Iraqi libraries ransacked, books burned by Islamic State in Mosul

In this Friday, Jan. 23, 2015 photo, Iraqis look at books on al-Mutanabi Street, home to the city’s book market in central Baghdad. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)

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.

The rest?

“These books promote infidelity and call for disobeying Allah. So they will be burned,” a bearded militant in traditional Afghani two-piece clothing told residents, according to one man living nearby who spoke to The Associated Press…

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