Tag Archives: mosul

Islamic Response to ISIS/ Daesh’s Book Burning

According to an article by the National Post, Daesh has massacred a significant quantity of books they deemed to be “unIslamic”:

BAGHDAD — When Islamic State group militants invaded the Central Library of Mosul earlier this month, they were on a mission to destroy a familiar enemy: other people’s ideas. Residents say the extremists smashed the locks that had protected the biggest repository of learning in the northern Iraq town, and loaded around 2,000 books — including children’s stories, poetry, philosophy and tomes on sports, health, culture and science — into six pickup trucks. They left only Islamic texts.

Mideast Iraq Libraries In Danger

I have a great disgust for those people who burn literature, whether they agree with its contents or not. The hallmark of an intellectual society is one that can harbour ideas and beliefs they don’t agree with. As a Muslim, I study Christianity and Judaism, I don’t agree with everything those faiths teach but it is my job to entertain differing arguments and to approach them in a sensible manner. Acts like these seem more Christian to me than Islamic, as book burning is something condoned by the New Testament:

Large numbers of those who had practiced magic (περίεργα, περίεργος) collected their books and burned them up in the presence of everyone. When the value of the books was added up, it was found to total fifty thousand silver coins. – Acts 19:19 (NET).

Most New Testaments carry the translation of magic, but the primary meaning of “περίεργος” according to Strong’s Lexicon is:

of persons: over-careful; curious, meddling, a busy-body; of things: over-wrought; superfluous; curious, uncanny; subst: curious arts

A more English friendly translation according to Helps Ministries Word Studies is:

spending excessive time (effort) where it doesn’t belong (or should not happen).

Dr. James Dunn explains this term a bit more concretely, he says:

‘not doing any work but meddling/ being busy bodies’ (BDAG 800). The inference is probably that the individuals referred to were so caught up with their convictions that they spent time disrupting the work of other believers by their continual attempts to propagate their views. – ‘Beginning from Jerusalem: Christianity in the Making’, p. 717.

In other words, not sorcery or magic, but whatever Christians found to be challenging of their own views. Which is exactly what Daesh/ ISIS is doing, burning books which challenge their rhetoric. In response to this, Ibn Hazm states:

دعوني من إحراق رق و كاغد
و قولوا بعلم كي يرى الناس من يدري

Leave this (ridiculous) burning of books and texts,
Articulate your arguments and let the people decide (who is upon falsehood). – Ibn Hazm as quoted by Mufti Abu Layth al Maliki.

and Allah knows best.

1800 year old Mosul Church Burned Down by ISIS

Note: I do not support nor identify with nor call to the cause of ISIS/ IS. This is not a defense of their terrorism or their violence or any of their actions. This is intended to be a fact checking investigation.

By now you’ve seen this photo with the claim that ISIS militants have burned down an 1800 year old Church in Mosul:



The problem with that would be that the Church in the photo is from Egypt, an entirely different country, and it was burned down in mid-August of 2013, that’s last year. So not only is it from the wrong year, the person who contrived this story couldn’t even be bothered to use a Church in Iraq itself, they used one from a completely different country. Fact checking does not seem to be the best ability of Christians crying persecution.

The issue in Mosul is that the IS de-facto Government, has determined that as the Caliphate, they now have the right to seek taxes from those living within their state. If persons choose not to pay their Government, then they would be asked to leave the state, as they would become a financial burden to the Government. The issue with the taxes therefore, is not one of persecution, but one of Governmental economic policies. The IS is a state with financial burdens and a state at war with the Iraqi Army, and as such, if it seeks to tax some of its citizens who are ineligible to fight on behalf of the state’s army then in place of that they pay a fee or tax known as the Jizya which in effect, is a promissory tax, of which upon acceptance by the state, they assume the role of having the responsibility of protecting those within the state’s boundaries.

Along with the invented story of burning Churches, there has been even more malicious stories of massacres and rapes. I decided a few blog websites by anti-Islamic, anti-Arab, angry Christians with an inferiority complex weren’t a very objective news source. So, I went to the source which the news agencies were quoting themselves, the head of Iraqi Christians on Mosul, Chaldean Patriarch Louis Sako! In his message to the Vatican, there was no mention of burning churches, murders, rapes, beheadings etc.  We all agree that ISIS/ IS is evil and pretty violent, but by inventing stories about false atrocities for the chance to claim that your faith is being persecuted is quite low. It takes a person of very low morals to take the plight of a people and use it to manipulate the faithful of the world’s various religions.

The only effect inventing stories about ISIS/ IS can cause, is to legitimize them. If you heard 100 bad things about them, and it turned out a lot of it was false, doesn’t matter if 20 or so of those things actually occurred, you’re going to give the impression that they weren’t as bad as we thought. So in essence, by lying for pity, you’re legitimizing a violent, armed gang. Not the best thing you could’ve done, and yes I’m speaking to you 24/7 Christian persecution websites.

and God knows best.