While Hollywood worshiped Oscar, ISIS burned 8,000 books as part of its takeover

In a quest to exterminate any form of competing idea or ideology, ISIS burned 8,000 books that were taken during a rampage through Iraq in January.

A library in the ISIS controlled Iraqi town of Mosul became the target for Islamist militants according to the Associated Press.


Witnesses at the time said they saw militants filling sacks with thousands of books, including children’s stories, poetry, and books about science, history and culture, before driving off in pickup trucks.

“These books promote infidelity and call for disobeying Allah. So they will be burned,” a militant told residents, according to a residential witness.

Many of the ancient books that were stolen are rich in antiquity and heritage, with some texts dating back to the Ottoman era. Leading to speculation that the books and documents that can be sold on the black market might be spared to make ISIS a profit.

The others were burned along with the library itself, while most of the Western world was watching the academy awards, reported the Fiscal Times.

“900 years ago, the books of the Arab philosopher Averroes were collected before his eyes… and burned. One of his students started crying while witnessing the burning. Averroes told him… the ideas have wings… but I cry over our situation,” said Rayan al-Hadidi a blogger from Mosul.

Ancient artifacts were also decimated in a Mosul museum as can be seen in the following video.

The library in Mosul was looted at least once before during the Iraq war in 2003, but residents were able to salvage most of it, and wealthy families bought back most of the stolen items and returned them to the library.

This time, the library and the people of Mosul who proudly tried to protect it, likely won’t be as fortunate. During the same burning, ISIS abolished the church of Mary the Virgin along with a movie theater, according to the Times.


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