Islamic State book burnings target minorities

The route of transportating books and publications to Iraq has fallen under control of the Islamic State (IS), with fighters censoring book shipments to prevent the entry of material and information they consider to be contrary to Islam.

Al-Monitor learned that IS had confiscated a big load of a book called “Christians in Iraq: Comprehensive History and Current Challenges.” The volume is an encyclopaedia on the historical roots, cultural presence and social heritage of Christians in Iraq.

In an interview with Al-Monitor, the director of Dar al-Rafidain, the publisher of the book asked, “Haven’t Christians suffered enough killing and displacement? I do not know what scares terrorists about this book! Maybe they are destroying this book, which documents the deep Christian roots in this country, to complement the brutality of their terrorist acts? I feel sorry for my fellow Christians in Iraq.”

The IS project is being carried out not only at the territorial level, but also at a temporal level. IS seeks even to cleanse history of the of Christians, Yazidis, Shiites and all other non-Salafists. The Salafists’ extremist classification of people is based on the concept of you are either with us or against us. There is no place in between. This derives from the Salafi principle of “tawally” and “tabbarry.” The tawally and tabbarry project is applied at the level of history and memory to create a new kind of human being, completely removed from his or her national and cultural affiliations.

IS thus seeks to raise a new generation within a Salafist religious system with the value of hostility toward others. Thus one finds photos and video footage of children holding severed heads of the alleged enemy or violators of Salafist rules, combat weapons and signs with hostile religious slogans, ultimately pointing them toward lives of separation, isolation, and inhumanity.

Todenhoefer said the “nuclear tsunami” that is IS has yet to rise. It is slowly preparing itself to become the most destructive force in history. Its project is the complete destruction of civil life that has emerged in the region over thousands of years and its replacement with a barbaric system vehemently opposed to religion tolerance and cultural pluralism.

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