Outrage in Iraq as 300-Year-Old Minaret of Al Saraji Mosque in Basra is Demolished

In a shocking turn of events, the 11-meter high minaret of Al Saraji mosque, the second oldest mosque in Iraq, was demolished at dawn on Friday. Despite being recognized as a heritage site by the Ministry of Culture, the structure was destroyed in the southern city of Basra, sparking outrage and grief among locals and officials alike.

The mosque and its minaret, dating back to 1727, were demolished to widen a road, according to reports. Local media outlets published footage of the centuries-old mosque being destroyed by bulldozers, as Basra Governor Assad Al Eidani witnessed.

Many officials and locals were taken aback by the sudden demolition, with some claiming they were not informed beforehand. “Al Saraji mosque represents Islamic culture and art. This is a disaster,” said a local official from the Ministry of Culture.

Culture Minister Ahmed Fadak Al Badrani has threatened legal action against Basra authorities, saying, “We will take legal action against any administrative or personal overreach that works to cause harm, especially the demolition of the Al Saraji mosque.” Meanwhile, Governor Assad Al Eidani has announced plans to build a new mosque at the site, citing “complaints” of traffic around the mosque.

The destruction of the minaret has sparked widespread anger and grief in Iraq, with many calling for stronger measures to protect the country’s rich cultural heritage. The incident serves as a stark reminder of the fragility of historical sites in conflict zones and the urgent need to preserve them for future generations.

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