Photo of the destroyed mausoleum in the city of Tal Maruf, sent in by our Observer Mohamed Issam.
Jihadist fighters have destroyed a mosque in northern Syria, which to them represented a heretic form of Islam. These jihadists, who are part of the extremist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (known as ISIL) attacked the mosque after taking over the Kurdish city of Tal Maruf in late February.
The city of Tal Maruf is home to several religious institutions: a mosque, a mausoleum containing the tombs of five imams, and an institute of Arabic and Islamic studies. These structures were all built by followers of Sufism, a mystical branch of Islam. Prior to the Syrian war, Tal Maruf drew students from all over Syria as well as neighbouring countries who wished to study Naqshbandi, a branch of Sufism popular among Arabic, Kurdish, and Turkish Muslims.
ISIL, which has links with al Qaeda, is a jihadist group operating in Syria and Iraq. It is based on an extremist interpretation of Islam and considers Sufism to be heresy.
A photo of the damaged mosque in Tal Maruf, published by the site Firatnews.com.
The ISIL’s signature is sprayed on the mosque wall.