Hundreds of Christian books have been burned by Islamic State in Mosul, almost two years after jihadists took over the Iraqi city.
Video footage emerged last week showing militants throwing books onto a burning pile. Close-ups showed many of the books were emblazoned with crucifixes.
The video was titled “Diwan of education destroys Christian instruction books in Mosul”. The Diwan Al-Hisbah is ISIS’s morality police, responsible for enforcing the group’s laws.
A local activist, Abdullah al-Mulla, told ARA News the books had been collected from schools and churches in Mosul, which was once considered the heartland of Iraq’s Christian population.
“ISIS jihadis burned hundreds of Christian textbooks in central Mosul,” al-Mulla said.
“The militants have also collected a lot of Christian textbooks from the Dawassa district near Martyrs’ Park and publicly burned then,” he added.
Mosul was overrun by ISIS militants on 10 June, 2014. Upon capturing the city militants issued an ultimatum to Christians, telling them to convert to Islam, pay a tax or flee. Those who refused to comply were murdered, and there are now believed to be no Christians left in the city.
ISIS has declared religious sites and artefacts to be idolatrous, and has released multiple images showing Christian paintings and statues being destroyed.
Reports claim the Mar Gorgis monastery north of Mosul has been used as a female detention centre, while other ancient churches in the city have been used as slaughterhouses and torture chambers.
In June last year it was announced that the St Ephrem Syriac Orthodox Church in Mosul would be reopened as a “mosque of the mujahideen’. Local Iraqi media reports at the time said it had been draped with Islamic State’s flag, with “There is no God but Allah” and “Prophet Mohammed” written on it.