Islamic State Burns Thousands of Books Including Ancient Works In The Name of Islamic Purity

AQMI_Flag.svgThe_House_of_Leaves_-_Burning_4The Islamic State has continued its campaign of religious fascism in murdering thousands and “cleansing” areas for its view of the true Islamic faith. This process appears to include the burning of books in cities like Mosul, which once held a treasure trove of ancient texts including works dating back to 5000 BC. Some 2,000 books that range from children’s stories to poetry to historical texts were burned in front of residents who were told that such texts “promote infidelity and call for disobeying Allah. So they will be burned.”

It is all a part of the purification of areas, including the destruction of Sunni and Christian places of worship and libraries. A University of Mosul history professor said that IS has been systematic in targeting libraries, including a large Sunni Muslim library, the library of the 265-year-old Latin Church and Monastery of the Dominican Fathers and the Mosul Museum Library. It appears that IS may be selling some of the books on the black market, however. The only thing more motivating for the Islamic State than a good cleansing is cold hard cash. Yet, Islamic State is believed to have been successful in its efforts to burn maps and books from the Ottoman Empire and book collections involving works that are centuries old.

As discussed earlier, the Islamic State has already destroyed ancient shrines including those of Seth, Jirjis and Jonah. Their destruction reminds many of the damage from the Mongols who threw ancient books into the Tigris River.

It is particularly telling that, like so many fascists and terrorists before them, Islamic State views education and books to be some of their greatest enemies. It is a movement that thrives on ignorance and feeding their followers with an exclusive mix of extreme Islamic teachings and pure unadulterated hate. They are now preparing to defend Mosul from an expected attack of coalition forces — a battle that could destroy what remains of the city and costs thousands of additional lives.

As an educator, I can only image the pain of faculty at the University of Mosul in watching the very foundation for learning in the ancient city destroyed by these violent and ignorant men. Academics universally believe that the nature progression of humanity is toward knowledge. Islamic State and its predecessors can only slow that progression. However, the loss of these ancient works is a terrible price to pay since they constitute the very foundational works of Islamic education and development.

119 thoughts on “Islamic State Burns Thousands of Books Including Ancient Works In The Name of Islamic Purity”

  1. Greenwald probably stated it best when he writes “The constant orgy of condemnation aimed at this group seems to have little purpose other than tribal self-affirmation…” This blog, in whole, certainly represents this view. And this blog actually cares (somewhat) about civil liberties.

  2. Golly, when I was sworn in to the Marine Corps I swore to defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. Sgt. Carter told us the Constitution represented and protected all US citizens, so we were protecting every US citizen when we swore our oath. I guess they have a different oath now?

  3. My daughter didn’t join the Navy to defend anyone. She actually was looking for adventure and she had two years toward a biology degree, but was bored with college and off she went to explore the seven seas, but ended up on sand more often.

  4. War has been a part of ‘becoming a man’ since the beginning of time. Today is no different. There is the before and the after. I know a few who ‘signed up’ to find out who they were, not so much to ‘defend’ anything.

  5. Issac said …

    … for a while it wasn’t something he boasted of, joining up to find out if he was Hemingway or not, killing a few people trying to kick out a colonial power

    Wow. No one joined up, to best of my knowledge, to “kill a few people” for any reason. No Marine or Army trooper signs up to be Hemingway or kill people.

    You need to stop watching movies and get to know some veterans who will tell you the truth…as I suspect your friend would if you asked.

  6. Aridog

    For me he was an ex Marine, that is he was a Marine once. I am sure that to himself he is still a Marine, although for a while it wasn’t something he boasted of, joining up to find out if he was Hemmingway or not, killing a few people trying to kick out a colonial power. There were a lot of young Americans that woke up after coming back.

    Regarding future tactics, it seems that invading and occupying countries is not the answer. It didn’t work for the Ruskies and it hasn’t worked several times for the US. The futures of both Afghanistan and Iraq will depend on their enjoying a reasonable period of time without being conquered by anyone to duke it out amongst themselves. This idea of a country with a majority and a minority is nothing new and has always suffered growing pains. They might just separate. The point is being occupied freezes the evolution. Afghanistan was conquered by the Taliban that was armed by Pakistan to stop the various tribes from fighting each other, the fighting that was leaking into Pakistan. The Taliban were tantamount to an occupying force.

    The only workable way that results in the least disruption and least American dead is rapid and effective deployment and extraction. The FFL does this several times a year although in small ways that are rarely disclosed. This keeps the leaders more honest or less corrupt, beats back rebels from time to time and results in the least trouble at home.

    That seems to be the way the arrow is pointing, or do you think the US should invade and occupy another country?

  7. Paul

    deGaulle went against the military and the elite, especially the FFL in Algeria when he took France out. This was somewhat the same situation with Viet Nam. It almost cost him is life. The Algerian revolution took heart from the ease in which the French left French Indo-China. After WW2 the average Frenchman and woman was not into colonialism. They sympathized with the people in those countries and were more concerned about consumer goods, gasoline, food, and returning to their own comfort zones. deGaulle knew who represented the most votes. Before WW2 France had the second largest empire after Britain. Algeria was considered part of France and its independence was far harder to accept than that of Viet Nam. The elite wanted to keep the empire and after the losses of the FFL in Viet Nam the elite kind of thinned out and the FFL took up the banner. During the war in Algeria, 50,000 +/- French died and upwards to a million Algerians died. The world was changing and colonial powers of the past no longer had support at home or around the world.

    In short, Viet Nam was far easier for France to give up than Algeria and yet it gave up Algeria due to popular opinion. All this stuff is readily available on line.

