Ahmed al-Rifai shrine in Tal Afar destroyed by ISIS
It should come as no surprise that the terrorist organization currently known as Islamic State has no regard for Christians, Christianity or Jesus Christ. An estimated 10,000 people have fled Christian areas in northern Iraq. And of course they have no regard for Jews or Judaism. They have destroyed the tomb of the prophet Jonah whose preaching in the city of Nineveh in Iraq caused them to repent and spared them the judgement of God.
And they have destroyed many of the historical religious artifacts in the Mosul Museum. According to Christopher Dickey writing in The Daily Beast;
And it's not just the monumental sculptures that are in danger, but thousands of artifacts and, also, ancient manuscripts from the many cultures—Islamic, Christian, and pagan—that inhabited the region of Mosul when it sat astride the caravan route that led from the Far East into the Near East and Europe.
Did you catch that? They even destroyed the Islamic history in the Mosul Museum. They have destroyed mosques as well as churches as they have marched through Iraq. And they are even threatening the holiest site in Islam, the city of Mecca and the Kaaba. The Azerbaijan Press Agency quoting ISIS member Abu Turab Al Mugaddasi stated
“If Allah wills, we will kill those who worship stones in Mecca and destroy the Kaaba. People go to Mecca to touch the stones, not for Allah.”
All of this brought to my mind the verse from the book of the Prophet Daniel;
He will show no regard for the gods of his fathers or for the desire of women, nor will he show regard for any other god; for he will magnify himself above them all. But instead he will honor a god of fortresses, a god whom his fathers did not know; he will honor him with gold, silver, costly stones and treasures. Daniel 11:37-38 (NASB)
I want to state clearly that I do not believe that the leader of ISIS, the man best known as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is the Antichrist, the beast from Revelation 13. But I do think that the man who will be the embodiment of evil will share many characteristics with al-Baghdadi. Even now he is calling on all Muslims to swear allegiance to the caliphate and by extension, to him as caliph. In the same way, according to Revelation 13:15, the Antichrist and the False Prophet will require all to worship him or be killed.
ISIS destroys shrines and mosques, may be targeting Mecca
ISIS is leaving a path of destroyed churches, shrines and mosques in its wake as it storms across Syria and Iraq, and has even set its sights on Mecca -- Islam's holiest site.
The nihilistic jihadis, led by self-proclaimed descendant of Prophet Muhammad Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, have already bulldozed or blown up some of the most sacred places in Iraq, and seem bent on killing and destroying anyone or anything that does not measure up to their vision of Islam. Experts say the group, which originally stood for Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, but now simply calls itself "Islamic State," has appointed itself the leading proponent of the Muslim faith.
“They see themselves as the last defenders of Islamic civilization and want to eradicate anything that they see as the enemy of Islam, and any Muslim they perceive as compromising with the West,” Yvonne Haddad, a professor at Georgetown University who specializes in the history of Islam and Christian-Muslim relations, told FoxNews.com.
Mostly comprised of Sunnis, ISIS surprised few when it vowed to destroy sites revered by the rival Shia sect. The two main blocs of Islam have been at odds for nearly 1,400 years because of a dispute over who was Prophet Muhammad's successor. The destruction of at least 10 ancient Shia shrines in Iraq has enraged the Shia government in Baghdad, as well as the Iranian regime, also Shia.
But an unverified threat to Mecca itself, the holy city in Sunni-dominated Saudi Arabia where Muslims believe they must make one pilgrimage during their lifetimes, was unprecedented. Allegedly tweeted by a member of the extremist group on a since-suspended account, the threat took aim at the most sacred beacon of the Muslim faith.