Apr. 20, 2017
- Schoolchildren Adjust to Life after Islamic State – Katrin Kuntz
Islamic State (IS) conquered Mosul and took over its schools in June 2014. As schools in eastern Mosul reopen, we learn what the students experienced under IS. Basha, 13, says: “Sometimes someone asked us who is better, the Iraqi army or IS? And we screamed loudly, ‘IS’.” Amir, 9, says: “The men made the animals disappear from our biology books. There were no more lions, only IS.” Hassan, 12, says: “They threw a child from a high-rise.” Qaisar, 13, says: “They taught us how to decapitate a person. We practiced on a doll. The doll was a bit larger than me.” Just a few months ago, IS followers decapitated four people in front of the school.
The IS supervisor came to the school and ordered the teachers to burn the old books, those filled with poetry and songs. The geography books removed the border between Syria and Iraq. They depicted Kurds and Shiites as groups that opposed Islam and were considered non-believers who were to be killed. The apples and pears used to teach addition and subtraction were replaced with tanks and grenades. The plus symbol was replaced with the letter “z” because it too closely resembled a Christian cross. Art and music were abolished by IS because they weren’t useful for jihad. (Der Spiegel-Germany)