Tuesday, February 03, 2015

The Islamic State's Destruction of Books: Ignoramus et Ignorabimus

ISIS Burning Books
"Those who begin by burning books
will end by burning people."
- Heinrich Heine
Image from Abouna

Sinan Salaheddin and Sameer N. Yacoub report on "Iraqi libraries ransacked by Islamic State group in Mosul" (My Way News, January 31, 2015):
When Islamic State . . . militants invaded the Central Library of Mosul earlier this month, they were on a mission to destroy a familiar enemy: other people's ideas . . . . [T]he extremists . . . loaded around 2,000 books . . . into six pickup trucks . . . . "These books promote infidelity and call for disobeying Allah. So they will be burned," a bearded militant . . . told residents . . . . as others [with him] stuffed books into empty flour bags . . . . [T]he Islamic State group . . . [has] sought to purge society of everything that doesn't conform to their violent interpretation of Islam[, including] . . . . many archaeological relics, deeming them pagan . . . . Mosul, the biggest city in the Islamic State group's self-declared caliphate, boasts a relatively educated, diverse population that seeks to preserve its heritage sites and libraries . . . . But . . . the Islamic State group has made the penalty for such actions death . . . . Days after the Central Library's ransacking, militants broke into University of Mosul's library . . . . [and] made a bonfire out of hundreds of books on science and culture, destroying them in front of students . . . . [T]he Islamic State . . . extremists started wrecking the collections of other public libraries last month . . . [and caused] particularly heavy damage to the archives of a Sunni Muslim library, the library of the 265-year-old Latin Church and Monastery of the Dominican Fathers and the Mosul Museum Library with works dating back to 5000 BC.
This sort of barbarity dooms the perpetrators to perpetual backwardness and forces them to live parasitically upon the wealth of civilized people who welcome knowledge and actually make things. Such radical destruction of secular learning leaves the Islamic State in the hands of arrogant militant fools who do not know and will not know - adding new meaning to "ignoramus et ignorabimus" - and whose ignorance will serve only to bring destruction down upon their own heads.

The tragedy is that they meanwhile destroy the lives of so many others and of so much that the others owned . . .

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At 7:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At least we can quit worrying any hillbillies have gone off to Mosul and environs to join up with any of them ig'nurnts.


At 8:04 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Being professional hillbillies is a kind of learned ignorance, JK, as you and I both know.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 8:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Learned" is right Jeff.

Only 2000 books and six whole pickups!

(Course them jihadifellers mighta been totin' some livestock too.)


At 9:43 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

They were likely taking only the most valuable for selling on the black market, but the number of pickups is strange.

Jeffery Hodges

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