I don’t know if you saw this remarkable story the other day, but it is one of the only hopeful things I have seen in the recent barrage of depressing news:
Residents of Mosul have watched helplessly as extremists ruling the northern Iraqi city blew up some of their most beloved landmarks and shrines to impose a stark vision of Islam. Next up for destruction, they feared: the Crooked Minaret, a more than 840-year-old tower that leans like Italy’s Tower of Pisa.
But over the weekend, residents pushed back. When fighters from the Islamic State group loaded with heavy explosives converged on the site, Mosulis living nearby rushed to the courtyard below the minaret, sat on the ground and linked arms to form a human chain to protect it, two residents who witnessed the event said on Monday.
They told the fighters, if you blow up the minaret, you’ll have to kill us too, the witnesses said.
The militants backed down and left, said the witnesses, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation from the militants.
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