicidal attack on all other communities, on any evidence that other existences have ever been possible or could ever be possible.

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4 Responses to “Islamic State destroyed the Shia Shrine of Imam al-Daur (Samarra, Iraq, 23rd October 2014)”

    • Yes, sorry. I meant that, when I searched for the first, non-standard spelling/transliteration of its name, I couldn’t find it in Archnet. Once I had the standard form of the name, I found those links. They’re my links for the muqarnas dome and the Uqaylid tomb. Thanks for keeping such a close track!

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