On the Night of Power, in Mosul
[ by Charles Cameron — figurative self-destruction by ISIS at the Nuri Mosque in Mosul ]
Isis destroyed one of the greatest mosques in Islam on the night the Quran was revealed to the Prophet Mohammad.
— Kareem Shaheen (@kshaheen) June 21, 2017
Hard to imagine more fitting symbol of ISIS self-inflicted decline – they've apparently detonated mosque where Baghdadi claimed caliphate https://t.co/0CsgqyA74B
— Will McCants (@will_mccants) June 21, 2017
Will McCants comes closest to my own sense of the business with his invocation of symbolism and his words “self-inflicted decline” — this is an ouroboric moment, the (yes, self-inflicted) death of the birthplace of ISIS, a homecoming with a vengeance.
ISIS denies responsibility:
Apparent attempt to inflame sentiment against Coalition: ISIS claims it was US airstrike that destroyed iconic Al-Nuri Mosque in Mosul. pic.twitter.com/nbtUi9htz2
— Tobias Schneider (@tobiaschneider) June 21, 2017
Indeed, the Atlantic has a piece titled Who Blew Up Mosul’s Al-Nuri Mosque? — but points out that ISIS might prefer its founding edifice destroyed to its certain capture and propaganda use against it:
New York Times reporter Rukmini Callimachi notes ISIS has not shied away from using mosques for battle purposes, and suggests its destruction could be aimed at preventing coalition forces from taking control of it themselves — a move that could be of symbolic importance given the landmark’s role in the self-proclaimed caliphate’s founding.
And there we go again — “the self-proclaimed caliphate” — ouroboric from start to finish.
All this takes place on, of all nights, the Night of Power!