The Star-and-Crescent

In their ongoing genocidal campaign to eradicate the Assyrian nation by killing Assyrian civilians and anyone else who stands in their way, rampaging ISIL fighters are also destroying Assyrian artifacts, cities, and churches. On websites and in other media ISIL gloats in this destruction with photos of ISIL fighters removing Christian crosses from the domes of those churches and replacing them with the star-and-crescent device of Islam.

Ironically, the star-and-crescent motif was an element of ancient Assyrian pagan symbology that Islam adopted some three thousand years after it first appeared in the Near East. The star represented Ishtar, goddess of love, fertility, sex, and war, who was associated with the morning and evening star, i.e. the planet Venus; the crescent represented the god Sin in his aspect as the new moon.

Each month on the night of the new moon and on the following morning (and provided the sky is clear!) you can easily view with the naked eye the star of Ishtar in front of and in line with the crescent moon.

The ancient Assyrians also used the symbol of the eastern cross as a representation of the god Assur. Thus, ISIL is marking its “success” in killing people and conquering territory by replacing one ancient Assyrian symbol with another ancient Assyrian symbol.

If there is a contradiction inherent in appropriating pagan symbols as representations of their extremist religious/ideological doctrine, ISIL seems unaware of it. There is an old saying in the U.S Army which states it is better to keep your mouth shut and not act upon a feeling than to talk and/or act and by doing so remove all doubts about how “uneducated” you are. Bearing in mind that bit of wisdom, I would suggest to ISIL and its supporters that they familiarize themselves with ancient Assyrian religion before they destroy yet another church and replace the Christian cross with the star-and-crescent symbol the ancient Assyrians used in the worship of their pagan gods.

NEC-SE 25 MAR 15

Islamic State is destroying ancient cities excavated by three remarkable men in the middle of the 19th Century – among them the first Iraqi archaeologist.

3 replies »