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US occupiers compared to Mongol looters
An influential British Muslim thinktank has compared the looting and vandalism of historical Baghdad during the American invasion to that of the Mongol occupation in 1258.
Last Modified: 16 Oct 2003 13:03 GMT
The National Museum in Baghdad was looted as law and order broke down
An influential British Muslim thinktank has compared the looting and vandalism of historical Baghdad during the American invasion to that of the Mongol occupation in 1258.

The Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) organised a conference in London attended by the mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, and leading Iraqi historians, architects and economists.

The aim of the conference was to build stronger relations between the Muslim community in London and the wider British society.

Anas Altikriti, director of MAB accused the occupation forces in Iraq of creating chaotic conditions in Baghdad similar to the Mongol invasion of the city in 1258.

US blamed for cultural and
historical vandalism in Iraq

"The Mongol invasion of Iraq was one of the bloodiest and grimest periods in the history of the country.

"Historians have documented that over one million transcripts were thrown into the river Tigris with the ink from books staining the river.

"Now once again we are seeing the cultural and historical vandalism of Baghdad," said Altikriti.

Building bridges

The conference heard from the mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, who talked about his opposition to the invasion of Iraq on humanitarian grounds.

He called on Muslims and non Muslims in London to work together to build trust and friendship between one another.

"Iraq and Baghdad have been historic centres of Arab, Muslim and world civilisation for centuries.
 
"For this reason, the war and destruction in Iraq was a deeply traumatic event for the Muslim communities who make up 10%of London's population.
 
"At the same time, some of the media coverage during the war legitimised Islamophobia. The London economy was also harmed and with a fall in tourism.
 
"This conference will help all Londoners understand how the Muslim communities experienced the war in Iraq, and it will make an important contribution to improving community understanding and relations in London for the future.'' 

Delegates also highlighted the anxiety and fear that many Muslims felt for their own safety following the invasion of Iraq, fearing a backlash against themelves from sections of wider British society.

"Once again we are seeing the cultural and historical vandalism of Baghdad"

Anas Altikriti, director of MAB

Empire

The Mongol invasion of Iraq was one of the bloodiest and darkest periods in the country's history.

Historians have estimated that one million people were killed when Genghis Khan invaded Baghdad and destroyed the city and much of eastern Iraq.

The delegates at the conference demanded the drawing up of a timetable for the withdrawal of troops in Iraq and for multi faith groups in London to work together to find a just peace in Iraq and the wider region.

Source:
Aljazeera
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