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Sites of PluralismCommunity Politics in the Middle East$
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Firat Oruc

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190052713

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190052713.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 21 October 2021

Cultural Cleansing and Iconoclasm Under the Islamic State

Cultural Cleansing and Iconoclasm Under the Islamic State

Attacks on Yezidis and Christians and Their Heritage

(p.181) 8 Cultural Cleansing and Iconoclasm Under the Islamic State
Sites of Pluralism

Benjamin Isakhan

José Antonio González Zarandona

Taghreed Jamal Al-Deen

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyzes the destruction of heritage perpetrated by the "Islamic State" (IS) in Iraq and Syria. It takes as its empirical focus the targeting of both Yezidi and Christians and their heritage in Iraq and Syria. To date, little attention has been paid to the intersection between the human suffering and the heritage destruction undertaken by the IS. This chapter also examines the cultural cleansing undertaken by the IS against these two fragile minorities by also looking at the iconoclastic acts against the tangible representations of their heritage. This chapter situates the discussion within the conceptual framework of heritage, community, and violence, by arguing that attacks on heritage sites in conjunction with genocidal pogroms or ethno/religious conflict occur precisely because heritage plays such a critical role as the tangible manifestation of the community.

Keywords:   Yezidi community in Iraq, Christians in Iraq and Syria, Cultural cleansing and minorities, Destruction of heritage sites by ISIS

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