Graduation Year


Date of Thesis Acceptance

Spring 5-9-2018

Major Department or Program



Aaron Bobrow-Strain


Over the course of 2015, the same year that Mosul, Iraq was declared the de facto capital of the caliphate, the Islamic State (ISIL) attacked more than forty-two cultural sites in the city. On February 26th of the same year, the group released a film on YouTube documenting the destruction of cultural artifacts at the Mosul Museum and the archaeological site of Kuyunjuk in Iraqi Kurdistan. The film was widely circulated in the Western popular press and online despite its removal by the group from YouTube the next day. The “international” community was eager to interpret and condemn the film. In the press, as online, the Mosul Museum iconoclasm was rendered yet another example of the apparent violence, religious intolerance, and cultural ignorance of Islam and groups like the Islamic State. This thesis analyzes the iconoclasm enacted at the Mosul Museum by the Islamic State.

Page Count


Subject Headings

IS (Organization)‚ Matḥaf al-Mawṣil‚ YouTube (Electronic resource)‚ Iconoclasm‚ Orientalism‚ Islamophobia‚ Postcolonialism‚ Islam‚ Social sciences‚ Mosul (Iraq)‚ Kurdistan‚ Whitman College 2018 -- Dissertation collection -- Politics Department

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Document Type

Public Accessible Thesis



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