This sort of wanton iconoclasm had until recently been largely the domain of Islamic terrorists. ISIS is well-known for gleefully destroying some of the world’s oldest treasures as part of its religious war. Now, it appears, they have something else in common with leftist statue vandals besides an ideology that justifies political violence and a rabid hatred of free expression: the desecration of historic monuments. In one latest example, the Islamic State cell that committed this month’s terror attacks in Spain had originally aimed at the historic Sagrada Familia Basilica, only failing to carry out their plan because of a providential accident with their bomb supplies.

Wherever ISIS conquers territory, they destroy artifacts that would preserve historical memories for posterity. Here’s CNN on that phenomenon two years ago, citing a United Nations statement calling this cultural destruction “war crimes.”

The desecration of sacred and public art reveals what both groups consider their most bitter enemy. For Islamists, it’s all that is not Islam, especially Christians, Jews, and the United States. For the U.S. vigilantes pulling down statues, it’s also the United States: Its history, people, traditions, religious and political connections with Christianity, and animating ideas. In their secularist version of hatred for “the great Satan,” they consider the United States, as the demonstration chant summarizes handily, “Racist, sexist, anti-gay!” This is their Marxist creed, and at root it is diametrically opposed to America’s essence as a creedal nation “dedicated to the proposition” that

all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.


Vandals Are Destroying Monuments Because They’ve Been Taught To Hate America
It appears Islamists have something in common with statue vandals besides an ideology that justifies political violence and a rabid hatred of free expression: the desecration of historic monuments.