A fighter of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) holds an ISIL flag and a weapon on a street in the city of Mosul, June 23, 2014.
Stringer/Reuters

ISIS targets evolution in Iraqi schools

Islamic State is not just a roving band of lunatics; it strives to be a relatively well organized band of lunatics. When it controls an area, the terrorist group’s leaders try to collect taxes and create some semblance of local civic administration, including directing traffic.
 
In other words, ISIS, when it’s not indiscriminately killing people, has governing ambitions.
 
And to that end, the Associated Press reported yesterday on ISIS terrorists taking a keen interest in the curricula of schools in Mosul.
The extremist-held Iraqi city of Mosul is set to usher in a new school year. But unlike years past, there will be no art or music. Classes about history, literature and Christianity have been “permanently annulled.”
 
The Islamic State group has declared patriotic songs blasphemous and ordered that certain pictures be torn out of textbooks.
This is not the first time. In parts of Syria under ISIS control, the group has banned philosophy and chemistry.
 
In Mosul, ISIS issued a statement nearly two weeks ago, declaring “good news of the establishment of the Islamic State Education Diwan by the caliph who seeks to eliminate ignorance, to spread religious sciences and to fight the decayed curriculum.”
 
The AP report added that Islamic State explicitly prohibits lessons on “Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.”
 
As it turns out, Iraqi schools weren’t teaching evolution anyway, but in the name of “eliminating ignorance,” ISIS wants to be absolutely certain that modern biology is banned from science classes. The violent extremists prefer “religious sciences.”
 
As a practical matter, ISIS announced that the school year would begin Sept. 9, but wouldn’t you know it, Iraqi families have not been eager to send children to ISIS-run schools, many of which remain empty.
 
The Associated Press talked to a Mosul resident who identified himself as Abu Hassan who said local residents realize there are risks in keeping children from ISIS-run schools, but he added, “They will brainwash them and contaminate their thoughts.”
 

Iraq, ISIS and Islamic State of Iraq and Syria

ISIS targets evolution in Iraqi schools