    1. issac – I am aware of de Gaulle and his problems. We were speaking of the problems of getting back into Vietnam to begin with, not his later problems. However, if you are really interested in this part of the French adventure there is a book called The New Centurions about the French fighting in Vietnam.

  8. It appears the members of the religion of peace have burned that Jordanian pilot alive in a cage.

    I hope that the Jordanians do what they said they were going to do.

  9. Issac said …

    I met an ex US Marine who later became a business partner and is still a close friend

    I believe you, but ask your USMC friend if he considers himself an”ex“-Marine? If so he is a very rare one indeed. I’ve never met one who didn’t still consider himself a “Marine”, period, even after decades out of the service. More or less the same applies to anyone once in airborne infantry.

    …. Now that the situation has changed it would seem to be a perfect time for some, in the field, use of special forces. Rapid deployments and extractions are the face of the new war.

    Snark alert đŸ™‚ …. how very 1959 of you. Tactics are one thing, in counter-insurgency, but holding the ground is what counts, even in Operation Hotfoot aka White Star, sent to Laos by Eisenhower. I know a member of that unit (we rode our horses together for years)…and his opinion was that extractions left vacuums and those were rapidly filled by the Pathet Lao. The more we did it the stronger the enemy became, not by winning battles, but by moving back in when we moved out.

    Sound familiar?

  10. Paul C said …

    …the military is happy with a volunteer force. Because of that you are going to have lower force numbers. If you want to ramp up the numbers you will have to re-instate the draft.

    Paul, your contention (lower force numbers & re-in-statement of the draft) is not a certainty…and the reductions over the past couple years have been political, not lack of volunteers. Let them open up say 250,000 combat arms and ordnance slots and see what happens. Of course, I’m biased because I enlisted in 1968 no less. I lived 5 minutes or less from Canada, and I really liked, and still do, Canada….but defecting there never occurred to … well maybe once in a beer haze back in the day…when friends said to me: “You gonna do what?!” None-the-less they all gathered at a party to see me off….and stayed in touch thereafter as well. See, I had friends already in the service, and some who came home in a box, like Country Joe said…and BTW Country Joe I’ve met a couple times and he’s hardly anti-soldier….quite the opposite actually. I actually felt it a duty to step up and be at least as good as my friends….or at the very least try. Something about the military service some never grasp…it is all about the guys (or girls) on your right and left…focus narrows to a pin point.

    My opinion is that today we rely too much on “contractors” to do what the military used to do for itself…and I’d delighted to see that reduced about 75+% as well, then open up those admin and quartermaster slots as well. The switch to contractors was also political and doesn’t well serve the Army or Marines. At times I doubt we could field a full combat Division on its own for a month. Seriously. Those from my organization who went to Iraq in the 3rd week had to sleep on floors in blankets, or just dirt holes, then tents, some caged from the Brits. Meantime the Brits arrived in full kit, including the only big tent beer hall near Basara and Al Faw. I packed up a top of the line dart board and four custom darts and sent it to those I knew who were close to the Brits…and it was hung up in the Beer Tent.

    From a distance, it seems illogical, but my guess, push come to shove, you’d do as I did.

  11. Darren Smith:

    “Pure Evil.”

    But when we vaporize suspects in non-sanctioned war zones, the concern is for upholding the apparent integrity of International and Domestic law. Interesting ethics.

  12. Aridog

    I prefaced the previous post with the obligations of the soldier. The soldiers in Vietnam are not the issue, except of course in the cases of guys like William Calley. Men go to war for a variety of reasons and all of them can be seen from both perspectives, either substantiated or not. The true hero goes to war, not to find himself but to fight for what he believes in. The Viet Nam war illustrated the coming of age of the young in America and what was worth believing in and worth killing and dying for. I met an ex US Marine who later became a business partner and is still a close friend. He joined in Hemingwayesque way, to add to his personality, character, illusion, whatever. I knew many other Americans who came up to BC in the sixties and seventies. Some to avoid fighting and some after their part was done. They all left the US for the same reason. That reason has since dissipated and substantially. Pick up a paper from the sixties and compare it with one today. The war in Viet Nam was ended by those who saw it more closely and more in the context of what it really was, a colonial adventure of the US that was killing innocent people.

    Those that went to Afghanistan and Iraq went in direct reaction to 9/11. This was as close to Pearl Harbor as one gets. Once it was over it can be viewed objectively. Afghanistan was inevitable. Iraq was not. Without objectively reviewing the past and its mistakes we are committed to repeating them. Iraq was a mistake that Viet Nam should have stopped us from committing, regardless of the ‘time’ and how the world was viewed. Perhaps Obama is negotiating too much, scrutinizing the situation too much, or simply responding weakly by reflecting the majority opinion. This is also the pendulum swinging to the other side. Personally I would see him achieving more if he mixed the two approaches more evenly. He took the troops out of Iraq when it appeared it was the right time. The thugs had not yet shown up. Now that the situation has changed it would seem to be a perfect time for some, in the field, use of special forces. Rapid deployments and extractions are the face of the new war.

  13. Isaac …….I’d be interested in your source for stating that 1.7 million N.Vietnamese civilians were killed by U.S. bombing.

  14. Isaac…..There is a very broad range of estimates of Vietnamese casualties. The 1.3 million N.Vietnamese deaths you mentioned are probably at the very high end of the estimates……and those highest estimates are those provided by the Vietnamese government which has an interest in inflating the Communist military and all civilian losses.
    Were the North Vietnamese “true heroes” you refer to the same ones who committed the massacre at Hue, and numerous other atrocities?

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