After the Al-Saraji Mosque’s 300-year-old minaret in the southern city of Basra was destroyed, rage swept throughout Iraq.
With permission from the Basra administration, the Sunni Endowment Office in Basra carried out the demolition.
The mosque and minaret, which date back to 1727 AD and were designated as a heritage site by the Ministry of Culture, were destroyed in order to enlarge the road.
The rapid demolition caught many officials off guard, and some have claimed they weren’t told in advance. Asaad Al-Eidani, the governor of Basra, posted on Facebook, “The goal of demolishing the Al-Saraji Mosque is to complete the expansion of Abi Al-Khasib Road.”
According to Al-Eidani, a new mosque will be constructed there; the destruction was done as a result of “complaints of traffic congestion” near the mosque.
Ahmed Fadak Al Badrani, the minister of culture of Iraq, threatened legal action against the Basra authorities on Facebook on Friday.
“We will pursue legal action against any administrative or individual overreach that seeks to harm, particularly the demolition of the Al-Saraji mosque and its minaret,” Al Badrani continued.
The minister continued, “We demand the Sunni and Shiite parties to intercede, stand firm, and punish their members in the event that they are permitted to replace or fabricate historical truths.